Hash Names Go Woke

From the Otago Daily Times, Queenstown, New Zealand: Alarm as Team Names Reference Rape and Paedophilia. Below the headline: “Offensive names referencing rape and paedophilia have alarmed Queenstown police and accommodation providers ahead of a major running event in the tourist town.”

The rest of it’s hidden behind a paywall. Normally I don’t link to paywalled information or news, but maybe some of you can break through (I understand there are tricks). The major running event, of course, is InterHash 2024.

But wait, I found another source! It’s on a risky website, so I’ll copy & paste the entire article for you to read. Looks like when the Otago Daily Times said “team names” what they really meant was “individual hashers’ names.” And the really offensive ones? American, so they say. So here you go, this time from a site calling itself OceaniaTOPNews.Media (the site certificate is expired and you’ll probably get a warning, so click at your own risk):

Disturbing How the Team’s Name Refers to Rape and Pedophilia
Posted on June 22, 2023

Will a multi-thousand-strong horde of misogynistic homophobes or a group of harmless social runners who like to laugh, drink and have a good time descend on Queenstown for a big event next March? That’s the question to ask yourself as you look through the list of over 2,000 participants from around the world registered for New Zealand Interhash 2024, the flagship event of the Hash House Harriers global calendar.

He should fly to the resort on March 8-10 next year.

As is customary for echoes, runners used their “hash name” when registering.

But many pseudonyms are alarming.

Rape Neighbor, Give Gerone, Check Her Gadget, Pedophile Pedophile, 50 Shades of Gay, and Anal Adventure are a very small, barely publishable sample of the thousands of registered members with inappropriate names.

Most of the more inappropriate names came from American entrants.

One small benefit: the registration list is no longer publicly available on the NZ Interhash 2024 website – Otago Daily Times obtained them using a search website.

Interhash uses the Queenstown Events Center owned by the Queenstown Lakes District Council as a hub during the event, hosting dinners for participants on each of the three evenings of the event.

Council Sport and Leisure manager Simon Buttrick, who ran the centre, said the inappropriate names were a cause for concern.

“Using those types of names is something we would not particularly approve of,” he said.

“In the end, this is a matter for the organizers, not the council. From an economic point of view, this is obviously a big event for the city.

“Queenstown’s reputation as a party town means we have a lot of these events.”

The ODT knows of accommodation providers who have refused bookings from members because they did not want to be associated with unpleasant names.

“Police believe some of the names are inappropriate and are concerned victims of sexual abuse may be offended by them,” said Queenstown police family trauma co-ordinator Sergeant Tracey Haggart.

“Further actions regarding acceptable team names are up to the organizers of the event.”

However, NZ Hash House Harriers general manager and Interhash Event chairman Jack Lyness said the names were “hateful and not intended to offend”.

“My name is ‘Fee Fi Foe Fum’ because I’m a big Englishman.

“We do not control foreign clubs and how they call people.

“The Americans were inclined to be a little rougher [names] but it doesn’t affect them as people.

“I understand how that might be surprising, and frankly, names should be somewhat surprising.”

Mr Lyness said the custom of giving everyone a nickname started when the Hash Harriers first appeared in Kuala Lumpur in 1938, when soldiers would go for a run from the hash house (dining hall) to work up an appetite and quench their thirst.

“They were not allowed outside the complex and gave each other nicknames in case they were caught,” he said.

    • matt.porter@odt.co.nz

I really don’t have much to say about hash names. Hashers give one another some pretty offensive names, and in my experience it’s not limited to Americans. I was all in at first, but in my later hashing years resisted openly sexist and racist hash name suggestions, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

Team names? Now this gets interesting. Here in Tucson, friends organized a bicycle hash club. When it came time to name themselves, members voted for “Pedalfiles,” a play on pedophiles. I didn’t like it, thinking a name like that, even meant jokingly, might make trouble for the club and its members. But I pretty much kept my thoughts to myself and bashed with them for many years.

It’s a great bicycle hash, and continues to ride trail today … under a different name! Today, it’s the Pedal Bash H3. And I say good on them for changing it!

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