The Dartmouth Review 2.27.2009 Volume 28, Issue 13 .pdf

File information


Original filename: The Dartmouth Review 2.27.2009 Volume 28, Issue 13.pdf

This PDF 1.4 document has been generated by Adobe InDesign CS2 (4.0) / Adobe PDF Library 7.0, and has been sent on pdf-archive.com on 19/04/2014 at 23:14, from IP address 129.170.x.x. The current document download page has been viewed 852 times.
File size: 4 MB (12 pages).
Privacy: public file


Download original PDF file


The Dartmouth Review 2.27.2009 Volume 28, Issue 13.pdf (PDF, 4 MB)


Share on social networks



Link to this file download page



Document preview


Dartmouth’s Only Independent Newspaper
Volume 28, Issue 13
February 27, 2009
The Hanover Review, Inc.
P.O. Box 343
Hanover, NH 03755

The Sex Issue

•• “V-Monologues” Reviewed • The College Placed on Probation • The

Thrill of the Chaste • TDR Exclusive Interview: The Chaste Dawn Eden •
Sex and Deviance at the College • Professor Hart on Love, Romance,
Standards, and What’s Left of Them •

Page The Dartmouth Review February 27, 2009

Hating the Man, Loving Your Body
By Nicholas P. Hawkins

The eleventh annual “V-Day” (V for vagina) performance of the The Vagina Monologues was ostensibly to
support programs to prevent violence against women. But
the issue of violence against women was only a small part of
the two-hour ordeal and the rest was served only to dilute
and confuse the message. This is ironical in that Eve Ensler
wrote the play in 1996 to “celebrate the vagina” and stop
violence against women.

While the play does irreverently praise the vagina in
a way only a product of the women’s liberation movement
could, its anthropomorphic treatment of female genitalia
left many in bewilderment. The play is an intermingling of
vignettes that range from powerful denunciations of violence
and rape to whimsical anecdotes about what a vagina would
wear and what personality it would have; yet never the twain
do meet. What results is a whirlwind of fast-paced rants
during which the validity of the play’s antiviolence message
is diluted by discussions about the need for hair on a vagina
and how to find the clitoris.

In addition to women describing what their vaginas
would do and say to the crowd that piled into 105 Dartmouth
Hall the Thursday of Winter Carnival, there was an appeal
to the women in the audience to “look at their vaginas” and
get to know themselves through it. Ms. Ensler’s play suggests that women should self-identify with their genitalia;
however, the monologues fail to explain why the vagina hs
any more to do with who a woman is than any other part of
her anatomy. But, to be fair, the idea that the vagina is the
defining feature of womanhood is logically impeccable, but
it is just not groundbreaking and it is wholly impertinent to
the issue of sexual abuse.

Ms. Ensler’s obsession appears to be not with the end
of violence against women, but with the domination of
feminism. Each year Ensler adds a new monologue to stay
current with the issues faced by women around the world,
but largely the play continues to run through the exploitation
of these causes. The militant feminism supported by Ensler’s

Mr. Hawkins is a junior at the College and is the forthcoming President of The Dartmouth Review.

monologues is the real message to be spread. Throughout
the play Ms. Ensler extols the virtues of lesbianism, sexual
assault by females, prostitution, sadism and masochism,
frequent masturbation and transgender lifestyles—a practice
with which one could easily confuse gender mutilation.

—Eve Ensler—

Sexual abuse and the worldwide effort to prevent it is
the only important issue which Ms. Ensler addresses, but
it is only the central theme to a noticeably small number of
scenes. Those of note were “Say It,” a monologue performed
from the perspective of one of the Japanese “comfort women”
during World War II and a monologue performed from
the perspective of a Bosnian woman who was subjected to
“rape camps” during the Bosnian War. Both scenes were
very similar in that they recounted the experiences of the
women in gruesome detail and brought attention to this
years V-Day supported cause: the rape and exploitation of

women and children in the African Congo. However, once
again the power of these scenes was diluted by Ms. Ensler’s
crude and often inappropriate subject matter.

The most offensive of these supposedly light-hearted
monologues was one entitled “The Little Coochie Snorcher
that Could.” It was given from the perspective of a sixteen
year-old girl (thirteen in Ensler’s original play) who hates her
“little coochie snorcher” (read: vagina) because of myriad
reasons including an over protective mother, a deadbeat
father and an earlier sexual assault described in far too much
detail.

Then one glorious day she meets a nice twenty-fouryear-old lesbian who takes the girl away from her mother,
gets her drunk and sexually abuses her further. The girl,
however, describes the encounter in positive terms saying
of the assailant: “[she] turned my sorry-ass coochie snorcher
into a kind of heaven.” The same phenomenon is seen in
those suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome.

It should be noted here that in the original script of the
scene the young girl acknowledges that it was a rape, but
it was a “good rape”. While the V-Day organizers deserve
kudos for the alteration to the original, what remains is far
from an appropriate scene in a play that claims to be for
the prevention of sexual abuse. Just imagine the riotous
uproar that would result if it were a twenty-four year-old
man and a sixteen year old girl, much less a thirteen yearold.

The outrageous contradictions of ideology emanate
throughout this play, whether it be simultaneously denouncing the sexual assault of a girl by a man while applauding the
same act by a woman, or deploring militaries that rape and
pillage young women while demonstrating—at length—the
fine arts of sadism and masochism.

The very idea that the original play made a distinction
between a “good rape” and a “bad rape” should have led the
faculty at the Center for Women and Gender to determine
that the play was inappropriate to perform under the guise
of preventing sexual violence.

It is unfortunate when those who sit in positions of
power push liberal feminist ideologies ahead of legitimate
pro-female initiatives, and it is even more so when they try
to package the former as the latter.
n

Through the Smoke
ing obligations of Science division faculty dropped from
four courses per year to three during the same time peEditor’s Note: This article responds to Provost Barry riod—leading to a significant reduction in the number of
Scherr’s February 13 column in the Daily Dartmouth. courses offered. This type of change is not captured in a
The Daily Dartmouth refused to publish Mr. Asch 79’s statistic like the Scherr’s incorrect student/faculty ratio, but
rejoinder to Mr. Scherr, so The Review has reproduced students live through its effects every term.

Throughout his piece, Scherr seeks to deflect your atMr. Asch’s response below.
tention toward a discussion of percentages and away from

Provost Scherr’s reply to my recent column is typical my detailed review of the increase in spending and the
growth in the total number of employees in administrative
of the approach that has marked this administration.

Scherr levels the charge that my “use of data is selec- offices.
He cites the faster growth of faculty positions (3 pertive, misleading and often wrong”—a serious accusation
that he has made before—but, once again, he fails to back cent) than administrative positions (1.1 percent), without
proving the details that faculty grew by 50 professors and
it up with facts: he can’t.

Scherr only advances the old saws that Dartmouth’s the number of administrators at the College grew by 83
PR department has been using for years to divert attention full-time employees. The McKinsey report also noted that
away from the drift and waste of this administration. Let’s another 101 administrators were hired at the graduate
schools, but these new hires don’t figure in Scherr’s percent
examine a few of his assertions closely.

Scherr asserts that the faculty has increased by 15.5 calculations.
Additionally, Scherr states that “Administrative Suppercent, and the student/faculty ratio decreased from 10:1
port” has grown from 5 percent of the total College budget
to 8:1 over the past decade.

Leaving aside the administration’s previous claim that in 1997 to 6.5 percent of the budget in 2008. His implication
has the student/faculty ratio dropping from 12:1 to 8:1 dur- is that we should not be concerned about a teensy-weensy
ing this period (still in evidence on AskDartmouth website), increase of 1.5 percent. We should be concerned. For one,
(http://ask.dartmouth.edu/categories/academics/01.html) the change from 5 percent to 6.5 percent is a 30 percent leap,
you don’t have to be a math major to see that Scherr’s two but more importantly, that 1.5 percent increase totals almost
figures are in contradiction. According to the Dartmouth 15 million dollars, money that would be available each year
FactBook, the student body has grown slightly over the to hire more professors for oversubscribed departments.
Scherr goes on to assert that the majority of last year’s
last decade (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~oir/pdfs/enroll-
ments.pdf), so for the student/faculty ratio to change to this increase in Administrative Support reflects a “reclassificaextent, the size of the faculty would have had to increase tion of some expenses (for example, campus-wide web
publishing services).” I’d like to know the detail behind that
by over 25 percent. It hasn’t.

