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Letters to the Editor: Sept. 17, 2013

Satire and sexual violence

Dear Editor,

The sweeping statements found in “On Silence and Accountability,” that students are “hesitant to speak out against the University,” lacked in evidence and heavy in opinion.  The article touched on freedom of speech, do word vomit and crass pictures that contribute to a lackadaisical attitude about respecting an individual’s body fulfill the purpose of freedom of speech?

One year before your satire article (showcasing a photo of  a representation of the lower half of a naked female body) was released Forbes also released an article entitled, “Ten Most Dangerous U.S. Cities for Women.”  The article reports Fairbanks being in the top three, information obtained from FBI crime reports.

Know your audience.  In communication the sender may have the best of intentions but they are worthless if the receiver interprets a different message.   Message received when seeing the photo of people walking in and out of the door (the vagina) rape is funny.  How do you suppose that message was received by victims or perpetrators of sexual violence?

Judging by the sweeping statements and finger pointing in your editorial if I were the professor involved I would have done the same.  I can only imagine what your email looked like.  If you’re worried about “the role of media,” I suggest reading the book “How the News Makes Us Dumb.”  It is about making money and not the good of society.
After you received negative responses you still held your ground you are either uncaring or don’t do research.  Either way bad form!

Misty Nickoli

Read the original Fun Star article, the UAF Confessions page article and Editor-in-Chief Lakeidra Chavis’ editorial on the subject.

One Response to Letters to the Editor: Sept. 17, 2013

  1. Jon Quinones

    September 16, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    “Message received when seeing the photo of people walking in and out of the door (the vagina) rape is funny. How do you suppose that message was received by victims or perpetrators of sexual violence?”

    I just wanted to note a few things. First, the statement above is ridiculous to me. Miss Chavis and I agree on very little when it comes to this subject but to suggest she would promote rape culture only displays your own ignorance about her. She is the last person on this campus who would dare to do that. The article was clearly satirical, there’s a disclaimer, and the text itself is obviously meant to be humorous. Yes, if someone only looked at the title and picture they might be offended if they are a victim like you suggest. But that hypothetical victim would be a poor consumer of media if they saw something like that and stopped at the picture and didn’t actually read the article.

    “Judging by the sweeping statements and finger pointing in your editorial if I were the professor involved I would have done the same. I can only imagine what your email looked like. If you’re worried about “the role of media,” I suggest reading the book “How the News Makes Us Dumb.” It is about making money and not the good of society.
    After you received negative responses you still held your ground you are either uncaring or don’t do research. Either way bad form!”

    This is unfounded. A better way to put it would have been to ask what the email said. Don’t simply assume she was in the wrong. Personally I don’t blame the professor for being standoffish because a student coming to you with that question before the class even starts can be seen as very offensive and/or disrespectful. All in all this letter makes you a perpetrator of the very thing you are accusing the editor of doing. You are making all these general statements about her and her position without doing any research. Maybe a wiser decision would have been to:

    1. Write in a much more respectful manner to the editor instead of going in guns blazing.
    2. Ask questions about the things you are assuming.
    3. See her personally (the Sun Star DOES have an office you know…) and confront her with these issues.

    Should she follow the advice of know your audience? I would say she already does. Here is my advice to you next time you want to challenge her on her next piece.

    Know your editor.

    -Jon Quinones

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