It came as an unpleasant surprise to us when we picked up our copy of “Writer’s Digress” and noticed that nearly every page was filled with oppressive and deeply offensive language about women, “mentally challenged people,” and those diagnosed with “a AIDS. ” We value the work of SPARC and their efforts to support through funding a wide range of interest-based student publications. However, we think that SPARC should engage in critical analysis and open dialogue with the writers and editors of the publications they fund.
We were especially disappointed that at no point was the oppressive and offensive nature of certain submissions acknowledged or challenged by the editor of “Writer’s Digress” or the booklet’s financial muscle. It is neither appropriate nor responsible to distribute blatantly misogynistic, classist, and ableist material with a complete disregard for the ramifications of proliferating language of this nature.
While we could cite the many unfortunate choices made by certain contributors, there is simply not enough space in this column.
We reject the notion that one must be offensive to be funny. The B&S, as well as nationally syndicated publications such as The Onion, successfully critique popular culture and the human experience without alienating or further marginalizing members of our society.
While there is no way to take back saying that men should “fuck every hole and orifice that they can” or encouraging readers to refrain from “pawn[ing] off your smack child on the mentally handicapped,” we hope that “Writer’s Digress” will, in the future, seriously rethink many of the editorial decisions they made in their first edition.