KILL COMMENT CULTURE

CANTA issue #3, 2017

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Last week there was an assault of a indecent nature on campus. This is not up for discussion, or debate. This is not a ‘he said, she said’ situation. When a person wears a balaclava, tracks someone on their walk to university and plans an indecent exposure, this is a form of indecent assault.

Within minutes of this event, the police were called and there was a post on the UCSA Noticeboard– a group with close to 9000 members.

Kill Lad Culture - Issue #3

The poster’s intentions were clear. It was a warning to others, to watch out for the person responsible for the attack, now heading down Kirkwood Ave.

Now skip to me, the Editor of CANTA, scrolling through 18 pages of screenshots of comments made under the post. A mix of tagging friends, repeating the same tired joke over and over, women tagging other women, and even comments making allowances and justifying the act.

This is not okay. Not now, not ever. We need to kill this culture on campus.

The UCSA Noticeboard administrator then removed the commenting from the post.

Here’s where it gets deeper – the original poster was contacted by at least one other person who was approached by the person on the bike. There were potentially more people who has encountered this person, according to the comments on the thread.

This is now not an isolated incident. This is a planned, repeated assault on women on campus.

This made me review the comments once more. Were the posts of women tagging other women (without comment) a silent nod to similar incidents?

Most, if not all the offending comments were men tagging other men.

These attitudes displayed on the UCSA Noticeboard perpetuate rape culture. If you don’t know, now you know. Look it up. Educate yourself.

Commenting, and making light of a situation where a victim of an assault is a large part of why the majority of sexual assaults are not reported.

The post was not asking for discussion, or debate. It was a warning to other people in the vicinity. And yet, posts like this are made:
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As it stands, we have two people who have come forward, both with varied reactions to the incident, but both just as valid. As students at UC, everyone is entitled to feel safe. Everyone.

Unfortunately this won’t be the last time someone comes forward with a similar incident. Perhaps if they decide to be as proactive as the poster above, we will not minimise the issue at hand, and remember this person is a human being. We all deserve the right to be safe on campus. We should all be able to come forward without fear of our trauma being minimised.

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Issue Two: The Greasy Wok 4