FYI: 4,147 students enrolled this past fall and we statement. For one, that’s a lot of web publishing! And why
have 439 full-time equivalent faculty members, so the is the College re-classifying large expenses in its accounts?
One hypothesis: to make it harder to analyze year-on-year
student/faculty ratio is really 9.45 to 1.

Additionally, Scherr fails to point out that the teach- spending (and perhaps hide from view the millions that the
College spent on the Association of Alumni election last

Mr. Asch is an alumnus at the College and a friend of year)?

Scherr also proudly describes the increase in the numThe Dartmouth Review.
By Joseph Asch ‘79

ber of courses offered in the Government and Economics
departments in numerical and in percentage terms. We
shouldn’t be happy with that either.

If you look at BannerStudent for the Fall term, you
will see that almost half of courses in these two departments were oversubscribed; many students, even juniors
and seniors, were once again turned away. Why does the
College still fail, after a decade of complaint, to meet
students’ demand for courses in these departments?

Scherr also trots out another of the Administration’s
favorite misleading figures: the number of small classes
offered at the College. He writes, “During this time, we
also have offered more classes with fewer than 20 students,
going from 57 percent to 64 percent of our classes.”

Well, do 64 percent of your classes have fewer than
20 students in them? Of course not. The correct measure
regarding class sizes, as Scherr well knows because I have
pointed it out (Dartmouth By Numbers, May 26, 2006), is
the actual experience of students: in the 2007/8 academic
year, Dartmouth students found themselves in a course
with under twenty students only 35 percent of the time,
and that statistic includes the College’s many introductory
language courses, Writing 2/3 and 5 classes, and freshman
seminars.

During that period, 28 percent of students were
in classes with 20-39 students, and 37 percent were in
classes of more than 40 students. (http://www.dartmouth.
edu/~oir/pdfs/class_size.pdf)

Don’t you agree that these figures present a different picture from the glossy 64 percent figure offered by
Provost Scherr? Which set of statistics is a more honest
depiction of student life?

This administration plays as fast and loose with statistics
as it does with its checkbook. Where is the rigor in the
presentation of information that one should expect from
a scholar? Outside observers are not fooled. The alumni
have been deeply concerned about the College’s weak
and wasteful administration for a decade. You and your
parents should be, too.
n

February 27, 2009 The Dartmouth Review Page

Founders

Greg Fossedal, Gordon Haff,
Benjamin Hart, Keeney Jones

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win
great triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than
to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy
much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray
twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

Emily Esfahani-Smith
Editor-in-Chief

Weston R. Sager
President

Michael C. Russell, A.S. Erikson
Executive Editors

William D. Aubin
Managing Editor

David W. Leimbach, Jared W. Zelski,
Christine S. Tian
Senior Editors

Mostafa A. Heddaya, Tyler Brace,
Katherine J. Murray
Associate Editors

Nicholas P. Hawkins

Cat D. Amble

Vice President

Photography Editor

Michael R. DiBenedetto
Sports Editor

Nisanth A. Reddy, Michael J. Edgar
Web Editors

Contributors
Blair Bandeen, Sterling Beard, Cathleen G. Kenary, Ryan
Zehner, Charlie Dameron, Brian C. Murphy, Fernando
Rodriguez-Villa, Tyler Maloney, Michael Cooper, Lane
Zimmerman, Ashley Roland, Erich Hartfelder, Brian
Nachbar, Donald L. Faraci, Michael Randall

Mean-Spirited, Cruel and Ugly
Legal Counsel

The Review Advisory Board
Martin Anderson, Patrick Buchanan, Theodore Cooper
stein, Dinesh D’Souza, Robert Flanigan, John Fund,
William Grace, Gordon Haff, Jeffrey Hart, Laura
Ingraham, Mildred Fay Jefferson, William Lind, Steven
Menashi, James Panero, Hugo Restall, Roland Reynolds, William Rusher, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Sidney Zion
Gay Chap
The cover image is courtesy of the Dartmouth Library
Special Thanks to William F. Buckley, Jr.
The Editors of The Dartmouth Review welcome correspondence from readers concerning any subject, but
prefer to publish letters that comment directly on material published previously in The Review. We reserve
the right to edit all letters for clarity and length.
Submit letters by mail, fax at (603) 643-1470, or e-mail:
editor@dartreview.com
The Dartmouth Review is produced bi-weekly by
Dartmouth College undergraduates for Dartmouth
students and alumni. It is published by the Hanover
Review, Inc., a non-profit tax-deductible organization.
Please send all inquiries to:

The Dartmouth Review
P.O. Box 343
Hanover, N.H. 03755

Subscribe: $40
The Dartmouth Review
P.O. Box 343
Hanover, N.H. 03755
(603) 643-4370
Fax: (603) 643-1470
Contributions are tax-deductible.
www.dartreview.com

Editorial
College Violates Standards,
Placed on Probation

The College recently met with The Dartmouth Review’s
Standards of Conduct Committee, modeled after the
College’s very own Judicial Adjudicative Committee for the
Academy’s Standards Soils (JACASS). After the hearing, The
Review’s committee decided to move forward with the motion to place the College on probation. This letter is official
confirmation that over the course of the past few months, the
College has repeatedly violated its own JACASS standards
of conduct, as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Specifically, the College violated JACASS standard II
(twice!), standard V, and standard VIII. The College has, in
other words, engaged in disorderly conduct, indecent behavior, and violated its own principles of academic honor.

Based on this finding, and considering the College’s
record over the past decade, The Review’s committee
places the College on probation, without the possibility of
appeal, until 7 June 2009,
when James Wright’s tenure as president officially
ends. As just one part of the
disciplinary sanctions to be
imposed on the College for
this gross, indecent, though
precedented, violation, the
College must, effective 7
June 2009, immediately
replace the upper tier of
its leadership ring, to be
herein referred to as Team
Wright.

This includes replacing
the already lame-ducked President Wright, the ethically
challenged Board Chair Ed Haldeman, the compliant Dean
of Faculty Carol Folt, and the numerically incapacitated
Provost Barry Scherr (see page 2)—each of whom, in leading the College down the lost highway, merits a spot in
Alexander Pope’s kingdom of imbecility, tastelessness and
decay, the Dunciad, and not as prominent leaders of one
of the foremost academic institutes in the world.

But first, before the sanctions are listed, an exposition
of the College’s standards is needed. The violations:

1. The College has violated JACASS standard II on
two accounts. Standard II states, “organizations must not
engage in behavior that threatens the safety, security, or
functioning of the College, the safety and security of its
members, and the safety and security of others.” Yet, in its
gross mismanagement of the College’s finances—administrative expenses have increased over 130 percent since
James Wright became president in 1998—Team Wright
was recently forced to cut 47 million dollars from its budget
in the next two years, impairing the safety, security, and
functioning of the College community.

On a second count, Team Wright violated Standard II’s
provision against disorderly conduct. “The College requires
orderly conduct of all…while in Hanover and its environs, as
well as at any College-related function or activity.” Yet, the
recent charade in Collis Commonground, otherwise referred
to as the SexFest (pages 8-9), received tacit endorsement
from Team Wright in the form of cash (condoms and lubecovered strawberries can be expensive, after all—just ask the
Women’s and Gender Studies Department, who organized
the SexFest and decided, with more crass than class, to hold
it over Valentine’s Day and Winter Carnival weekend this
year).

For those who don’t know, the fair sponsors celebrate
promiscuity and the vulgarization of sex, love, and romance
while distributing packets of flavored lube and “Magnum”
condoms in a rather generous estimation of the Dartmouth
male.

2. Further, Team Wright has violated JACASS standard
V with its SexFest. Standard V, which is about academic
honor, states, “Dartmouth College, in recognizing the responsibility of students for their own education, assumes
intellectual honesty and integrity in the performance of
academic assignments.”

