On Monday, February 5, the Martini published an incendiary piece that can only be qualified as an Op-Ed –although there was no real purpose, opinion, or point to the piece as a whole. By the late afternoon, one particular paragraph from that piece was circulating around campus, from the @BossBitchTheory Instagram account to messaging chains. To say it provoked a response would be a gross understatement. The piece and its underlying message prompted a wide campus discussion on the nature of sexual harassment and questionable behavior from the men on campus.
As Editor of the Herald, I understand that I am in a unique position to discuss this piece and promote a conversation. The Herald is here to engage the student community in a discussion of topics on campus, which is why we switched around the articles at the last minute to accommodate coverage of the Martini and the piece it published. However, it is not my place to question the editorial integrity of the Martini in publishing this piece or continuing to defend it; instead, we will use this space to begin a conversation on campus about what it means to be a man and a woman in this particular climate, especially when a Hobart student believes that things like wearing “yoga pants every other day” and “flaunting your boobs on the weekend” are unnecessary and lead to harassment and assault.
I do believe that it is important at this point to note that the author of the piece has publicly apologized on his personal Instagram account to the “Women of HWS.”
But I am not concerned with the author of the piece. I hope he understands the problems with what he wrote, and he seems to be taking the appropriate steps to making amends. However, as a junior on this campus and the editor of the campus newspaper, I believe it is important that we hold both our publications to higher standards. The Martini should be satirical and funny as an alternative to the Herald, but by wading into Op-Ed territory and discussing sexual harassment from one point of view, but they are not starting a conversation but defending an ingrained misogynistic point-of-view. It is disappointing to see and I hope that one of the changes instituted from this conversation is a rebranding of the Martini and an understanding of the proper way to address the values of our campus and initiate a discussion.
It should be noted that it is not that the author of the Martini piece is necessarily misogynistic, it’s the way the article was written and published in the Martini that promotes misogynistic ideas. Ideas are more powerful than any one person, and the ideas about women in the piece – to single out that one particular paragraph – are dangerous. As a society, we are beginning to recognize and rectify the injustices caused by sexual harassment and misconduct, and yet it seems that our campus is moving backwards. This article is sexual harassment. The words and ideas, transmitted through the Martini, amount to sexual harassment. It is plain and simple. We can do better. We should do better. We will do better.