YUSU called to stop stocking ‘offensive publications’

Credit: Josh Boswell

Credit: Josh Boswell

Pornographic magazines and The Sun are among publications which YUSU is being called upon to stop stocking in YourShop.

Helena Horton, a first-year philosophy student, set up a Facebook event today calling on students to request “offensive publications” no longer be stocked in the Union’s campus shop.

The edition of The Sun featuring the front page headline “3 Shots. Screams. Silence. 3 more shots” in reference to the death of Reeva Steenkamp is described as being particularly offensive because it “trivialised the issue”, had a picture of her in a bikini next to the headline, and “didn’t include her name”.

The aim of the campaign is “To get YUSU to stop selling offensive material.” Because “covering it up is not enough.”

This Sun front page was deemed particularly offensive by the campaign

This Sun front page was deemed particularly offensive by the campaign

Horton told Nouse that she wants the Union to stop selling “Any material that is openly prejudiced against minority groups that YUSU claims to support, such as women, racial minorities, LGBTQ and disabilities”.

According to Horton, the Union should not profit from anything which degrades those that it represents.

Scott Lishak, another supporter of the campaign and admin of its Facebook event added that the material would need a “long history of prejudice” in order to warrant a complaint about the Union selling it. He said, “The Sun is symbolic as it embodies the worst characteristics of gossip journalism and has little to no positive value.”

Despite an immediate backlash against the campaign from people claiming that it wants to enforce censorship, its members claim otherwise. Horton and Lishak said, “It has nothing to do with censorship. It’s about YUSU not representing its members.

First-year Helena Horton is spearheading the campaign

First-year Helena Horton is spearheading the campaign

“I don’t care whether they sell it somewhere else like Costcutter. I care about them selling it in a YUSU shop. I care about our Union profiting from things that devalue its members.”

Kallum Taylor, YUSU President told Nouse, “As with all areas of our services, YUSU welcome direction from our members to tell us how they think we should deliver them.”

He went on to say that this isn’t the first time this sort of issue has been raised, with something similar having gone to referendum in May 2011. The motion didn’t pass, but Taylor said, “The views of our membership can change over time, and so I’d encourage those behind this campaign to put the question forward again.”

Regarding the previous referendum, Horton said: “The other referendum was to put plastic covers over the lads’ mags, which I think was a weak move. They should take them out of YourShop all together so that YUSU can’t profit from them. The referendum didn’t accurately represent the student body’s views as nobody votes. Hopefully our campaign will get more people to vote.”

Lashik also said, “It shouldn’t require a referendum. It’s not a policy, it’s an action. It’s common sense.”

Bob Hughes, YUSU Welfare Officer, told Nouse that he looks forward to the issue going to referendum as he feels it “is an incredibly important topic to discuss”. He also said, “I encourage everyone to get involved in healthy debate about this topic, and voice their opinions on his respectfully.”


  1. 15 Feb ’13 at 4:41 pm

    Let's not stop here

    We also have at this university a number of muslim students. Is it worth voting to ban all pork and non-halal foodstuffs from YourShop as well, as these could be found offensive?

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  2. “It shouldn’t require a referendum. It’s not a policy, it’s an action. It’s common sense.” How democratic of you.

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  3. 15 Feb ’13 at 4:52 pm

    James Jameson

    Totally agree. Maybe we could set up some system where whenever any student wants to read anything Helena Horton is automatically asked whether it’s acceptable before they read it so as not to be accidentally offended..

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  4. 15 Feb ’13 at 4:53 pm

    3rd Year Politics Student

    I think a lot of the debate on the facebook page is premature and slightly misdirected. The movement itself at the moment is only to take the issue to a campus-wide vote, which is something we all should be in favour of. I would be eager to help get this motion to the referendum stage just as I would then be eager to vote against it and encourage others to do the same. People attempting to shut down the movement altogether aren’t doing any favours to the promotion of democracy on campus; we should take this to a vote and debate the issue at that stage.

    A couple of things I didn’t like to hear from those interviewed regarding this issue; the assumption that a referendum in which few or no people vote is not representative (Horton) and the idea that this move is ‘common sense’ (Lashik). Low turnout is unfortunately a reality of democracy and you cannot claim to speak for how people would have voted when in fact they didn’t. It is more reasonable I believe to assume that because people didn’t vote in the last referendum, this is not an issue they particularly care about.

    As for the comment about this move being common sense, you can’t really claim this to be the case until this motion passes and is proven to be a commonly held belief; until it does such a statement is only an opinion.

    In summary encouraging people to become more involved in student and national politics is commendable; encouraging them to vote one way or another is your right. Calling someone ignorant or misogynistic because they disagree with you is ignorant and deplorable in itself.

    Fair play to Helena for attempting to get involved and change things, I think though that by third year she will have become just as apathetic as the rest of us.

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  5. We’ve had this nonsense before, we’ll have it again.
    Some people are just too keen to ban things which they personally dislike.