Though Team Wright sees it fit to eliminate thirty to
thirty-five courses from the College curriculum in an attempt
to meet budget constraints, it considered the SexFest worthy

of a line on the budget. While it is not clear how the SexFest
fits into the College’s liberal arts mission, perhaps Team
Wright saw intellectual merit in such questions as, “If your
vagina could talk, what would it say?,” or the suggestively
asinine “How Deep Do You Dip Your Strawberry?,” or
the benign “What is Outercourse?” Apparently, the thirty
to thirty-five classes Team Wright cut from the curriculum
didn’t meet the rigorous intellectual standards apotheosized
by the SexFest.

3. Finally, Team Wright violated standard VIII’s prohibition against obstructing the duty of the College and faculty
to teach students: “Organizations must not intentionally
disrupt, interfere with, or obstruct teaching, research, or
College administration.”

Though Team Wright has been trimming the budget
by implementing a faculty hiring freeze and postponing
the search to fill one-third of
the vacant professorships—in
such critical liberal arts areas
as Dante, Shakespeare and
Cervantes—no one mentioned
significantly trimming the size
of the bloated administration,
which has exponentially increased in size over the past
decade, earning it the ironic
moniker: SlimFast.

To contextualize the
administrative growth of Team
Wright’s era, it’s best to quote
from Joe Asch ‘79’s February
10 column in The Daily Dartmouth: “In 1997, the President’s
Office numbered 6.5 full-time employees; 10 years later
there were 10. During that time period, the Dean of the
Faculty Office went from 14 to 28 full-time employees. The
Dean of the College Office went from 16 to 26; the Provost’s
Office went from 6.5 to 11.5; and the combined headcount
of the First-Year Office, the Office of Student Life and the
Office of Residential Life went from 26.5 to 47.”

Yet, what does Team Wright have to say about cuts to
its huge administrative budget? “All administrative areas
are reducing travel, participation in conferences and consortia, funding for gatherings on and off-campus, as well as
printing and publications.” No more Canoe Club-catered
conferences at the Hanover Inn? How about any major
organizational cuts, like the morally corrupt and uproariously idiotic Office of Pluralism and Leadership? Or salary
cuts for the underperforming members of Team Wright
(a majority)? No mention was made of these very practical
and just solutions.

For this reason, The Review’s committee, modeled
after the JACASS’s at Parkhurst, have decided to put Team
Wright and the College on probation. As a condition of this
sanction:

1. The members of Team Wright must be replaced
with an alumni, faculty and student-approved slate of new
leaders by 7 June 2009.

2. Until that time, Team Wright, and those who work
immediately under or in the vicinity of Team Wright’s
members, must accept a salary pay-cut commensurate to the
quality of their work over the Wright tenure, which began
in 1998. The poor quality of their work merits at least a 10
percent pay-cut. This budgetary relief should be transferred
to what Team Wright must consider to be frivolous academic
needs, like filling professor vacancies.

3. Team Wright should immediately acknowledge the
failure of its standards violations and the ramifications it will
have on the future of the College and seek to rectify such
a failure. This can happen by reinstating parity between
alumni-elected and alumni-appointed trustees.

The failures of Team Wright could have been prevented
with the pressure that accountability bears. But with an
increasingly compliant Board of Trustees, the majority of
whom lack the strength, courage, vision, foresight, and—in
the spirit of the SexFest—testicles to take Team Wright on,
the only members of the Dartmouth community willing to
take the College to task—aside from this modest publication—are alumni…with the power of their purses.
n

By
Emily
EsfahaniSmith

Page The Dartmouth Review February 27, 2009

The Week In Review
The College on the Pill

Once more we hear the old, tired warning cries about
over-population. Robert Park, a physics professor at University of Maryland, argued in his lecture “The Last Endangered Species: Population Dynamics on a Finite Planet” last
Thursday that we must use birth control to end the threat
of overpopulation. The immediate question that comes to
mind is: why is a physics professor lecturing on this? If he
were a history professor or a political scientist, he might
have known that nearly all the birth rates in all Western
countries are below replacement rate (we should be more
concerned with Europe dying out than being overpopulated) and that Thomas Malthus’ predictions, upon which
he relies heavily, have almost all been empirically denied.
Furthermore, if he were a student of a different discipline,
he might know about Malthus’ influence on Francis Galton,
Charles Darwin’s cousin and founder of the modern eugenics movement. But look further, and we get to the heart of
the matter. The D reports that Park said, “We have to have
complete freedom for women.” Ideology rears its ugly head
again: Park is probably more interested in being a latter day
Margaret Sanger (who, incidentally, also supported eugenics), than in protecting the environment. If one wants to
hear about sub-atomic particles, it is no doubt advisable to
give Park a ring, but it would be wise to look elsewhere for
social policy.

Coattail Fail

Democrat Vanessa Sievers ’10 was recently elected to
the position of Grafton County Treasurer, thereby defeating
incumbent Republican Carol Elliot. It seems the election
was summarily won through 42 dollars worth of advertising
on Facebook, targeting, in Elliot’s words, “brainwashed college kids,” and, last but not least, Obama’s coattails. Elliot’s
thoughts on her defeat: she was worried that taxpayers “had
a teenybopper for treasurer.”

Since then, the atmosphere around the county office has
begun to turn sour despite initial high hopes. Democratic
Commissioner Martha Richards describes the Dartmouth
junior’s performance as mediocre and wonders about Sievers’ decision to run, “Did she do it on a lark?”

Following several absences and a lengthy delay in investing 11 million dollars, which could have been earning
an interest of 540 dollars a day, many have doubted Sievers’ competence. Last week a Republican commissioner
moved to remove Sievers from her post allowing the deputy
treasurer to take her place, but the motion failed to garner
support from Richards and Republican Commission Chairman Michael Cryans. (It should be noted that Sievers was
absent from this meeting as well).

It seems they are under the impression that she will

turn her lack of effort around and that she has valid excuses.
These include her preference for e-mail (“At Dartmouth
that’s how we communicate. We don’t use phones, we
don’t use fax, we simply use the Internet,” she said.), having other commitments, and having presented her plan for
investment by e-mail two weeks ago. If the commissioners
didn’t approve her e-mail, she says, they should have voiced
their concerns over e-mail. Apparently, Sievers’ delay and
absence are attributable to the newfangled technology the
kids are using these days. On February 23, the plan was
finally approved.

In an election that came as a landslide victory for the
Democrats, it seems that Sievers might have been an instance where it was a mistake to blindly fill out the ballot
with checkmarks under Obama’s name. Good for Sievers
though: she is earning a salary of 6,480 dollars for showing
up to little less than half of her scheduled meetings.

Operation:
Operating DDS

The old adage is that when the going gets tough the
tough get going. DDS has chosen to modify this formula
a bit, deciding that when the going gets tough the tough
shut down half their operations. In response to the current recession, DDS has decided that the wisest business
practices, in addition to purchasing those magnificent flat
screen televisions, include shutting down Lone Pine, Cafe
North, and the Courtyard Cafe. DDS administrators have
rightly noted that there are at present far too many dining
options on campus. Intrepid DDS overseers have also come
to the conclusion that Topside dollars should be removed
from the dining plan. It is surprising that it took DDS this
long to realize that people would rather pay cash from their
own pocket for Topside products than use DBA that is built
into their tuition. DDS’s new business model is stunning
in its brilliant simplicity: keep the same old successful and
popular practices, but just reduce them a little bit. DDS
reminds one of a man limping down a road who decides
that he can fix his limp by cutting off one of his legs.

