Constructive Conversations

After The Phillipian, vol. CXL’s sixth issue hit kiosks last Friday morning, word quickly spread across campus of our publication of several offensive graphics on The Eighth Page.

These graphics perpetuated a culture of grading women based upon their physical appearance and included various other microaggressions.

Students took to social media platforms, such as Snapchat and Twitter, in order to share the graphic and highlight their disgust. And their anger was justified. These inflammatory graphics were unfit for publication; they blatantly defy The Phillipian’s commitment to accurately and fairly reflect the values of the Andover community.

While we are ashamed and embarrassed that these “jokes” made it through our extensive editing process, we are proud to attend a school at which difficult conversations about topics such as misogyny are thoroughly and readily examined both in and out of the classroom.

Over the course of that day, and the days that followed, members of the Board engaged in discussions with classmates and teachers regarding misogyny and sexism on our campus. Our peers and teachers fearlessly tackled difficult conversations with an inspiring level of maturity and spirit. They reached out to members of The Phillipian individually and as a Board, approaching us with undeserved kindness and helping us respond to and learn from this error.

Instructors have also facilitated entire classes around the sexist implications of last week’s edition of The Eighth Page, demonstrating the importance and value of in-person dialogue.

In addition, the discussions we hosted last Friday and this past Tuesday, in order to speak directly with the members of the Andover community we had offended, were illuminating and productive. Our peers attended in earnest and, after listening to their concerns, those of us on The Phillipian Board who attended left knowing that we must raise our standards as a publication.

The importance of discourse and constructive conversation has once again been proven in the wake of last week’s issue. How these conversations regained traction, however, is disheartening — we, The Phillipian, gave legitimacy to and a platform for the objectification of women. We encourage the community to continue analyzing and combating misogyny and microaggressions on the Andover campus, long after the offending graphics have faded from the campus’s news cycle.

To those who attended our discussion these past two weeks, thank you. To those in the Andover community who are still hurting, we hope to slowly reearn your trust.

This editorial represents the views of The Phillipian, vol. CXL.