PATRIARCHY: SMASHED!

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:

“Dear David,

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.

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10 Responses to PATRIARCHY: SMASHED!

  1. You are beyond satire says:

    Seriously?

    • Alejandro says:

      By all means, I am an outside observer who is only peripherally affected by most of the actions of this group (and I can’t say I support all of them). Nonetheless, I do really like this Cosmo one. Culturally, Cosmo is an anchor. Although the editors and writers of the magazine probably don’t directly intend for it, Cosmo really does perpetuate terribly antiquated ideas about the role of women in society. More of this (and less harassment-not really all that constructive, is it?)!

  2. Bob says:

    So I’m final year at the uni. I’m also a Conservative. Guessing I wouldn’t be welcome in your ‘Free’ Hetherington?

    Great work aligning yourselves politically.

    • Crasp says:

      My view on this as a sometime occuppier at another Scottish university is that Tories are welcome to join any such occupation or direct action movement. That said, I would want to be satisfied that they were there because they wanted to make a positive impact.

      Thing is, that’s beyond political affiliation: if there was a self-identified socialist who was intent on acting in bad faith, they would not be welcome for very long. If for some reason a self-dentified Conservative genuinely wanted to come along and help out, why not? I would wonder what kind of Conservative wanted to join a non-hierarchical direct action movement, but they would be welcome.

      But go ahead, assume we’re all dicks, tell your friends how hypocritical we all are, let it fuel your cynicism about human nature. It’s easier than forming a real response, right?

  3. mercedes says:

    good work team!

  4. Alex says:

    Haha I love this – that’s an awesome photo of the ‘notable member’ of the group in the bin! Gutted I missed out on all the patriarchy smashing fun!

  5. Carson says:

    Hi Bob. Um, we don’t check political affiliations as you walk in the door you know. 😛 If you see an event that interests you, by all means come along.

    Unless you’re actually into patriarchy and that… in which case, ya know, spin on it. 😉

  6. Conservatives specialise in making people feel unwelcome (poor people, people with disabilities, single parents… the list goes on), so to hear one moralising about feeling unwelcome is horrendous.

  7. Harry says:

    FANTASTIC!

  8. Eleanor says:

    I wholeheartedly support the defacing of, and mass redirection of, ‘Cosmopolitan’ in all of its forms into garbage receptacles. The cited article titles are an indication as to the nature of the content that this magazine publishes under the guise of an intimate, girly “sex and the city”-esque sharing of information that ultimately boils down to a simple message – you are inadequate, but it’s OK, because we have all of the tips that you need to align yourself to the one ideal vision of femininity that we have constructed…Cosmopolitan is undoubtedly consumed by young women eager to be initiated into the mysterious world of adult relationships. The last thing that a teenage girl, perhaps already beset with insecurities and a desire for acceptance, is to be met with Cosmopolitan’s delimiting version of sexuality and human relationships. Cosmopolitan perpetuates a narrow, self-serving view of women and men which in turn perpetuates feelings of inadequacy in its readership and a frankly warped perception of intimacy, both emotional and physical. Forging relationships is a minefield as it is without Cosmopolitan shoving its tired rhetoric of how to maintain superficially successful relationships down our throats with the occasional pseudo-cultural reference and endless barage of diet tips (followed by an article deriding “too skinny celebs”) !!!

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