New York Liberals
Embarrass Themselves
Once More

Every student at Dartmouth from New York proved
they are more intelligent than the average NYU student
simply by being at Dartmouth. But, if the point needed to
be hammered home, members of Take Back NYU! took
over and occupied the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center

for University Life by barricading doors and listing their
demands in a manner reminiscent of the good old-fashioned
protests of the sixties, which turned campuses into war zones.
Though some of their demands were reasonable (full and
annual disclosure of the budget and endowment, tuition
stabilization), others have left us chortling with their asininity, including but not limited to: donating excess supplies
to rebuild the University of Gaza, annual scholarships for
thirteen Palestinian students (one for each Israeli killed in
the conflict as opposed to 1,300 Palestinians, meaning NYU
students do not know how to do symbolism); the creation of
a socially responsible finance committee composed entirely
of students sitting on the board of trustees with the power
to override the administration’s finance decisions; and reassessing the recently lifted ban on Coca-Cola products. The
more The Review learns about this, the more amused we are.
One Alex Lotorto of Students for a Democratic Society (you
know, that society that terrorist William Ayers was a member
of) drove up from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA to
help the organizers. The disorderly nonsense socially justified occupation began late on the night of February 18 and
ended on Friday afternoon. This is embarrassing enough
that even the College Democrats and Students of Color and
Allies signed an open letter against it. The administration
was not amused either and has not only denied all requests,
but suspended several students. All The Review can say is,
“They had it coming.”

President Obama to
Bail Out Descendents of
Geronimo’s Tribe

The descendants of Apache chief Geronimo are suing
President Barack Obama, Yale University, and the Order of
Skull and Bones, a secret society at said university, for the
return of Geronimo’s remains. Skull and Bones, famous for
producing both 2004 presidential candidates, is reputed to
possess some or all of Geronimo’s skeleton after removing
it from its tomb at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1918.

The plaintiffs are relying on the 1990 Native American
Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to allow them, in
the words of their court complaint, to “free Geronimo, his
remains, funerary objects and spirit, from one hundred years
of imprisonment at Ft. Sill Oklahoma, the Yale University
campus at New Haven, Connecticut, and wherever else
they may be found.”

This document also includes over twenty pages of
biographical and historical information about Geronimo
and the Apache people. The relevance of this information
to the lawsuit is questionable—unless, of course, inducing
white guilt in the jury is part of the plaintiffs’ strategy.

Stinson’s: Your Pong HQ
Cups, Balls, Paddles, Accessories
(603) 643-6086 | www.stinsonsvillagestore.com

February 27, 2009 The Dartmouth Review Page

Dawn Eden Speaks at Aquinas House

By Bit Peabody-McPhierson

On Monday February 9, Dawn Eden, a former agnostic
rock journalist, spoke on chastity and the continuing relevance of Christian sexual teachings at Aquinas House. The
event, designed as a counterpoint to the college-sponsored
SexFest, was entitled “SexFest Catholic Style,” and was,
unlike the College’s version, advertised on Aquinas House’s
website.

Eden’s talk centered around the concept of chastity,
which she defined as “a complete self-gift” and that which
“enables us to love fully in the manner that is appropriate
to each relationship.” Eden argued that chastity is different
from abstinence; abstinence, she said, is a “no,” but chastity
is “a yes.” Eden recounted her slow journey to this belief,
from her “sex in the city lifestyle” to her current life of
chastity. In evaluating her life, Eden found that:
When I made the pleasure for its own sake
my only goal there was always something
missing. It was only when I stopped seeking
pleasure as a final end that I discovered joy
and beauty.

Eden told the audience that before she came to this joy, her
romantic life was driven by “the sex in the city rule,” which
is the idea that sex comes before love and that sex pushes
the relationship. She argued that sex is in fact a much more
beautiful and giving act when it follows love.

When sex comes first, Eden asserted, “you are really
making a demand, saying ‘you better not hurt me and you
better stay with me.’”

Eden stated that sexuality cannot be the gift it is supposed to be when sex becomes a demand or a way to find
love. Eden has experienced this principle in her own life; she
stated that her relationships are now much more meaningful
than they were during her hedonistic period.

Mr. Peabody-McPhierson is a freshman at the College and a Dartmouth Review-insider.


At the heart of her youthful dalliances, Eden said, was
the central fact that “each of us [her and her lovers] could be
disposed of” because the identity of each had been “reduced
to genital acts” and the ability to give each other physical
pleasure.

Eden told the audience that before her turn to chastity
she was truly objectified and she objectified others. “As soon
as you start to see people as objects for your own desire,”
she said, “you stop being present for that person.” She also
recounted that in her sex-driven relationships she “did not
have the sense that I was loved for my own sake.” Eden noted
that even when she has hostile audiences for her talks, the
audience members usually agree with the general idea that
“sex should mean something.”

She also claimed that efforts to separate love and sex
are foolish and will eventually lead to unhappiness because
“you can’t separate your emotions from what your body is
doing and your body has responses you can’t intellectually
control.”

Eden cited the scientific research by Dr. Miriam
Grossman, who spoke at Dartmouth earlier this year, to
support her view that sex affects us in uncontrollable ways.
She argued that, “you can’t do whatever you want as long
as use protection—you will still be affected.”

Eden juxtaposed the joy and beauty of chastity with the
unhappy fruits of the sexual revolution. She discussed the
ways in which proponents of “sexual liberation” try to explain
the sky-rocketing divorce rate that accompanied the loosing
of sexual mores. “They say that before the freedom brought
by the revolution,” Eden recounted, “woman were trapped
in unhappy marriages.” However, she pointed out that since
the 1970s unhappiness has, by every way of measuring it,
increased and suicide has skyrocketed. Eden believes one
cause of this increased unhappiness is the separation of love
and sex.

It was only when she realized that chastity means accepting a more meaningful, happy, and beautiful sexuality
that Eden truly came to embrace Christian sexual teachings. Prior to that, she told the audience, “she was the most
resentful abstinent person ever.” Eden relayed that before

her acceptance of chastity she was “always on the prowl,
always had blinders on” and that she “was contracepting
her heart.” Now, however, she believes that “chastity has
opened my world and showed me how to live fully.” Eden
relayed how she came to the revelation when she embraced
chastity that:
Our sexuality is far more than casual stuff. It
goes all the way to our soul. Our sexuality is
expressed in every aspect of the way we love.
This view of sexuality is very beautiful and
personal in contrast to the impersonality of
today’s sexual buffet.


Eden also discussed her conversion to Christianity.
She recounted the story of her first encounter with Christian writings when she read G.K. Chesterton’s Man Who
Was Thursday on the recommendation of a rock artist she
interviewed:
I was attracted to it before I realized it was
Christian. It was a trap. As C.S. Lewis said
‘A young atheist can never be too careful
of what he reads.’ Chesterton portrayed
Christians as the true rebels, upholding
truth and beauty against a world fallen into
darkness.


The contrast between the picture of true rebellion
painted by Chesterton and the type of sexual and political
rebellion she was infatuated with at the time particularly
struck Eden.

After reading Chesterton and other defenders of the
Christian faith for four years, including C.S. Lewis and St.
Augustine, Eden converted to Christianity at age thirty-one,
and was eventually lead into the Catholic Church.

Eden was not the most engaging speaker, but one came
away from this event with the clear sense that chastity has
unlocked great reservoirs of joy and beauty for at least one
individual, and it might just do so for us, too.
n

A Good New President?

And finally, did the pieces appear in demanding journals,
or only in second- or third-tier publications and presses, a

Jim Wright gave his inaugural address five and a half sign that publishers of the first order did not deem them
months after he was chosen to be President, and given that worthy?
Side note: Try this exercise with your own professors.
he will leave office in June, it shouldn’t be long before we

Secondly, we need an effective leader, someone who
know the name of the College’s next leader.

No doubt our MBA-laden Board of Trustees will can get the College moving again. Someone with hands-on
choose an attractive leader, at least superficially - these experience. Has our prospective leader directed a significant
money managers all studied marketing, after all - but will academic institution, and more importantly, has he or she
our new leader withstand close scrutiny? Let’s lay out a made a real impact upon it?

Or has the candidate simply been the titular head of
few tests.
a
large
university, where power is diffused, and where a

First, it is evident that Dartmouth needs a top-drawer
leader’s
role is more that of a cheerleader/fundraiser than a
scholar at its helm. The overall quality of our faculty has
declined over the past decade: the College has fewer visionary President who selects Deans and dismisses those
members in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences that do not perform as required.
Impact can be measured in two ways: has the direcand the National Academy of Sciences than any other Ivy
tion of an institution changed under this leader, and have
school.

A cutting-edge scholar will draw leading professors to strong administrators and faculty been hired to effect that
Hanover, and they, in turn, will attract innovative young change?

