Welcome to Editor’s Pidge, the personal pigeonhole of OxStu’s editors. Here, we accept all your comments and concerns about our articles over the course of the week and offer our reply. This week, we have an interesting reflection on a recent Pink article as well as … As always, please do get in touch to share your thoughts with us by dropping us an email at [email protected] with the subject ‘Editor’s Pidge’.
I was struck by the way that many of those defending Ellen DeGeneres are not of the traditional anti-cancel-culture right (Calling Out Our Heroes, January 14th) and I can’t help but wonder why defensiveness has become such a ubiquitous reaction for even progressive websites. To be sure, some of it originates in a slightly privileged and simplified view of queer history: one that largely charts our progress by a few TV moments and the actions of already-wealthy queer folk. However, while Ellen’s actions do warrant good-faith critique, those of us who are quick to criticise sometimes fail to see how the conversations we open get hijacked by those intent on bad-faith abuse, targeted harassment, and hate.
We should be wary of how often the recipients of this abuse are queer folk and people of colour, particularly when (as with James Charles) the scandal plays directly on existing tropes about minority groups. I have to think that the writers of these op-eds observe the worst of this harassment and believe that Ellen’s critics don’t want her to do better, but instead want her to simply disappear.
Ellen and RuPaul are by no means above criticism, but when not only the right but also the progressive left is complaining about ‘cancel culture’, maybe that should give us some pause to consider whether our methods are always effective.
Thank you for your letter. We think that is a really important issue and we’re glad you’ve raised it so we can continue the conversation. While we recognise the value in what you’re saying (it is certainly true that bad-faith actors often do hijack the narrative for malicious attacks on queer people and people of colour), we also feel that it is important that there is space for people to call out behaviour and statements they disagree with when they see them. We think that fundamentally, this is about starting a dialogue, in which people who are in the public eye (and thus must be held to a different standard to private individuals) are questioned over their conduct. We think it is possible to hold high profile figures to account whilst also defending them against those same bad faith actors you describe. However, we can definitely see the value in extending the conversation to consider the most effective ways of dealing with problems like transphobia and racism for good. We would welcome a submission on a topic like this, so please get in touch if it is something you wish to follow up on.
Robert and Issy.
Dear Robert and Issy,
I really enjoyed a recent ‘Green’ piece, on seasteading, which I hadn’t actually heard about before! I did wonder whether the OxStu would commission something on the relationship between class and climate awareness, particularly around so-called ‘eco-elitism’. As someone from a working-class background, this is something I’d be really interested in reading about!
Thank you for getting in touch. We’re so pleased you enjoyed Shreya Sunkara’s piece on seasteading, and we hope you have found the ‘Green’ section to be a pleasant addition to the OxStu. We are always happy to receive pitches for articles in our section emails, the one for Green is [email protected] . Alternatively, we can get in touch with our fantastic Green editorial team and see if this is something they’d like to consider! Are you a member of our contributors group on Facebook? We post weekly content calls for every section, so you may find something from Green (or another section) that takes your fancy! You can find the group here: Contributors Group. We look forward to hearing more of your ideas, so please feel free to drop us an email again!
To whom it may concern,
I really enjoyed reading your article about the OUO’s new principal guest conductor, where can I find more articles about music at Oxford?
Thank you for reaching out. It’s great to hear that you enjoyed our coverage of the new Oxford University Orchestra principal guest conductor. This was actually a flagship piece for our new ‘Happy hour news’ segment, whereby we find a positive ‘feel good’ piece every week to showcase every Friday at 8:00pm. It’s our antidote to an otherwise often rather sombre news landscape! We’re delighted that this piece has had the desired impact with you! To answer your question, you can find excellent coverage on music at Oxford in the OxStu‘s ‘Entertainment’ section, available here! We have a wide range of coverage both by and about Oxford Students, so I am sure you’ll find more pieces to enjoy! Alternatively, why not get involved yourself and write about your opinions on the Oxford music scene by contacting our Entertainment editorial team at: [email protected] ! Thank you again for your message and do please get in touch again if you have any other comments or questions for us!
If you’d like to get in touch on anything you’ve read during the week, please do get in touch. We accept questions and comments both complimentary and critical, and as long or short as you want to make them. We also reveal only your first initial and your college name, so you can express your opinions without revealing your identity. We look forward to hearing from you and addressing your thoughts on our content in next week’s Editor’s Pidge!