    The fact that Lashik believes that the democratic process isn’t needed here just highlights what arrogant individuals we’re dealing with. (not to mention that saying “It’s not a policy, it’s an action” is a tad silly)

    Don’t like The Sun or more risqué magazines? Don’t buy them.

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  6. I’m seriously starting to get upset by the amount of people complaining about things. It makes me unhappy, it wastes my time. Can we please vote to stop people pretending they’re discussing something that a majority of students care about?

    We are old enough to decide for ourselves what we want to buy and what we don’t want to buy.

    I’d make a guess that a majority of women at this university, such as myself, despite supporting such movements as the ‘rise’ campaign, wouldn’t support this.

    Also Scott “Lashik” (‘accidental’ Grauniad slip here?)’s comment of “It’s not a policy, it’s an action” – really? I didn’t realise we were in a state of emergency when it comes to shoddy newspapers.

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  7. My guess is that Scott was speaking in a manner that was more enthusiastic than informed, when it comes to the fine detail of YUSU policy detail. Exercising his right to free speech in short:p


    I would say that this referendum (if it comes to pass) is exactly what you describe. A group of 15,000 adults coming together to decide collectively what the shop they all own, through their membership of YUSU, sells.

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  8. Regarding the previous referendum, Horton said: “The other referendum was to put plastic covers over the lads’ mags, which I think was a weak move. They should take them out of YourShop all together so that YUSU can’t profit from them.”

    If people voted against a “weak”er move back then, what makes you think they’ll support a stronger one now?

    Re: YUSU profiting from this, given the cut down prices that some newspapers etc are sold at in YourShop (c/o the NUS) I have some doubts that much, if any, profit is made from them.

    @Yawn, wholeheartedly agree.

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  9. I think this campaign would do better if it focused on harm, rather than offense; we don’t generally ban things just because we’re offended, but we do often ban things that are deemed to harm others.

    Now, there isn’t always a clear line between offense and harm, but I think an argument can be made that the Sun does a good job perpetuating stereotypes that can indeed be harmful to individuals of any gender.

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  10. Isn’t this just an attempt at censorship? Some people enjoy these magazines and newspapers, and they should not be prevented from exercising their rights. Otherwise they essentially become an oppressed minority group, just like the ones this idea is trying to ‘protect.’

    Also, since when were women a minority group? Last I checked, they made up over 50% of the population. And it’s not like there’s only women being objectified, there’s gay interest magazines there too. To gender the situation is wrong.

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  11. Helena Horton was not getting much attention from males on campus.
    So she came up with this to get a bit of attention and make a name for herself.
    Poor thing.

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  12. This is just toss.

    I think we all have a right to buy and peruse pornographic periodicals. They send out a positive message about women, viz. that they’re alluring and morally loose.

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  13. I think there are two issues being run together here.

    One is the selling of certain magazines in the SU shop which are degrading in their portrayal of women (Nuts, et al) and men (GT, Attitude) as basically masturbation fodder.

    Another is the selling of the Sun, which, like it or not (and I don’t), is a national newspaper. The latest issue is undoubtedly vile and shows a complete lack of respect towards a murdered woman, but it is in a different category to wank mags like Nuts, which are not and don’t pretend to be news organs.

    Personally, I have much more sympathy with the exclusion from a union shop of magazines which some members of the union find offensive (in fact, I was somewhat surprised that a students’ union shop stocks such controversial material at all) than with a minority of people deciding which newspapers should and should not be available on campus.

    By the way, I’m all for sensitivity, but since when are women in a minority on campus? I’m fairly sure that the majority of students at the university are female.

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  14. Where will it stop? I see the point about Nuts, Zoo, Gay Times and The Sun. But what about other magazines, should Men’s Health also be banned for portraying unrealistic expectations that all men should have a six pack? How about magazines like Cosmo for their airbrushed models? Moving away from magazines, I personally can’t stand eggs in sandwiches, should all egg containing sandwiches be banned because I don’t like them?

    The point I’m trying to get at is that offense is very subjective, and just because a few people are being vocal about something doesn’t mean it represents the views of the majority. IMO the best solution (albeit not a perfect one) to this is to have a referendum, as the shop is run by YUSU it should be accountable to the views of ALL of its members, not a vocal minority.

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  15. 16 Feb ’13 at 12:29 am

    Helena Horton

    Hey, Helena here! I am not going to get into any debates in these comments, there’s room for that on the page but please read the arguments previously written before commenting as I am sick of repeating myself :P It does get tiring…
    Thanks to all of you who have given sensible input, if you like we are having a meeting on Monday in Vanbrugh Dining Hall at 1.15 where we are going to form our policy for the referendum.
    This is not a debate as such, as in we don’t want people there who are going to be offensive (eg comparing me to Hitler) or who are completely against the campaign, as this is for people who want to improve the campaign and give it a clear aim. We are contacting various political societies and are hopefully holding proper debates in the near future so all of you are free to join in with those. Email me (hh749) if interested and I will keep you posted.
    Thanks for all of your feedback! :)

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  16. What an incredibly stupid campaign, why does this girl think she can define for everyone else what’s offensive and what’s not? In her head I’m sure she’s thinking this a massive important campaign that’ll change the world, in reality no one cares and this doesn’t deserve a referendum. Do a campaign about biodiversity loss or something that’s actually an issue.

