CUaD should grow up

by Tyler Newby | 11/24/93 6:00am

Dust off the ankle-mirrors and bring out the wrist-length dresses again. It seems that some students at Dartmouth wish for a return to Victorian society.

I am writing in response to certain members of the Conservative Union at Dartmouth's reaction to the Spare Rib's recently distributed "Sex Issue." They charge that the issue is everything from filth to soft-core pornography.

I charge that these reactions are from people who are uncomfortable with the thought of one of nature's most natural acts: sexual intercourse.

It seems that Matthew Berry '94 and his cohorts regard anything that mentions S-E-X pornographic. I shall spell out the word so that I do not insult the delicate consciences of these people.

Since most of us no longer live in the 19th century, however, I think it fair that we redefine pornography.

I attribute anything that degrades the sanctity of sexual intercourse to this word.

Films in which two people who obviously do not love one another have sex are pornographic. Magazines where women are portrayed not for beauty, but to sexually arouse men are pornographic.

Why should representations of sexual organs in their natural form be considered pornographic? What is more natural than the human body? It seems as if these critics of "The Sex Issue" (uh-oh, I said the word), believe that the female body is filthy.

The sketches of the vagina in Spare Rib could not have been meant to arouse readers. They accompanied a passage which explained that the sexual organs are not filthy, but natural, and therefore, beautiful.

Throughout history, artists have painted and sculpted the naked human body. They saw beauty in its natural form. I wonder if these critics of Spare Rib cringe at the sight of Michelangelo's "David," or Manet's "Luncheon on the Grass."

In the back of "The Sex Issue" is a collection of students' creative writing. Yes, some used naughty words and erotic imagery that our parents certainly would not approve of us seeing. After all, our parents never use bad words, and they certainly never did anything as trashy as having sexual intercourse!

I must laugh at these critics who blush at erotic imagery. Coleridge's poem "Kubla Khan" is incredibly erotic. The fact that it appeals so effectively to one of humanity's strongest, innermost drives makes it a legendary poem.

Perhaps CUaD's next project will be to petition for the removal of Coleridge's poetry from Dartmouth's curriculum. Next, I suppose they'll go after all of those profane works of art.

I understand that different people have different sensitivity levels concerning sex. However, no one pried students' eyes open and held the issue in front of their faces, screaming, "Read this!"

The same goes for the Dartmouth Review. They are distributed at our doorways, and if we do not care for the material, we are free to drop them in the nearest recycling bin.

However, it is important that publications such as "The Sex Issue" exist. I agree with Berry's assertion that most of America would be offended by the Sex Issue.

However, I certainly hope that Dartmouth's goal is not to teach us to be like "most of America," but to be innovative and think for ourselves. If it is, then I am wasting my parents and my own money and time.

"The Sex Issue" is just one step in showing men how women feel about sex, and showing women how men feel about it.

Although misunderstandings about sex and sexuality can be slight, they can and do lead to major social problems such as rape and unwanted pregnancies.

For those who are mature enough to talk about sex, I applaud you. However, for those who still need to hold your parents' hands, I hope you grow up soon.