Engineering publication at U of M

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Engineering publication at U of M

I naively thought these publications had become extinct.

student publication at the University of Manitoba is raising some eyebrows because of its racy content.

Three times a year, the University of Manitoba Engineering Society (UMES) publishes a student magazine called Red Lion, but once a year, it also produces a saucy, satirical version of the publication called Red Loin.

Some complaints have been made to the university administration that this year's Red Loin violates the U of M's policy on respectful work and learning environment.

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remind remind's picture

wonderful, and in 2010 too!




Among my friends I know only one woman who studied engineering.  She stopped mid-program because she didn't like the people.

remind remind's picture



Not really sure.  Speculation could go a number of ways.  Just felt like tossing it out there.

Snert Snert's picture

I think these publications are the higher ed equivalent of getting your nose pierced to shock your parents.

My alma mater has "The Eyeopener", and pretty much every year, the Eyeopener tries, again, to push the envelope a little further.  I'm not saying I agree with it, but it's sort of a rite of passage or something.  There's much "cred" to be had by defying the sensibilities of the adults.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Probably that the environment of engineering, a male-dominated field, isn't generally comfortable for women. A point which the OP would support. Seems obvious enough to me.


Does it add anything to say that I know about half a dozen engineers?

remind remind's picture

Pushing the envelope further = misogyny and sexism, who knew....

Snert Snert's picture

I think that pushing the envelope further is going to mean anything that gets a rise out of people.  I've little doubt there's some homophobia, and probably a bit of racism in there as well.  I don't think the point is hatred or intolerance of any one particular group so much as showing that they're badasses who do what they want.

remind remind's picture

No actually snert, they like the engineering students at the UofM are showing how ignorant they are, and  that university is wasted upon those whose privilege blinds them.


Oh god, this is my faculty.  I'm so embarassed.

If you are self-hating enough to look at the history of this little publication, this exact same shit happens every 5-10 years.  Basically, what happens is once in a while someone notices the Red Lion (Loin), it gets a bit of traction in the media, it becomes an issue, some people apologize, nothing changes, next year it's the same shit, and the year after no one remembers.

While I don't want to waste any effort in my fingers typing a defence of the kinds of people who put things like this out, I would just like to say that not everyone in this faculty is this bad.  The problem is that we have a lot of dumbass frat-boy chauvinism amongst the more privileged members of our faculty - particularly those who are white and come from certain backgrouds (ie: father was an engineer), and these are the people who wind up running UMES and being the public face of engineering students.  All the normal people don't have time for the dumbassery of UMES and don't get involved - and why should they?  Fuck, I don't.

This frat-boyism and elitism (jokes about how everyone else's education is "useless") are reinforced every year at orientation for a new generation of first-year students.  And I think being a professional faculty does push some people to be elitist as a crutch - we may pay higher tuition and have harder classes, but as long as we keep telling ourselves that it's because we're better than everyone else and everything will pay off in the end, we get enough of a psychological wage to keep us from having a complete mental breakdown from the tons of menial intellectual drudgery that we're still hammering away at at 3:00 in the morning.

And after shit like this, people wonder why the male-female ratio in engineering is so low, or why after graduation the wage gap only keeps increasing with experience.

I think every engineering student should be required to take at least one women's studies course.  The level of understanding of issues like this in the faculty is abysmal.

Oh, and for the record, I was hating on UMES long before any of you.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

genstrike wrote:
Oh, and for the record, I was hating on UMES long before any of you.

Yeah? Well I hated them after their demo record, just before their first French bootleg.

Hee. Nice post genstrike. In fact, all University students should be required to take a women's studies course.


Twenty years ago - a few minutes' drive from where I live - 14 young women - 12 of them engineering students - were murdered because their lives stood in contradiction with some man's hatred of "feminists".

Today, some creeps apparently still believe that it is ok to publish "satirical" material by and for engineers, about "how women can sexually please men."

The University of Manitoba should charge the people responsible for this misogynous publication and, if the charges are made out, should mete out penalties suitable to this offence.


p-sto wrote:

Among my friends I know only one woman who studied engineering.  She stopped mid-program because she didn't like the people.


I have a female friend who was on the Engineering faculty at the U of S.   She has since moved to Arkansas, and says her new colleagues are more welcoming to women in engineering than her colleagues were here.

Where I work there are only one or two females out of about 25-30 students taking the engineering technology program each year.  I don't see evidence that they are unwelcome; it seems that this sort of field just doesn't appeal to many women.  That said, stories such as the one that opened this thread may be a factor in the perception that engineering is hostile to women.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

With respect, just tell me if I should put down the keyboard.


What's a guy supposed to do?  I understand in light of the context that it's more disturbing but respectfully, there needs to be some discussion.  Can anyone shed more light on the content that's offensive?  All my female relatives agree it's a problem but we also agree it's not just a male solution.


