The artist of a cover which caused hundreds of copies of a student mag to be dumped, says it wasn't her intention to offend.
The proctor and University of Otago Campus Watch staff have destroyed hundreds of copies of the latest edition of Critic Te Arohi after receiving complaints from Dunedin Hospital and the Dunedin Public Library.
The cover of this week's publication - the "Menstruation Issue'' - depicted a cartoon of a naked person menstruating.
Artist Saskia Rushton-Green said it's a confronting image that depicts how it feels to be bleeding in public.
But she says it wasn't intended to be sexual, or demeaning to women.
"Because there is a lot of taboo around menstruation, and my art puts everything out there blatantly and is usually grotesque, I wanted to put it out there in an almost ridiculous way to make a point I guess," she said.
Rushton-Green said the magazine's staff told her to be as confronting as she liked when designing the cover.
"For me it is a funny image that is also making a point. I didn't intent for it to be demeaning on a sexual basis so if people are viewing it as that, it was not my intention."
She said she wasn't entirely surprised the university had destroyed copies of the magazine.
"It is interesting the way that they went about it. I think it was pretty extreme rather than just removing them from the public view. It is just funny to watch it all take place, really."
A University of Otago spokeswoman confirmed on Tuesday night proctor Dave Scott took the magazines after Dunedin Hospital and the Dunedin Public Library complained.
The Campus Watch team on duty on Monday night removed the rest of the magazines from stands around the university, she said.
"This was an assumption - rightly or wrongly - that this action needed to be taken, as the university was also a public place where non-students regularly pass through."
The proctor is yet to meet with the editor of the magazine to explain why hundreds of copies were taken and destroyed.
Critic editor Joel McManus said he considered the removal to be censorship, which he believed went against everything a university should stand for, although he did admit it was a "challenging cover".
"We stand by the content of the magazine, and believe it touched on a number of very important issues about period poverty and trans issues, as well as breaking taboos about a bodily function that half the population experience."
On Wednesday a copy of the "Menstruation Issue'' was listed for sale on Trade Me. By 11am it had attracted a bid of $40.
Trade Me spokeswoman Millie Silvester said the sale was a classic example of one of its members trying to make a bit of money and some noise about an issue that's getting a lot of attention
"We think this is an excellent example of the Streisand effect - censoring this issue has made it much more newsworthy than it would have been initially," she said.
"We think a lot of Trade Me members will be keen to check out the auction and there are bound to be some collectors keen on getting their hands on a piece of student media history
"So far the auction has had 140-odd views but that will no doubt sky rocket before the auction closes next week."
*To check out the listing go to the Critic Menstruation Issue! online.