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Editorial: Knockout Barstool

When college humor goes too far

Published: Monday, February 13, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02

The UNH social media sphere is buzzing with surveys and event invites about a possible Barstool Blackout party at UNH. The university has not historically been particularly cooperative with Barstool, a satirical blog which recently wrote that some women "kind of deserve to be raped." We hope it remains that way.

The UNH community shouldn't give space or money to an openly sexist rape apologist in the name of a good party.  

Barstool is run by Dave "El Presidente" Portnoy, who has a consistent record of excusing rape in the name of comedy. And he's laughing all the way to the bank, putting away a small fortune from the Blackout Tour alone.

Setting aside the milder sexism of Barstool — "Guess That Ass" and "Smokeshow of the Day," for starters — Barstool is one of the Internet's worst offenders when it comes to condoning campus rape. Portnoy makes cracks like "we don't condone rape of any kind at our Blackout Parties ... however if a chick passes out that's a gray area" and "if you're a size 6 and wearing skinny jeans, you're kind of asking to get raped … I mean this guy had no choice but to teach her a lesson."

No one asks to be raped. Freshmen girls don't sit around in Stoke, doing their makeup, taking shots and talking about how they hope they get raped that night. Wearing trashy clothes, getting drunk and being generally irresponsible is not "asking for it." There's no gray area. There's no excuse.

Barstool consistently claims that this is all satire, not meant to hurt anyone — but it does. Promoting a culture of victim blaming is detrimental to both men and women. First of all, it excuses rape — portraying college rapists not as felons but as victims of animal instinct and sluttily-dressed coeds. Secondly, victim blaming makes many women internalize the idea of "asking for it."

Many women (85 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) choose to keep silent about being raped. Rapists are frequently repeat offenders; a study in the Boston area found that of 120 rapists, 63 percent were serial rapists. All those unreported rapes mean that the rapists can go on to rape again. Hilarious, right?

On the Northeastern and Boston College campuses, groups of students have gathered under the name Knockout Barstool to protest the Blackout Tour.

Boston College's student newspaper, The Heights, wrote in an editorial: "Although the First Amendment grants creeps like El Presidente the right to say that women deserve to be raped as a form of fashion advice, BC students should know better than to finance it." UNH students should know better as well.

Portnoy responded to these attacks by calling the campus protesters "lunatics'' and "ugly dykes." Aside from being offensive, that's just pretty weak sauce coming from someone who claims he's running a comedy site. Comedians' stock and trade is pushing boundaries — race, class, and yes, sex. The thing is, rape isn't about sex. It's about violence. It's about taking away a person's power over his or her own body. And it's not funny - ever.

Barstool has become a juggernaut of a certain kind of college humor and it's not going away. But we urge UNH to continue to be clear and unequivocal in not allowing any Barstool event on any university property, and we encourage students to vote with their ticket dollars and think carefully before supporting any Barstool sponsored event.

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Wed Feb 15 2012 22:08
Anytime you say "viva la stool" all I hear is "i've never had sex with a sober girl."
Wed Feb 15 2012 20:49
The barstool party is seriously just barely more elaborate than what an intelligent student could put on, it's not worth the money for the lame product you're getting. David Portnoy is a skeezy, 40 year old man-child whose only interest in life has become shilling his horrible pet-project "musicians" and trying to boost his sad, sad ego. No interest in having the school spend money for him to come here from me.

Also, a bunch of you are saying that the author is calling for censorship. She's not. She's saying that she does not want to reward Portnoy with her money, that's completely different. For the record, I don't think there is any subject which can't be made to be funny in the right hands, except unlike someone like Louis CK or Chris Rock, Portnoy is probably only half joking and doesn't have a bone for comedy in his body. The guy sucks.

Annie Stevens
Wed Feb 15 2012 13:27
So the excuse here is: a lot of comedians do it, so it's fine for this guy to do it too?
Rape isn't funny, and if you all weren't such privileged, ignorant idiots, you would understand that. Try to have a little empathy. Rape is called rape because it is NON CONSENSUAL, and if a woman wears a short skirt, she still has the right to say No. End of story. Pardon my "ugly feminist" bull. Not.
Wed Feb 15 2012 12:34
The entire Daily Show last night was about rape. 100 rape jokes. Samantha Bee had a 5 min segment where she made nothing but facetious rape jokes.
Wed Feb 15 2012 01:24
Oh my goodness, whoever wrote this article is DESPERATE to be a part of a movement larger than herself. It is quite evident that progressives across this country, especially college-aged progressives, are trying to find an dragons to slay, so that they can promote their agenda in the name of righteousness.

What gives ANYONE, the right to tell El Pres what he can, or can not write on his blog? Last time I checked, we have freedom of speech in this country. If you do not like that, too bad. El Pres is not doing ANYTHING that infringes on the rights of others through his blogging, thus all arguments promoting the censorship of what hes saying, or his parties, are BUNK.

The WORST part of this though, is how the UNH paper would allow someone to write a hit piece. How about admitting to your readers that you've taken a lot of what el pres has said out of context? How about recognizing that you are upset with a few lines written over hundreds of blog posts, containing thousands of lines of satirical content.

I guess being a good journalist isn't a movement you want to be a part of.

viva la stool. and baba booey to ya'll.