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  17. Let’s try to avoid all the ad hominems against Helena, personal attacks don’t negate the campaign itself. I say this as someone who thinks this campaign is misguided rather than a supporter, but insulting her personally is pretty harsh.

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  18. I agree with Matt Sharp here, this shouldn’t be about offense but harm. I think it’s a valid argument to say that a university union shouldn’t stock publications that perpetuate or encourage cultures of sexism or racism. It’s saddening that rather than a proper debate the comments are filled with inane and logically bereft responses such as “not getting much attention from males on campus” and “I personally can’t stand eggs in sandwiches”.

    Helena is making a sensible argument in a democratic way, if you don’t like it vote against it. Then again you might want to ask yourself why you care so much about Nuts or Zoo.

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  19. 16 Feb ’13 at 2:06 pm

    Helena Horton

    Hello again, meeting has been moved back an hour to 12.15 on Monday in Vanbrugh Dining Hall.
    Follow the page for updates if you’re interested.

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  20. 16 Feb ’13 at 2:26 pm

    Michael Butcliffe.

    Really don’t want to have to walk to spar off campus for FHM though. What am I gonna read on the crapper!

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  21. Thanks for the mis-spelled name guys.

    For the record, I don’t recall the ‘this doesn’t require a referendum’ comment, i’m not really sure where that’s come from?? Of course we will be putting this to a referendum and hopefully the student body will stand against gutter journalism and discrimination!

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  22. For all those attacking the leaders of the campaign personally, clearly you don’t have anything valid to say regarding the actual issue. Let everybody enjoy freedom of speech please, and voice your opposing opinions regarding the issue – not the people who have brought it to light.

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  23. What else does Helena want to ban whilst she is at it? What about the Daily Mail? Why should The Sun be banned whilst the Daily Mail is not? This double standard is telling as it suggests Helena’s campaign is a moral panic which is using the politics of sexual shame to gain support. The Sun has page three girls whilst The Daily Mail does not. The recent example of a dead page three girl used by The Sun is shocking but hardly typical of The Sun. In an article talking about her death the Guardian used a similarly sexual image. Should we ban the Guardian too?

    Banning sexual material from Your Shop would not be representative of all student views. If Helena thinks that it is right to ban anything which a majority of people votes to ban because of being “offended” by it then she defends an extremely conservative position. It is what Devlin argued. If Nuts and FHM are removed and it is sufficient for something to be banned because a majority is offended then as a result the gay magazines would be banned. In such a straight culture where there is dislike towards gay people banning gay magazines would further entrench oppression. Does Helena care about gay people? Just because a majority might vote to ban gay magazines it does not follow that banning gay magazines would be the right thing to do. Gay magazines in public are a rare exception to heterosexual norms and so gay magazines have a liberating effect. The claim that gay magazines “denigrates” gay people is what denigrates gay people; not the magazines themselves.

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  24. 16 Feb ’13 at 6:19 pm

    Helena Horton

    Hey, would just like to point out that at no point have any people voted against LGBTQ+ magazines, and I doubt that a majority of people would want them taken off campus. As to you asking whether I care about ‘gay people’; I am James College LGBTQ rep so yes I do…
    Anyway, it’s not just my campaign. As you know, I am asking people on the group what the best steps to take are and which publications should be removed from YourShop. If you want to get involved, come to the meeting on Monday or the debate on Friday, thanks.

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  25. In the article the gay magazines have been described as “denigrating”. I’m glad you claim to care about gay people. However, part of the reason why people have not voted against gay magazines is because it would be considered unfair to do so because there are FHM magazines there already. If all the straight FHM were removed then this would create calls for the gay magazines to be removed too. If this were to happen you would be complicit. As you care about gay people are you in favour of keeping at least the gay magazines in Your Shop? I understand that you are asking people in the campaign group what they want to ban. If people in the group were to say that they wanted to ban gay magazines as an LGBTQ rep would you campaign against this? You may reply that people in the group have not asked for gay magazines to be banned. But this is merely opposing a ban for practical reasons of not being able to get a majority to pass one as opposed to in principle. Moreover, I’m not sure how representative what is posted in the group is as posts which oppose banning things tend to get deleted!

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  26. William – as has been stated many times, nobody is looking to ‘ban’ anything. A referendum was held a few years ago on this subject and it was defeated. Since then, we have had revelations about the Sun with regards to the Hillsborough cover up, phone hacking and bribery and there has recently been a campaign to remove page 3 from The Sun. This has led some of us to believe that there could be a shift in opinion amongst many students at the university and that a referendum has the potential to be successful; we are doing this because we wish to represent the freedom from oppression of women on campus (with regards to page 3 and the general sexual denigration that is displayed daily in The Sun) and of other BME and foreign groups of students – which number many – at York with regards to the general xenophobia that laces the editorial line of The Sun.

