Currently browsing the archives for February 2007

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Blame O’Connell

Responding to anonymous complaints is a fool’s mission. Perfect for me! Consider:

[A]s someone who’s spent a fair amount of time with the clc’s and who reads this blog only very rarely, but i was astonished to see all of the personal attention given to sara. i don’t think what she does is all that different from the other clc’s, i just think it might be getting a little more press. it’s hard for me to imagine that she’s robbing students of the ability to lead themselves… that seems like a huge overreaction.

you must have better things to do than spend this much time criticizing a very sweet, intelligent, hardworking, sincere woman who’s trying to make the campus a better place.

Think I am overreacting (and too lazy to read previous commentary)? Your mistake! Blame students like former Record editor-in-chief Ainsley O’Connell ’06. She (not me!) claims that:

“So out with the old and in with the new: If Williams were to stop changing, it would never be the same.” Those words, which I wrote in May 2004 as part of the Record’s farewell to Baxter Hall, paid fond tribute to the past and looked ahead to the promise of the future. “It’s a shame to see the old girl go,” the editorial read, “but at the same time, it seems a fitting testament to the way the College reinvents itself every year for 500 bright-eyed new Ephs.”

Two years later, with graduation just weeks away, I look back on that moment and wish I could recreate the hopefulness of that vision of Williams as a beacon and vehicle of positive growth. Instead, I am frustrated by many of the ways in which the campus has changed, most particularly the sudden prominence of the well-intentioned but detrimental Office of Campus Life, which is locked in a stagnating cycle of its own design. By in effect naming itself “the decider” when it comes to student life, the campus life office has alienated the College’s best leaders. As a result of this rift, the office has become inwardly-focused, self-promotional and deeply resistant to constructive criticism. Student life is student-driven no longer.

Read the whole thing, you silly anonymous reader. The more educated you are about the history of Williams, the more informed your opinion will be. There is no doubt that Sara Ansell is a “sweet, intelligent, hardworking, sincere woman.” But that fact, true as it may be, does not guarantee that the institution of CLCs improves Williams. O’Connell doesn’t think so.

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Eph Art, 1970s

Jan 07 pics 001.jpg

Mr. Livingston is an outstanding artist. Here is one of his drawings, “Mr. Winter’s Family, or the West Indian Way of White-Washing.” A very humble and great guy, he has never had any of his art published. This work hangs on my dinning room wall. Sorry about the poor quality of the pic, it does not do Mr. Livingston justice.

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Local swimming hole #1

Here is the Dorset marble quarry, the oldest quarry in the USA. One of the most famous swimming holes in the State of Vermont. If you are around this summer, you may want to check it out. It takes about an hour to drive there from Williamstown. This one is famous, featured in the NYT magazine. No need for me to shoot and post any pics when you can get a “panorama image.” On the web you can find many articles about the historic site. There is a second swimming hole above the one on the side of route 30, where people used to skinny dip.

About two miles north of Manchester in Dorset on route 30.

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New comfortable Record office

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A Topic for the Women’s Center

I have started up a pleasant e-mail exchange with Sara Ansell. Although bluntness in commentary will remain, there is no reason why Sara and I might not work together for the betterment of Williams. Although we disagree on tactics, there is no doubt that we both want Williams to be the best college in the world.

Toward that end, I have a suggestion for another discussion topic for the Women’s Center: Tracy McIntosh ’75. (Previous commentary here.) The justice system has decided that its initial sentence for his no-contest plea on sexual assault charges is too lenient.

Questioning a Philadelphia judge’s leniency and fairness, Pennsylvania’s Superior Court has ordered the resentencing of Tracy McIntosh, the former University of Pennsylvania professor placed on house arrest last year after he pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting a graduate student who was the niece of his college roommate.

In vacating Common Pleas Court Judge Rayford A. Means’ sentence, the three-judge Superior Court panel also ordered McIntosh to be resentenced by a different judge.

The Superior Court majority opinion said it did not believe Means could “preside objectively and fairly upon remand.”