Damien Olenick
Wed Feb 15 2012 01:09
yet another group of people who can't sit down and have a discussion to come up with a comprise to bring a event to campus so students can unwind during the college semester's heavy workload. instead let's give them nothing to do so that they are more likely to commit a crime and do something stupid.

as horrible as the crime of rape is, it unfortunely will happen at some point somewhere. but instead of offering a controlled environment so as to prevent such a thing from happening you are telling the students to go ahead and have a party at your own house and encourage more lawlessness, such as underage drinking, drug use, etc.

it is groups of people like you that can't engage in meaningful conversation. instead you take the position of "my way or the highway" which is no better. you will resort to juvenile tactics like name calling and comments full of hate. these things make you no better than the causes you are supposedly against. you waste your time protesting and attacking the other side instead of offering alternative ideas and actually implementing them so students can have some fun during their college experience. how about working on things that are more important than a silly party (ex. improving the community's economy, energy solutions, needless bloodshed in Syria) which by the way has near zero problems at college campuses it has already visited. it's unnecessary fear mongering and name bashing that continually pulls our country father apart.

in closing, I urge students who are interested in bringing an event such as the Barstool Blackout Tour, to continue to take action, instead of yelling louder than the opposing groups cries. continue to sign petitions, call your school president and ask kindly to allow an event which offers fun for the modern college student. I also encourage students who wouldn't find such a party fun, plan and implement an alternative event for those students instead of yelling even louder. You will find that coming together and actually implementing these solutions will bring the student body closer together.

Damien Olenick

Liberal, but not an alarmist
Wed Feb 15 2012 01:04
this is a waste of time. no one is browsing the UNH online newspaper. all the page views were directed from barstool, which garners millons of hits a day. who was this written for? who is the target audience. all you are doing is feeding the machine. if the goal in writing this was to generate buzz for a blackout event on campus, mission accomplished. you really need to think, before you pick your battles.
Deadspin's better
Tue Feb 14 2012 22:01
I think Dave Portnoy has realized the same thing that Fox News, Charlie Sheen and the Westboro Baptist Church have: that negative attention is better than no attention when it comes to making money. It doesn't matter what he says, as long as it is OUTRAGEOUS. While he rails against being protested, he's just reeling in the suckers that buy his act (on both sides of this rape culture debate). I think he's a jerk - a very, very smart jerk. This guy knows exactly what he's doing. I don't think what TNH wrote here is wrong, I just think it gives into exactly what Portnoy wants: attention.
Tue Feb 14 2012 19:15
You got to be kiddinng me with this article. I love signing it anonymous too so no one can call you out and make you look like the the uneducated person that you are. Barstool is not pro-rape, get that through your head. Look at the people UNH has had before you call Portnoy out. Lewis black? MGMT? Come on UNH called hospitals before the MGMT concert warning them to be prepared for students coming in with drug overdoses after the concert. Scope has allowed far worse then blackout tour and it was overloooked so stop trying to bring this guy down because you damn pot head unemployeed feminist protestors dont like him.
Davey Pageviews
Tue Feb 14 2012 18:07
Buy some tickets, First Lady needs new shoes.
Tue Feb 14 2012 18:05
You're a journalist supporting censorship. I pity you
Tue Feb 14 2012 17:59
another reason why unh sucks. if you can't get into college go to state.


Tue Feb 14 2012 17:47
Do your homework SCOPE shows include -
Lews Black - Arested for packing a bus full of 18 yo naked girls and parading them around NY
Wiz Kha - Sexist, Drugs, Racist
Akon - Arested for having simulated relations with a 15 yo girl on stage
Ghostface Killa - Domestic Violence - Litteraly has a song about cutting of a girls finger becasue she cheated.
Snoop Dogg - you name it
Bob Sagat - Have you seen the HBO special? He makes Portnoy look like the pope.

these people are way worse than barstool. please protest something meaningfull. I'm sure you could do some good out there.

Tue Feb 14 2012 17:45
@dirk driggler, No, you get over yourself and your sexist attitude =]
Is this earth?
Tue Feb 14 2012 17:27
"Wait so do people actually want this to come to UNH or are there people trying to get him to come? " wow, to not know this concert would sell out in 4 seconds is a true sign into the pathetic non-social, misguided life you live on campus, I feel sorry for you.
Tue Feb 14 2012 17:19
Buy tickets, First Lady needs new shoes.
Tue Feb 14 2012 17:17
I personally can't wait to go out raping tonight. With the knowledge that Pres instills in me, I feel I can go on raping for years. Thanks, Stool!
Tue Feb 14 2012 17:14
"No one asks to be raped." Thanks John Madden. You know, using a series of ellipses to string together facetious sentences written months or years apart is beyond irresponsible. You "condone" libelous journalism far more than Portnoy has ever "condoned" rape.
Tue Feb 14 2012 17:09
Yes a sports website that uses the same humor is any common man is a major issue. The horror!! Thank god we have heroes like you leading the charge against..................a website that hosts parties. On second thought this really doesnt even seem like a newsworthy issue...
Tue Feb 14 2012 17:08
Are you against all comedians? Comedians make millions off of jokes about rape, beating up kids, etc. If you took their jokes out of context, like you are doing with Portnoys quotes, they would look horrible. If you keep them in context and directed toward the intended audience, its just a joke. And rational adults are able to distinguish between the two. Pulling his jokes out of context and categorizing them as something they are not is actually doing more harm than good. We live in a free country. He can have his blog and make whatever jokes he wants. If they offend you then don't visit his site. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be allowed to have parties. Nothing he is doing is illegal. There are a lot bigger issues in this world than a sataric blog making jokes. You should be ashamed of yourself for taking those quotes out of context and casting them under a different light that makes them look harmful.

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