Readers defend the Sex Issue
Re: “Taking Issue with the Sex Issue,” Feb.
To the Editor:
The Gazette’s Sex Issue is only annually printed, so
for the minority of people who are offended, don’t read
Was the Sex Issue pornographic? Maybe. The definition of pornography
is rather ambiguous: “any printed or visual material
that is intended to stimulate sexual excitement.” However,
it was by no means similar to hard-core porn. The Sex Issue
was tame compared to other media outlets (TV, magazines, etc.)
that are easily accessible to the public and intended to stimulate
sexual excitement too.
“87 per cent of convicted rapists admit to regular use
of porno.” So what? Should porn be banned? Correct me
if I’m wrong, but that stat is correlational at best.
It does NOT mean porn causes people (men) to rape others. There
may be a spurious third variable related to both rapists and
porn (i.e. genetics) or it could be a directionality problem
(does porn cause rape or rapists just view porn). Excuse the
generalization, but I bet there is a link between rapists and
drinking water, masturbating and putting one pant leg on at
a time — it’s all correlational and doesn’t
show any cause and effect. It’s even been argued porn
has a cathartic effect and releases pent-up sexual tension.
And why do people like Ms. Lowe and Mr. Wilcox believe they
speak for everyone when they suggest The Gazette’s issue
was “despicable and completely unnecessary” and
that pornographic material “affects the attitudes of
those who view it, resulting in a callousness toward and disrespect
for women?” Are you so full of yourself that you actually
believe you know what 30,000 Western students should view?
To the Editor:
The backlash against the Sex Issue has just confirmed my suspicions
that people on this campus take themselves too seriously.
I, for one, was excited to read the Sex Issue and it did
not disappoint. Far from being offensive and tawdry, I found
it amusing, fun and a welcome diversion. The nasty letters
The Gazette received hardly came as a big shock, since humour
is virtually non-existent in some people.
In particular, the reader that makes the inane assumption
that porn causes rape particularly irked me. Rape and sexual
violence against women has existed since the dawn of time while
mass-produced porn is relatively new. Porn is not evil — narrow
I’m a feminist who loves porn in all its delightful
mediums because it is fabulous and provides sexual release.
The real enemy is vanilla-wafer academic feminism and its useless
statistics and overblown theories. My advice is to get out
of the library and spend some time in the real world embracing
the hedonistic side of human nature.
So, congratulations to The Gazette, especially the creators
of the delightfully seedy Sex Issue. Pay no heed to uptight
whiners who can’t deal with a little S-E-X.
To The Editor:
The women who wrote in to complain about the pictures presented
in The Gazette’s Sex Issue didn’t really stop
to look at the pictures. The girls chosen were all very beautiful,
normal people. There were no skinny blonde Western Girls
to be seen. I thought their representation of sexy brunettes
was a wonderful change. And they all looked healthy and like
their “parts” were REAL.
How can they judge something to be hurtful when these girls
looked so much better than anything splashed across our TV
screens and magazine covers? I loved it! And I’m a feminist.
To the Editor:
I was in the running for Arts Councillor, but after missing
the first mandatory meeting, I was notified I was no longer
an eligible candidate. One who can’t remember to go
to the first meeting certainly shouldn’t be running
for positions of power anyway, but apparently being ineligible
is University Students’ Council-speak for eligible.
Withdrawing wasn’t enough to dissuade them from keeping
me, because my name was on the ballot.
What was surprising was that people actually voted for me.
I was ineligible, I withdrew from the election and did no campaigning
whatsoever. Result: 86 votes. My other friend got 154 votes
with no campaigning.
What does this prove? Voter apathy. Most students (or at least
240 of them) don’t give a damn about the USC. But do
I care? Not really. I just find it amusing I was voted for.
To the Editor:
I had the pleasure of visiting campus recently since graduating
in 1995 and thought I would point out a few noticeable things.
The first thing I noticed is that both of Western’s
campus pubs were still open, but all but dead. The emptiness
makes sense since most students aren’t reaching drinking
age until their third year. We knew this would happen and discussed
it often during the University Students’ Council presidential
race in 1995. Why hasn’t someone realized it’s
time to pick a bar and convert the other to something else?
Here’s a tip: We used to have this really profitable
business called the USC Pool Hall. It made about $150,000 a
year on table rentals and was a great non-alcoholic atmosphere
where you could hang out with your friends. Leadership sometimes
means you actually close some stuff.
