2013 is over and it was so very eventful. William and Kate had a baby boy, war things happened, Snowden revealed how we can no longer bat an eyelid without being seen, we all realised that horsemeat was delicious and that a chemical technician’s diploma was the golden ticket to the papacy. But here, we’ll be taking a look at the Comment articles which yielded the most responses from our readers over the past year.
At number 10, with 19 comments, is Rebecca Hartmann’s piece ‘Working class white boys failed’. Discussing an issue that would repeatedly crop up over the year, Rebecca’s article drew in a variety of comments on issues such as the gender gap and social conditioning. Clearly this is an issue we all have an opinion on ando ne which won’t be put to rest any time soon.
Number 9, with 20 comments, is Adam Seldon’s first entry, ‘The New Atheists have failed. Religion is a myth, but it’s here to stay’. Richard Dawkins’ comments thrust Atheism to the spotlight on multiple occasions in 2013. British society shows no sign of abandoning religion altogether and we predict this will become an ever more important issue over the next 12 months.
Number 8, with 21 comments, and also written by Adam Seldon is, ‘Good Feminism, Bad Feminism’. Tackling what some would say is the defining feature of (student) media in 2013, Adam argued that the referendum to ban The Sun from campus was an example ‘bad feminism’ as it is a ‘negative mechanism’. Undoubtedly feminism in all its forms dominated much of 2013 but with the dawning of the New Year we’re hoping someone for new angles, innovative approaches or even the rise of some other global issue.
Number 7, also with 21 comments, is Opemipo Akisanya’s piece, ‘York, let’s talk about Racism’. Opemipo’s article explored the incident of Professor John Hey’s controversial racist comment during a lecture. Racism infamously cropped up later in the year as well, clearly campus listened to Opemipo and was willing to discuss the issue- even if the discussion didn’t go quite the way it was planned. John Hey remains at large on campus, but seems to have kept his head down this year. Top effort, working his way to the top of the class.
Number 6, with 23 comments, is Gary Holland’s article, ‘Check your privilege’. The next controversial piece in this list to reference feminism discusses who has the right to discuss issues such as abortion. A number of comments on the article are rather candid, and they prove that student media must make space for opinion pieces as they are so often the life and soul of a publication.
Number 5, also with 23 comments, is Sophie Miller’s article, ‘You have no right to abuse your freedoms’. Again, the limitations placed on certain demographics provokes a variety of views. Sophie explains that we should have the freedom to say what we like, but that using it to take ‘cheap shot(s)’ at certain demographics i.e. transgender individuals is not acceptable. Pleasing to see genuine compliments in place of the usual trolls.
Number 4, with 26 comments, is Caoimhe Udom’s piece, ‘My Big Fat Abercrombie & Fitch’. Post-Christmas pudginess is striking many a student, the freshers fifteen are starting to creep on and realistically going sober for January isn’t a realistic option so close to exam season. But we’d still like to wear your clothes thank you very much Mr Jefferies. We took the troll’s bait, debating his views until the cows came home, but realistically such controversy made little difference to A&F. All publicity is good publicity.
In third place, with a substantial 31 comments, is Oliver Wheatley’s article, ‘We need to be smarter about campus feminism’. Similar to Gary’s privilege piece, Oliver Wheatley explored how excluded men are from the feminist movement. The mass of people wanting to fight for their gender equality cause in 2013, whether it be banning page three or ending the gendered packaging of toys also includes some aggressive tactics right on our doorsteps. Hopefully a streamlined, inclusive and effective brand of feminism will emerge in 2014. We can dream of one at least.
In second place, with an overwhelming 36 comments, is the article by both Ellie Rice and Dakota Bagley, ‘Gun law: A second chance for the Second Amendment’. Flooded with comments which were themselves littered with statistics this article provoked harsh retaliation. Impressively however the issue is the most removed from campus life and yet still managed to make an impact on the student population.
Finally, we have arrived at the most commented Comment article of 2013, with an almost suffocating 39 comments. It’s… yes, you guessed it; Adam Seldon’s third article of the list, ‘Vision’s Eton Mess highlights all the worst aspects of student journalism’. Outrage and anger spread over campus like wildfire that Tuesday morning, and everyone was keen to get their voice heard. Accusations thrown in all directions, debates boiled down and action finally taken. This is the excitement student media thrives on, long may it continue.