Last week’s issue of Honi Soit, Sydney University’s student newspaper, was ripped of shelves as a result of its ‘controversial’ front cover. The cover shows close-up photographs of 18 vaginas belonging to Sydney University women. Prior to going to print the editors censored the most ‘offensive’ part of the photographs on counsel of the Student Representative Council’s legal department. But as a result of a printing error the black bars of censorship were transparent and therefore it was decided that the copies would be pre-emptively removed from public spaces as to not attract legal consequences.
The SRC’s Women’s Collective condemns this society which blatantly shames a body part that ~50% of the population have. It is an extremely disappointing reflection of a culture whereby vaginas present a legal dispute that should be avoided at all costs. Our SRC, as an activist organisation, should be able to reflect the values and attitudes of our student body. This is made impossible by out-dated and contrived legislation which urgently needs to be reformed. But furthermore it stems from the social stigma that vaginas are bad, unsightly and inappropriate. We as university students should be progressive on issues like this; we should support the outlandish notion that vaginas are actually… normal.
The Women’s Collective wholeheartedly endorses the Honi editors’ choice of cover art and admires the women who refused to be shamed about their anatomy! And if you are a University of Sydney student who is offended by the sight of a vagina then here’s a little message for you: Fuck You!
Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org, pop along to one of our meetings at 1pm Wednesdays in the Women’s Room (Manning House) or join our Facebook group: ‘Usyd Women’s Collective’ – we’d love to see you at our meetings!