February 18, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 77  

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Our Sex Issue: more than its cover

From the Far Lane
Emmett Macfarlane


When you plaster six “scantily clad” girls on the cover of a campus newspaper, it’s a safe bet the feminist patrol will come out in full force.

Last Friday’s Sex Issue elicited the typical response from these types, as evidenced by letters to the Editor published in today’s Opinions section. The complaints range from the stereotypical “you’re objectifying women” argument all the way to inferring that — believe it or not — The Gazette Sex Issue was promoting rape.

It’s no wonder so many femi-Nazis decry the fact that the word feminism has been given negative connotations. Such nonsensical, radical arguments only serve to discredit the rational people who believe in true equality and choose to call themselves feminists.

“Studies show that 87 per cent of convicted rapists admit to regular use of pornography” one letter states. Following such logic, most students are rapists. Sleep with one eye open kids.

But lets look at some of the more reasonable complaints about the Sex Issue.

The Valentine’s edition was labelled degrading, pornography, corrupt, despicable, the pinnacle of depravity, lewd, jaded, an abuse of sexuality and indecent (apparently feminists like the thesaurus).

Gazette staffers were criticized as sexist, the models were criticized for helping to stereotype and victimize women, and the readers who may have actually enjoyed the Sex Issue are surely considered pathetic voyeurs by uptight, oversensitive, cry-me-a-river whiners.

Guess what? The Sex Issue was produced under the direction of two of our female editors. The photographs we used were a split between a series of couple shots (i.e. men and women) and a collection of shots of the ladies on our cover.

The fact is the girls and guys were happy to pose (for free, by the way) and contrary to what some of the complainants wrote, that is empowering.

I don’t mean to suggest women have to shed clothing to find empowerment — but the right to choose to do something or not is the definition of being empowered.

We’re not reinforcing a stereotypical image of beauty, we’re just reflecting it.

No, we didn’t set out to balance the number of heterosexuals, homosexuals, transgendered, neutered, males, females and unics in the pictures (contrary to popular belief, we’re not Equity Services — although we hear they’re very kinky over there).

Yet we did strive to offer something for everyone. Our Sex Issue had articles dealing with abstinence, virginity, relationships, romance, men’s attitudes towards sex, women’s perspective on sex and more. In essence, we’d argue the Sex Issue was wrongly judged based on its cover instead of its content.

But man, what a cover!



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