Superior Court Judge Debra Todd wrote that Means treated McIntosh “less as a criminal than as a school boy requiring direction and supervision.”

Other commentators argue that almost any sentence would be too light.

I have a friend, Laree, who has thought up the perfect punishment for dogturd men like Anderson and McIntosh. She thinks that every time one of their victims thinks about the abuse, the perpetrator should get an electric shock. Wouldn’t that be delicious? Isn’t there some talented biomedical and/or electrical engineer out there who could get to work on this? I’m sure any number of rape and sex abuse victims wouldn’t mind carrying around a little device, or having some little apparatus implanted in the brain, to send off a signal to a satellite that transmits to the receiver unit on the perpetrator. I know I’d sign up for it. Just imagine him jumping and jerking about. It seems only fair. If the victims have to carry the pain around with them for the rest of their lives, the perpetrators ought to get to share in it, too.

How society should deal with he-said/she-said rape accusations, both the judicial process and associated punishments, is a hard question. Why not a discussion of the topic?

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The Grudge

This is just bizarre, and wildly out of left field, but somebody clearly has a huge bone to pick with Prof. Jay Pasachoff.

NOTE — I am not opining on the veracity of these documents. If anything, they’re probably widely exaggerated, if not outright false. I’m only posting this link because I randomly stumbled across it on the web. I’m curious about the circumstances behind this (e.g., a store selling only 4 ebooks, one for free and the other three for $20 each about Pasachoff?).

Talk about random… and here I thought that I knew how to hold a grudge.

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Winter Naturalist

Stunning photos from Ken-ichi Ueda ’03.

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Trouble with internet connectivity at Williams today? Inconceivable! Latest (?) here.

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Ansell to Depart?

I heard a rumor that the Record will report tomorrow that Campus Life Coordinator Sara Ansell will be leaving Williams at the end of this year.

1) Is this true?

2) Sara has received her fair share of attention from EphBlog.

3) There seems to be a lot of turnover among CLCs. How many have worked at Williams? How long is their average tenure?

Good luck to Sara in her future endeavors. Whatever our disagreements with her, there can be no doubt that she had the best interests of Williams at heart in all her efforts.

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Out of State Check

Wick Sloane ’76 with thoughts on Out of State Checks and Academic Credits. I am not sure that his analogy to the Depository Trust Company works nor his use of the term “Open Source,” but props for originality. To be concrete, Wick ought to reach out to the Williams community, starting with the registrar and Ephs In Technology and get their thoughts.

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Unassigned meeting room

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Good Personal Choice

Kristen Emhoff speaks truth to power.

Perhaps now I should state my own opinions. I believe prostitution, bestiality, and unconsensual sex is wrong. I believe that saving sex for marriage is a good personal choice medically, emotionally, and spiritually. I believe that other people are not making the best choice when they have casual sex. I believe that both women AND men are currently objectifying themselves through their liberal sexualities. Do I agree with Annie Sprinkle? No. Do I support Positive Sex Week? Not really, though I performed with an a cappella group at Vulvapalooza. Do I believe in equality of the genders? Yes. Do I believe that people should be able to state their minds while I either listen respectfully or excuse myself from their presence? Heck yes, I do.

The central problem with having a “Women’s Center,” i.e., an official organization within the college with its own space, staff and budget is that it will (almost) inevitably be captured by people who disagree with Emhoff. Positive Sex Week is just one manifestation of that disagreement.

Again, it is key to understand the details of the underlying administrative structures, and not just for you Marxists out there! No one has a problem with a student group called, say, the Women’s Collective. Student groups are great! The more the merrier. Such a student group could elect its own leaders, plan its own programs, lobby for funding, advertise for attendance. All good stuff, no different from what other student groups do.