B .A Economics 1994
Re: “The Locust,” Feb. 18, 2004
To the Editor:
Arlee Rosenberg’s review of the latest album by The Locust,
although based on personal opinion, lacks any real critique
of the musical and cultural merit of the band.
The reason the songs are barely a minute long is because they
have condensed tracks to develop a layered effect of sheer
These songs are a confused and angered response to urban decay
and a feeling of authoritative betrayal. The Locust itself
has one of the largest cult followings in the hard-core scene,
putting on incredibly tight live shows. Their insect-luchadore
stage costumes have become a pioneering force in “punk
fashion,” graciously co-opted by our malls. Who do you
think brought back the cocaine-white belts that many “rockers” wear
In a publication rooted in critical thought, I’m ashamed
to read a review in which a “headache” garners
two stars while the locomotion rakes in four.
To the Editor:
A note to all drivers: if you are going to drive on campus,
remember that in our little world, a pedestrian’s regular
rules of the road don’t apply. We have the right of
way at not just green lights, but any other damn place on
The jaywalkers will continue to give dirty looks as you almost
hit them. The nuts carrying on a conversation in the middle
of the road will continue to do so. We will all walk across
the Talbot College intersection on an advanced green without
looking both ways before crossing the street. We don’t
have to. There are more important things to think about than
living in the constant shadow of cars and the insane drivers
behind the wheel.
The USC: not just for taking up office
Re: “The USC: money-thieving and useless?” Feb.
To the Editor:
In his Feb. 19 letter, Warren Chan asked what exactly the University
Students’ Council does.
The USC provides all full-time students with a low-cost bus
pass and health plan. We run the University Community Centre
Flexible Child Care Centre for students trying to balance academics
with parenting, and a Food Bank for students who just can’t
make ends meet. There’s also Queerline, an invaluable
source for information on queer-related issues, and the Women’s
Issues Network. We belong to two lobby organizations that were
instrumental in achieving the tuition freeze and that continue
to lobby for a more accessible post-secondary education system.
Aside from The Wave and The Spoke, the USC also owns and operates
The Used Book Store, InPrint, PitStop, Western Film, InfoSource,
Varsity Authentics and the Postal Outlet. In addition to providing
cheap food, books, course packs and movies, these operations
employ over 700 students on a part-time basis. We also own
and operate our three campus media outlets: CHRW 94.9 FM, TV
Western and The Gazette.
The USC offers a diverse range of programming, including Orientation
Week Homecoming, Coming Out Week, Model Parliament, Charity
Ball, Festival of the Arts and Cultural Caravan, just to name
a few. This year the Living Campus Program also brought you
Western Idol, as well as many speakers and debates. Our production
of Cabaret starts next Thursday in conjunction with the Faculty
of Music. Additionally, our clubs run hundreds of events every
year that wouldn’t be possible without the infrastructure
offered by the USC.
If you have any further questions about how your student fees
are spent, I encourage you to attend our annual budget meeting
on Wednesday, Mar. 10 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers (Rm. 315,
USC Communications Officer
To The Editor:
For Mr. Chan to ask what the University Students’ Council
does for him obviously proves he is just not looking hard
enough for answers. The USC provides many services to students
including The Used Book Store, The Spoke, The Wave, PitStop,
QueerLine and the USC Food Bank (to name a few).
I admit the University Community Centre has aged slightly,
but it is far from crap. If it was crap, why would so many
students be using its services each day? Mr. Chan stated that
The Wave and The Spoke are “always losing money.” The
Wave, in fact, turned a profit this year and has ever since
it obtained the Western Meal Card. The only reason The Spoke
is losing money this year is due to the large group of underage
students and the ending of the Wet/Dry Program. As a first-year
student who did take advantage of Wet/Dry before its demise,
The Spoke and The Wave were far from “complete dumps.” Their
staff work hard to keep things moving and provide excellent
In regard to his comment on the USC lobbying the government,
Council tries its best to make an impact on government policy,
but in politics, the government doesn’t always listen
to its constituents. Our current VP-education Dave Ford and
various other commissioners under his portfolio have worked
hard this year to influence the legislation brought forth by
provincial and federal governments, as well as representing
Western at various conferences held by the Ontario Undergraduate
Students Alliance and other organizations.
I invite Mr. Chan to address his concerns at the next USC
meeting with the group you elected into office. Any USC member
would be glad to answer any of your questions, either at the
meeting or at the USC Front.
King’s History/Catholic Studies I