Most people probably missed it walking past. Yet it apparently caused such a furore that Ann Widdecombe decided to weigh in on the matter. I am, of course, referring to the “controversial” OUCA poster at this year’s Freshers’ Fair. I’d just like to clarify something before I proceed: I am not a member of OUCA, nor do I lie anywhere near them on the political spectrum. But I do think they have every right to display the poster.
I do, however, think the poster is sexist. But I do not think it is offensive. It is a picture of an attractive girl with a mild sexual innuendo for a caption- have we really all led such sheltered lives as to be outraged by this? Set aside politics, just for a second, and it is no more offensive, (indeed less so), that a Lynx advert or any one of the thousands of products advertised by a picture of an attractive woman. So then it must be a political organisation being linked to sex that is causing such alarm? It is no wonder such a novel idea has produced such a backlash…
Yes, I think the poster conveys a negative message. But please do not make the mistake of thinking it is the message that women are objects to be used (as has been reported), but rather that OUCA is well on its way to becoming an archaic, outdated society. When I saw the poster, it did not scream “Women are not people, they are objects”; rather it, whimpered – the confused noise of a society that doesn’t know where it belongs, caught between the nostalgia of the “glory days”, when political correctness was simply not voting for the opposition, and the fear of Cameron’s hoodie-hugging future.
So I stand by my earlier statement: OUCA should not be criticised for displaying a poster of a pretty girl and the slogan “Life is better under a Conservative.” If this is the ethos of the party, then let no man (or woman, lest I be accused of sexism myself) dare to stop them. A society whose principle means of advertising involves promoting the idea that women are no more than objects will drive away the majority of the well-informed, intelligent students this university has to offer. They will be their own downfall, and such a Shakespearean end is only fitting for a group which takes its views of women from that period.