But there is no more reason to have a Women’s Center as an official department of the College than to have an Overweight Student Center or a Republican Student Center or a Marine Student Center or Low Income Student Center. Williams is an inclusive enough place that the normal structure of student groups care handle the concerns and interests of these students. This isn’t to say that Marine students or Low Income students don’t face special issues, that a place like Williams may be foreign to, and uncomfortable for, them. It may be. But that problem needs to be handled by inclusion not separation.

The most telling part of the Sara Ansell’s comment was her praise:

The students on the Women’s Center leadership board took great effort to request funding from as many sources possible. You can see the complete list of sponsors on the posters. Also, while I advise the Women’s Center and love it, there are 8 wonderful and dedicated students who a ridiculous amount of work to put together events, put together discussion, and carry the load of running the Center.

Eight students?! This is all about 8 students! Even after all of Sara Ansell’s endless campaigning and consciousness raising there are only 8 students at Williams committed enough to the cause of a Women’s Center to serve on its Leadership Board?

Note how different this is to the establishment of, say, Rice House. Virtually every black student on campus took part in the protests which created Rice House. The reason that the Women’s Center is a bad idea is that there was no similar grassroots demand for it.

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Take a Video

Williams students are, again, misbehaving. Emily Rockett does not like it.

The lack of respect for other people and their property never ceases to astound me. My entry has a broken couch and window screen (among a soaked floor, sticky tables, and lots of other enjoyable stuff) right now because a bunch of obnoxious people come in every weekend night, get drunk, make an inordinate amount of noise and beat things (like couches, walls, tables, etc) up. Then when they are asked politely to leave, they get all passive aggressive and take a very long, annoying time doing so or are just outright rude. I wouldn’t be surprised if these are the same people who chuck bike racks down the little bank near Mission or break the glass on the doors (this is a hypothesis, not an accusation). There is something very wrong with a culture that allows people to believe that it’s ok for them to go around doing whatever they want to other people’s things/ rampantly disrespect other people. The thing that bothers me most, though is that when I try to discuss this issue with some other people I am told that “It’s college, people are going to get drunk and be loud. You’re lucky it’s only on the weekends.” and things like that, which is very frustrating to me.

This is a solvable problem, at least for Emily and her entry. When you see someone acting obnoxiously, take a video and post it. The obnoxoids will go elsewhere. Details here.

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Hoops Update

The good news is, both the men’s and women’s teams are in the NCAA tournament. The bad news is, it is unlikely many Eph fans will be able to see them live, as both have been sent to remote locations.

The men play Brockport State, whom they last played in 2004 on their way to the final four, at St. Lawrence at 6:00 Friday night. If they win that match-up, they play again at St. Lawrence on Saturday. The game should be an exciting contest between evenly-matched teams.

The women play perennial women’s hoops power Southern Maine on the road, also on Friday night. That game is at 8:00. Once again, if the Ephs win, they play again on Saturday. The women received a very tough-luck draw as Southern Maine is nearly impossible to beat at home.

It would be nice if some students could make it to both games, but probably unlikely given that both locations are four hours driving from Billsville. It is a shame how few students made it out to Amherst to witness this weekend’s amazing victories. Perhaps now that the Ephmen have broken their string of blow-out losses to the Jeffs, students will once again be more enthusiastic about braving Lefrac. Road rivalry wins are rare, but there is no more satisfying fan experience than celebrating on your arch rival’s home turf. I still remember a huge Williams contingent overtaking the Amherst gym when I was a senior in college, and drowning out the Jeff fans with chants of “who’s the home team?”.

No word yet on whether the games will be webcast.

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New College Homepage

The College is rolling out a new homepage on Wednesday. Comments:

1) Seems like an improvement to me. I especially like the landscape format.

2) Under the Especially For Students sub-menu, there should be a link to WSO, at least.

3) How about a link to EphBlog under Especially For Alumni? [Like that will ever happen! — ed. We can always dream.]

Our readers often have strong opinions on this topic. Tell us what you think.

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Debate!

Does anyone know the status of the Williams College Debate Union? In the past, it has put on some great events, but I haven’t noticed any activity for some time. Here are two debates that the WCDU should sponsor:

1) This House would remove all US troops from Iraq before 2009.

