Editorial | Issue 19

Editorial | Issue 19

I Am Man, Hear Me Sports

The week before last was OU SA Womenís Week, and by most accounts it went pretty
darn well. So well done to Womenís Rep Sam Allen and Welfare Officer Ruby Sycamore-Smith. As reported in Critic last week, Ruby is now talking about holding a Menís Week Ė cos, you know, it would be sexist if she didnít. Um, what?

OUSA has a Menís Rep. Iím not entirely sure what he does; Iím a man and I donít feel particularly repped by my Menís Rep. This is probably because OUSA has no idea what a Menís Rep is actually supposed to do, and never has. As a result, the Menís Rep has traditionally done very little.

The case for the Menís Rep position recalls that most illustrious of political bodies, the Pakeha Party. ďIf the Maori get it, we want it to [sic]! No matter what it is!Ē read their first, wonderfully illiterate cover photo. Replace ďMaoriĒ with ďwomenĒ and you basically capture OUSAís attitude toward the matter. There is no deeper appreciation of menís issues, and little understanding of context; the Menís Rep and Menís Week are just a method of placation in the face of a knee-jerk toys-out.

This is not to say that menís issues do not exist, or that there is no place for a Menís Rep and Menís Week. Alcohol abuse, depression, suicide, sexual ethics, violence, lower academic performance Ė these are all genuine issues facing men, and many are the a result of increasingly obsolete norms of masculinity that we desperately need to challenge.

Instead, though, the Menís Rep has been more interested in wallowing in these norms than confronting them. The last time we had something like Menís Week was in 2010: the utterly cringeworthy ďMan DayĒ featured the Football World Cup and a barbeque. As enjoyable as those two things were, ďMan DayĒ completely missed the point.

Sure, a seminar on depression wonít exactly be a crowd-puller, but if the idea behind Womenís Week was to pull crowds then there would have been free RTDs and daily screenings of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Instead there were self-defence classes, debates on sexism, and daily screenings of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is the kind of model OUSA should be looking at for Menís Week, not the tired clichťs of meat and sports.

Hopefully OUSA is a little more self-aware than it was in 2010 Ė otherwise, ďMenís WeekĒ could be an embarrassment.

***

On a completely different note, welcome to our 1984 issue. Hopefully you werenít put off by the hideous monster glaring at you from the cover.

Surveillance is kind of a big deal right now, from the NSA leaks to New Zealandís own GCSB legislation. We give you a breakdown of the contentious GCSB Bill (page 16), an analysis of the role of surveillance in policing our behaviour (page 28), and the lowdown on the growing political movement of hacktivism (page 24).

Meanwhile, Jack Montgomerie seeks out some of New Zealandís more neglected political figures, and asks them the hard questions on the pressing issues of the day (page 32).
This article first appeared in Issue 19, 2013.
Posted 2:29pm Sunday 11th August 2013 by Sam McChesney.