Letter to the editor

Jan 292009
Authors: Jim Bertolini

Impact vs. intent: Let’s take a second to consider what this means.

Concerning oneself over the impact of one’s actions, regardless of intent, is the mark of a truly educated and concerned citizen, the supposed endpoint of our college careers.

However, in this institute of higher education, the student newspaper, a supposedly progressive one at that, decided to run a series of ads for a party called “Pimps and Hoes.”

On its surface, this party may just seem like one among many themed parties in which the object is to simply have fun. After all, what’s wrong with a little fun? We are hard-working college students, deserving of a good time and a chance to relax and unwind during our hectic weeks.

However, the implications of this advertisement reflect a basic lack of consideration and poor judgment on the part of not only Zydeco’s, but the Collegian.

Most important is the issue of objectification and oppression of women.

This ad shows two women, suggestively and scantily clad, in an attempt to evoke eroticism within the reader. The reference to these women as “hoes” infers a sense of sexual ownership that the male in the advertisement has over these women.

Do the Collegian and Zydeco’s openly endorse the subjugation of women to men’s sexual desires, otherwise known as slavery and rape?

While the intent to promote a sexist society, in which men harbor absolute sexual power over women, may not have been present in the thoughts and actions of the Collegian or Zydeco’s, the impact of this advertisement is to promote that same oppressive society.

You might be asking yourself how a simple advertisement for a party could have such a tremendous impact? People have control over their actions, yes?

Absolutely. However, what we perceive through our interactions everyday can affect what all of us perceive as right or wrong.

This “Pimps and Hoes” party may not actively promote the sexual ownership of women by men, but it implies that such a relationship is not wrong. This is where the ad crosses the line.

By indirectly denying women the freedom to control their sexuality, this ad promotes the social institutionalization of rape.

This is not something any organization or any newspaper should ever condone.

Again, I ask both Zydeco’s and the Collegian to consider that their actions do have impacts far beyond what any original intent may have been. Until consideration is made for that impact and the subjugation of women is not openly condoned, both Zydeco’s and the Collegian will have denied the validity of a society in which all people — men, women and transgendered — are treated equally and empowered equally.

Jim Bertolini is a senior history major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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