September 9, 2009

More "Backpage" Reaction...Another Writer Responds

Another former "Backpage" has written in to Mads, this time responding to the Misc's Editors' Note posted earlier tonight. Here is what the '09er has to say:

"In their upcoming official public statement, the editors of the Misc publicly say 'that in the past the image and credibility of the newspaper has been tarnished due to continuously-printed material which some believed expressed racist, classist, sexist, homophobic or anti-Semitic view.' This is beyond words. I am shocked and disgusted at how low they will stoop by suggesting we are bigots.

Of the past three writers of the Backpage, all are firmly committed to social equality, at least one is an avowed socialist, all three are strong feminists, all three are queer allies and two are Jewish.

I am disgusted. Truly disgusted. And if this was a real newspaper, and it's not, this would be considered libel. Of course how would a bunch of 19-year-olds understand that?

Unfortunately, the humor, at least in the Backpages I worked on, was above the heads of the Misc exec board, who gain the positions not through merit and intelligence but rather by just showing up enough to meetings. If the Exec Board thought that we meant any of those identity politics jokes, then they are the ones who are truly ignorant."


ragu said...

Molly, Eliza, and Ben should stop playing the victim here and just stop taking everything so seriously. They act like taking away the Backpage was all a personal attack on the three of them and I don't see that anywhere.

belugabb said...

oh, please. and apparently 20-somethings don't have basic reading and comprehension skills. "material WHICH SOME BELIEVED expressed racist, classist..." this means that your jokes still represent offensive viewpoints, even if you really didnt mean them. readers are still allowed to be offended by your jokes, even if you didnt mean them. i dont think that the intention of the statement was to suggest you all are bigots, since you dont actually need to be a true bigot to say really ugly things.

but the "we are ____ or we are allies of ____ so that excuses what we said about ____" argument is not a good one. if anything, i think it proves how ignorant you are to what racism/sexism/whatever-ism really is and how it manifests itself. ok.

the backpage never really offended me personally. my biggest problem was that it wasnt funny. those kind of jokes are easy - anybody can exploit stereotypes in an attempt to be funny. but i will miss the calendar, especially tea time.

A.T. said...

they're still doing the calendar here:

Liz said...

You can be a socialist, a feminist, a Jew, a queer ally, etc., and still make offensive and sexist/homophobic/racist/classist/anti-semitic remarks. Just because you declare yourself enlightened or belong to a minority group does not mean you're above reproach or incapable of offending others. I thought we all learned that on our first day at Vassar, kids.

Liz said...

That said I do think humor should push the boundaries of taste and I was sad to hear the Backpage is gone.