RACQUEL SOARES | NEWS
The importance of a campus culture that promotes the wellbeing of its students, no matter how they identify, is no revolutionary idea. Every student and staff member has an innate right to feel safe on campus and should be afforded the support and agency to facilitate that. The misogynistic satire that was propagated by Macquarie’s Liberal Society during O-Week (Exhibit A: “Wheel of Punishment”) is simply one example of a broader, and far more serious issue. What I find most striking, and frequently incredibly unsettling and disheartening, is how well this type of content is received on campus, both by the students and the University staff members. These forms of satirical sexism are rampant within most social spaces but are particularly prevalent within university settings. The issue is that it enables dangerously misogynist individuals to excuse their behaviours under the guise of humour. Because these men aren’t misogynistic…they’re hilarious! And us hysterical women need to relax and take a joke… yeah right. Let’s not ignore the fact that satire is being used as a scapegoat to absolve these (often white and male identifying) people of any social responsibility, and therefore, allows them to promote these forms of misogyny with little to no consequence. Don’t get me wrong, the usefulness of satirical content to expose flaws in policy (and politicians in general) can be an extraordinarily useful tool. The problem is embedded in the fact that these men use it to disguise their own hatred for women.
A key focus of the Women’s Collective is to promote a transition away from the campus culture Macquarie University currently embodies and create safe spaces on campus for both women identifying and non-binary individuals. We seek to achieve this by; providing opportunities for the discussion of political and social issues within and outside of campus, enabling and supporting members and students in acts of activism, providing education and educational resources, and actively protecting and furthering the equal rights of all, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, age, or ability. If you or someone you know is in need of any assistance, please reach out to one of the support services provided, alternatively you can contact us directly via email: email@example.com.
By Racquel Soares, Macquarie University Women’s Collective Co-President 2022