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'Beauties' puritanical

By Nathan True
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
September 14, 1999

To the Editor,

Having just read the letter from Ms. Diana Froehlich followed by Nick Zeckets' commentary, both concerning the inclusion of two UA students and one alumna in the current issue of "Playboy," I find myself appalled at the puritanical nonsense contained in both texts.

First of all, the women who posed in this magazine chose to be photographed. No one forced them; no one has exploited them. In fact, from the article in the preceding Wildcat, they seem rather pleased; they are even holding public signings!

Secondly, what gives either of you the right to decide - for these women or others who'd chosen to do the same, for me, for the readers of "Playboy" or the "Daily Wildcat" or for anyone on this planet - what is vulgar and what is degenerate about the human body? How is a nude photograph different from a nude painting, other than the time and work needed to complete it? Are not both going to be viewed by men looking to "get off" as well as those looking for art? Were such nude paintings not covered by curtains in bourgeois salons to be viewed by drunken, card playing men when their wives had left the room?

I find it quite ironic that in a country in which one can nonchalantly watch a thousand gory deaths each day on television a pair of bare breasts can strike such horror into the hearts of its citizens. Have you ever been to a beach in Western Europe? There are breasts everywhere, my friends...and their children don't gun each other down in middle school.

Sex is power, and one of very few areas in which women hold that power over men, rather than the inverse. I found the phrase "women want and need to be respected by men" simply detestable. Women want and need to be respected by themselves; they are not defined by the opinions of men.

Sure, there will be many a fraternity boy perched over these glossy pages, and granted that it takes not much talent to take one's shirt off, but does that make this any less a statement of power or artistic expression for these women if they see it as such?

Ladies, if you don't want to get naked for the world to see, keep your clothes on. Gentlemen, if you don't want to see naked women, don't buy "Playboy." By all means, I encourage you to spread the "poison" of the First Amendment, as Mr. Zeckets put it, by stating your opinion, but you've no right to force your prudishness on others.

Nathan True

French literature and linguistics senior

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