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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 29, No. 14. 1966.

Letters to the editor

page 10

Letters to the editor

Our Angry Girl

Sir—While your anonymous contributor is greatly to be commended for a forceful presentation of a feminine viewpoint, she is I think inadequately aware of why the male finds it difficult to accept her claims unreservedly. Firstly, in the academic world he has found that while good female lecturers are better than most males, the best females fall far short of the best males in inspiring and evocative powers. This may be of course because the most superior females prefer to succeed in their biological role.

Furthermore this very biological factor greatly affects the female academic. Either she marries and her academic duties immediately become subordinate to the biological or she does not and her thwarted instincts distort her behaviour and impair her insights.

In the wider world of Western culture great female intellects are even more notaby absent. In the field of literature for instance the only names that come to mind are those of Sappho, George Elliot and perhaps Jane Austen.

Of these the first is known mainly by repute and not by demonstrable artifact and therefore her high position may be due more to great seductive powers over the minds of men than to intellectual stature, and the last is a great miniaturist, Queen Elizabeth is a prominent political figure and Madam Curie a somewhat pedestrian scientist.

Perhaps your contributor should accept the fact that a proportion of her sex have certain other powers enabling them to manipulate great men and events being able to make babies they should leave the, inadequate male to make art and science as a substitute. Nevertheless I for one would find the greatest pleasure and interest in reading the before and after scripts of one of her essays

B. C. Walsh

Forum yet again

Sir, In his letter of September 9 concerning Forum Mr Haas defended the press and attacked executive, with his usual subtlety and imagination. While he agrees with the reason given for passing the motion banning the press from Forum he argues that it will make outside reporting of Forum more, not less, likely and in addition give the executive a power of censorship over Salient. I will deal with these points separately.

As to the first, it is common knowledge (I heard it from Mr. Haas) that the editor of the Evening Post has undertaken to respect the ban. It is difficult to imagine the staid Dominion encouraging its reporters to trespass illegally to obtain news of only marginal interest to its readers. Most out of town papers show little interest in what students think and are unlikely to have reporters in turn. That leaves Truth which while it may or may not be kept away by a ban would not be encouraged by me. I would point out also that no paper has in fact broken the ban.

As to the statement that the motion "leaves the association newspaper open to a form of censorship" by executive this might be true but only to a very marginal degree. All the present executive believe, as does Mr. Haas, that the right to speak one's mind without fear of the consequences is important in a university. Forum, to us, is a place where people should be free to express views, even irresponsible views, without fearing that what they say will be reported. It is almost inconceivable that any Salient editor would consider infringing in the narrowing area of free speech in our student community, by reporting speakers in Forum against their will. But if it should happen. I, at least, would feel obliged to try and do something about it.

There is one further point which requires clearing up. Because of the way it is phrased, and I am sure this was unintentional. Mr Haas's letter seems to say that the motion passed gives executive the right to censor any article in Salient which refers to a subject mentioned in Forum. This was not the intention, has not been the case up to date, and will not be in the future.

In conclusion I would summarise my personal position as being one of respect for the freedom of the press but even greater respect for the freedom of the individual—

P. Peretz,

House Committee Chairman

Aid funds sent

Sir,—It is true, as was stated in the last issue of Salient, that the South African Scholarship, as it was originally intended, has been abolished. However what you failed to say was where the money already collected is to go. The funds raised so far will be sent to the International University Exchange Fund, an organisation within the ISC which will administer this money for the purpose of the education of a coloured or Bantu student from South Africa. The I.U.E.F. has wellestablished machinery for administering this money and in this respect the money will not be wasted. It is unfortunate, however, that the original scheme of establishing a scholarship on an annual basis has had to be abandoned.

The feeling at council, and one which I share, was that NZUSA could be more effective if it concentrated its efforts in the Pacific, and for this reason investigations are being made into the possibility of establishing a scholarship for a Pacific student. In addition, attention is being given to the ways in which NZUSA can assist the new University of the South Pacific which is being established in Fiji. I hope that students will give their full support to any efforts to assist in Pacific education as this is an area in which considerable assistance is required. Here our efforts can be guaranteed to be a greater success.

Elizabeth Shankland.

VUWSA International Affairs Officer.

Posh pussy cult

Sir, Your article on the Posh Pussy Cult may have a fruitful relation with an idea which is percolating through the ranks of university students.

Too often it is said: Why aren't women doing something themselves, instead of continually following in the footsteps of their betters? For example a common complaint is that few women students speak at Forum. This sad state of affairs has even occurred in the institution of the Grand Establishment. Any female student who wishes to, may Join (if she meets the qualifications, which have not yet been stated); but they are termed Camp Followers!

I appeal to fellow women students to strike against this tyranny! I suggest the formation of a Petty, or Pretty Establishment for the promotion of The Posh Pussy Cult. We could have several aims: e.g. to make sure the length of camel hair does not exceed three inches, to see that all saddlemaster brogues are made in England, and that gold lettering on leather suitcases is at least 18 carat gold. And it is obviously time for a firm policy on mini-skirts.

Alternatively there has been a suggestion to form a "black stocking-duffle coat-long hair" cult with such aims as the promotion of the Film Society, the Drama Club, and supporting the Cultural Affairs officer. However these seem to be completely contrary to the broadening aims of a university life, apart from being incompatible with the idea of The Establishment.

Pussies of the world unite, you have nothing to fear but your fur.

Rosemary Booth.