Radical posters sweep La Trobe University

9 August 2017

Written by: Claire Morley

La Trobe targeted by radicals.

La Trobe University is amongst other universities across Melbourne that have been targeted by a Melbourne art group, posting propaganda on campuses.

The posters are the work of The Untameable Shrews, a Melbourne based art collective who identify as radical feminists, know as Sex-Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminist (SWERF) and Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) groups.

Some of the group’s posters contain disparaging, exclusionary discourse surrounding transwomen and sex workers.

The incident comes just one week after a report revealed La Trobe University has the highest rate of sexual harassment above any other Victorian university.

A representative from The La Trobe University Student Union posted into a small Facebook group that the posters should not be removed by students for fear of injury. This is due to the fact that posters on other campuses and across Melbourne has been reported to contain glass shards and razor blades, designed to pose threat to those removing posters. 

“These posters are completely disgusting and do not reflect the views of the La Trobe Student Union. They are abhorrent, vile and offensive,” La Trobe University Student Union President Jacob Cripps tells upstart.

Cripps tells upstart that the Student Union plans to inform students who attend a free barbecue on the Bundoora campus today, Wednesday 9 August, about the posters.

“Campus security is doing all they can in order to remove as many posters on all La Trobe University Campus’ [sic] (Wodonga, Shepparton, Mildura, City and Bundoora) as possible,” Cripps says.

The Untameable Shrews targeted a Melbourne SlutWalk fundraiser over the weekend with similar propaganda.

Zarah Phillips-Williams was performing at the fundraiser in band The Second Sex, and tells upstart the content was upsetting for many involved with the SlutWalk.

“Untameable Shrews do not speak for me or any other survivors that I know. As a survivor [of sexual assault] I have never felt unsafe in an all women space because of a transwoman or a sex worker being present,” Phillips-Williams tells upstart.