The annual female jelly wrestling competition at Cambridge University was canceled Tuesday after an online petition called the event “sexist,” “misogynistic” and “completely inappropriate,” the BBC reports.
The event, which involves women wrestling in a pool of jelly for cash, the petition explains, is typically organized by an all-male drinking society called Wyverns and takes place at the group's end-of-exams party. Student Nina de Paula Hanika started a Change.org petition protesting the affair.
The petition, which garnered more than 1,000 signatures in 24 hours, says the event is “clearly sexist, misogynistic and completely inappropriate as entertainment for 2013. Paying women to wrestle half naked is not entertainment.”
Wyverns canceled the event -– which would have taken place next month –- on Tuesday night.
The group commented that, "In the light of the recent petition The Wyverns have decided to cancel the ‘jelly wrestling’ at this year’s garden party. We, as a society, are committed to ensuring all party-goers have the best time possible and understand the concerns of some of them," according to a post on the the Cambridge University Students' Union Women’s Campaign's Facebook page.
As the Independent notes, since the decision, a counter-petition protesting the event’s cancellation has garnered at least 590 signatures.
Jelly wrestling at the Wyverns' Garden Party is a great bit of fun and should not be cancelled. The contestants participate of their own free will and are observed by both male and female spectators who enjoy the event for what it is; harmless fun.
One commenter on the petition, noted that, “This has simply gone too far. We as girls should be allowed to do what we want, when we want. We do what we like.”
However, in an interview with the BBC, de Paula Hanika explained that her petition was not "an attempt to judge the women who have taken part in the past, nor ban jelly wrestling itself as an activity.” She said that she does not believe that women should tell other women what to do, and that the petition was an attack on the event’s male organizers.
Wyverns will still hold an end of the year party but without a jelly wrestling component. In a statement, the president of Wyverns told Cambridge student newspaper The Tab that the organization is “keen to maintain our reputation as the biggest, loosest, naughtiest, silliest party that Cambridge has to offer.”