2) This House would abolish the Williams College Women’s Center.

The second is probably the more fun and timely of the two. But the first would be useful as well since there is such a narrow range of views on the Iraq War presented by non-students on the Williams campus.

Since I doubt that the WCDU would be able to find a faculty member who both honestly disagrees with 1) and was willing to publicly argue against it, I would be eager to step into the breach. The most fun opponent would probably be Professor Shanti Sigham despite (because!) she refuses to reply to my e-mails.

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The new snack bar


Note: This video has sound, because snack bars have sound. If it bothers you, mute the volume.

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Millionaires on Paper

I love the economic confusion in Inside Higher Ed.

On Wednesday, Stanford University announced such a change, and while they have not gone public until now, leaders of a group of elite private colleges confirmed that they too had recently changed the way they consider home equity. In both cases, middle class families could find themselves paying several thousand dollars less than they do now to have their children attend some of the most prestigious colleges in the country.

Officials who are making these changes say that they represent much-needed relief for middle class families, especially those who bought homes 15 or more years ago and have seen their values skyrocket to make them millionaires on paper, but not necessarily with incomes or bank accounts to match.

Newsflash: There is a technical term for someone who is a millionaire on paper; It’s “millionaire.” And, yes, the “group of elite private colleges” is the 568 group, our friendly neighborhood colluders.

Economics Professor Gordon Winston comments:

Why is home equity attracting so much attention right now? “I think it’s an effort to extend up the income distribution level some of the consideration for the customers that colleges have increasingly been giving high-ability, low-income students,” said Gordon C. Winston, director of the Williams College Project on the Economics of Higher Education.

Notice how Winston pitches this a moral choice by the colleges involved. They just woke up one day and said, “Hey! Those poor middle class families with million dollar houses need our help!”

Perhaps. Do-gooding runs deep in the bones of college administrators. Yet I think that the main explanation lies elsewhere. Competition lowers prices. What was it that Williams taught me 20 years ago. Oh, yeah.

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

Want college to be cheaper for your children? Don’t count on the benevolence of Stanford and Williams. After all, the benevolence of senior administrators at elite schools wasn’t any less 20 years ago. But, for some reason, poor kids back then ended up tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Winston noted that elite private colleges have made a series of announcements in recent years, ending the need for low-income students who attend their institutions to borrow to do so.

In some of those announcements, one college has topped another, not wanting to be seen as less generous. Asked whether the moves by Stanford and the 568 colleges would lead to similar competition, Winston said “hell yeah.” But he added that it was “more than a calculated price reduction.” Rather, he said that colleges have put in place good aid policies for low-income students and need to do more for those students not by changing aid policies, but by recruiting and admitting and graduating more of them. The middle class student, on the other hand, needs new policies, Winston said.

In this context, “good aid policies” means “cheaper,” depending on how clever you and your parents are about hiding funds. EphBlog’s advice? Ask: What would Morty’s parents do?

Anyway, back in the day, when people like Winston (a former provost) ran Williams, there was no need to compete for students on a financial basis. Overlap ruled all. Colleges colluded and students, especially highly desirable students, were screwed.

Don’t believe the hype about “new policies.” This is a targeted price reduction, pure and simple. The competition for elite students is so intense, and growing more so each year, that schools like Stanford find that they need to lower prices (even to families with a million dollar home!) or else the students that they want will go elsewhere.

The comments to the article (other than that first one by an obvious troll) are the best part.

I just wanted to mention that since 2001 Princeton has completely excluded home equity from the consideration of family assets in our aid formula for all aid applicants. This was one of the initiatives announced at the same time as our groundbreaking “no loan” program, so it received less attention at the time. But as concern over how middle-income families fare in the aid systems at elite colleges grows, I think it’s worth pointing out that Princeton has been out in front on these issues for a number of years.

And this is from the director of financial aid at Princeton. I love the moral preening! Princeton has been “out in front” on this topic. Is that because Princetonians have such fine ethical sensibilities that they saw, ahead of people like Winston and Schapiro, that college was too expensive? Hah!

