An online “redtop” called The Tab was launched this year and received 80,000 hits in its first week.
But a section where students pose in their underwear has caused controversy and led to calls for the scantilly clad students to be covered up.
The Cambridge student union women’s officer, Natalie Szarek, said that they should be removed because they “reproduce and reinforce harmful attitudes towards women”.
Oh, gods!!! The bloody women’s officer. It’s like something from a 1970s Carry On movie.
Miss Szarek complained that “semi-naked women in provocative positions are being shoved in freshers’ faces”, adding: “We can do better as a university”.
Yeah, and what Miss (surprised it ain’t Ms) Szarek can’t stand is those poor innocent freshers are loving it!
Meanwhile one of the student models, who posed on a punt in a small pink bikini and high heels, requested her photos removed from the site.
Becky Adams was said to have been “embarrassed” by the fall out of appearing in the tabloid and said she had only done it “as a favour for a friend”.
Note here that it was the song and dance that Miss Szarek et al which caused Miss Adams embarrassment. Though I feel she should have stood her ground (or punt) and come out with that trite “favour for a friend” excuse.
Taymoor Atighetchi, 21, a third-year student at Trinity College and one of the tabloid’s three co-founders who paid £500 each to launch the website, defended The Tab and said it would continue its style of journalism.
“There’s a huge amount of intellectual snobbery around, mainly from those who haven’t read the site,” he said.
“We do not think what we are doing is sexist. It was always the intention to have a debate about these issues. The website is a tongue-in-cheek version of the tabloid newspaper - we are not just emulating it.”
Intellectual snobbery at Cambridge University? Ya don’t say! And I have to say that like Becky Adams Taymoor Atighetchi seems to be back-peddling somewhat. He (she?) hasn’t done anything wrong and the feminazi weeping and gnashing of teeth (though for obvious reasons they are not rending their garments) should not be placated. They should just be told to sod off rather than have some dismal post-modernist excuse made.
Editorials in the tabloid have hit back at Miss Szarek, and highlighted her arrest at a recent protest. The Tab called the student union a “sad dinosaur” that needs to “die or be cut back”.
Well, yes. Dinosaurs didn’t wear much in the way of clothes either mind. Why have I now got a mental image of a T-Rex in a fez and a smoking jacket?
Meanwhile, the website has maintained its redtop coverage with another recent feature about “size 12 stunner” Emmalina Thompsell, a student at Gonville and Caius College, who has reached the final of Miss East Anglia competition.
The latest “Tab Totty” to takle part in a photoshoot was a girl called Heidi, who wrote a comment piece to go with pictures of herself in gym wear.
“I’d like to see myself as someone with brainpower and boobs, a pairing which I feel Cambridge culture strives to deny,” she said.
The female photographer who took the “Totty” photos also defended the website and said that six senior women staff are all proud to work for The Tab”.
“As a female who works on the Tab editorial team and a feminist, I’m delighted that so much debate has been generated over the Tab Totty section,” she said. “The main aim of The Tab was always to stimulate debate, and I feel we have truly succeeded when it comes to the issue of Page Three modelling.”
Oh, dear. I don’t know what to say. I agree with Heidi on the “brains and boobs” front but the subsequent over-intellectualising of it is a dismal let-down. And, no dear reader, I can’t help myself… I just can’t. Would the debate they claim to want to stimulate be a mass debate.
She added that none of the student models had been exploited.
Well precisely. I suspect very few were trafficked here by Albanian gangsters.
“Surely the fact that they are educated and bright women, and still chose to partake in Tab Totty proves that ‘page three’ and ‘glamour girls’ are not just women who have no other choice but to turn to modelling.”
And doesn’t that just drive the blue-stockinged femo-warriors up the bloody wall and out of the quad?
The website has also come into conflict with Cambridge’s traditional old student newspapers, Varsity and The Cambridge Student.
Although its hits have fallen to 50,000 last week, The Tab says it is the most read student publication in Cambridge.
Mr Atighetchi said that the papers have lost readers and hundreds of copies are left untouched at every college.
“Students want news quickly and they want it to be entertaining – they get enough essays already,” he said.
Now Mr Aighetchi is sounding more like it… Even the brightest amongst us can appreciate a sexy photo of an attractive woman without writing a bloody thesis about it. It ain’t just the thickies who are attracted to busty substances.
The Varsity co-editor, Anna Trench, a third-year English student, disagreed, claiming the traditional press is “taken a lot more seriously” and that the anti-elitist Tab was run by “three of the richest students in Cambridge”.
Anna has lived up to her surname and dug herself a hole there. The argument that the founders of this organ of the press are well-off is completely irrelevent and her defense of the “tradional press” commits the logical fallacy of argumentum ad verecundiam. See, even us graduates of lesser universities know a thing or two of the higher learning and also appreciate bit of the old T&A on it’s own sweet, sweet terms.
This story is really quite depressing. It is a tale of a quite harmless enterprise provoking the pointless anger of quite sad people who I assume are bright enough that their squandering of their intellectual horse-power on a non-issue is tragic. They also make the (oh so common) tacit assumption in their arguments (if we can grace them with that term) that if you are female you can’t be sexy and smart which is a pathetic betrayal of their gender though no more than Mr Aighetchi and Heidi’s retreat into post-modern irony including yanking out that old saw about “provoking debate” as a self-justification for their harmless antics.
This is (oddly enough) both an utter non-story and quite an important one. The folks objecting to The Tab are being very silly indeed but it is utterly depressing that it’s defenders more often than not seem to accept their critics terms of debate. It is, afterall, a website which contains images no more graphic than the sorts of girls you might see on a non-topless beach on the Med. Does Miss Szarek want to re-introduce bathing carriages and bloomers? God knows but I do know that her strop over The Tab advances the cause of women one iota.
Her arguments are cut from the same cloth as a C4 propaganumentary I saw a couple of years back about how freed British Muslim women felt by wearing the niquab. We are all at some level sexual beings and the true mark of civility is to acknowledge and get over that rather than harp(y) on about it until the will to live is lost. The concept that women have to be extensively covered around men (bear in mind here The Tab’s pictures could only realistically be called pornographic by the most depraved ayatollah) is deeply sexist because it assumes that women only expose flesh for the amusement of men and that those men can’t help themselves due to their constant priapism engendered by seeing women in bathing costumes.
It’s really sad and in a way it is exactly the same thing as the sterotypical crusty old judge summing up the rape trial by saying, “Well wearing that what was she expecting?” It’s even sadder that the feminazis don’t see that.
Except of course it’s worse than the crusty old judge of legend. Because the argument is not about individuals is it? It’s saying some women get some of their kit of for piccies and that very fact increases discrimination against and the incidence of sexual assault for all women. Apart from the fact that is one hell of a pseduo intellectual flight of fantasy it is a deeply pessimistic and deeply inaccurate portrayal of the human condition.
Because you see, some of us have the capacity to look at a physically attractive woman and not behave like Ugg the caveman. Some of us have the capacity (this will shock the increasingly shrill rump of the feminist movement) to treat women as autonomous individuals with both tits and rights. Some of us can hold more than one thought in our heads at once. Some of us can appreciate both brains and boobs at the same time. And also we can define other qualities beyond a girls curves or pretty face whilst still appreciating the former. Things like humour, kindness, honesty… You know, stuff that we also in geezers. And they say men can’t multi-task!