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Open Magazine (spring 2009)

Open Magazine (spring 2009)

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Published by octopod88
The Spring 2009 edition of Rice University's OPEN Magazine, which aims to promote and inform discussion focused on the social, cultural, and health implications of sex and sexuality.
The Spring 2009 edition of Rice University's OPEN Magazine, which aims to promote and inform discussion focused on the social, cultural, and health implications of sex and sexuality.

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Published by: octopod88 on Dec 02, 2009
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03/16/2013

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It came as something o a surprise to me when I clickedto the
Houston Chronicle 
 website and saw their title or the story on
Open Magazine 
: “Full on Porn to Essays.Even ater chatting with the
Chronicle 
 writer or an hour about the ounding ideaso the magazine--to be an open orum or multiple views onsexuality and to be a mature reection o the intersection o sex,culture, politics and history-- the article was published online with the misleading title. Lewd comments ooded in relayingreader’s knee-jerk reactions o the conation o a University withPorn. A couple hours later that morning, the title o the onlinearticle mysteriously changed to “Sex to essays,” no explanation,no apology. Dismissive comments persevered but a couple were a reprieve, “Tey are trying to gure out who the hell they are, how they will live and by what moral and ethical standards,and what their bodies are all about. I our young people can cutthrough that conusion via open and honest discussion, then by God, more power to them,” wrote one commenter. Te deceptiveheadline is particularly disappointing because porn- a transientbrainless gratier- is the exact opposite o what
Open Magazine 
 is. Te media likes to gleeully harp on the radical extremes o sexual expression on college campuses as i they were the norm.By doing so, they propagate the myth that young people today are morally degenerating via the commitment-less sex o the socalled “hook up culture.” Most o us are not engaging in requentcasual sex, but or those who are, it’s not quite the emotionalRussian roulette that om Wole’s imagines in
 I am Charlotte Simmons,
but rather an element in the bildungsroman that iscollege years. I think modern culture has become largely scaredabout sexuality because we are scared about a loss o control, o anything that overtakes our cerebral grip on reality. But we don’thave to live in ear o ourselves; our awareness o the state o sexuality in us can help us see past the labels o indecency thatso many are quick to assign. By providing a platorm to voiceopinions on this intimate topic,
Open
is encouraging people tobe smart about sex and their reedom. Whether we are active participants or not, the impact o society’s ever evolving approach toward sexuality is maniestedin our collective consciousness in both subtle and striking ways.A history proessor at Rice recently posed a question to me, which at rst seemed to have an obvious answer, but uponurther consideration, its negative implications questioned my assumptions. Her question:
Have we progressed 
? While in many cases the answer is yes, in more ways than we would like to concedethe answer is no. A slew o economic and health disparities, theconstancy o environment degradation, the outright repressiono minorities-things to consider beore we lay back on our laurelso being enlightened. But now more than ever, there is reasonor hope; the rise in the public’s awareness is breaking downthe doors o complacency and catalyzing collaborative solutionsto some o our most challenging problems. But how does thisrelate to sexuality? Te rst place we can begin to understandand improve our common humanity is within ourselves: once we understand seuxuality, an act at the very core o who we are, we can move beyond preoccupations with the sel to address thelarger order. ime and again we have seen that society needsredress o these seemingly basic issues, and when there is needor redress, there will be a need or publications like
Open,
andthe discourse they provoke.It bewilders me that in a country ounded on thepremise o equality and the pursuit o happiness that we wouldso explicitly step on a group’s right to pursue happiness throughmarriage. In concert with an increase in mobility, reedom andnew perspectives on gender roles, the nature o relationshipsis evolving to include non-marriage alternatives which can beperectly healthy and acceptable or people who choose not tobe limited to conorm to tradition. But or those who do chooseto celebrate commitment through marriage, who are we to stopthem? Even while the government is struggling under the weight o national security, environmental and economic issues,certain individuals think it is a prudent use o an overstretchedgovernment’s regulatory powers to dabble in personal lives,imposing cookie cutter restrictions on a diverse populace.Bewildering. Tat’s all I can say. But again, there is hope: it isascinating just how much public perception has been shitingon a supposedly set-in-stone moral standard on homosexuality.It was only in 1974 that the American Psychiatric Associationremoved it’s classication o homosexuality as a
mental disorder 
 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Tat in thirty some years something changed rom being viewed as a mental disorderto something that is generally accepted speaks to the act thatmany sexuality issues are a socially constructed problems. Inan excellent commentary on Proposition 8, MSNBC anchorKeith Olbermann concludes his speech with the phrase“Good night and good luck-” the same closing used by CBSanchorman Edward Murrow when he exposed McCarthyism asa witch hunt- drawing parallels between the ignorance inducedirrationality that gripped the nation during the Cold War anda similar irrationality that can be the only explanation o how Americans could vote to prohibit two people rom marrying.Similarly, there are parallels between Hollywood’s alignment with humanitarian causes despite the Red Scare paranoia and itscurrent sympathies or gay rights, demonstrated by a theater ullo the titans o cultural inuence applauding Sean Penn’s Oscaracceptance speech or Best Actor in
 Milk
. In ront o a televisionaudience o 36 million Americans, Sean Penn announced, “Ithink it is a good time or those who voted or the ban [onsame sex marriage] to think and reect and anticipate theirgreat shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes i they continue that way o support.” I society as a whole is to makeprogress, we need not only understand our own motivations,but also to realize how our actions, both politically and socially,translate into how we respect others. And on a personal level, weneed to realize the impact our sexual practices can have on otherpeople’s lives. Toughtulness about one’s sexuality is, dare I say,not about
the sex
, but about how sex is a reection o ourselves.
LETTER from the EDITOR
Rachel Solnick 
 
