Opinion

Friday, June 15, 2007 — Vol. 30, No. 4 Student Life Centre, Room 1116 University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 P: 519.888.4048 F: 519.884.7800 imprint.uwaterloo.ca Editor-in-chief, Adam McGuire editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Advertising & Production Manager, Laurie Tigert-Dumas ads@imprint.uwaterloo.ca General Manager, Catherine Bolger cbolger@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Sales Assistant, Andrea Hession Co-op Student, Amanda Henhoeffer Board of Directors board@imprint.uwaterloo.ca President, Adam Gardiner president@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Vice-president, Jacqueline McKoy vp@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Treasurer, Lu Jiang treasurer@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Secretary, vacant Staff liaison, Rob Blom liaison@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Editorial Staff Assistant Editor, Ashley Csanady Cover Editor, vacant News Editor, Emma Tarswell News Assistant, Adrienne Raw Opinion Editor, Mohammad Jangda Features Editor, Scott Houston Arts Editor, Andrew Abela Science Editor, Brendan Pinto Sports Editor, vacant Photo Editor, Michael L. Davenport Graphics Co-editor, Peter Trinh Graphics Co-editor, Christine Ogley Web Editor, Gunjan Chopra Systems Administrator, Dan Agar Sys. Admin. Assistant, vacant Lead Proofreader, Kinga Jakab Production Staff Rob Blom, Kirsten Marincic, Ernest Velesquez, Shivaun Hoad, Paul Collier, Adrienne Raw, Steven R. McEvoy, Tim Foster, Phil Isard Imprint is the official student newspaper of the University of Waterloo. It is an editorially independent newspaper published by Imprint Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. Imprint is a member of the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA). Editorial submissions may be considered for publication in any edition of Imprint. Imprint may also reproduce the material commercially in any format or medium as part of the newspaper database, Web site or any other product derived from the newspaper. Those submitting editorial content, including articles, letters, photos and graphics, will grant Imprint first publication rights of their submitted material, and as such, agree not to submit the same work to any other publication or group until such time as the material has been distributed in an issue of Imprint, or Imprint declares their intent not to publish the material. The full text of this agreement is available upon request. Imprint does not guarantee to publish articles, photographs, letters or advertising. Material may not be published, at the discretion of Imprint, if that material is deemed to be libelous or in contravention with Imprint’s policies with reference to our code of ethics and journalistic standards. Imprint is published every Friday during fall and winter terms, and every second Friday during the spring term. Imprint reserves the right to screen, edit and refuse advertising. One copy per customer. Imprint ISSN 07067380. Imprint CDN Pub Mail Product Sales Agreement no. 40065122. Next staff meeting: Monday, June 18, 2007 12:30 p.m. Next board meeting: Friday, June 22, 2007 10:30 a.m.

opinion@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Imprint, Friday, June 15, 2007

Porn isn’t the problem
...it has always been assumed that young men are sexual whereas young women aren’t, or at least shouldn’t be.
It used to be the stuff of back-alley movie theatres and dimly lit stores, but since the rise of the internet, pornography is everywhere and readily accessible. The role that pornography plays — or doesn’t — in the ongoing misogyny of our society is a raging debate in feminist circles always prompting the question, “Does pornography degrade women?” The easy answer is “yes,” but the more balanced one is, “It doesn’t have to.” While most porn these days is inarguably chauvinistic — featuring buxom blondes who relish being coated in cum from head to toe — not all of it is, and it doesn’t have to be. The detrimental effects of porn are debatable, but an article recently published by the Associated Press raises interesting questions regarding the role of the internet in the rise of pornography, the sexualized nature of our society, its effect on young women and porn’s potential to be empowering. The article, entitled “Experts: Porn Conflates Sexual Behaviour with Power,” by Martha Irving, argues that, with the rise of reality television and the internet, young women — now more than ever — are being encouraged to take their clothes off to gain some kind of notoriety. It argues that homemade porn has become a standard of modern sexuality and that it has a detrimental effect on the young girls performing in it. “It doesn’t have anything to do with their sexual pleasure … It has to do with pleasing somebody else — the grasping for attention,” said Michael Simon, a high school counsellor and therapist in the article. If they aren’t, in fact, performing these acts out of an actual desire to do so, but to please someone else or fill some kind of social requirement, then that is wrong. If they are, however, viewing or performing in pornography for their own pleasure then the detrimental effects are diminished. “It’s a big topic among researchers. A 2007 report from the American Psychological Association compiled the findings of myriad studies, showing that the sexualization of young women and girls, in particular, can hurt them in many ways. Problems can include anything from low self-esteem and eating disorders to depression and anxiety,” states Irvine. The problem with this statement is that it focuses on the sexualization of young women as the negative effect of this phenomena — they don’t discuss the increased sexuality of young men, because it has always been assumed that young men are sexual whereas young women aren’t, or at least shouldn’t be. It’s not the sexuality of the material that is causing young girls to develop eating disorders, but the depictions of women they see in porn. Porn stars are “perfect:” hairless, cellulite-less, perfectly coiffed, painted and styled — even while engaged in a Chinese finger trap. The thing is, the aspects of pornography that are demeaning to women are not the cause of the problem, but a symptom. “Anti-pornography feminism fails to address the elementary point that the role of commercial pornography in depicting a crude, imperious and promiscuous male sexuality, alongside female receptivity and vulnerability, is completely overshadowed by, and entirely dependent upon, the official discourses and imagery of science, medicine, religion and mainstream cultural productions (high or low), prevalent all around us,” writes Segal in her article “Contradiction of Anti-pornography Feminism.” Porn just isn’t the problem. The attitudes and depictions that antipornography feminists find offensive are merely a manifestation of deep-rooted cultural beliefs, and they won’t magically disappear if porn is prohibited. Until female sexuality is equated with male sexuality, the “problem of porn” will continue.
acsanady@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Christine Ogley

