“So you condone rape?”

“No, I just like He Said.”

“But He Said was about rape last week, so that must mean that you condone rape.”

“Not if I read it as a walk of shame and not as anything more then just that.”

This has been the debate in classrooms, lunch tables, the Senate and even the lower level BCC since Wednesday after students protested the most recent article of “He Said” claiming that they will not be victimized. Since then, defending “He Said” has seemed like social suicide.
For me, I have loved “He Said” since its first issue my freshman year. Every Wednesday as I walk past stacks of The Mirror, the first thing I do is flip open to “He Said.”

Since I have been a student at Fairfield it seems that “He Said” has always been in involved in some sort of ruckus. Last year, Josh Kenney was referred to as a tool who did not understand the purpose of the column. I stopped reading it. The year before that, Dan Stanzyck was a sexist and now Chris Surette’s parents should be ashamed of him. Yet, The Mirror still publishes it every week and has for quite some time. Why? Because it’s what people read.

It’s no wonder that FUSA President Jeff Seiser requested to have FUSA’s Mirror advertisements placed next to “He Said.” As a student, he knows it is a high traffic area of The Mirror, hoping that this might inspire more then simply freshman bribed by FYE credit to attend FUSA events.

“He Said” is popular because  readers are drawn to the persona it is written in. A guy who, simply put, is a sexist, misogynistic jerk who all too often dances the line of tactful and tasteless. An insight into what “a true man’s man” would be, were he at Fairfield.

This is also where many complaints come from the lack of accountability as the writer can hide behind this persona and take on the roll of what some see as a predatory male setting an improper example of the student body by referring to elicit sexual activities.

After last week’s issue and some questionable diction, it has become clear that certain groups read into “He Said” much more than I did, or ever would have. While I was laughing, others were reminded of times when they had been victims of sexual assault. My favorite part of The Mirror had caused people to feel not only offended, but hurt. Instead of giving insight into a persona of an egotistical player’s mind, they had been reminded of that persona’s evil reality. An unknown consequence of deciding to poke fun at walks of shame.

So how can one defend “He Said”?

Enjoyment: The saying is ‘It’s always fun till someone loses an eye’ seems to be the true story of “He Said.” After rocking the boat two years ago, “He Said” has again struck a nerve. For many readers, however, the article still provided enjoyment to groups of readers including myself. Who does not like reading about guy’s idiocy or stupidity with the opposite sex? Lines such as “induction into the hall of fame” should be ripe with laughs at men’s needs to brag about their latest adventures and constant insecurities.

Intent: The intent of this article was never to hurt those who have been sexually assaulted. To most, it is an article talking about the walk back to the dorm after a Friday night excursion. Not an article in which a male is preying on women hoping to victimize them. “Don’t be a fool, wrap your tool” was not advice to avoid prosecution after a rape kit is analyzed and your DNA is found, but instead a pearl of wisdom to stop, as Chris so aptly put it, a series of mini-me’s from running around the reader several months later.

Tradition: Catholic schools seem to thrive on tradition, even at a young school like Fairfield. Tradition is something we pride ourselves on; it is something that students expect. There are enough attacks on the social traditions of Fairfield. Why must we let another tradition of interjecting humor and fun into a well-written paper be one more tradition to disappear? When I open The Mirror even now, “He Said” is where I go first and I hope that never changes.
To me and many  groups of people I know, these reasons have been enough for me to believe that “He Said” should stay. I can see that there is a need for revision or reassessment. However, “He Said” as an institution should be defended.

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