    We do not wish to ban anything from campus, we are not aiming to force anybody to do anything, and we are not saying that people who want to buy The Sun should be stopped from doing so. Conversely, what we are saying is that we don’t want to be FORCED to buy The Sun, which is effectively the current arrangement, as in order to supply the paper in YourShop, YUSU has to spend funds purchasing stock.

    So we are prepared to make our arguments, and we are certainly prepared to listen to constructive advice and criticism, but we want to set the record straight on what we are trying to achieve: we don’t want to ban anything and – speaking personally – I am not in favour of seeking to stop the sale of other publications at this point. We merely want to have the chance to put our arguments to the general student body, and to put it to a vote. I don’t see why, if we are a group of students who embrace democracy, that this should be an issue.

    Critique the content of the campaign if you wish, but don’t criticise it for merely existing; people invariably will have different viewpoints to you and that should be respected, and they should be allowed to air their views in the way in which we are doing.

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  27. I find it a tad hypocritical that you are not equally concerned with magazines for gay men like GT and Attitude, which are degrading and exploitative towards men (particularly young men) in exactly the same way that magazines for straight men like Nuts and Zoo are degrading and exploitative towards women. Hell, the issue of GT shown in the photo above has a nude young man featured on the front cover of their “Naked Issue 2013”. How is that okay when another magazine which shows a woman in a similar position is not?

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  28. 16 Feb ’13 at 10:38 pm

    Helena Horton

    I don’t know, Boswell. I think that trying to remove those from YourShop would currently cloud the campaign and also I am trying to represent LGBTQ+ students, and asking for the only magazines (I think, correct me if I am wrong) that specifically cater for gay/bi men to be removed would contradict my role…
    However, I do see your point about the objectification, I think. I need to have a think when I am less tired. Please, if you feel that you can improve the campaign, come along to the meeting.
    Also, would like to point out that we are considering asking for a YourShop Officer so we have a better link with the shop, and seeing as it is ‘our’ shop we could choose what is being sold? So this could tie in with that at a later date. (Bear in mind that this is in early stages)
    At the moment we are dealing with prejudice and trying to raise awareness for and improve the campaign.
    I would appreciate anyone’s help and input vis a vis improving the campaign so do drop me an email if you feel that you can help!! hh749 x

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  29. @Helena Horton
    Men are more visual and find images of women more pleasing to the eye than women.
    Just because you are a woman and can not relate to this, it does not mean women are being objectified.

    This is the same case when it comes to gay mags.

    Now, stop trying to make a name for yourself.
    You are loving all this attention are you not?

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  30. @William

    You made very good points.

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  31. Boswell, it is not necessarily hypocritical for someone to campaign against sexual images of women but not men if they justify their campaign with a feminist argument. According to such a feminist argument the context of the sexual images matters. A feminist could claim that sexual images of women make women in society worse off than they would be if such sexual images did not exist. A feminist could argue that gender and sexual oppression perpetuate each other when it comes to sexual images of women produced for men. At the same time a feminist could acknowledge the liberating power of gay porn. They could argue that given the dislike of gay sexuality in society and the vast majority of things in society are straight that gay porn makes gay people better off. For example, Eaton does this in her article “A Sensible Anti Porn Feminism”. For gay people there is clearly sexual oppression. Gay people are a despised sexuality. However, sexual oppression for gay people is far from aligned with gender oppression because gay people, by definition, are attracted to people of the same gender. The nuance of an argument such as this (though it is reasonable) is what makes me fear that most people would see a double standard if all the FHM were removed and so would demand the gay magazines be removed too.

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  32. Helena, I think you make a very good point about the two gay magazines in the shop being the only ones that are gay. However, you have confirmed my fears about the slippery slope nature of this campaign because you have not ruled out banning the gay magazines later on. “Objectification” means different things to different people. The feminist Nussbaum tried to define what is meant by “objectification” in her book “sex and social justice” and she came up with SEVEN definitions. Not all of these types of objectification are bad all of the time. In fact, she claims that some of them are good and necessary for a healthy sexual life. When “objectification” is used to criticise straight sexual images I assume it has a gender dimension to it. Especially when “objectification” is used to criticise gay sexual images it is very hard to work out what exactly the person using this word means by it. Unless what is meant by using “objectification” with regards (gay) sexual images is made explicit then whether the criticism has any substance remains obscured. Also, gender oppression and sexual oppression may be more linked for straight women than they are for gay men (see my post to Boswell).

