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Open Magazine, Vol. 3

Open Magazine, Vol. 3

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Published by octopod88

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Published by: octopod88 on Apr 23, 2010
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10/07/2014

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Dear Reader,In its third year,
Open Magazine
is an adolescent despite the occasional bout of growing pains and voice cracks,it is developing and expanding. It is full of potential and brightideas, and it is beginning to realize them. We’ve accomplished alot this year:In October, we launched a brand new website, with amuch more user friendly layout in addition to a blog with storiesand essays on the interplay of sex and culture. In November, we
held our rst annual Student Art Show, the winning entry of 
which has been included in this year’s magazine (see p. 19). Topreempt the grant-eroding effects of long-term recession and 
move towards nancial self-sustainability, we put together as
a fundraiser a 12-month wall calendar of students from each of the 11 residential college, with a special Rice guest as Mr. July.(Quick obligatory plug: this academic-year calendar is on salenow for only $10, including discounts for Freebirds, Jamba
 Juice and Amy’s Ice Cream! Email RiceOpen@gmail.com toorder your copy, now or for August!) In March, we collaborated with the Wellness Center, the Women’s Resource Center, and 
the producers of 
My First Time
to put on a pair of sexual healthstudy breaks, where we talked about safe sex practices and 
laughed at campy 1970s sex-ed PSAs. The list goes on
but it’snot bragging if it’s true, right?This year’s publication came from a large and highly-skilled group of contributors, editors, designers, photographers,models, and generally useful supporters, all of whom deserveto be credited personally in this space, and many of whom aregraduating after as many as three years of dedicated servicesince
Open
’s founding. For information on being a part of nextyear’s publication, be sure to check us out throughout thesummer and the Fall semester at http://openmagazine.rice.edu,and look out as well for upcoming events, submissions info, and other fun stuff. We are always open to constructive criticism,but if you really think you know how to make
Open
a betterpublication, I welcome you, challenge you, to put your moneywhere your mouth is and get involved.The question that never crossed my mind last spring
when I was asked to ll this position was whether it was a
task worth taking on. The country stood in limbo, waiting to
see if the California Supreme Court would uphold the slimly
majority-decreed retraction, by its historically liberal citizens,of same-sex marriage rights. The victor of the most heated 
United States presidential election in history was, by the end of his rst week, making and inuencing policy that would 
affect birth control options for women all around the globe. In
Texas, the Board of Education was debating
whether or not sexualhealth information in public schools must be medically accurate
(?!) and the State Legislature was contemplating banning stem-cell
research. I was becoming aware of how large and inextricablea role is played by sexual information and perspectives, and sometimes repression or ignorance thereof, in the politics and culture of my state, my nation, my world. It seemed obviouseven then that
Open
(small though we may be), and publicationslike it, are more important than ever.
Soon, word came that Proposition 8 would be upheld.
Measures to ensure medical accuracy in Texan sex education
were quashed. Awful commercials ran on television in
“battleground states”, portraying the desire of same-sex couplesto be allowed to live their lives according to their beliefs as avillainous and deliberate attack on the rights and freedoms of others.Then something else happened: people spoke up.Numerous states moved to adopt gay marriage or same-sex
partnerships. Proposition 8 was taken to Federal Court, whereit is still being debated at this printing. Comedian Jon Stewartexplained the major blizzards in the northeastern United Statesas merely a sign that “Hell has nally frozen over,” as Houston,the largest city in Texas, had just become the rst major city inthe United States to elect an openly gay mayor.
Open
tries to put a human face on topics that are oftenpoliticized to the point of public desensitization. How can we
argue in Congress about the morality of abortion when we don’t
consider as average citizens what it means for a friend to makethat choice? How does a nation justify a categorical ban on thewearing of the Muslim headscarf in public without consideringthat it can be a positive self-image choice rather than a symbolof oppression? What is the impetus for the sexual choices wemake, and what do we learn from the things we regret?The ultimate intent of this and other such publications,then, is to spur people to demand answers to these questions,ideally in an engaging, aesthetic, and entertaining way. I hopethere will be a day when
Open
will be widely perceived as apurveyor of eagerly-sought and well-examined information,
rather than an enigmatic work that is still too often conated 
(and often by those who have never actually read it) with risquésensationalism, pornography, and other manners of sordid material. If you believe this to be an embodiment of the spirit of that genre, put it down now: you’ve already missed the point.But I hope you’ll read on. Practice makes perfect, and thanks to fresh enthusiasm and acquired expertise, I hope you’ll
nd the third edition of 
Open
to be the best one yet. Surely, it has
evolved from eager beginnings and is now a herald of greaterheights to be achieved.The real task set before
Open
goes beyond what I rst
listed in my mental checklist of organizational goals: to provideand provoke honest discourse and to kindle, if not completeunderstanding, then at the very least a desire to understand because whatever righteousness or bliss it may bring, ignoranceis always,
always
, hurtful, and because whether or not we agreewith one another, we live side by side on a rapidly-shrinkingplanet. To succeed, we must work towards
nothing less than
tolerance from all sides, if not ultimately amity. Any lesser goal
is a denial of reality, a bigoted delusion that all those who arenot like us will, by our very censure, cease to be.With that in mind please enjoy.Best,
LETTER from the EDITOR
Christine Gerbode

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