The veterans of the Wright administration are on their
faculty members.
way
to retirement now, and new blood is urgently needed

But how to measure a new President’s scholarship?

First, go to GoogleScholar and enter the name of a at Dartmouth. Athletic Director Josie Harper has already
candidate. How many articles and books has the scholar resigned, and it is hard to imagine that Provost Barry Scherr
published? And is he or she the lead author of these books and Dean of the Faculty Carol Folt, after weak performances
at the end of their many decades in Hanover, will remain
and articles, or just one of many co-authors?

Are the publications ground-breaking pieces of in- much longer in their positions.
Can Dartmouth’s new President entice strong, decisive
vestigation that have been cited in other articles by fellow
administrators
to Hanover and then keep them here? Our
scholars, or did they receive little notice in the academic
present
administrative
leaders pale in comparison to the
community? GoogleScholar will tell you.

A significant article or book will have been cited in academic and scholarly luminaries who have left the College
over 100 other scholarly publications; the academic gold to lead other institutions.

Chief among the refugees from Hanover are former
standard is 500 citations.

Was the content of these works true research, or were Provost Lee Bollinger (now President of Columbia) and
they just opinion pieces or book reviews that did little to former Deans of the Faculty Jamshed Barucha (Provost at
Tufts) and Mike Gazzaniga (Director of the SAGE Center
advance fundamental knowledge?
for the Study of Mind at UC Santa Barbara), all of whom

Mr. Asch is an alumnus at the College and a friend of left Hanover after brief, frustrating stints in office here.
The Dartmouth Review.

None of the College’s Trustees have ever chosen a
By Joseph Asch ‘79

college President. Let’s hope that they do a thorough job
their first time out. The Trustees will need to compare a
number of serious candidates and spend a good amount
of time with each of them in order to choose the leading
intellectual and the decisive leader that Dartmouth urgently
needs.
n


Wah-Hoo-Wah!
Indian Tees Just $10!

To order:
Call (603) 643-4370
Stop by 44 S. Main Street
or visit www.dartreview.com

Page The Dartmouth Review February 27, 2009

TDR Exclusive Interview: The Chaste
Charles S. Dameron

Editor’s Note: As a reaction to the College’s SexFest
(see pages 8 and 9), Aquinas House decided to sponsor its
own SexFest—Catholic-style. As part of the festival, Aquinas House invited Dawn Eden, author of The Thrill of the
Chaste, to the College (see page 5). Ms. Eden sat down with
The Review recently to talk about sex, romance, and
marriage.

from the complete openness, in terms of a complete gift
of self to the other. If you’re married, if you’re having sex,
and you’re making a complete gift of self, then the sex is
not contracepted. But whether or not that sex produces a
child, it’s still that complete gift. Through that gift, which
is procreative in the sense that it’s open to procreation, a
union occurs.

The Dartmouth Review: Why is the sacrament of
marriage, and not just the feeling of love, a precondition for chaste sex? Why does it need to happen within
the institution of marriage? What’s the difference
between having sex within marriage and having sex
in a loving relationship outside of marriage?
Dawn Eden: I’ll tell you something that I said in my
talk—what I told a student who asked this is that you
have to go back to the way we are created. As man
and woman, we have together this amazing ability
to, through the gift of God, create life. Now, this is
one of the ways we imagine God, through being able
to, from our physical union, create life. In order for
that life to thrive, for children to thrive, the ideal is
for the parents to stay together. As I said in my talk,
that doesn’t mean that those of us whose parents
didn’t stay together are just hopeless, it doesn’t mean
we can’t thrive.

But if you think in terms of what is the ideal
environment for a child, it is with two parents, which
is a terribly politically incorrect thing to say.

But it is true. And, particularly, two parents who
love each other, because that’s how the child learns
about love, the child through feeling loved himself
or herself thrives, and then is able to form a loving
marital relationship. Also, what I talked about is
the theology of the body. The theology of the body
relates the union of man and woman in marriage to
Trinitarian love, how the love between the first two
persons of the Trinity, God and Jesus, is creative,
because all love is creative, and so their love produces
the Holy Spirit, as John Paul II articulated.

And this was Catholic teaching before he articulated it as well; you can find it back in the Fifties in
Fulton J. Sheen’s Three to Get Married. The love
of the husband and wife prefigures the Trinity in
that it brings forth a third being, the child. All love
is creative. Within marriage, one of the ways in
which love is shown visibly to be creative is through
sex and reproduction. Even outside of marriage, all
love is creative. John Paul II talks in On the Dignity
and Vocation of Women about spiritual parenthood,
which is a concept that’s been in the Church really
since the beginning.

Love is not meant to be confined to oneself or to one’s
loved one, to one’s spouse, to one’s family. Love is always
meant to radiate outwards. So even a couple who have their
own children are always called to be spiritual parents as well,
to share the love of their family with others around them.
And so for me as a single woman in hope of marriage, it’s a
beautiful thing to realize that I can be a spiritual mother, not
just to younger people, but to my friends, and to everyone
in my life whom I have the opportunity to be friends with
and to give to.
TDR: So, you’re saying the purpose of sex and marriage
is procreation?

T

he purpose of sex is union and procreation. And I don’t want to get too
theological on you, but the unitive actually
stems from the procreative.
Eden: It’s union and procreation. And I don’t want to
get too theological on you, but the unitive actually stems
from the procreative. That’s not to say that sex between
an infertile couple is not unitive; the procreative comes

Mr. Dameron is sophomore at the College and a contributor to The Dartmouth Review. He plans to elope with
Dawn Eden.

can affect us emotionally as well. That’s why people take
serotonin reuptake inhibitors. So, when you have sex, and
you have that conditioned response with someone, it makes
it very difficult to go back to just being friends. And so
you start to think of that person in a sexual way; you start
to objectify that person, and it makes it difficult to have a
sense of perspective as far as how your relationship with
this person should progress. Doesn’t make it
impossible—certainly, people get married and
have lasting marriages after having sex with one
another. But it does make it hard.

So, from a logical point of view, when you
choose someone to marry, you want to be really
clear-headed about how emotionally intimate
you are with this person; how well you can solve
problems in the relationship; how committed are
you to each other emotionally, so that you can
stay together during troubled times. And when
you bring sex into it before the marriage, the
temptation is to skip steps to intimacy because
you have this artificial intimacy that’s created by
the reactions that you have to one another through
having had sex. And what couples often find is that
this idea of “let’s talk it over in bed”—using sex
and sexual attraction to problem-solve, doesn’t
keep a marriage going forever. You have to have
real emotional intimacy before the marriage, and
that’s where chastity helps to prepare people for
lasting marriage.
TDR: Do you think you would have come to chastity without your conversion to Christianity?

—Dawn Eden at Aquinas House—

TDR: For those who aren’t Christian, and who don’t subscribe to a belief in the Trinity, what sort of secular argument
can be advanced on behalf of chastity?
Eden: This answer was given to me by one of my blog
readers who’s Jewish and is on a faith journey that’s taking
him to the Christian faith. His name is Kenan Minkoff. He
emailed me offering a secular argument for chastity. And
what he pointed out is— it comes down to Pavlov, in the
sense that we have conditioned responses. So, if one has
sex with someone else, whether you’re just “hooking up,”
whether you’re hoping it leads to something more, whether
you’re in love but not married, once you start having sex
with that person, when that person is around, you will have
a certain visceral physical response to that person that is
different from the mere attraction that you might have felt
before you had sex.

Dr. Miriam Grossman goes into some of the details
of this in her book Unprotected; a lot of it has to do with
oxytocin; even though many liberals make fun of the talk
about oxytocin, there are many scientific studies about this
that are worth looking up. Even if one does ascribe to that
hormone everything that some people ascribe to it, it is
true that there are hormones that are released in men and
women, particularly women but men as well, that cause
people to experience a bond with those with whom they
have sex. These are physiological responses that affect us
emotionally. You know, it’s such a simple thing.

