Editorial: So I’ve Been Publicly Censored

Words: Ellen Desmond

In light of the recent campus referendum on the 8th amendment, I had intended to write this editorial about abortion rights, but apparently that’s not festive enough for December. Instead, I’m going to talk about something that is festive enough for December; Starbucks cups.

“Cupgate 2015” is the current global crisis (the only one festive enough to discuss, apparently). The coffee cups in question have changed to red (they are usually not red) and thus are clearly a beacon of what is aesthetically a perfectly acceptable way to acknowledge this time of year.

I would like to reiterate that the cups have specifically changed colour to celebrate Christmas. Yet, everyone is up in arms that this colour change alone is not quite Christmassy enough.

“It’s political correctness gone mad,” they cry, because snowflakes have not appeared on the cups.
“They hate Jesus,” more cry, due to the lack of snowman illustrations. 6738834b97b84e039a8acebe75908f7a

May I just highlight one more time that the cups have entirely changed their usual colour, solely in order to celebrate this holiday? Give me strength.

It seems like Christmas has become a competition; a bizarre struggle to be “as festive as possible,” while the world as we otherwise know it goes on as usual. When making this issue of Motley, Christmas constantly crept up against us, again and again.

“We can’t cover drug addiction, it’s not Christmassy.”
“There aren’t enough pretty present pages.”
“Cut the depression article. It’s not cheery enough.”
“We need more tinsel on page 14.”

For the past few weeks, I’ve been at war with Christmas. It’s been like a thorn in my side. But as a result, the holidays have got me thinking a lot about censorship; words I never thought I would write.

I censor writers fairly often, chiefly because I worry about upsetting others and I know the pain of backlash to risky articles; the emails of complaint and the public Twitter shamings. However, I’ve never actually been censored myself. At least, not until Christmas 2015 hit.

There are things within these pages that I do not agree with or like. I wanted to cut them, but I didn’t, because the spirit of Christmas has censored me, and in response I’ve been taught my lesson. I’ve often heard it said that students are “too PC” and that student media is an echo chamber, and maybe it is time to acknowledge that.

Thank you, Christmas with your commercial and westernised ways, for teaching me to be more open minded and making me stop to consider your sparkly rules, with their subtly Patriarchal roots. I’ve allowed some tinsel to fall across our pages, but all I want for Christmas is bodily autonomy.