Jelly wrestling garden party cancelled after online petition

This story proved to be very popular – we were competing with other student media at the time, but I managed to be resourceful on Facebook to get some more reaction to the news.

A jelly wrestling match which was due to take place at the annual Wyverns’ Garden Party has been cancelled, following an online petition which gathered 1176 signatures.

The proposed celebration traditionally involves at least two female students wrestling in a paddle pool full of jelly, one of many forms of celebration organised by drinking societies to mark the end of exams. The petition, started by a student from Magdalene College, described this practice as: “clearly sexist, misogynistic and completely inappropriate as entertainment for 2013.”

A statement from the drinking society, which planned to organise the event said: “In the light of the recent petition The Wyverns have decided to cancel the ‘jelly wrestling’ at this year’s garden party. We, as a society, are committed to ensuring all party-goers have the best time possible and understand the concerns of some of them.”

Nina de Paula Hanika, the creator of the online petition, wrote on the CUSU Women’s Campaign Facebook page: “Thank you so much everyone who supported and well done to The Wyverns for doing the right thing!”

On the page of the petition, Nina wrote: “I feel deeply saddened to not only attend a university where this takes place, but to be associated with this event simply by attending Magdalene, but it does not have to be this way! If you love the women in your life for their brains, for their wit, and for their contribution to society that has NOTHING to do with the body they come in, please sign and help me stop this.”

The petition encouraged many people to accompany their signature with comments. One supporter wrote: “It is simply backwards to permit this sort of behaviour to go on. Women should not be objectified for their bodies, especially not at the hands of over-privileged schoolboys.”

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