We all know that something that affects us physically

Eden: No—I was suffering from terrible depression. I would have killed myself if I hadn’t come to
Christianity. That’s something I don’t talk about
in my talks a lot, because that’s a whole other
issue. It is something I touch upon in my book.
I had a real existential depression—as a child, I
didn’t have a sense of how I was loved, certainly
not a sense of how I was loved by God. I had a
distant father, and a mother who was very much
on her own trip. So, if I felt like I was valuable
at all, I felt I was valuable for what I did, not for
who I was inside.

So I grew up with this hole inside of me
emotionally, and that expressed itself in my sexual
life, where I felt like I had to do things for people
in order to get love. When I first started doing my
blog, the Dawn Patrol, I used to go head-to-head
with the bloggers at Feministe and Pandagon,
with Amanda Marcotte, and Jessica Valenti. And
so, because I was really being antagonistic with
them, they started to pick apart my arguments.
And one thing they said was,

‘Well, just because Dawn Eden was having
sex as a self-medication doesn’t mean that everyone does it
that way.’ And certainly that’s true, but I believe that even
though not everyone who has sex outside of marriage is
doing it out of the sense of depression that I went through,
I believe that the effects I experienced from it certainly
were not good for my soul, and even for a person who is
relatively healthy and not depressed like I was, having sex
outside of marriage is not going to make them feel more
valuable as a human being. I believe that having sex outside
of marriage does prevent one from recognizing one’s true
worth in Christ.

S

o I grew up with this hole inside of me
emotionally, and that expressed itself
in my sexual life, where I felt like I had to
do things for people in order to get love.
TDR: You talked during your presentation about your childhood, and then arriving at NYU, and behaving the way that
you believed adults behaved. You talked about your belief,
also, that that was reinforced by the college environment
you were in. From what you’ve seen in your talks on college
campuses, and what you’ve heard from students, do you
think that environment has changed any?
Eden: When I was in college, I was very much on my
own trip. I didn’t really observe the sex lives of the people

February 27, 2009 The Dartmouth Review Page

and Catholic Writer Dawn Eden
around me; I was too busy with my own search for love.
My impression is that the morals, or lack of understanding
of morality, have not changed. I think what has changed
is the mentality of the student health services, which is so
dominated by the mentality of those at Planned Parenthood
and SIECUS [Sexuality Information and Education Council
of the United States].

That mentality has become very institutionalized. As a
result, whereas before when I was at NYU from 1985-1989,
I suppose before there was still a sense of the starry-eyed
idealism of the free love culture, now sex on campus has
become so clinical, and people go to Sex Week at Yale or
SexFest here, and they are taught how to do it like porn stars,
and how to use the condom if you’re doing this particular
sex act, and it really doesn’t just take the romance out of
sex—it takes the flavor out of sex.

requires and demands that we see the human as qua human,
and not as the object of another person’s pleasure. So, the
more that students speak up to demand that their school,
their health services, their institutional culture, honor and
reflect their dignity and the dignity of their fellow students,
then the more the culture will have to realize that tolerance
means not forcing students to have condom education as part
of their education; that tolerance means offering pregnant
students the help they need to bring their children to birth,
and not just ways to snuff out life—things like that.
TDR: Have you seen any instances where that’s happening already?

Eden: Certainly, the Anscombe Society at Princeton; True
Love Revolution at Harvard—I have to say that those societies haven’t yet really caught fire. I was hoping
when they first emerged that there would be this
ove is not meant to be confined to oneself or to wave. I haven’t seen that and I think that what
one’s loved one, to one’s spouse, to one’s family. is needed still is for more young people to find
Love is always meant to radiate outwards. So even an effective way to articulate chastity as a social
justice issue. I’m an oldster. I can hope to inspire
a couple who have their own children are always people, but it has to come from college students
called to be spiritual parents as well, to share the themselves. And I think that the ways things go
in cycles, there will be champions raised up. In
love of their family with others around them.
the meantime, I count myself very thankful if
I can be one of the people to help to make the
ground more fertile for them.

It takes away any sense that one is having sex with an

L

individual, and turns it into, ‘which human being’—not even
‘which human being’—‘which person are you going to have
which sexual act with.’ It becomes very Brave New World,
very clinical. More so than when I was in college. And that’s
not to get nostalgic for Greenwich Village in the Eighties.
But just to say that, if sin has always been truly boring and
unoriginal, it’s even more so now.
TDR: Do you think it’s at all possible to turn back the
tide of the Sexual Revolution, to an era where sex was less
clinical?
Eden: I don’t think that the institutional attitude is going
to be completely overhauled. I don’t see that happening
anytime soon. But what I do see is that things happen in
cycles, and even if it’s not possible to change the entire
institutional attitude towards sex to retain a sense of the
beauty and the mystery and the need to protect the sexual
sphere from becoming clinical and becoming geared to the
human person as object and not as a human with dignity; if
one can’t turn that back, what one can do is that students on
a grassroots level can demand to be treated with the dignity
that they deserve as human persons.

The liberal campus establishment has really claimed a
lock on human rights and social justice. But chastity is the
ultimate social justice issue, because chastity is what really

thor is that I’m able to discover they’re out there because
they find me and want to talk to me about faith so that I can
reinforce them in their faith and they can reinforce me in
my faith—not just my faith in the existence of chaste people,
but my faith period. I think what it really comes down to
is that we all want love. Men very much want love, and it’s
just another lie of the Sexual Revolution—this idea that
men are animals. So a man who wants love is not going to
give up an opportunity for it because he has to wait until
marriage to have sex.

You know, men traditionally have this desire for the
heroic. That’s why we have male police officers; male firemen; men in the military. They have an understanding of
sacrifice, and of foregoing temporary pleasure for the greater
good. And just as a man can love his country, can love his
fellow man and woman enough to want to protect them,
so a man can love a woman and can want her love so much
that he’s not going to be a jerk and say ‘put out or you’re
out.’

TDR: Is it tough to find men who are willing to date chastely?
For men and women out there who want to stay chaste,
what advice do you have for them?
Eden: From a personal standpoint, it’s a little hard for me
to have a perspective, because as soon as I wrote my book,
with pre-press publicity even before it came out, I was no
longer an amateur at chastity—I was seen as a pro. And so,
men could see a mile away that I was Ms. Chastity. And also
the fact that I’m a public speaker, a public figure: that can
make it harder for men to approach me.

And probably the fact I’m an in-your-face New Yorker
can make it harder as well. Then I sometimes find that some
of the men who do approach me are men who are attracted
to what they see as celebrity—I don’t mean to come off as
the biggest egotist for saying it. But what I have found over
time is that as I’ve grown in my own work, I’ve been able
to create deeper friendships, so that even though I’m not
dating anyone right now, I’m becoming more confident
that there really are men out there who do understand and
appreciate chastity. I keep meeting them. Just because I
haven’t met the one for me, that doesn’t mean at all they’re
not out there. I actually meet a lot of them now; they start
coming out of the woodwork.

One nice thing about being a chastity speaker and au-


The important thing is not being cynical. Being cynical
gets you nowhere. You know, people get cynical because
they get hardened and they’ve experienced loss in their own
life, which I certainly know as a child of divorce—and I keep
saying that because that’s probably the greatest embittering
force among my generation today. This culture of rejection,
as Patrick Fagan of Family Research Council puts it. He’s
done a lot of research on this culture of alienation. Because
some sixty percent of young people now have experienced
in their own family through the loss of a parent through
divorce—that alone can embitter people and make them
lose hope of finding lasting love for themselves.

And rejection breeds rejection. It makes people more
cynical and more weary of settling down and giving of
themselves fully. But at some point, it has to end. And I’ve
decided personally that it ends with me. It ends with me
deciding that love is so important to me that I want to learn
how to love fully in every relationship. Whether I’m to be
married or not, whether I meet the one or not, I want to
learn to present for every person in my life.
n

Page The Dartmouth Review February 27, 2009

Collis Sex Festival: Deviance on Tap
By Joseph Rago


Editor’s Note: This article is being reprinted from
Sunday, March 23, 2003 issue of The Dartmouth Review.

