He said, she said offensive to students

To Whom It May Concern,

My apologies for the late response in regards to the November 10th publishing of the Paisano. I wanted to wait until the next issue in order to send out my response and, as it seems, the sentiments towards a very sensitive subject did not change. When I first came across this article, it was a hot topic of discussion in one of my women’s studies courses. Although we deconstructed the article for its extremely offensive language and naïve vulgarity towards the subjects of rape, domestic violence, and relationships, we also analyzed it for the content of its writing, which was equally as poor and lacked a proper thesis or argument. Instead of displaying intellectual and open-minded thinking, the article was largely sexist and offensive. In waiting to hear the responses of several friends regarding the article, I was surprised that some of them, although disagreeing with the ideas of both authors, were supportive in the expression of opinion. They agreed that it was obviously done to get a rise out of the students and that if I didn’t agree with the opinions, I should just brush it off and forget about it.

I was afraid it would evoke those types of feelings in people, and I was wondering who would actually validate the author’s arguments based on freedom of speech. Although I do agree that anyone who reads the articles should figure out what they mean to them and do as they see fit, I cannot sit back and brush off such offensive viewpoints. If I say nothing, I am condoning it. These authors have every right to express their views, but not if it means degrading the views of others. Anthony Levine writes, “You would think that the exact time would be different for everyone, that each person’s situation is like a unique sexual snowflake. And that is why you are not writing this article.” What is he trying to imply? That if you think of sex as something more than just intercourse that you’re naive and stupid? I don’t like the idea of him expressing his opinions while insulting his potential audience. Because I believe these authors have every right to voice their opinions in an intellectual and optimistic way, I am sure they would not mind a few opinions of my own. If the Constitution gives these writers free speech, then all be damned if doesn’t give me free response.

The title on the front of the Paisano states, “Are you a Whore?” capped with a silhouette of a man standing proud and strong amidst a woman bending over sensually. Ads like this, especially seen in the school newspaper are shocking and dangerous. Who is the whore in this picture and how is the title fit for such an article rather than to grab reader’s attention? I’m happy to know they decided to sacrifice and exploit the female body in order to do so. As for the articles, they were very sexist, stereotypical, heteronormative, insulting and ridiculous.

The first article written by Anthony Levine makes a joke about rape and then states, “but in all seriousness…” And then comments, “So how long should a guy wait until he consensually and respectfully bangs someone like no tomorrow.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen the words “respectfully” and “bang” in the same sentence and quite frankly I’m disgusted by his vulgar language and ignorant perspective on sex and relationships. In light of October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it shames me to think that an author could be so insensitive towards a very serious subject and then pencil in a disclaimer to wipe up the mess he continues to create. He narrows sex down to two consequences, “children and sexually transmitted infections,” both of which lead to unhappiness or death according to the author. It disheartens me to think of children as a consequence to any action, and in turn that sexually transmitted infections cannot be curable when properly treated. More so, the article fails to mention prevention and safe sex options when choosing or even considering to have sex. Even if the article was written to be explicitly naïve and immature, it may be of benefit to mention to the author that attempting to scare an audience with high school humor is hardly a means to argue within the context of a supposedly intellectual college newspaper.

The article written by Itza Carbajal was no better. Her stereotypical view on sex and relationships makes it seem that all women have the same fantasies when it comes to sexual interaction and that as women, more so as virgins, constantly think about when the right time to engage in such activity is. Her envision about a girls first time of a whimsical encounter involving “a handsome prince, rose petals on the bed and romantic music in the background,” is not only widely false, but extremely heteronormative. Both articles argue sex as only occurring between people of the opposite sex, completely disregarding homosexual relationships. The only reference to homosexuality is contained within a very confusing paragraph in Anthony Levine’s article stating, “For these chaste lovers, I give the following excuse to cling to your virginity: if you take pride in having your meat meet a gorgeous babe five minutes after you met him or her, you probably haven’t captured his or her heart, let alone caught his or her name (but you may have caught something else).” Whether the “his or her” reference is about men and women being caught in the same position or leaning towards homosexual relations, the first statement about having your “meat meet a gorgeous babe” is undoubtedly heteronormative. Not only is this language offensive to heterosexual couples, but the complete disregard for anything outside of this norm is offensive to homosexuals as well. In referring back to Itza Carbajal’s article, she comments that “Girls depend on making the right choice as to when they want to incorporate sex. If they choose the wrong time, then the guy might feel satisfied and move on to the next girl.” What kind of message is she sending out to the female public? That a girl better choose wisely or by consequence her man might leave her? Is it not just as much the man’s fault as it is the woman’s? Are men supposed to take no responsibility in leaving a woman? Finally, she categorizes virgins among those who “maybe…compensate for the lack of sex with other means. Either way, they usually spend the most time considering the right time to involve sex.” Where is she getting this information from? I believe I can speak for many when I say that sex is not at the center of my thoughts nor is it my place to assume that it is for all virgins who, according to the author, have nothing better to do with their time.

I was extremely offended by all the comments in these articles as are the sentiments of many of my peers. Obviously it is debatable material, but the one thing the two articles don’t do is debate with one another. Just because they are of the opposite sex does not mean that they balance each other out on viewpoints. This was written to make a statement to the public and generalize the feelings of men and women on sex. As a “school newspaper” I find it very insulting that they would choose such close-minded individuals to write for a university newspaper and serve as intellectual representatives for their peers. It is not their place to decide the mindsets of the youth or criticize multiple views of sexual relationships without discussing prevention, positive outcomes, and homosexuality. There is a difference between talking about controversial material and exploiting it. Trying to add humor to male chauvinistic sexual relationships condones rape, and what a coincidence, the opening line of the first article is a joke about such. As a proud student of the university, I feel ashamed to be a part or associated with such insensitive and ignorant writings of the people who are supposed to represent the intellectual and optimistic viewpoints of the student body.

“So the next time you’re hesitating at the corner of Third Base Lane and Rim Road” question whether or no
t you should be “institutionalized” for using protection, thinking about sex as more than intercourse, or burning the stereotypical bull written in your school’s newspaper. But “that’s why [we] aren’t writing this article,” remember ?