Pushing the envelope

An arts magazine at UW-Eau Claire is receiving flak for posters it used to inform students about submitting literature and art for consideration in its next release. Some felt that the content of the posters was degrading, objectifying and offensive.

But whoever ripped the posters down aimed at encouraging students to participate in campus activities – for the sole reason that a few people feel the content is offensive – was unjust in doing so.

The posters featured a close-up drawing of a person wearing a ball gag – a common prop in sexual bondage – with the words “Submit to NOTA” written underneath, according to an Oct. 11 article in The Spectator. The designer of the poster said he intentionally left the gender of the person on the poster ambiguous. But, some other groups on campus feel it is clearly a woman, believing the poster conveys the message that sexual violence is okay and called for the removal of the posters. Still, others believe the campus needs to be more tolerant of differing ideas, including sexual practices, according to the article.

If they did not gain any submissions to the magazine as a result of the poster, at the very least, they got the attention of those across campus.

It is commendable that NOTA stepped out of the box and put together a risqué poster. It is also commendable that the university allowed such a controversial visual to be placed around campus.

Since the group did go through the proper channels and got university permission to hang the advertisements around campus, those posters should not have been taken down. The intention wasn’t to offend any particular person or the university population as a whole, but rather gain the attention of those on campus. It did just that.