Letters – Week 4, Semester 2

People wrote letters to the editors and here they are.

Pubic liability

While I found last week’s piece on Brazilian waxes refreshingly honest, the thought that immediately popped into my head while reading it was, ‘why is this girl going through this?’ Here was a woman revealing feelings of pressure from a boyfriend to wax, feelings of vulnerability and humiliation as she lay there at the salon, and the sheer trauma of the experience (which she likened to the distress she felt after losing her virginity).

My point is, why are you publishing this instead of a piece on the Brazilian wax itself? Instead of compliantly going through with it like your anonymous author had done, we should be questioning the reasons young women feel the need to remove their pubic hair. In fact, what was most resonant in this woman’s account, was not the pain or shame of the process, but the sheer pointlessness of it. Indeed, she confesses that her ‘landing strip’ made her even more unsatisfied with her body and the way in which it failed to conform to her idea of a perfect/normal vagina, not to mention the ‘romance’ of the act falling short of enacting any great displays of affection or gratitude from her boyfriend.

Instead we should be asking ourselves why having no pubes is the new norm – is it porn, is it infantalisation of women, is celebrity, is it all of them? The most disturbing justification for a Brazilian I’ve heard to date is “it’s cleaner”; ladies – if it were cleaner, we would have started waxing our pubes when we hit puberty, and probably at the beginning of civilization. Discuss.

Alexandra Christie, Arts (MECO) IV

 

Dear Alexandra, 

We hope you like our cover this week. 

Sincerely, Eds. 

 

Let’s just be m8s

Dear Mitch Dempsey,

I’m probably capable of writing a very measured and thoughtful letter about how tired I am of people misunderstanding you and spouting nonsense on campus. I am, after all, a high-achieving student of the arts at one of the premier universities in the country. I am also a Christian. And one who understands how confusing and infuriating the green (or in this case, blue) EU machine can be.

I could, if I have the energy, write a pre-emptive argument as to why you should have been at some of the Your God events. But I am indeed, too tired. After all, said machine has overwhelmed the campus with the offer of free food, free intellectual engagement, free inter-faith dialogue and a friendly chat. And I am unabashedly part of it all.

So please, please for the love of intellectual freedom and tolerance, meet me for coffee and a chat. I’m usually at Ralph’s on Wednesdays around 2pm.

Lizzie Padgett, Arts/Education IV

 

How to ridicule a Christian

I’m not going to lie, there is a case for Christians being pitiful, deluded individuals. If the resurrection didn’t happen, Christianity is an absurd thing to believe, and you should be like Mr T and pity the fools who do believe it. This is even said in the Bible!

“If Christ has not been raised [from the dead], then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ … If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.” (Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:14-19)

The Christian claim is that Jesus was raised from the dead.

If this is true, then Christians are doing it right by telling people.

If this is false, then Christians are silly.

If anyone wants a solid basis from which to ridicule Christians, first make a serious investigation into the resurrection (one side of it was presented last week in the Evangelical Union). If you decide it did happen, you will probably take the other side of the discussion about Christian publicity. If you decide it didn’t happen, you have your grounds.

Seriously,

Jono Hathway, Arts IV

 

Spence, don’t kill my vibe

To the colour-blind Spence underling responsible for the monstrosity that is the Carslaw refurbishment,

How dare you. Those chipping desktops and bare wooden benches were not junk. They were antiques. They were a daily reminder to the denizens of Carslaw of the massed thousands who preceded us. Those desktops were inscribed with years of invaluable sociological data. They were a mirror to our social and sexual angst. Or our dreams of student-electoral glory. They were practically museum pieces. At the very least, you have probably destroyed someone’s carefully devised and miraculously relevant honours thesis (mine). How did you ever decide that a puke-esque slime green palette was appropriate? I feel sick enough at the prospect entering the workforce. I implore you to desist with your overzealous and misplaced efforts at modernisation #priorities #paythestaffinstead

 

Nicola Alroe, Arts/Law II

 

Vandalism is not next to Godliness

Dear Honi,

I was deeply hurt by the aerosol-fueled religious conflict that took place on campus last week. As university students, we are young thinkers and inquirers. Why would the painters of both sides resort to grotesque, passive-aggressive graffiti to address a conflict?

