The current issue of Honi Soit featuring the vulvas of 18 women continues a long tradition of student publications challenging accepted conventions and reporting on issues the mainstream media does not cover.
Everyday women and men are surrounded by images that are degrading and that objectify women’s bodies, largely for commercial purposes.
The statement by some of the women who participated in the Honi Soit feature should be read by anyone who feels offended by this action.
The fact that the Students Representative Council’s legal advice was that the publication could be “indecent” or “obscene” and likely to cause offence to a “reasonable adult” highlights that Australian laws continue to threaten intellectual freedom.
While Australian laws are used to suggest that there is something offensive about the body of a woman, actions like that taken by Honi Soit will be needed.
This issue of Honi Soit should be distributed to Sydney University students without further delay. This incident highlights the need to reconsider and review Australia's censorship laws.
Senator Lee Rhiannon, national Greens women’s spokesperson
Mehreen Faruqi, NSW MP and state Greens women’s spokesperson
Wendy Bacon, Journalist and researcher
Cate Faehrmann, Greens NSW Senate candidate
Lee Rhiannon: 0487 350 880
Mehreen Faruqi: 0423 106 247
Wendy Bacon: 0409 403 774