Despite the reputation of our nation’s sex shops—seedy
private establishments where individuals in trench coats and
dark sunglasses peruse the endless supply of smut, asking in
quiet husky voices for the latest Barely Legal or Transformations—the academic élite are seeking to change all that.
Never wanting to leave any deviant behavior private, lest it
be oppressed, the common thought of administrators is to
parade it around for all to see. Perhaps it started at Cornell
University, where students and faculty debated the need
for vibrator sales through the campus Health Services. After
all, “we know masturbation is healthy, so any tools that can
help people discover their sexuality are positive. Any action
by the University that gets the idea of sexuality out of the
marginalized place that we’re used to seeing it in is a good
thing,” said Orlando Soria, a Residential Advisor. But if
any campus prudes got all huffy, a student health services
worker explained, ‘Vibrators or personal massagers may have
a broader appeal to people who use our massage therapy
and physical therapy services for muscle relaxation. [Using a vibrator] can be a part of a holistic health approach.’
Nonetheless, never wanting to come second in the parade
of idiocy, Dartmouth felt the need to one-up rival Cornell.
Why just sell vibrators behind the veil of health services?
Why not sell them next to the dining hall?

When I heard that the Center for Women and Gender
was holding a ‘Sex Festival’ to celebrate ‘sex, sexual expression, and sexuality in its myriad manifestations and complexities,’ my interest was piqued. ‘People of all genders’ were
invited to participate, and I heard that it would involve free
stuff. I was there.

My heart pounded as I walked into Collis Commonground, festooned with festive colored flags and a swanky
rotating discoball,all illuminated in seductive mood lighting.
Hearts were a prominent theme. In short, the atmosphere
beckoned for some sweet lovin’.

I was greeted by a young woman in a pink wig named
‘Moby,’ who handed me a ticket for raffle prizes and ushered
me into the Sex Festival. In seconds, I was approached by
an older woman flouncing with a hefty wicker basket of
prophylactics. This condom fairy had a wide variety of latex
to dole out, offering colors all shades of the rainbow, including glow-in-the-dark rainbows. I suggested that she should
dump the cornucopia all over the floor and have people roll
around seductively in them, but she ignored my request.

blasted the film The Truth About Cats and Dog. Collis
Commonground buzzed with a healthy crowd of students,
and to a lesser extent a gaggle of faculty and community
members.

At ‘Ask an Older Woman’ table, older—and apparently
fatter—women were chatting about a wide variety of subjects. One was instructing a young neophyte in the use of
dental dams, repeatedly mentioning ‘the vulva area.’ Another
dispensed free samples of flavored lubricants. Visitors could
savor an ample spread of culinary delights, including ‘pina
colada,’ ‘passion fruit,’ and ‘seedless watermelon.’ There
was also a corpulent gentleman wandering about wearing
a nametag broadcasting ‘Ask an Older Woman,’ but his
services did not seem to be very popular.

A long table featured an extensive assortment of sex
toys. The College says that it supports diversity, and, at
least when it comes to vibrators and dildos, the statement
is not mere lip-service. The station was a dazzling display of
silicone—including, among others, a vibrator with a floral
pattern, some lifelike latex penises, a variety of strap-on
apparati, some weird black leather thing with a strap, a vibrator with a ‘Hello-Kitty’ head on it, a metal gadget, and a
vibrator disguised as lipstick. Elinor, the rotund, effervescent
woman running the table, explained that the vibrator was
designed for the modern woman who needs a vibrator in

—Sexytime—

—Enough said—

—Make War, Not Sex: It’s Safer—


Tables lined both sides of the room, and an island in
the center offered punch and trays of cookies. A television

Mr. Rago ‘05 is an alumnus at the College and editor emeritus of The Dartmouth Review.

Or, ‘Respond to others thoughtfully when they criticize
themselves. Don’t let their negative remarks go unchallenged. Rather, tell them why their statements are untrue
and self-defeating.’

an airport, but wants to remain discreet. When one male
student lifted a limp three-pronged object, she explained,
‘You don’t have places for these things to go.’ The station
also exhibited ‘adjustable’ nipple clamps and some other
unmentionables. All the contraptions could be purchased
from a provided internet site.

But it was not all toys, games, and fun at the sex bacchanalia. There were also stations promoting abstinence
and sexual abuse awareness run by the Sexual Abuse Peer
Advisor (SAPA) organization.

A couple of toothsome coeds manned an abstinence
booth, which featured a bowl of strawberries and tub of
chocolate sauce for dipping. ‘How Deep Do You Dip Your
Strawberry,’ a sign read suggestively. They also presented
several alternatives to sexual intercourse—they cleverly
called it ‘outercourse’—including ‘cuddling,’ ‘holding hands,’
or even just ‘talking.’ The SAPA station centered around a
prominent Price-Is-Right style wheel, which disseminated
information about sexual abuse.

There was also a station with information concerning
eating disorders. These women were fighting to combat
eating disorders and the judgment of people solely on the
basis of their physical appearance. There was a sign that
read, ‘Does anorexia make you have better sex?’ Does it?
Apparently, it does not.

They also offered a mimeographed memo entitled
‘Building Blocks: Self-Esteem Tips and Practices for All
Women.’ I’m not exactly sure why this was handed to me,
but I think it makes some points. For example, ‘Put your
scale away. Beauty is NOT measured in pounds.’ And, ‘Find
a picture of yourself you really like and put it in a beautiful
frame. Keep it on display where you and others can see it.’


There were other more mundane issue-type tables
that were not quite as popular as the more outlandish sex
stations. There was a relationship abuse brainstorming station, a Student Global AIDS Campaign table, and a home
base for the Students for Reproductive Rights club. The
group VDAY was also in attendance, selling shirts and other
paraphernalia. Students could also buy tickets to the play
the Vagina Monologues.

Males also had their niche. The ‘Men’s Project’ was
also on hand, encouraging the male passersby to sign the
‘These Hands Don’t Hurt’ pledge, which sought to end
‘sexual violence against women’ by changing the ‘attitudes
and behaviors of men in our society.’

Some of its points included, ‘Challenge sexist language,
music, and jokes that degrade women,’ ‘Support women in
their fight against all forms of oppression,’ and ‘Recognize
that sexual violence and gender violence are closely related.
Therefore, I will take an active role in speaking and working
against homophobia and gay-bashing.’

There were not any actual intercourse demonstrations
or even people making out on the couches by the fireplace,
but a good time was had by all. Call me old-fashioned, but
there is nothing quite like a College-sponsored carnival
commemorating sex toys, fellatio, and promiscuity.
n

100% English Silk
Ben Silver

Indian Ties
Neckties $65
Bowties $55
604-643-4370
dartreview.com

February 27, 2009 The Dartmouth Review Page

SexFest 2009: Lies and Promiscuity
By Clay al-Muhalla

As I walked towards Collis I wasn’t quite sure what to
expect from the College’s annual SexFest, a celebration of
promiscuity and loose behavior that typically occurs on or
around Valentines Day. I knew from the event bulletin that
the SexPerts had sent that there would be tasty events like
lube-tasting, but the bulletin had been short on specifics.
The SexPerts’ communications skills left me unsatisfied. I
wanted more (information, that is)!

For some reason I had envisioned strippers gyrating
wildly around colossal and absurdly over-compensatory
dildos that reached to the ceiling like gigantic, fleshy, phallic Greek colonnades with the sound system pumped out
classics like “Sexual Eruption” and “Love Shack” at windowshattering decibel-levels. Alas, this was not the case; what I
was treated to was nowhere near as grand in spectacle and
scope as I had imagined. But the SexFest more than made
up for it in terms of brazen bizarreness.

The room was set up much like any other event that
Collis regularly hosts: tables lined the walls with a small
cluster in the center; overhead lights soaked the area in a
surprisingly bright Valentine’s Day red and light reflected
off a tacky disco ball hung in the middle while the sound
system played utterly forgettable oldies and R&B tunes.

That, however, was where the resemblances to other
more prudish events ended.

Upon entering the doorway I was given a “SexFest
Passport” which, if filled out with stamps from each booth,
would allow me to enter into a raffle for various restaurants
in the Hanover area, including Gusano’s. I was offered a
condom from a basket by a girl in a SexPert t-shirt and angel
wings.

It only went downhill from there.