Terror rhymes with orange
Lock the horses, we’ve got terrorists on the loose.
Opinion editor’s note: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/satire

WATERLOO, ON — The University of Waterloo has been upgraded to terror alert “orange” after a “kamikaze” automobile driver recklessly rammed into a campus residence on Sunday, June 10. The 22-year-old, who is unidentified — and likely to maintain some sort of ethnic immunity throughout the endless legal proceedings of the crash — smashed his Lexus SUV into the side of St. Paul’s College residence at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening. Apparently, the young man became distraught after a fight with his girlfriend. However, always common-sense Toronto Sun-style journalists immediately — and accurately — dubbed the incident a terrorist attack. The assailant bore down on the brick building with clear intentions of initiating a holy war, said an onlooker who may or may not have been guessing, and who may or may not have been an onlooker. In fact, the car struck the building with such force that the front fender and hood were severely damaged. Body shop workers, notorious for being

inherently shallow, were noted to have salivated at the revenue oppurtunities presented by the wreck. In fact, one garage owner purportedly had his pupils replaced with dollar signs complete with accompanying cash register sound effects. Allegedly, the air bag of the luxury utility vehicle did not deploy, a claim that — again — may or may not be fictional. However, speculation is rampant that the protective bag’s explosive device — used primarily for life-saving purposes during motor vehicle accidents — could have been detonated as an attempt to ignite the fuel tank and create a flaming, leather-detailed missile. The air bag will also likely be inspected for traces of anthrax. The coloured alert system, first introduced in a post-9/11 act by the U.S.’s department of Homeland Security, is new to UW. In fact, this column is the first mention of such a system at Waterloo. According to the introducer, Waterloo has been elevated to an “orange” alert level, meaning “heightened possibility of the chance of dangerous activity in the near-to-close vicinity.” Once the danger has

lapsed, Waterloo’s campus will be demoted to a “magenta” security level, cautioning citizens to “act with ambiguous concern despite apparent lack of anything harmful.” Sources also say that the domestic incident that triggered the attack has been added to Dalton McGuinty’s upcoming provincial political campaign. Apparently, Ontario Liberals are keeping a close eye on the subject, and wish to adapt the “beware of the terrorists everywhere” attitude that has become the predominant in 21st century Western psyche. In response to the growing sentiment that this was just some misdirected kid intentionally hitting a building at speeds barely great enough to injure the grass beneath the tires, an unnamed source had this to say: “Sure, it looks that way. But anyone who doesn’t see this as a serious international security gaffe is gullible; just like those people who will believe anything they see or read in that sensationalistic, paparazzi-laden CNNstyle news coverage.”
editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Imprint, Friday, June 15, 2007

Opinion

11

” “
I think biology profs make the best mace-bearers.
— Anonymous science prof.
overheard at Convocation
The following is a comment thread posted on the “U-Passed” article page (published May 4, 2007). Comments have been left unedited. [untitled]

Quote of the week

“It was obviously a close vote and an issue that students on both sides felt very strongly about,” says Adams, “but I think this is a fair representation of what the student population wants...” About it being a fair representation of what the student population wants, what about UW’s large number of CO-OP students away on work term? How were they notified of this referendum? I’m in CO-OP myself and had one of my friends not told me about it I would never have known. This referendum seemed very rushed.
— Thien

[untitled]

The same way you keep up to date with everything else happening...by reading the news and keeping your eyes and ears open. If you don’t care enough to look and find out for yourself, then you don’t deserveto have much of a voice.
— Mike

[untitled]

There should be no excuse for “not knowing” about the referendum or being unable to vote. Online voting and email means you can be almost anywhere in the world and still vote. My case illustrates this. I was also on COOP in a small community in the Ecuadorian Amazon with electricity and one communal phone. Internet was available by taking a bus for 30-45 minutes, if the bridge on the road wasn’t washed out. I got an email from my ES rep and so with some planning and luck, was able vote. I can understand how in some cases people off campus might have felt out of the loop. Still, if in my situation I could vote, anyone who didn’t should have either kept themselves informed, or taken more initiative; especially if they were still in Canada.
— Matt

[untitled]

FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL: (519) 888-4048

...but if you hadn’t gotten that email, you’d still be here arguing that it’s not the schools responsibility to keep students informed, right?
— Anonymous

Rant me a 100 (or so)
Whine about anything. And we mean anything. 100 words (or so). Go. opinion@imprint.uwaterloo.ca I can’t stand sloppy eaters. Barbarians, I tell ya. Now before you start saying, “Oh, no problem, I’m not a slob” — don’t. Yes you are. I meet a rare few people who manage to eat in such a way that doesn’t make my skin crawl. There are the gob smackers. The finger-lickers. The loud-swallowers. The openmouthed crunchers. The afterwards sighers. They inhabit cafes, restaurants, cafeterias, and yes, even bistros. To my utter exasperation, when I run to the library to study in peace, and have forgotten my iPod to drown out the coughs, they are there too. In the corner, munching biscuits, cracking carrots with gaping jaws, eating slippy sloppy drippy salad covered in noisy sauce. People! We have an epidemic on our hands! Where were you all when I learned how to properly hold a fork, and never to let it make a noise by touching my teeth?! Don’t you know that soldiers in the war discovered enemy spies by watching if they switched fork and knife in their hands to cut?! Don’t you?! We have to start making eating etiquette classes mandatory. I can’t take the noise. I can’t deal with all you slobs! Eat properly! Now! For the love of god!
— Christine Ogley