Morty told a great story at the Boston Alumni Society meeting last April about the origin of Princeton’s generosity. Princeton is perhaps the richest school in the country, on an endowment dollars per undergraduate basis. But, much of the endowment is restricted, it must be spent on financial aid. At some point, Princeton just got so rich that it ran out of poor kids to spend the money on. It ended loans and excluded house equity, not because it is more moral, but because it had to spend the money somewhere. Princeton has no choice but to decrease its effective sticker price. (Harvard has been similarly generous about home equity.)

And, guess what? Stanford is tired of having so many students who it wants go to Princeton and Harvard. How can it gets those students? Hmmm. How does a baker steal customers from the bakery across the street?

Look not to the “benevolence” of administrators like Winston if you want a cheaper elite college experience for your children.

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Herstory

Katie Grace on WSO.

That being said, the Women’s Center is a new organization. The Leadership Board has had to battle for the funding to even begin to think about programming, scrounge for a place to hold meetings, and explain themselves and their vision time and time again only to have their views (and even facts about their organization, such as the involvement of Sara Ansell) distorted by others.

The only reason that anything is being “distorted” is because it is difficult for anyone, on campus or off, to figure out the facts. What is the Women’s Center? Who is on the Leadership Board? Who started the project? What is the budget? What does the money come from? What has Sara Ansell’s involvement been and what will it be going forward? These are all reasonable questions deserving of answers.

Now, it would be one thing if the only questions/complaints came from patriarchal old alums. But the thread makes clear that there are plenty of Williams students, including (especially?) women, with these concerns. Priority #1 for the Women’s Center should be addressing them. It would take no more than 30 minutes to put up a FAQ on WSO with the answers to these questions. Why doesn’t Grace, or someone else, do it?

Minor quibbles:

1) “[S]crounge for a place to hold meetings.” Huh? Isn’t Williams filled with meeting rooms in places like Griffin, Greylock/Dodd private dining rooms and so on? Are these all taken, all the time?

2) Complaints about distortion are annoying and reminiscent of the whining from CUL during the housing debate of two years ago. The only reason that many female Williams students are confused is that there are no easy-to-find answers. It is nice of Grace to post the mission statement (if that is what it is) of the Women’s Center in this thread, but that is hardly a permanent solution. Create a simple page. Whenever anyone has a question, point her to that page. Presto! No distortion.

3) What is the difference, if any, between the Women’s Center and the Women’s Collective? I think that they are just different names for the same thing. Or is the Women’s Collective a different name for the Leadership Board.

4) “[B]attle for the funding”. Huh? Why is the Women’s Center different from every other student organization at Williams? Funding is limited. Is Grace claiming that the powers-that-be, whether in the Administration or on College Council, have treated the Women’s Center any worse than any other student group? Why would they?

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Don’t Like Bloggers

As a follow up to the Don’t Like Snow satire, we have a new version from Rahul.

Williams College hates us. The people here discriminate against us. Beyond just getting lower hook-up rates, we are discriminated against in people’s minds. They look at us as just WSO-ers. They use names that we have used to proudly describe ourselves disparagingly today, like “WSO blogger”, “regular” and “post-whore”. I say it’s time we take back the mid-afternoon. We need to break this cycle of opression that damages our self-esteem and portrays us at victims. It’s time we fight back. We need a space where we can go and be ourslves, talk about the issues that bother us and just hide from all the haters on campus. There will be enough people here who hate this idea and will go to unbelievable lengths to make sure we fail, but WSO-ers, we will not fail because our cause is just and we have strength: the strength of each other. I propose to start the WSO-ers Collective. Our next step is to build a bloggers center. Except we need to change the spelling because of the bad connotation the word center has received following the opening of the womyn’s center. I propose to change the spelling to Bl0gG3rS C3NtR3.

