Apparently someone at the University of Western Ontario thought it would be funny to make fun of ‘Take Back the Night’ in the university paper The Gazette’s ‘Spoof’ issue. This led to a charming piece called ‘Labia Majora Carnage” that features the improbable and inappropriate phrase ‘Take Back the Nightie’.
The piece, which personally targets some prominent campus feminists, suggests that such women need to be taught a lesson via rape. Blogger Laurel points out why this is not acceptable:
Satire is one thing. Making fun of feminists? Sure, we’ve all seen that before and I’m sure that’s nothing we all haven’t had to endure, like the obvious slights at Take Back the Night and the Vagina Monologues. I hate it, but you VERY MUCH cross the line when you suggest that “taking someone into a dark alley to teach them a lesson” is ok and when you suggest that a woman, any woman, but especially MY FRIEND — not to mention, an active feminist and someone who was actively and vocally criticizing the Gazette, be raped to be “taught a lesson” and that she would enjoy it. Rape is not an ok thing to suggest to teach someone a lesson or to put someone in their place, or to suggest that someone was asking for it.
It’s a joke? Not only is it not funny, it’s violence.On top of the violence of this, it makes me especially angry because it is clearly a move to try to silent vocal women, feminists, on campus (not to mention, to silence feminist criticisms of THEIR paper – picking out my friend as their target makes that pretty obvious), and it also works to discourage other women from joining in the fight.
The paper’s response? That overly PC minority groups should ‘Get Over Themselves’ Uh huh. Lovely. I’m sure they’ll get right on that.
James Phelan posted a great takedown of the article on Facebook which explains exactly why it is not funny.
On a side note… I’d just like to suggest that most campus ‘satire’ is decidedly unfunny. It’s not even that its offensive most of the time but that it’s blatantly uninteresting and (ironically) uneducated. My idea of satire has always been that it is a challenge to the dominant social order and practices and not a way to reinscribe prejudices. I’m currently reading an article called ‘Are Deconstruction and Satire Secretly the Same Thing?’ by Robert Phiddian which is very interesting in this regard… I suggest that all campus satirists should read it!