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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mailbag: April 28

Sex-themed issue perpetuates generalizations, gender divide

We, as ASUA Women’s Resource Center interns, take issue with the heteronormativity and lack of analysis in the “”Sex EDition”” special published on April 20. Contrary to the title, there wasn’t much sex education in the insert. Your articles and surveys assume that only heterosexual identities exist, and reinforce narrow, normative and even dangerous ideas surrounding sex and sexual behaviors. Our four greatest concerns include the articles’ male lens, lack of analysis regarding alcohol use, exclusion of LGBTQ identities and acceptance of racial stereotypes.

The most obvious oversight is the lack of attention given to women and women’s sexuality. Your Cosmo-style blow job article, “”Blew of A,”” perpetuates the notion that the sexual focus is always, and should always be, on men and men’s pleasure. Not only is the invisibility of the female body problematic, it actually negates female pleasure. Just like in Cosmo, your article, supposedly aimed at a female audience, is “”all about him.””

In your “”Sex Ed-iquette”” article, you present statistics that suggest that all one-night stands involve alcohol use — with no exploration of why students feel the need to be drunk in order to express their sexuality or of the dangers that can be associated with intoxication and sexual activity. A true “”Sex Ed”” piece would address the issues of sexual health and responsibility related to alcohol and drug use.

The only mention of LGBTQ identities or individuals is in your “”AIDS: Not gone, but forgotten.”” The association of HIV/AIDS with gay men is a stereotype, which hurts everyone — it stigmatizes the LGBTQ community and falsely leads others to believe they do not need to be concerned about HIV. Most damaging, however, is your failure to give any information on the importance of STI testing and where students can be tested. Just like any element of sexual health and responsibility, lack of knowledge about STI prevention, testing and treatment cripples students’ ability to engage in sex safely.

Similar to your depiction of gay men is your representation of black men. While you do mention people of color in the article about AIDS, the only other discussion of race is in the “”Junk about Your Junk”” article. In a question regarding stereotypes about black men’s penis size, you fail to address the racist history of this stereotype and instead state that “”white men suffer”” because of this stereotype; in fact, this is a stereotype that comes from racist constructions of black men as sexual predators. As happened so often in this Sex EDition, you chose to reproduce inaccurate, hurtful and dangerous sexual norms, rather than promoting health and respect. We hope that future articles regarding sexuality are inclusive, well researched and insightful.

— ASUA Women’s Resource Center interns

 

Coverage treated student’s death, life with respect

My name is Zoe Engel, and Wilson Forrester was one of my best and closest friends from home. I just wanted to send you a note complementing you on your article “”Letter from the editor: Mourn the loss,”” published on April 4, earlier this month about mourning his loss and not making light or spreading rumors about the cause. I go to Indiana, another big school where it’s almost impossible to know every person on campus, and I truly appreciate your message to everyone who knew or didn’t know him. We held a celebration of his life two weeks ago, and it’s still all very surreal and difficult to handle. Once again, thanks for your direct and very appropriate message to the Arizona community, best wishes for the rest of the semester.

— Zoe Engel, Indiana University student

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