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  33. Scott, let’s call it what it is: a campaign to ban The Sun from Your Shop. The campaign has no safeguards to prevent the future banning of the two gay magazines (the ONLY gay publications in Your Shop). I dislike The Sun too. I agree that The Sun is sexist and racist. However, I think that The Daily Mail is at least as sexist as The Sun and is more racist. Indeed, describing The Daily Mail as a “racist cartoon strip” would not be far off. So, why is a referendum being proposed to ban The Sun from Your Shop but not The Daily Mail (which is at least as bad as The Sun)? I think the answer to this question is that The Sun has page three girls and The Daily Mail does not. Thus politically The Sun is an easier target because those who do not oppose either The Sun or The Daily Mail because of being against racism and sexism may well still oppose The Sun because of being against sexual images. A political coalition to ban The Sun which includes such prudish conservative reactionaries is likely to back fire for gay people because of feminists such as Helena not being sure about whether the gay magazines should be banned. The most likely way for referenda to ban The Sun to be successful is for such a coalition with reactionaries to be formed. There are large numbers of prudish CU on campus and so such a coalition is a possibility. Such coalitions were formed in Canada to ban porn. The result was gay books by well-known authors not being allowed into the country. Some feminist and racial minority books were banned too.

    No one is “forced” to buy the Sun. If Your Shop did not make a profit on The Sun they probably would not sell it. What you say is inconsistent with what Helena says on the campaign page which is that YUSU and Your Shop are “profiting” from selling The Sun. Either YUSU and Your Shop are losing money because they spend more money buying The Sun than students spend buying it or they are “profiting” from The Sun. They cannot be doing both simultaneously! If you agree with what Helena says about “profiting” then you are trying to have your cake and eat it.

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  34. @Helena

    That depends on what the aims of your campaign are. Is it:

    (a) the removal of certain material due to poor journalistic standards,

    (b) the removal of certain material from the union shop because some members of that union have found it to be offensive (the democratic argument),

    (c) the removal of certain material because it is inherently exploitative and/or socially harmful (the principled argument).

    If (c), then I don’t see why you would limit the scope of your case to publications which only cater to certain groups. But if you do, you’ll need to be damn clear about why showing a sexualised image of a young woman is exploitative and/or harmful but not so in the case of a young man.

    And saying that the sexual preferences being catered to with the latter are those of a (traditionally oppressed) minority isn’t going to cut it. Either the relationship is one of exploitation or it isn’t; it doesn’t matter if it’s a traditionally marginalised group that is now doing and benefiting from the exploitation, or if they’re exploiting individuals from within their group.

    I don’t know whether or not this is covered in your remit as an LGBT rep, but you should probably check that out (and canvas the views of the people you represent) before you go any further.

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  35. Just to be clear, @Boswell is not me.

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  36. @Boswell

    Premise C could be made less reductive by not including the word “inherently”; this premise would then not need to lead to your conclusion that one cannot differentiate between sexual materials based on the context of the sexual material within society.

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  37. It’s so bad of me that I only click onto articles that I know will create a hotbed of shrieking wankery in the comments.

    Keep up the sterling work.

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  38. Sam’s my favourite.

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  39. Josephene Harmon, the thread mysteriously got deleted but here is my reply to you anyway (in a place where it is harder for the censorious campaign event creators to delete):

    “Will, anti-misogyny is not a “moral panic” any more than anti-racism”.

    I agree.

    “I’ve specifically said that I am not anti-nudity, anti-porn — all of the things you bring up to distort the real focus on political anti-feminism”.

    You may not be anti-nudity but you have persistently evaded my question of why the campaign is focusing on banning The Sun whilst not trying to ban The Daily Mail which has at least as much sexism and racism.

    “You constantly drag focus to peripheral issues”.

    If The Sun is not a “peripheral issue” as claimed by the campaign then surely The Daily Mail is not a “peripheral issue” either.

    Sexual oppression and LGBTQ issues are not “peripheral” whether you assert they are or not. This is especially true because the leader of the campaign is Helena who is an LGBTQ representative and therefore has a duty to make sure LCBTQ people are represented and their concerns are not branded peripheral. LGBT are an embattled small numerical minority who are therefore less able to defend themselves under majority voting. Queer people number many more than LGBT people and so it seems odd to assume their concerns should be “peripheral”. In terms of numbers to assume the concerns of queer people should be considered “peripheral” is akin to assuming the concerns of women should be considered peripheral.

    “This cannot be traced to a single article: The Sun has been doing this for years”.

    I agree that The Sun has been sexist for years.

    “Bringing up an incidental article at The Guardian is badly missing the point”.

    It does not miss the point because my criticism is of the politics and sloppiness of the campaign. The picture chosen for the campaign is no accident but is used to shock. The campaign implies that the picture chosen for the campaign is representative of the misogyny of The Sun. However, instead of being typical the picture is an extreme example of page 3. The picture is a sexual one of a woman that has recently died. The vast majority of issues of The Sun do not use a sexual image of a woman that has recently died. This is the same for The Guardian. The Guardian used a sexual picture of a woman who had recently died but this was an exception as it is an exception for The Sun. Of course I think that given the context of the page three girls (read the speech bubbles) page 3 is sexist. Nonetheless, this is not the same kind of shocking sexism as using a sexual image of a woman who has recently died. I think the campaign would not be so much of a moral panic if the image used and implied to be typical for The Sun was not such an extreme and unrepresentative example.

