Saturday, April 16, 2011

On a negative note . . .

THE POLITICALLY-CORRECT CAN BE A REAL PAIN, as a young engineering student at the U of Waterloo found out. According to Justin Hyde's article in Jalopnik, "How a university punished a female engineering student for this bikini photo",

Last month, one of Waterloo's Formula SAE engineering student — the leader of the chassis design team — needed modeling photos for an application to a Canadian beauty pageant and breast cancer charity. While the idea had been to pose in front of a borrowed Audi in the school's engineering design center, the student also posed with the SAE car in a two-piece bikini (a requirement of the competition); another female student also posed for a few shots. The photographer, also an engineering student, posted a few of the shots online.

Two weeks later, Waterloo's dean of engineering Adel Sedra announced the school was suspending the entire Formula SAE team through June 1 — blocking them from competing in the Michigan event. The reason? "Misuse of the student design centre space for an unauthorized photo shoot."

Grrrr. Bunch of wankers. Here's a shot of a triumphant Danica Patrick, the first woman to win a major open-wheel motor race. Somehow, they probably won't like it, either. Love that picture; Dan Gurney sure started something.


BobMacActual said...

Sounds like ass-covering at the tenth-degree Black Belt level.

psa said...

in the land of context, the university punished the whole team, not just the young woman. and yes, the punishment to my mind exceeded the crime. but in the search for further context, the u of w campus has been under siege for months by a misogynistic group or individual who is sending threatening email to a lot of women on campus, putting up threatening posters around campus and generating a sense of palpable fear. there is a nagging expectation that this will eventually escalate into something tragic. there are a lot of very frayed nerves on campus these days.

context the more, the engineering faculty at waterloo has been under scrutiny on many more than a few occasions for blatantly sexist, racist and homophobic outbreaks. look up enginews for origins. the engineers have burned a lot of bridges over the years here in town and there is a good deal less tolerance for their behaviour than there might otherwise be.