Opinions of the Author
Friday the 11th of February began with a productive, if slightly chilly, morning in which group of us decided to go on ‘Willets-Watch’ down at the Student Loans Company. We had been given an anonymous tip-off that David Willets, coalition minister for universities and science, would be visiting the SLC, presumably to discuss how to get more money out of students after the inevitable fee hike in Scotland. Despite arriving at nine o’clock sharp it quickly became apparent that Willets had either already arrived and was being hidden away in the labyrinth of the SLC or had bailed on the whole operation after hearing that we’d come down for a chat. Because we have loads of other really cool and important things to do then we decided to do some investigation (i.e we all had to be rallying by one. And have lunch, natch). After requesting that Davey came down ‘for a wee chat’, being fobbed off numerous times and waiting for fifteen minutes in the disconcertingly posh office of the SLC we decided that we’d just write Davey a wee note and go home for breakfast. It read as follows:
Tory Scum, here we come.
Lots of love.”
After the assembly meeting at the QM, a group of us discovered that Cosmopolitan was giving out free copies of a new venture called ‘Campus Cosmo.’ My objections to Cosmopolitan itself are numerous and varied but can basically be summed up in that it is ‘a heady cocktail of sexism, body norms and gender stereotypes’ to quote our poster. This was confirmed by even a cursory examination of the magazine which contained such gems as ‘How To Maximize His Pleasure’, ‘Diet Tips to avoid gaining weight in Freshers Week’ and ‘My best mate kissed me in order to impress a group of boys…does this make me a lesbian?’
SIGH. I’m tired of Cosmopolitan promoting their body fascist, sexuality-repressing, commercialization-fetishising SHITE on people for a grossly inflated voluntary fee, let alone free. To suggest to young women on a university campus (or at all) that make-up, pandering to male sexuality and dieting is of equal importance to the rest of their lives is wrong. To suggest to young women that the over-airbrushed, pubic hair free, make up heavy images promoted by this publication are normal is wrong. To promote this SHITE outside a library of all places is also WRONG.
So when we heard that they were giving out free copies, we decided to put Cosmo where it belongs: IN THE (recycling) BIN! A group of us ‘liberated’ the stack of copies and used up the remaining spray paint before jumping and stomping on the patriarchal pile of magazines. After some nice photos we tidied the copies into the recycling, thus allowing the vendor to go home early, ensuring they got recycled and of course, lots of patriarchy smashing. A notable member of the group also climbed into the recycling bin to pose for a photo next to the discarded copies; apparently Cosmo have a page where you can send in photos of yourself reading it in ‘interesting’ or ‘unusual’ places. I hope they enjoy our contribution.