The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

89° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mailbag: Sept. 19

    *There’s more to a woman than her pants*

    In response to “Pants preserve the wonder” (Sept. 14):

    I’m very disappointed in the Daily Wildcat for the sexist content in Wednesday’s paper. The article “Pants preserve the wonder” by Kevin Zimmerman was a particularly bad example of a piece that reinforced old notions of women’s value and continued the idea that men get to police women’s bodies by deciding what they wear and why.

    No one’s legs contain a “public record of their personalities, habits, transgressions and successes.” Legs contain flesh, bone, muscle, sweat, and possibly scars, hair, clothes and tattoos. A woman’s personal history is found by getting to know her, not by following the trail of her legs up to her crotch to find out purely superficial things about her. Talking about “reducing the worth of the ass” or the thigh is a completely unacceptable way to talk about women’s bodies.

    Do you and other men gauge the value of your own self and body by the commodity of your ass and legs? I know that I don’t.

    When you talk about “putting forth the work to find out the truth,” without being spoiled by a preview of ass or leg, you’re talking about pursuing women purely as sexual objects. This idea that men are the pursuers and that women are here purely to be pursued, discovered, and explored is a misogynistic world view.

    Men don’t get to decide what women wear. As people with their own rights, women get to decide for themselves what to wear. Female bodies aren’t inherently sexual and shouldn’t be treated that way, like that’s their only value. By telling women that they should only be wearing pants when the weather is still in the 80s and 90s, you’re telling them that their comfort and their personal decisions are worth less than your pursuit of sexual gratification.

    I’m all for the excitement of exploring bodies through healthy and safe methods, but you don’t get to decide what devalues another person. You can make your own judgments about who you date and have sex with based on the “wears pants” criteria, but an article like this is really demeaning and unnecessary.

    —Kaleb Stephens,ecology and evolutionary biology sophomore

    Pants are neither newsworthy nor appropriate topics

    In response to “Pants preserve the wonder” (Sept. 14):

    As an educated male graduate of the U of A, I am both shocked and disappointed at the sexism in this article. It reflects poorly on all of us — and is also a terrible failure with regard to the Daily Wildcat’s mission statement. Alumni everywhere read publications and want to feel connected to the school and not disgusted by the things that are published. There were plenty of irresponsible things in the article — especially the degrading way that women were presented as valueless aside from the surprise or disgust that men will get when women remove their pants. The article was simply inappropriate — mostly because it is offensively sexist, but also because wearing pants is a topic that wouldn’t otherwise pass as newsworthy.

    I’m sincerely disappointed that this article was written, and that it was successfully published. At the very best, it doesn’t appear to me that you understand the responsibility that comes with the power of reporting — especially for a public institution. I hope that, at best, you probably didn’t (and perhaps still don’t) fully understand why your words were so offensive. Perhaps you — and anyone else who saw or approved the article — should spend some time with a women’s studies professor or contacts at the Women’s Resource Center to understand how painful the remarks may have been to fellow Wildcats. I hope to see a sincere apology that shows an actual understanding of why this was wrong.

    — Andrew Friedman, Arizona Wildcat Alumni Class of 2009

    P.S. Also, in response to one of the analogies provided, I believe any good physicist would love a book that accurately explains the universe. He or she would read the book a million times. Physicists seek to better understand the world around them and I contend that most wouldn’t shy away from information just because there was no surprise in it for them.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search