Since Rahul likes blogging and doesn’t get paid, the proper terminology is “post-slut” not “post-whore.” What is the point of inculcating Rahul in the ways of the patriarchy if he doesn’t pick up the lingo?

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FH Alum

One of the more interesting comments in our discussion of athletics and diversity came from FH Alum.

I am an asian american alum who actually played on the field hockey team. Admittedly, field hockey in the U.S. (epecially in the northeast) does not consist of many players of color. However, there are many instances during my years on the fh team at Williams that made me aware of my race more than playing in high school. They are experiences that someone who is not a minority might never pick up on but for a person of color it creates a very uncomfortable atmosphere.

Details, please. Those of us without any conscious experience of these incidents need to be educated. And, as someone who coaches girls of all races, I certainly want to do what I can to ensure that none of my players are “uncomfortable.” Tell us your story.

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Eph Hoops on d3cast

Williams’ young but talented men’s basketball team has had an amazing run in the postseason after an up-and-down season. They upset Trinity in dramatic fashion in the NESCAC semifinals last night, and play Amherst (ranked second in the country) on the road today at noon for the NESCAC title. You can watch the game via a webcast at this link. Williams will be a huge underdog, as the Ephs start two first years and no seniors, and they are up against a well-rested, junior and senior dominated Amherst team that has beaten the Ephs six times in a row.

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General Lee

Eric Smith ’99 is a simple man, with simple dreams (involving obese women and NASCAR, or something).

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Eph OC

At 4:40 at the ending of the The OC finale, one of the characters seems to be in a math class with a bunch students wearing Williams clothes. Can someone please explain what is going on? We need to get these pop culture appearances correct. Kaitlin Cooper seems to be the character. Good person or bad person? Is it part of the plot that she was going to Williams? Details, please. (Previous discussion here.)

And perhaps a technologically skilled reader could do a screen grab for us?

Note that the last woman to fictionally look toward Williams was Lucy Montgomery from As The World Turns.

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Sex Positively

Positive Sex Week is on.

VULVApalooza TONIGHT in Chapin! 7:30pm.
and
And on SATURDAY, the Porn Star herself…Annie Sprinkle!
(www. anniesprinkle.org)
Sat, 12-1:30–“The Amazing World of Orgasm” porn viewing. Lunch and discussion with Annie. Hardy House living room.
Sat, 2:30-5pm–Free Sidewalk Sex Clinic! With Annie and other sex experts. Open to any and all questions. Paresky Center.
Sat, 8-10pm–“My Life as a Feminist Activist Porn Star” Brooks Rogers

My thoughts are the same as before. Note that the above announcement comes to us from Sara Ansell, an employee of the college. If students want to lead and organize such events, then great. More power to them. But, from a distance, a lot of these efforts seem driven by Ansell. True? And how much is all this costing?

Money is limited. Future Marine Jeff Castiglione ’07 was trying to organize a talk with Anthony Zinni, retired Marine General and Iraq War critic. Castiglione was told that there wasn’t enough money available. Yet Sara Ansell seems to have no trouble rounding up the funds for a week-end’s worth of insights from a porn star. If the College only has funding for one speaker, should it choose Zinni or Sprinkle?

More importantly, I have my doubts about how open Ansell and her ilk are to opinions on sexuality which differ from their own. Where on this week’s program is someone with a perspective like that of Wendy Shailt ’97?

It’s like some big cosmic joke: The people who are supposed to be “sex positive” and enjoying their cultural freedoms are actually lonely and having terrible sex, whereas studies have shown that religious marrieds are the ones enjoying themselves the most. What’s happened? Perhaps without emotions involved, sex becomes boring.

More from Wendy here.

But much more important than the numbers are the underlying attitudes. Here social science is pretty clear. Teens, especially girls, tend to regret their sexual experiences, and the more experiences they have, the more likely they are to be depressed and commit suicide. For both sexes, an increase in sexual partners throughout one’s life is negatively correlated with human happiness.