I'm sure my words will be parsed and misinterpreted because I can't write well but I'll try to explain.


The system is the problem.  Going after small groups of men like this is silly.  Perhaps, I'm too naive but where I walk among professionals there's still plenty of this type of banter, male and female.


Keeping the class angle going:


And where I walk even more among non-professionals it is even more profound.  We can't be blaming this on men nor women.  The problem lies in the inherent belief of the society we are in.


I guess what I'm trying to say is, I don't think for one second men nor women will stop thinking of each other sexually anytime soon. There's a reason why the women's magazine industry dominates the men's.


Unless I resort to medical intervention, I'm not going to stop waking up with morning wood. My sisters are much more sexual potty mouths than I.  They love to talk about it.  How do we unpack it?  How do we stop it?  Perhaps, the engineering types are much worse, I'm no expert and if I've chosen the wrong time to pose these questions, I apologize.


What say we put the equal expectation that if men are to put this stuff down, women put their fashion and celebrity mags down?  This needs a dual approach.  Personally, I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.  It's hard to survive if you look like a prude.


I hope you can see the sincerity of my questions.


RP, I understand your post and I know you're sincere. And much of what you say truly reflects the same society that I live in. But there's a difference between "banter" and publication. Someone tells an off-colour joke - right or wrong, it's not the same as giving it official recognition and status in a student journal.

Sex is wonderful, but painting women as objects for the sexual gratification of men is an important part of their subordination. It has to be fought, it has to be overcome, and yes, the problem is systemic. But that observation can't be used as an excuse - it should be a rallying call to action.

RevolutionPlease wrote:
Going after small groups of men like this is silly.

Are you sure you read the article in the OP:

The editor of the magazine is a female student who would not grant an interview to CBC News.


RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Thanks Unionist, I did read the article and found that strange.  As always you helped me clarify, I kind of got the publication thing but it didn't click in enough.  Just my baggage boys being boys.  Don't want to lose all my friends.


eta: I've lost many due to my politics and shrinks believe it is the cause of my struggles.  I'm supposed to conform.

remind remind's picture

rp, if you lose friends because of your politics they were not friends to begin with. Throughout my years I have realized we have friendships, work alliances, social alliances, political alliances, short and long term acquaintences and family. Our mistake is to believe, that those laying outside the bounds of what friendship is, are friends. And that opens us to a world of hurt sometimes, until we get what friendship really is, or isn't.


 Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics" could be a good read for you.


In respect to women who have 'conformed', to any greater or lesser extent, to the social norms of patriarchy, it happens, just as there are what some would call race or class traitors. Their actions do not diminish the true solidarity found in seeking equity for all.


At our basics IMV, people are pretty simple, as they are either seekers of truth, seekers of victory, or seekers of gain. Yes...there is some crossover, as one can happen in advent with the other, but at the basic starting level, only one of the 3 was being sought.


Snert wrote:
My alma mater has "The Eyeopener", and pretty much every year, the Eyeopener tries, again, to push the envelope a little further.  I'm not saying I agree with it, but it's sort of a rite of passage or something.  There's much "cred" to be had by defying the sensibilities of the adults.

Yeah, but I find the Eyeopener doesn't do the same sort of things that Golden Words (from Queen's) or other Engineering rags do, with the jokes about rape, etc.  The Eyeopener is a guilty pleasure of mine. :)  I haven't noticed them being overtly racist or sexist, and I read it relatively regularly.  And it's a campus-wide paper with many contributors of both sexes, not an Engineering paper dominated by immature boys, so that's probably why it doesn't have that same kind of frat-boy-misogyny feel to it that some of the engineering rags do at other schools.

They have the Valentine sex issue every year, but it's not like the one in this story.  It's just basically a naughty, semi-pornographic (men and women, gay and straight, poly and mono) pro-sex issue that is, as you say, designed to titillate the students, push the envelope and "shock the grown-ups".  They also do an issue once a year talking about all the negative things they can dig up about the university.  Again, an exercise in rebellious, in-your-face student writing and reporting, but not the kind of nasty misogyny that makes the mainstream news.

Snert Snert's picture

I'm not sure where one would find the historical archives for the Eyeopener's past offenses, but back in the day they went much further over the line than the naughty valentine's issue.  [url='s an example[/url], and I'm pretty sure there were a couple of others, too.


Oh, I wasn't at Ryerson then, so I didn't know about that. Interesting! Those parody issues can get you into trouble. Looks like they are claiming they were parodying the National Post, taking a satirical swipe at them for being so offensive. Since the NP is so racist, sexist, and right-wing to begin with, a parody would probably have to be even moreso, so I guess it must have been pretty bad!

Their parody of NOW Magazine last year, however, was a scream. :D And I also got a kick out of the Free Press's parody of the Eyeopener last year, too.