    “I can see there’s no getting through to you. You’re not being liberal: you’re just being pathetic”

    Saying nasty things such as that are not likely to convince me you are right. Although, I doubt how much you were really trying to get through to me given your previous insults of accusing me of being like Peter Hitchens and trolling. Making such ridiculous straw man arguments are not particularly convincing. I’m sorry I don’t think concerns about banning whatever a majority is offended by is as “peripheral” as you seem to! At least a good liberal would not go about deleting so many threads as are constantly getting deleted on the campaign group which simultaneously claims to foster debate and representation of students’ views!

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  40. Campaigns against The Sun always become ridiculous to me because they centre on a group of (usually) university educated people characterising readers of The Sun as too stupid to differentiate between fantasy and reality and equate a certain group of society as more likely to be sexist and engage in crimes of a sexual nature.

    For example, it is often said by proponents of banning the sale of The Sun – at certain times and within a certain space – that Page 3 and images of women in the paper make the readers more likely to normalise rape. Within the same breath I have heard The Sun called a ‘working class’ paper, read mainly by manual labourers (please note: not my opinion). To me, this implies that a group of people whom are not part these ‘manual labourers’ are somehow superior in being able to make a decision over which papers can be legitimately consumed by the whole population. To explain further, people like Helena are saying that they have the ‘brains’ to ‘identify’ images within The Sun as ‘dangerous’, but others will not. I am not sure what makes people think that the vast majority of people who buy The Sun will not also see the girls on Page 3 as airbrushed, atypical and a fantasy. If these people truly believed that images like these were dangerous then they would seek to ban The Guardian, et al, but as these papers are consumed by the middle class (and The Guardian has a reputation of being read by university graduates), there is not the same outcry.

    Democracy is inevitably the tyranny of the majority, and if Your Shop really does exist to represent all students then even if one person wants to buy The Sun, surely the shop should be able to sell it.

    Furthermore, proponents of the ban are suggesting that people ‘just walk’ to the Shell garage to buy it if they want it which assumes everyone has the capacity to walk there everyday and also doesn’t follow that they believe The Sun causes ‘harm’ as they are merely shifting the problem elsewhere. Ergo, this is sensationalistic.

    I look forward to the campaign against coming up with the figures as to how much Your Shop earns from the paper.

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  41. I’ve been here 4 years now and one of the main problems with this university is that there are groups of people who absolutely love arranging meetings to moan about things. Every week in the paper someone else has taken it upon themselves to set up a meeting on campus to try and eradicate something that annoys them. This isn’t about nuts or the sun or any other magazine, its just another person trying to make a name for themselves by arranging a meeting to ban something, just so they can proudly say ‘I went to university and whilst I was there I stood up for my rights as a student and arranged a meeting, and it turned out 6 whole people had the same views as me, so we put it to a vote and it was passed 6 votes to 0 as nobody else gave a single fuck.’ YOU ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING. If this is what you want to do with your spare time, be my guest. But looking at all the societies there are on campus, why don’t you just use your time more wisely and join them (before someone like you tries to get them banned)

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  42. Well said Tom Platts:)

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  43. Nouse needs a ‘Like’ button for comments like the one Tom Platts just made.

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  44. Has anybody thought of what people who actually WORK in yourshop think? If we are going to have a serious intellectual debate then we need to bring all appropriate thinkers to the table. Marie antionette famously said “let them eat cake”, I say let them have nuts…

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  45. 18 Feb ’13 at 5:22 pm

    Professor Higgins

    Who actually buys Nuts and Zoo from YourShop, anyway? I’d be far too embarrassed when handing them over at the counter.

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  46. Tom Platts, I actually love you.

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  47. Another feminist loser. We just want some titty to beat off to in the library toilets while we allegedly smash all that coke up our noses..

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  48. 19 Feb ’13 at 3:34 pm

    Joshua Throbson

    Please don’t take my Nuts and Zoo away, I can’t live without them!

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  49. 20 Feb ’13 at 6:38 pm

    The Mighty Oosh







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  50. This is the problem with the internet, it gives everyone who thinks others should care a platform for their stupidity. Do I care that a someone wants to buy a magazine to look at boobs? No. Do I care that someone wants to buy a magazine to lookat guys showing off their abs? No. I agree with Tom Platt, pointless people seeking attention because they have too much time on their hands. I see Helena (or at least someone claiming to be Helena is commenting on this page. Helena, if you did a real degree you would find you wouldn’t have some much time on your hands. You could try taking up a new hobby or reflect on how much money you are wasting doing philosophy.

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  51. @ Boswell

    Your case of (c) identifies the relevant moral failing in The Sun as it being an exploitative and/or socially harmful publication, but this fails to properly clarify the nature of such exploitation and/or social harm. It appears to me a functional property, i.e. the measure of exploitation and/or social harm that occurs from its publication is clearly circumstantially contingent and thus a consequential measure. This may not be the case, or the case argued by this campaign, but its seems relatively cogent and – to me – to be the one widely held; meaning that you stating the terms of the case (c) in purely principled/deontological grounds is pretty weak. Of course, however, this alternate case would offer ample reason to ground a campaign exclusively directed at female objectification/denigration. On this reading, it certainly is not the case that “either the relationship is one of exploitation or it isn’t”.