Consider Levy’s 19-year-old Debbie Cope, who experiences regret after doing a “scene” for a Girls Gone Wild video–not because she masturbated on camera in the back of a bar, but for “not doing it right” when for some reason beyond her grasp, she couldn’t climax.

The fact is, “do whatever you want” is meaningless to a girl like Debbie. Debbie has had more “sex-positive” opportunities than she knows what to do with. Still, she doesn’t realize something basic: Women are typically paid to appear in pornography precisely because being a sexual object is not supposed to be fun. Like many young women today, Debbie is publicly sexual, while remaining utterly alienated from her own sexuality.

I think girls today want to hear that they can be sexual beings without having to be boy-toys. And indeed, we’re seeing that there’s a greater chance of real intimacy that way.

If the Women’s Center is so interested in ensuring that students at Williams are exposed to a variety of viewpoints, then we can safely assume that she will be inviting Wendy, or someone like her, to speak at the College sometime this spring. Right? (Related WSO discussion here.) Lauren Guilmette writes:

Sex Week is full of several activities and a variety of angles. Annie is one. We’re bringing Annie Sprinkle because, as a performance artist, activist and sexologist, she adds an interesting spin to the very issues you’re raising – can pornography exist outside of the objectification it seems to inevitably create? (as the filmed experiences/bodies of others, literally objects… can there be anything positive for sexual expression/understanding/dialogue there?) While certainly not an apologist for pornography, Annie has worked from the inside (pun intended) to change a genre that will exist regardless of what feminists think, to make it positive for women in a groundbreaking way. The reason we’re bringing Annie is not because we want all women on campus to believe in the merits of pornography; rather, we want to get people talking about this and other topics, latent in our everyday experiences.

Back in the day, the trouble I used to make was most excellent at getting “people talking” so I shouldn’t complain. But I’ll believe this spin when Wendy is invited to Williams by the Women’s Center.

UPDATE: Great comment in that same thread from Madelyn Labella.

Besides which, I’m not convinced that the best response to the continual commodification of sexuality is by embracing self-commodification. I understand that the Women’s Center wants to celebrate female sexuality, but I feel like part of the larger mission of protecting dignity and demanding respect for the gender as a whole is getting lost. It really upsets me that this is coming from the organization whose stated purpose to support and nurture the female population here — I actually feel rather betrayed.

Am I an outlier?

No. What does it say about the sort of job that Ansell is doing that some students feel “betrayed?”

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For Rachel

Laura Lim Prescott ’92 provides insight into the mind of a superior knitter.

Why am I showing you this and giving you a timetable of the events? Yesterday, in an email conversation, Rachel indicated that she was jealous that I knit half a Starsky back in one day. So, naturally, I had to finish the back by the end of the day. In other words, I wrote this post with the sole purpose of driving Rachel insane with jealousy over my knitting speed. I have to do something to get to Rachel now because once I’m finished knitting this sweater, I’m going to have to endure Rachel’s taunts until kingdom come. What are friends for?

Indeed.

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An Eph astronaut? That would be cool.

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Not Morty

WSO poster suggests that “Schapiro mentioned in new Fountains of Wayne Song.” Check it out here. Alas, that is not a reference to Morty, as the lyrics make clear. Cool idea, though.

By the way, is Stacy’s Mom inspired by an Eph mom?

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Paresky updates

This is today’s message from Doug Schiazza.

Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 10:12:45 -0500 (EST)
From: Douglas.Schiazza@williams.edu
Reply-To: Douglas.Schiazza@williams.edu
Subject: Paresky Updates 2/23
To: williams-students@williams.edu, williams-personnel@williams.edu

Greetings. Below are more updates – some are responses to suggestions and inquiries I received from the last message that was sent. I hope this will help to clarify some things.

(And I’m sorry to keep flooding your inboxes – for the time being, it seems like this is the best way to communicate these things with the entire campus, since it potentially affects the entire campus. Thanks for your patience and understanding.)

The full message is below.

Read more

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Professor Marc Lynch explains how Eminem can save the Middle East. Really.

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