The Maneater’s April Fools’ issue, so cleverly nicknamed The Carpeteater (get it?), has sparked another huge backlash against the paper on Mizzou’s campus. This comes on the heels of a recent issue in which The Maneater offended Mizzou’s LGBTQ community with columns based on slut-shaming and gay stereotypes.
The April Fools’ Edition has even inspired a letter by senior Kathy Rudd that has been going around Facebook to petition The Carpeteater (seriously, who approved that name?) to demand an apology.
Take a look at Rudd’s letter in full that has been making its way around Facebook and Twitter.
The Maneater, though trying to be funny, created a highly offensive, sexist and crude issue of the student-run publication that is supposed to represent the University of Missouri.
“I was incredibly offended by The Maneater edition on Tuesday, and I set out to write the letter just to prove a point,” said Rudd, an English major at the University of Missouri.
The use of derogatory jokes toward women were so offensive and off-putting, that Rudd’s letter has been successful and gained the attention of many Mizzou students and faculty.
“I’ve been overwhelmed and gratified by the student and faculty response. I thought originally we might get about 20-30 signatures, and now we’re over 200. People have been sharing the letter on Facebook, and I’ve also emailed a few of the departments on campus and asked them to send the letter on to more students,” Rudd told J-School Buzz. “Amazing things are happening because students are upset and we simply don’t want this issue of the Maneater representing us or our University.”
This is not the first time this publication has approved offensive content towards women, and it is a little unnerving that the editors continue to approve this sort of content. Not only was it derogatory toward women, it was also offensive toward the gay community.
The Maneater posted an apology letter on its website early this morning, a few days after the issue was released, but does that fix the lasting impressions of the university that visitors may have?
This campus has already been rocked by too many awful incidents of racist vandalism that have tarnished Mizzou’s reputation, do we really need a student publication making a name for itself through slut-shaming, homophobia and misogyny?
The implications of these actions overshadow the integrity that we once thought student publications were supposed to uphold, especially at one of the world’s top journalism schools. Let’s hope the Safe Space Training that The Maneater mentioned in its apology letter will prevent this sort of thing from happening again. We’ll be watching.