Whitticisms is offensive

By [email protected]

To: Jeremy Harmon, Editor in ChiefFrom: Hailey Hunsaker, University of Utah student, Psychology, Sophomore

RE: Whitticisims: Naked Women Are Good Enough for Campus Feminists by Jared Whitley, Chronicle Feature Columnist

The Daily Utah Chronicle featured this article March 27, 2003 about Women’s Week on campus. The objective of this article seemed to be the vices of the author toward the pursuit of women’s rights. The purpose of this response is to negate and invalidate his claims in order to show the relevance to the Women’s Rights Movement and expose the offensive nature of the article.

Whitley states in the beginning of the article that women should not want to be treated like men. While it may be seen by Whitley that the objective of an event(not “celebration”) like Women’s Week is for women to express that they want to be treated more “like” men, most anyone who belongs to a group of people that is now or once was oppressed by another group of people do not desire to be “like” their oppressors, but rather, treated equally by them. Whitley also uses the argument that women get away with crime more easily than men, stating: “If you want to get away a with crime, you’d better be a woman.” According to census reports, state women inmates increased 6% from 1995- 2001, but the reason women may be convicted less often than men could be that in general men commit more violent crimes than women do. Because men in general are convicted of more crime does not prove that women get away with more crime. Scholarships given to women was another point that Whitley focused on, in what seems to be a argument that women are treated better than men in scholastic pursuits. He mentions that women are given scholarships in fields that are men dominant, like engineering, but men are not given scholarships in women dominant fields, such as nursing. He fails to recognize that many scholarships are offered to many different types of people, there are many minority and diversity scholarships offered at this university. Nursing may have a dominant amount of female students, but their certainly isn’t a shortage of male nursing students, and perhaps those who sponsor scholarships in engineering to women feel that the extra enticement adds the diversity they desire in the department. Just because women have scholarships offered specifically to them doesn’t mean that women aren’t completely qualified for those scholarships and it certainly doesn’t mean women are given equal opportunity in education either. These remarks were demeaning but not nearly as derogatory as Whitley’s article’s continuation. Whitley suggests that panel discussions on eating disorders and the media’s perpetuation of these serious illnesses are a group of superficial people meeting under the pretense of a legitimate illness. He states “It’s always a lark to see the amount of makeup, hairspray, and pushup bras at this event.” The judgment of women’s character as “superficial,” and sexually driven is offensive and purely based on the opinion of someone who has clearly never experienced being a member of any minority, or oppressed group. Whitley also uses the example of two women on campus having a conversation about men, one woman’s boyfriend who tucks his sweater, and one woman fantasizing about a gay assistant, who gives her backrubs. This is not a legitimate point to any argument. The conversation may have been in jest, and considering that whitley didn’t admit to knowing either of them, or knowing the complete context of the situation, whether it was in jest or not it should not be taken as a proof of any inequality favoring women. He also complains that he isn’t allowed to make comments concerning women’s chests. I have heard considerably more males speaking disrespectfully of women’s body parts than I have heard women confessing fantasies of backrubs or any other fantasy for that matter. This article is not only an insult to the degree seeking women on this campus, but to almost every diverse group, including ethnic minority students, students of diverse sexual orientation, and those who get scholarships because of the diversity they offer our university. This campus is, for the most part, open to diversity and a great place that offers opportunities to all students. Tolerant views of the diverse groups on campus adds so much more to ones education. His article did not display any sensitivity to persons affiliated with Women’s Weeks and its true objectives. The article was written in extremely bad taste and should be apologized for, if not completely discontinuing the column. Jared Whitley’s article has undermined the credibility of the Chronicle in general by his short sighted and narrow minded view.