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  52. 21 Feb ’13 at 11:52 pm

    Brideshead Revisited


    “Do I care that a someone wants to buy a magazine to look at boobs? No. Do I care that someone wants to buy a magazine to lookat guys showing off their abs? No.”

    Is your opinion the only one that matters? No.

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  53. 22 Feb ’13 at 2:19 pm

    Helena Horton

    Just want to let everyone know, im going to cancel this silly protest of mine out of respect for the university of york students. Sorry, your entitled to read what you like :)

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  54. 22 Feb ’13 at 2:52 pm

    Helena Horton

    ^^ That wasn’t me, to point out the obvious!

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  55. @Helena Horton, you wrote on twitter….

    “Helena Horton ‏@helenashead

    Remember when some guy was creeping on me in revs and I made him buy me a pornstar martini, downed it then ran away #sucker #7.50wasted”

    This clearly shows your immaturity and Misandric views of males.
    Grow up you silly attention seeking, men hating little girl.

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  56. @SS

    A bit rich for you to call someone immature and prejudiced, given that on another Nouse thread you were proclaiming men were hardwired by evolution to be better decision-makers and leaders than women. (Assuming that you are the same person.) Two cheeks of the same arse, I reckon.

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  57. @The Hobbit

    I am not that sad as Helena Horton. I would not use women for drinks then brag about it on twitter.

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  58. @SS

    Please don’t descend into lacklustre ad hominem mud-slinging; it is hardly the worst of misdemeanours to jovially accept a drink from someone ‘creeping’ on you. Why would it be? It’s not great, but it certainly does not equate to ‘man-hating’.

    Also, and more pointedly, there is a tiring trend of deflecting attention away from the issue at hand by deriding the people forwarding this motion for ‘attention seeking’ or ‘moaning for the sake of moaning’. It’s just tiring and patently false. Address the issue in question, not the people in question.

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  59. @55

    Helena Horton should have turned it down, instead she takes it then Bad mouth the man on twitter, how sad is that? That is man hating.
    All her posts and attitudes clearly shows she is misandric.

    If a man did that to a woman, you all would be crying how he does not respect women ect ect.

    Helena Horton harbors extreme sexist attitudes towards males, partly due to her failure to see the world through the point of view of both genders.
    The kind of attitude that would never be tolerated if it was the other way around.

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  60. This is ridiculous. Why do some people feel that they have the right not to be offended? If you don’t like something, then ignore it. No one is forcing you to read the Sun from cover to cover.

    If you really think things that offend you should be banned, then YUSU should stop selling pork products, as Jews could be offended, or even meat entirely so vegetarians aren’t offended. And then anything containing leather in case vegans are offended. Before you know it you wont have a YUSU left because some aspect of it will offend someone somewhere.

    So instead of just trying to ban things you don’t like, start a campaign to boycott them instead. Its far more democratic.

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  61. “even meat entirely so vegetarians aren’t offended.”

    I’m vegetarian and sometimes feel offended by the presence of meat. But I don’t want to ban it because I feel offended. I want to ban it because buying meat generally contributes to serious harm to animals and the environment.

    As I said earlier, perhaps if Helena had started off by pointing out the harm caused by The Sun, people would be more sympathetic to the cause, rather than it simply being a matter of offense.

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  62. Yo, listen up, bludfires, and listen up good,
    Skanky Dan MC is here, straight from the hood;
    If you wanna take a seat, I’ll take you back to school,
    You won’t need a pen or notebook, you just need to listen, fool
    You see you, like me, have gotta use ur brain,
    If youse carry on commentin’ I fink I’ll go insane;
    If dere’s one fing I can’t stand more-than-a-no-ther fing on Earth:
    It’s yo’ wastemans and gyaldem who chat like dis ur turf.
    When, in actuality, mandem, dats wrong;
    In case you were confuséd, blud, man wrote you dis song
    To provide a little wisdom, help you see your black from white,
    And one day soon, you’ll see, you’ll know your wrongs from your rights.

    In conclusion, my homies, I suppose I ought to say:
    Thanks for your attention, Skanky Dan must bounce away!
    But don’t worry, my disciples, if I’ve touched a raw nerve:
    I’m the hero Nouse needs, not the hero it deserves.


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  63. @Matt Sharp

    Everything causes harm, depending on the amount.
    Page 3 and nuts as it is now, relatively does not cause much harm. But women like Helena, deep down are jealous because they will never get the attention the girls in the mags get.
    Helena is envious of their looks.

    Has Helena consulted with women who appear in this mags to find out their views? or has this 18 year old girl decided to take it up on her self to speak for all women.

    I strongly believe Helena is jealous of these women and also wants to make a name for herself to appear popular on campus, that is her motivation.

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  64. SS, do try not to talk nonsense. People like you turn interesting debate into meaningless drivel. It might be best if you took a seat over in the corner and let the grown-ups talk.

