"Uh, uh Hunny"
WORDS BY BIANKA FARMAKIS
There are some articles which make us think.
Some articles which tell us what to think.
And some articles that point blank make us think – what the fuck were you thinking?
This rhetorical question appears so early in the student media year already, manifested in the form of Honi Soit’s satirical college piece published by their sister site HUNNY (because God forbid they take the blame of the very foreseeable fallout).
Headlining “College Boys Pledge to Try Really, Really Hard Not to Rape Anyone This O Week”, the article by 2018 co-editor Nick Harriott, quotes such figures as ‘Tip Richdad’ a St Andrew’s Senior Student, and the University of Sydney whose response to the annual Broderick Review and “Redzone” Report really just really wants to try and end rape! Because it’s bad! Did you know, rape is bad?
Thank God I'm now enlighted.
I don’t even know where to begin at having a go at this, but first and foremost, this person should never do comedy – not with edgy subjects, not with PC satire, and not in general. This is written like a bunch of dad jokes that have become the creepy uncle trying to relate to progressive university students who would rather drink bleach than laugh at any of the content.
Women’s Collective Co-officer, Madeleine Ward, commented on the article, expressing;
“Whilst personally it didn’t affect me that much, I can definitely see why it’d be an issue and very stressful for a lot of humans since it makes light of sexual assault. Particularly with everything happening this week, it’s not necessarily super bad, but definitely irresponsible.”
“We’re going to try our best” sounds like what the team of editors said when thinking of ways to make light of sexual assault on campus.
Lamya Rahman, current co-editor of Honi Soit provided a statement:
“Honi Soit stands by our editorial decisions. We believe the article correctly reflects and lampoons actions taken by the colleges.”
Rahman continued to articulate the rationale behind the publishing of the satirical piece:
“We are not convinced that the Broderick review and the colleges’ response to prevent sexual assault and harassment was adequate.”
“This article punches up, not down, like all satire should” she concluded.
Maybe I’m not up to this year’s Honi Soit’s standard of highbrow humour and I can’t see the clever irony in jokes like “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we can’t expect the grown men on our campus to start not raping people overnight.”
Or “we’re going to try super hard to respect the bodily autonomy of other students on campus and not rape them. But like, we’ll see. You know?”
But it seems in poor taste that this satire comes, not only in the midst of all the Weinstein’s, all the #metoos, all the ALLREDs and all the victims of campus sexual assault speaking up, but also makes us beg the question, that if it’s okay for the University’s oldest and ‘traditionally progressive’ publication to make rape jokes, who else can say them and get away with it?
The article satirises a very real rape culture that affects the 30-people assaulted on university campuses each day, the 68 college students raped weekly in Australia, and 12.5% of sexual assaults that will happen this year in O Week alone.
Bad timing and bad taste.
The fact that notorious shit stirrers Honey Soy aren’t even controversial enough to satirise rape and publish anything remotely on this level is a true testament to how completely fucked this article is.
But look, maybe I’m just a bitter failed campaigner to edit Honi Soit who’s got a bone to pick. Maybe I’m just an ambitious Pulp editor looking to launch our publication into a more dominant position. As far as I’m concerned, this piece does this for me on both counts, but in the interest of having a shred of objectivity in this article, let’s look at some of the responses!
Content like this reinforces the notion of what Honi Soit has become – the once hard working, blue collar grinder who amassed a great fortune and wealth of respect, that subsequently passed the family honour down to increasingly self-centered egotists, more concerned with the ‘power of student media’ than the purpose of the publication.