Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Carnage, the company responsible for a variety of infamous student party events has caused controversy in Sheffield- home of the much criticized war memorial urination at one of Carnage's events- is ruffling feathers once again, this time with a "pimps and hoes" theme.

The criticism is in the form of accusations of sexism at the theme. This is probably true, much in the way any gendered theme, such as doctors and nurses, vicars and nuns etc. is sexist as it presumes gender roles assigned to certain jobs (although Carnage don't specify which side of the theme men and women are expected to follow, and I doubt they'd have a problem if men turned up as "hoes" and women as "pimps"). However, the criticism that it trivializes violence against women is unfair. If it was a beaten wife theme or some suchlike they might have a point. Violence against women is not a necessary prerequisite of prostitution, and to argue that it is could in fact be sexist in itself, as it implies that no woman who works as a prostitute does so as a result of a free choice, and only ever as a result of violence something which is simply untrue.

To mount this criticism of Carnage also seems a peculiar line of attack. "Carnage" is defined as the killing of a large number of people, yet the company use it as a positive thing, to suggest a particularly messy night out. This appears to be trivializing mass killing more than it's trivializing violence against women. Also, highlighting the disastrous consequences of a night out as something in its favour clearly suggests an irresponsible approach to drinking and could be said to encourage antisocial behaviour. While I believe in personal responsibility for actions, and wouldn't place the blame for the war memorial urination solely on Carnage, it seems that this would be a more apt line of attack.

A quick look at Carnage's website shows that it's not aiming to be classy. Endorsed by Loaded and Nuts, the website is full of pictures of various drunken behaviours and the sexualisation of young women. It makes no secret of its sleazy nature. Perhaps we should just trust people with self respect to stay away and let everyone else whore themselves out the violent pimp that is carnage.

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