    It’s clearly not a popularity contest, you moron.

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  65. @Matt Sharp – so you’d ban it for the majority just because YOU dont like it? We’ll, I want vegetarianism banned because of the harm it causes the fruit and vegetables.

    In your opinion meat causes harm to the world, great. But the way to get it off the shelves isnt to just ban it, you have to persuade others not to eat it. Thats how a democracy works. If you don’t like it then why dont you move to North Korea.

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  66. @SkankyDan

    You are so naive.

    Little 18 year old 1st year comes to university and wants to ban legitimate newspaper and magazines. Because she claims to represent all women and even the women who choose to appear in these magazines. But she is happy with gay magazines because gay minorities exploiting young men should be tolerated since they are a minority.

    SkankyDan you sound like a typical hangers on, hoping to gain something from her popularity boosting campaign.

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  67. My God, there are some absolute numpties infesting this thread.

    @ Ed Farrar “so you’d ban it for the majority just because YOU dont like it? We’ll, I want vegetarianism banned because of the harm it causes the fruit and vegetables.”

    Ridiculous response that doesn’t even try to comprehend Matt Sharp’s comment. He didn’t say he wanted to ban it because he personally didn’t like it – he said there may be an argument for banning meat because of the harm to animals and the ecological damage caused. I particularly like the last part where you all but call him a pinko. But for all round knuckle-dragging stupidity, I’m afraid you’re outdone by…

    @SS “But women like Helena, deep down are jealous because they will never get the attention the girls in the mags get. Helena is envious of their looks.”

    Palm, meet face.

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  68. @The Hobbit, Haha! :)

    @Ed. The will of the democratic majority should not necessarily supersede everything else. For example, if the majority of the UK decided slavery of black people was acceptable, it would not make it so.

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  69. Right, maybe I didn’t put my point across clearly enough. His opinion is that it causes harm to animals. My opinion is that is that it doesn’t matter. But why should that mean it is banned for everyone else? Who’s opinion is objectively correct?

    Neither. But the wrong way to go about it would be an outright ban.

    And Matt, you are right in that democracy doesn’t always work, but then who decides what is acceptable and what isn’t? Slavery I think is a rather extreme example and not really applicable here.

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  70. Anyway vegetarianism isn’t the issue here, the actual issue is that some fresher has been offended by something trivial and now wants it to be banned.

    Stop moaning and get on with your degree.

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  71. Ed, I don’t understand why you’re simply dismissing my point about slavery as “extreme”. Who decides what is extreme? What society considers acceptable and unacceptable changes over time, so perhaps in the future the killing of animals will be considered extreme and illegal.

    We could look at plenty of other examples. How about punching babies? What if some people want to punch babies, and others don’t? Should we legalise baby punching because we can’t show one side or the other to be objectively correct?

    In fact, even if metaethicists are never able to demonstrate the existence of objective moral truths, we can at the very least dismiss a moral position if it is *internally inconsistent*.

    If a baby-puncher justifies his actions on the grounds that he gets pleasure from it, then he can’t object if other people punch him on the same grounds.

    Analogously, if some fresher wants to ban the Sun merely on grounds of offence, then she cannot complain if others also want to ban things she values using the same reasoning.

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  72. 28 Feb ’13 at 12:28 pm

    Richard Manlove

    I agree – those obscene overly sexualised magazines with topless and often nude models on the covers should at least be removed from sight – no one wants to see frontal nudity when they are shopping for an extortionately priced meal deal, and I for one find these naked models degrading to men.

    Maybe those magazines which seem to overstep the sexualised nudity mark (such as Attitude & GT in the image above) could take some advice from Nuts, Zoo, et. al. who always seem to ensure that their models have their chests well and truly covered up with either hands or a bra!

    How about little adhesive paper bras for all those magazines with topless models on them?

    If anyone is truly offended by a woman in a bra then I suggest you never go to a swimming pool or beach ever again.

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  73. 28 Feb ’13 at 1:10 pm

    Richard Manlove

    @Helena Horton

    You say that you feel it is wrong to remove ‘the only magazines that specifically cater for gay/bi men’.

    I think you need to consider that actually these magazines actually only cater for the sexual desires of people who find men attractive, just as Nuts, etc. do for people who find women attractive.

    There are a wealth of non-sexualised magazines that gay men (and actually anyone of any gender or sexual orientation) may find interesting; there are a plethora of motoring and fishing magazines for example.

    To say that you cannot remove pornographic magazines targeted at homosexual males on the basis that this is their only interest is to say that you believe that homosexual males are exclusively sexual beings, which is a rather shocking generalisation.

    So it seems that you might need to accept that one of the pillars of a free and democratic society is that, from time to time, you might just get offended by something.

    I would hypothesise that for some reason you find female breasts offensive – why this is I simply do not know. Do you support the sexist attitude that males should be allowed to bare their breasts wherever they desire but females should be forced to cover up? Or is it that large breasts offend you rather than females – in which case should obese males with gynaecomastia be forced to wear bras in public places?

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