Student drug-rape magazine banned

An issue of a student magazine which contained a "how-to-guide" on drug rape has been banned.

The official censor said the article in Otago University's Critic promoted sexual violence and criminal activity.

Police and Rape Crisis expressed anger at the article - headlined "Diary of a drug rapist - no means no, but if they can't talk, they can't turn you down" - when it was published in September last year.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification said today that it had banned the issue of the magazine because " it places an instructional drug-rape article beside a positive profile of a man who makes a living by filming the extreme degradation and humiliation of women for sexual arousal".

The magazine was referred to the censor by police. Submissions were also received from the magazine's publisher, the New Zealand Drug Rape Trust, Rape Crisis Dunedin, and the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards.

Chief Censor Bill Hastings said: "The magazine asks the reader to find humour in its demeaning descriptions of women and its matter-of-fact references to raping them.

"Because it contains no articles written from the victim's perspective to balance those from the perpetrator's perspective, this issue of Critic is distinctly uncritical of, and indeed tends to promote, the very criminal activities it purports to challenge.

"The magazine's claimed 'theme of offensiveness' never discusses the nature of offensiveness, and does not acknowledge the ability of articles appearing to endorse sexual violence and misogyny to cause injury to the public good."

Holly Walker, the magazine's editor, said after the initial outcry about the article: "I was offended by the article as well, but it is defendable in that it highlights a very important issue and will hopefully make women more aware of what could happen to them."


- HERALD ONLINE STAFF

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