The third table offered a relationship quiz from Quizilla
which means that it had as much scientific integrity as the
Compare People application on Facebook, but I took it
anyway out of curiosity. I got the angel archetype, which told
me I would probably marry a pastor or missionary and that
I should stay away from radicals, which made me wonder
what I was even doing at the SexFest.

Moving on down the line I found that at the fifth table
there was a “drunken condom racing game.” This involved
putting on a pair of beer goggles—you know, the kind used
by MADD to discourage drinking and driving—and then
attempting to properly put a condom on a dildo. I declined
to participate because it more or less goes without saying
that if you need practice in putting a condom on a penis
while drunk, you probably shouldn’t be having sex in the
first place because you are a Darwin Award just waiting to
happen.

Another table had various sex playthings on display,
including “Kinky Cards” which was described on the box
as “a memory card game for lovers” in which one would be
rewarded for his or her ability to remember naughty, erotic
toys. The box art had a cartoon man with a nude backside
wearing sunglasses and grinning like an idiot while a smiling
dominatrix held what appeared to be a pong paddle menacingly above him, proving that the SexPerts apparently have
a very different idea of what constitutes a “reward” than I
do. Also on display was a catalog of sex toys to comb through
that contained the “the Contoured Pearl,” “Hummingbird
Pleasurer,” and “Up All Night Erection Rings.”

In the middle of the floor was a small cluster of tables,

Mr. al-Muhalla is a freshman at the College and a
sexual purist.

one of which was littered with sweets like almonds, chocolate-covered pretzels, and bananas. This was the aphrodisiacs table, which the banner proclaimed were “better than
Viagra.” If your erection lasts for more than three hours,
call Willy Wonka.

Over at the far end of the hall was a booth manned by
two overly eager students that offered to inform me about
everything I’d ever wanted to know about gay or lesbian sex
but was too embarrassed to ask about.

“Do you have any questions you want to ask us?” the
male stationed at the booth inquired, leaning forward in his
seat, totally unaware that I had never really been curious
about gay and lesbian sex and consequently had no questions to be embarrassed of.

Y

ou sure?” piped in the girl. Their insistence made me wonder if I’d managed
to inadvertently dress like a gay chap.

“No, not really,” I answered from my position about
eight feet away from the booth and its towering tri-fold that
contained information on how lesbians have sex, including
a graphic depiction of how “scissoring” is performed and
how “strap-ons” are used.

“You sure?” piped in the girl. Their insistence made me
wonder if I’d managed to inadvertently dress like a gay chap,
though I could think of nothing. I suppose I can’t blame
them; I was, after all, standing in front of their booth with a
Dictaphone, taking notes. However, because they seemed
so eager to help I didn’t want to disappoint them by telling
them I was with The Review and was therefore a prototypical
heterosexual rather than a log-cabin Republican.

“Yeah, I’m positive.”

The table that took the cake, however, was the table
being sponsored by The Vagina Monologues, a production
staged annually on Valentine’s Day by the Department of
Women’s and Gender Studies. I’ve neither read the script
nor seen the show, but I do know enough about its general
portrayal of women having sex with men as bad but women
having sex with women—including one case that involves
statutory rape—as invariably good that when Middlebury
boasted in their recruiting literature that an alumnus wrote
it, I knew I wasn’t going to matriculate there.

Upon approaching the table, the girl manning it immediately asked me in an aggressive manner, “If you had a
vagina and it could talk, what would it say?”

“What?” I responded. She repeated the question,
louder this time. When I allowed that I hadn’t really spent
my time up here at the college imagining what my nonexistent, anthropomorphic pussy would pontificate on, she
said I should use some “creative freedom.”

“I don’t know,” one guy next to me mused, apparently
just as bewildered by the woman’s request as I was. “I’m
good at putting myself in other peoples’ shoes, but putting
myself in an entirely new body—”

“That can talk,” I cut in.

“Yeah, that can talk—is just a little bit beyond me.”

I glanced down at the table to see that there are people
at this College with far more active imaginations than my
own. On the table’s red construction paper covering, people
had written such pithy masterpieces as “yummy!”, “feed
me!”, “tongue first!”, and “replace the batteries—or just
steal the remote batteries!”

Also littered about on top of the table were bottle cap
magnets (presumably taken from various bottles of Bud Light

that Dartmouth’s resident nymphomaniacs had consumed
before drunkenly attempting to put condoms on either their
own or their hook-up partner’s penis) in which were placed
stickers with sayings such as “I <3 Vagina!”, “I Call It Cunt”,
and “Got Vagina?” Needless to say, I didn’t purchase any
t-shirts proclaiming V-Day and The Vagina Monologues
production through an annoying use of parentheses and
brackets, i.e. ({}).

The SexFest wasn’t entirely pointless, however. There
were even a few encouraging nods to more conservative
views on sex. For example, I was able to find a placard at the
“dental dam race table” that noted that there were “many
virgins, both male and female at Dartmouth.” Unfortunately,
nobody seemed to take the idea of celibacy seriously because
ideas for physical, non-sexual satisfaction included getting a
chicken quesadilla from the Hop and taking photos of one’s
own feet. I wish I were making this up.

I did find out some good, solid information about
HIV/AIDS on one tri-fold next to a lube-tasting area (“I
recommend chocolate,” the fellow at the table told some
girl as I edged in for a closer look) and behind yet another
ubiquitous basket of Magnums—the Sexperts were clearly
expressing their very generous estimation of the Dartmouth
man. This was handy stuff to know assuming I wanted to
quickly end a conversation in the most awkward way possible: at what rate do people contract HIV in the U.S.? Once
every fifteen minutes for a total of about 40,000 new cases a
year. There’s a new case every five seconds worldwide with
2.3 million deaths annually.

The Dartmouth branch of Women in Science and Engineering also had a table that handed out information on
sexual assaults and what to do if you are the victim of one.

Another table had date suggestions—in Hanover these
are rather hard to come by—from having a pleasant picnic
on the golf course to ice skating on Occom Pond followed
by hot chocolate to less conventional suggestions like taking
your date to a yoga class.

There was even a “Safer Sex” pamphlet —so titled
because people finally recognized that there is no such
thing as totally safe sex—that contained useful information
for the sexually active such as what diseases were transmittable by what types of sexual contact, information regarding
confidential STI testing at Dick’s House, and various types
of outercourse such as body-to-body rubbing/frottage, otherwise known as attending any dance party in a fraternity
on Webster ave.

This is what’s so pathetic about SexFest. It could be a
genuinely informational event that could help everyone on
campus make smart, informed decisions about sexual health,
but it was a chore to find anything useful amidst the sea of
sexual perverseness that is off-putting to so many people.

The Sexperts have failed to realize that the pun in their
name ceases to be funny to most after about a week on campus
but structured the event so that it contained the maximum
amount of juvenile humor possible. One acquaintance of
mine suggested that they were trying to make the event fun
so that people would attend. But the group that is presumably least knowledgeable about sex, composed primarily of
abstinence-only supporters and children of families with
a more conservative outlook, are not going to attend this
showcase of the weird.

As a result, I left the event more depressed than upset.
We have huge budgetary problems, a faculty hiring freeze,
thirty to thirty five classes cut, and a football team that can’t
play its way out of a paper bag, but the administration is
choosing to spend money on this?

n

The Dartmouth Review

Vigilantly Crusading Against
Technology Since 1980
Meetings Every Monday
Email editor@dartreview.com for more information


Related documents


the dartmouth review 2 27 2009 volume 28 issue 13
the dartmouth review 4 21 2008 volume 28 issue 10
the dartmouth review 6 10 2007 volume 27 issue 13
the dartmouth review 1 23 2009 volume 28 issue 11
the dartmouth review 6 2 2009 volume 28 issue 19
the dartmouth review 4 23 2009 volume 28 issue 16

Link to this page


Permanent link

Use the permanent link to the download page to share your document on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or directly with a contact by e-Mail, Messenger, Whatsapp, Line..

Short link

Use the short link to share your document on Twitter or by text message (SMS)

HTML Code

Copy the following HTML code to share your document on a Website or Blog

QR Code

QR Code link to PDF file The Dartmouth Review 2.27.2009 Volume 28, Issue 13.pdf