Lately, we’ve had to read some fairly pathetic and tedious comments about how the name of our zine, Banter, is actually a sexist dog whistle. In fact, there was even an article in The Independent last year which purported to explain why the word ‘banter’ is a surreptitious cover for toxic masculinity. This sort of tired bloviating is not only an incredible waste of time; it’s an active attempt to suck all the fun out of the universe, bone dry.
We won’t stand for that. Banter is our sacred cow, and we’ll fight for its protection with the resolution of ten-thousand Hindu monks.
The author of the article writes that for some people, 'banter' “carries much darker connotations, conjuring up memories of humiliation, ridicule and slander.” Now, I have to appeal to the evenhandedness of the audience: does that sound like the banter you know and love?
Banter is about humiliation, ridicule, and slander, but more importantly, it’s about the close social bonds that result from a bit of ribbing.
In a social setting, you can always tell where the true threads of friendship crisscross based on the degree of profanity baked into the nicknames. Being teased, dare I say harassed, is often the gauntlet that must be run in order to join circles whose work hard play hard culture doesn’t accept the prudish limits of a HR meeting about workplace conduct.
The piece concludes with the writer relaying that, “Sarah Green, co-director at the End Violence Against Women Coalition, concurs that banter is a ‘tired term.’ ‘It's is the oldest excuse in the book for rubbish behaviour and attitudes," she tells The Independent, "time to move on’.” Never have I been more proud to announce that our publication is a haven for rubbish behaviour and attitudes. If you have no friends and a smattering of enemies, then count on us, the freaks and geeks of the web, to sling that trash content you so desperately crave. Poking fun at minorities and disadvantaged communities from our privileged position? We’ve hardly the time… We’re too busy satirizing god knows what and curating the hottest arts and cultural content for you, our loyal readership.