Volume 95, Issue 45

Wednesday, November 21, 2001
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'W' calendars cause lower self-worth?

USC, lap dances and charity

Oh yeah baby, screw me harder

'W' calendars cause lower self-worth?

Re: "WIN telling women what to think?," Nov. 19

To the Editor:

Lucas Atkins' calendar is dangerous because he used volunteer models and allowed them to choose their outfits and photographs.

This choice gives the illusion of these men and women being free agents, rather than pawns in a degrading industry. Just because sex sells doesn't make it right.

The pin-up calendar takes the personal away from the body and replaces it as a commodity. This form of oppression has simply been ingrained in our society for so long it has become acceptable.

Women's rights groups fight this because they recognize that the idea of a person's body as an object for others' use and pleasure contributes to a degrading system that makes it easier for sexual harassment and assault to occur.

Many of the models feel they did this for a good cause, but did they stop to consider the broader implications of these calendars on our local school community?

Atkins' inclusion of only a few ethnic groups leaves out representation of different ages, abilities, body types, facial features and other qualities that make Western diverse.

Those students who do not see themselves represented in the calendars may have to confront feelings of exclusion from the Western community and the need to conform to popular images.

This, in turn, can lead to a lack of self-worth, eating disorders, self-abuse, low grades and the list goes on. I advocate women's choice while encouraging women and men to take a closer look at the systems of oppression that underlie many aspects of our daily lives.

Lucas Atkins provides equal opportunity only insofar as it sells. His entire project is contributing to a system of objectification and oppression that makes his donation to the New York firefighters a cheap joke.

Melissa Tann

Women's Studies/Media, Information and Technoculture III

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