I am new to Sydney University. I’m learning the underlying norms and expectations of its student body, of which I am now a proud part. Until today, I’ve been impressed with the student culture. However, I was shocked by the grotesque imagery and text of the graffiti (a phallus from the forehead? Really?) and disappointed by the bible-verse response.  I was further angered to read that the atheist students among us “praised” it as rightful retribution for the Evangelical Union’s  ‘YourGod’ campaign.

Firstly, the EU’s campaign was a success, as it made nearly everyone at the university aware of the group and its cause. If you disagree with a campaign’s message and wish to offer a different view, run your own campaign! Secondly, we should be welcoming of different views and open to debate as young intellectuals. Nobody should be slandered with juvenile imagery for expressing their views.

What kind of culture to wish to have in our student body? Do we wish to have a culture where groups are belittled, mocked, and slandered for expressing their beliefs? Or do we wish to embody a inquisitive culture where ideas, beliefs and values are debated respectfully and constructively? I hold the latter is what we should strive for.

Sincerely,

Joe Gayeski, Arts III (on exchange from University of Edinburgh)

 

Sweet as diabetes

Dear Honi,

Last week, Georgina Bell wrote about the stigma som eone suffers when they let the world know they have diabetes, namely herself after she put it up on Facebook that she wanted to have a big piece of chocolate as an act of ignorant defiance.

Whilst I applaud her strength and occasional hope to dispel the easy miscontructions around the disease, asking for people to be nice because it would induce a chuckle in only an “insignificant minority” would be detrimental to public health measures. The first step would definitely be to educate people about the differences between Type I and Type II diabetes mellitus, which Georgina has done as well as Dr Kruzselnicki would.

The issue remains that T2DM is still a leading burden of disease in the western world, and as food becomes cheaper as processed forms, in developing countries too. We live in a nation pretty much blind to facts and education, if the recent election campaign is anything to go by, so we have to step down a step and engage with people on a level they can understand. Often, this has to be unsubstantiated humour. Much like smoking is often accompanied with a passing reference to “lol cancer” (which is amazingly deserved, by the way), the place for “lol diabetes” with cake has its place too. I’ve spoken to people in hospitals over the past few years and the sad truth is that no amount of brochures will take the place of an extra tone of ocker in the voice and an analogy to Summernats (I actually explained a diabetes to a man in Muswellbrook using tyres in place of the pancreas).

The small price to pay is the suffering of some, who by now are hopefully open to the facts that life is not fair and inheritance of disease is one of the worst manifestations of this. Just as Georgia (and 100,000 others no less) will be the butt of jokes with their friends lacking the alpha-1 antitrypsin gene who get emphysema without touching a cigarette. It’s a sad but unfortunate truth of life that we all get dealt a shit card. But we need to stop others getting shit cards just because they want the croupier to give them some attention, even if that involves telling everyone how shit the 4 of diamonds actually is.

Best,

Arghya Gupta, MBBS III

 

Heavy petting

We would like to express our dismay at the inclusion of a petting zoo and pony rides in last week’s ‘Humanitarian Fair’. We don’t intend any disrespect to the societies involved in hosting these events but would like to point out that humanitarianism and animal welfare ought not to be mutually exclusive. It seems ironic that whilst advocating a ‘humanitarian’ cause, we would support the exploitation of animal freedom for profit and pleasure. On the face of it, petting zoos and pony rides may seem an innocent form of entertainment, but they are tied to entrenched traditions of abuse and neglectful treatment of animals in captivity. We would like to ask the organisers whether animal welfare was a concern at all when selecting the companies for these events.

Some concerned members of SU Animal Welfare Soc

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