Vulvography column objectifies women
Regarding 'Vulvography' (Thursday, April 21, 2005):
After the 'Prince' column "Vulvagraphy" angered me, it saddened me even more — the two young women who wrote the piece mistake their objectification of women's bodies for humor.
If one were to remove the painfully sophomoric puns running throughout the piece (the writers are sophomores, so we'll have to forgive them these), it would be an anatomy lesson. The column fails to acknowledge any of the incredibly intricate emotions or powerful spiritual significance intertwined with such parts (though the column does manage to get in some endorsements of promiscuity). Such light treatment of a woman's body makes it seem like just another object.
I wonder how Ms. Hines and Ms. Rogachevsky would feel if men started treating them so.
It's not progressive, or empowering, or in any way funny to reduce the female body to this base status — it's harmful. Just as it's not cute to employ the word "pussy." If women use such derogatory words to describe themselves, how can we expect men not to, and not to think of us accordingly? Perhaps more importantly, if we start to talk about ourselves so dismissively, how long will it be until we start to believe it?
I'm sure the columnists are intelligent, accomplished young women, so it disheartens me that they've fallen into the misconception that just because they can name and describe their privates, they should. There's a reason sexual organs are (by some of us) still called privates.
Molly Gulland '04 Former 'Prince' Managing Editor
Regarding 'Letters to the Editor' (Friday, April 22, 2005):
It was with disappointment that I read the letter by an alumnus bemoaning the recent Prince sex article. What struck me was how immediately the graphic nature of this article was linked to President Tilghman's recent participation at the All-Ivy Drag Competition. The author lamented what he perceives as the current "deviant, prurient and obscene" state of Princeton.
His automatic and callous dismissal of all transgender people as deviants is completely unacceptable. It was also very revealing that the author would link two very separate occurrences under the same general category. In the author's moral universe, the discussion of sexual organs is a type of violation similar to the University's sanction of a gender-twisting fashion/performance competition.
Too often the expression of an LGBT identity is somehow irrationally equated with sex. This letter is a sad example of how even some well-educated people still think about and discuss LGBT issues in a simplistic manner.
Robert Rich '06 Pride Alliance treasurer
Regarding 'Where our food comes from' (Friday, April 22, 2005):
I wholeheartedly agree that conventional agriculture has serious problems associated with it, including but not limited to the issue of animal welfare. However, some of these problems are already being addressed by Princeton Dining Services. Specifically, Dining Services has started purchasing more organic and local foods, and these programs continue to expand each year. Organic food, which is grown without most synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, is a rapidly growing alternative to conventional energyand chemical-intensive agricultural practices. And by purchasing local foods in season, Dining Services is reducing the distance that food travels to campus and supporting local farmers.
On the animal welfare issue, Mr. Balk should know that Dining Services is in the process of switching its poultry to 99 percent antibiotic-free. This means that the chickens have not been force-fed antibiotics, a common process used to enhance growth and compensate for high-stress environments. Animals raised without antibiotics are generally treated more humanely to keep them healthy. High agricultural antibiotic dosage also poses a threat to public health by increasing the likelihood of creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains.
Although much progress has been made on these issues on campus over the last several years, this is not to say that more cannot be done. As, students we can help to implement similar policies at our eating clubs and urge the administration to allocate more funding for expanding organic and local food options in the dining halls. Greening Princeton, which has been working closely with Dining Services on sustainable food choices, welcomes student input and suggestions.
Cathy Kunkel '06
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