Letter to the Editor: "Sleeping Around" column sends wrong message

To the Editor:

As a parent, I have been following with interest the attempts to improve the campus climate. One of my sources of information is The Bucknellian. From the Nov. 18 issue, I learned that Bucknell is a university that takes sexual assault seriously. There are “shocking statistics about sexual violence on campus,” and there are efforts underway to change things (“Campus Rallies Against Sexual Assault”, p. A3). From a Letter to the Editor, I learned that “men continue to be high-fived for scoring a different girl every weekend.” The writer lamented the fact that women were not respected for the same behavior. Finally, from the column “Sleeping Around,” I learned about the columnist’s ex, who is not a human being but an “animalistic outlet.” Aided by alcohol, the writer describes her “half-night stand,” during which she leaves around 2 or 3 a.m. so she doesn’t have to speak to him. After all “it’s 99 percent about the sex and one percent about the ex.”

Could there be a connection between these casual attitudes toward sex and the sexual violence on campus? A young man accused of date rape might argue that it wasn’t about her at all, he just needed a “convenient animalistic outlet,” and he “put a little inebriation into the equation to soften the blow.” When the campus newspaper gives an entire column to a young woman’s description of behavior that resembles that of a dog in heat, it seems to be sending the message that sex is not a private matter between two consenting and loving adults, but rather a necessary bodily function that must be attended to on the weekends, preferably with the aid of alcohol.

I think your paper can do better. Your editorial decisions can help to improve the campus climate, or they can perpetuate the problem.

Sincerely,

Trudy Goodwin, parent

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