Non Cur’s latest issue divided student opinion on what is acceptable for a student-run publication to satirically attack.
The issue, titled “Men & Feminism,” touches on topics such as male expectations for girls at a party, sexism embedded in Robin Thicke’s summer hit “Blurred Lines”, and the “Running of the Bulls,” the annual sorority bid day celebration.
Some students appreciate Non Cur’s attempt at satire.
“I think it’s a valuable club on campus,” Nate Hand ‘15 said. “I think it provides a nice satirical viewpoint to many of the very serious issues on campus. It also provides some levity. ”
“I think it starts a dialogue about some of the issues that are either brushed under the rug, [or] people maybe aren’t entirely comfortable talking about,” Maxwell Jones ‘15 said. “This last feminism issue had a lot of things to do with the role of men and the role of women, and what that is within campus context.”
Other students challenge the Non Cur’s attempt at edgy humor.
“One of the most frustrating features of the Non Cur is the group’s insistence that what they are doing is absurd or satirical,” President of the Association of Lafayette Feminists Heather Hughes ‘15 wrote in a message. “They attempt to defend their writing by claiming that it is ‘ironic’ and that they are ‘just joking.’ The problem is that instead of challenging the dominant culture, the Non Cur reinforces harmful stereotypes in both their writing and their advertisements.”
“The[y] simply repeated damaging mainstream tropes, then claimed to be joking, and called that satire,” Hughes wrote.
Even students who praised Non Cur agreed that, at times, the publication failed at its goal.
“A lot of it is shock value – they’re there to shock you into thinking it’s funny,” Jones said.
Students were specifically upset about the bulk of the issue; a four-page spread explaining the female orgasm, written by Non Cur editor-in-chief Noah Drauschak ‘16.
“It was all written from a male’s perspective,” Alleyah Miner ‘16 said. “How would he – see, he wrote a four page spread on the female. You see how that can be a problem?”
“Everything it talked about was just sarcastic and rude,” Unique Andres ‘15 said. “It’s like a female writing an article about having a penis. It doesn’t make sense.”
Drauschak declined to comment regarding this issue, stating in an e-mail that, “any conversation about or including Non Cur, our content, and/or The Editors will be on our terms and in our medium.” Drauschak went on to write that, “Non Cur is a satirical/humor magazine and our function is to promote conversation and to provide a creative outlet to the student body–much like Harvard’s ‘Lampoon’ [and] Princeton’s ‘The Tiger’.”
Drauschak also refused to tape a discussion with Hughes about the content and methods of the Non Cur, adding that he believed such a conversation was “not necessary.”
President Alison Byerly preferred not to comment on the publication, stating that it is the students’ discretion what they choose to read and support.
“I don’t really feel that there’s a reason for the president to comment on a particular campus publication,” Byerly said. “I think that’s up to the students to decide what they think is worth reading and endorsing.”