FZINE: a place for high school students and teachers to read, interact, and contrbute. LAUNCH
by Simon Hunt
illustration by Russell Gottwaldt
Last month’s edition of F News had a higher-than-average amount of phallic imagery. Our article on HPV (page 9) featured a huge monstrosity, and the “Bathroom Graffiti” photo essay (pages 10-11) was, unsurprisingly, peppered with the things. Following the publication of the paper, we received a few complaints about this. An anonymous message left on the office voice mail expressed one reader’s disgust regarding the HPV penis, suggesting that the presentation of such an illustration—and the accompanying headline—did a disservice to our educational institution, and that her 13-year-old daughter was equally offended. Comments by email and in person suggested that these two were not alone in feeling upset.
While we, the editors, will defend our right to publish what images we feel are necessary for the illustration of our articles, we were rather dismayed to hear of this reaction. In hindsight, it would seem that our large, graphic depiction of an exaggerated case of severe HPV infection might have caused many potential readers to steer clear of the page. Because of this, an important, informative article was likely overlooked.
Genital Human Papilloma Virus is the most widespread sexually transmitted infection today, and it is an infection that goes unnoticed and ignored in many cases. Our hope was to raise awareness of the infection amongst our readership with this article, which presented the case without using excessive, bland medical jargon or resorting to scare tactics (except the illustration—which was well-done, you must admit).