2 Letter rom the Editor3 able o Contents4 News Brie 
Compiled by Christine Gerbode
6 Survey 
Compiled by Dayna Fondell
Articles
8 It’s Not Just About Sex: Prop 8
Meghan Baker
12 V-Day: Until the Violence Stops
Mihan Lee
14
Te Serpent’s Git 
Explained
Interview with Dr. Jerey J. Kripal by Klara Wojtkowska
21 MoSex
Katherin Sudol
22 Pure and Not So Simple
Christine Gerbode
24 Evolution and the Future o Contraception
Zeno Yeates
Perspective
28 First Comes Marriage, Ten Comes Love
Chaya Murali
30 What It Means o Be A Girl
Katelyn Willis
32 Te Making o Love
Anonymous
33 it or at: Shake It Up or Mama, Boys
iany Kim
34 A Queer View on Sleeping Around
Anonymous
35 Master o My Domain
Jamie Sammis
36 Stigma
Rose Hansen
38 Te “L” Word
Donna Huang
40 My Sex, My Certaint
Anonymous
Short Stories
42 Lolita: On Acid
Gregory Laco
44 Can’t and Fear
Anonymous
45 Doux
Zara Ahmad-Post
46 Some Call It Band Camp
Christine Pao
49 Love Question Mark 
Lime
Published with generoussupport rom:
Dr. Bill Wilson StudentInitiative GrantCampus Progress/Center orAmerican Progress(CampusProgress.org)Rice Wellness Center Wiess College Jones College
TABLE of CONTENTS
Poetry
56 Metamorphosis
Zara Ahmad-Post
57 Missed Connections
Ann Wang
59 Flitting By...
Sarah Farid
60 Decanting Sillhouettes
A. Iver
61 Plums
J. Rod Pannek 
62 Dotted Line
Anonymous
62 Close Call
Jeremiah Bolinsky 
63 Woman Spread and Wide Open
Loren Kwan
64 Accordian In His Hands
Vanessa Johnson
65 Once Upon A ime
Klara Wojtkowska
66 Young Love
Aaron allman
68 Revolution
Klara Wojtkowska
69 Furrow 
Kris Wettstein
70 Unbound Circles
A. Iver
 
STAFF of OPEN MAGAZINEEditor-in-Chief
: Rachel Solnick
Design Editor
: Celestine Shih
Photography Editor
: Ariel Shnitzer
 
Perspectives Editors
:Christine Gerbode, Caitlin Miller
Short Story Editors
:Sarah Farid, Anastasia Harris
Articles Editors
:Kat Sudol, Sergio Jaramillo
Poetry Editors
:Klara Wojtkowska, Tema Watstein
Design Team
:Christine Gerbode, Jenny Chan,Lissa Glasgo, Lily Chun, Rachel Solnick
Editorial Staff:
Margaret McKeehan,Amanda Hu, Becky Leven
Photographers
:Matt Taylor, Amy Lanteigne
Post Secret/Event Coordinator
: Yesle Kim
Business Manager
: Denver Greene
   P   h  o   t  o   b  y   A  r   i  e   l   S   h  n   i   t  z  e  r   C  o  v  e  r  p   h  o   t  o   b  y   W   i   l   l   F   i  s  c   h  e  r   /   C  o  v  e  r   d  e  s   i  g  n   b  y   E   t   h  a  n   F  e  u  e  r
Please submit articles, short stories, poems,photos and art to RiceOpen@gmail.com or :
Open Magazine
6340 Main StreetHouston, TX 77005
Submissions disclaimer: A submission becomes thenon-exclusive property of Open .
Open is looking for writers, designersand editors for next year’s staff! EmailRiceOpen@gmail.com.To advertise, contact RiceOpen@gmail.comOpen Magazine is a literary arts maga-zine produced by undergraduates atRice University. Copyright © 2009 byOpen Magazine. No portion of OpenMagazine may be reproduced withoutpermission. All rights reserved.
Download a PDF:
www.openmagazine.rice.edu

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