Only you can make yourself a victim


One of the advantages of the Internet is that I can keep my finger on the UA's pulse by reading the Wildcat. I get a feel for the changing face of an institution that turned a child, who thought that he knew everything, in an adult who realized that there was so much more to learn.

I received my degree almost two decades ago. At that time, sexual abuse was not a subject for open discussion. Most victims kept the horrors of their private lives private. Those who were brave enough to unburden themselves to others, found few sympathetic ears willing to listen. I'm glad that today's society is willing to listen and to help. But I am afraid that in our desire to make up for our apathy, we have become victims ourselves.

I spent the first 20 years of my life in a wheelchair. There was no Americans with Disabilities Act. I faced every day of my life in a society that seemed so insensitive to my feelings. The world was a constant reminder of my disability. But I never put the blame for my life on the rest of society. Leaving a disability behind, be it physical, psychological or emotional means coming to grips with your own life. Those who continue to blame society for the cruelties within their own lives will forever be victims.

Playboy is a well-written, award-winning magazine. But it will and always has been, a magazine for men. Most men, like most women, enjoy looking at pictures of the opposite sex. Playboy has always been more conservative than other men's magazines in their photographs of women. Playboy covers have never shown any more anatomy than what can be seen on a beach.

Vicious crimes against women would not end if magazines, billboards and movies depicting the sexuality and sensuality of women magically vanished from the face of the earth. These sorts of crimes can only be ended by education, awareness and an understanding of the perpetrators and the victims.

I have since left the wheelchair behind and now walk solely with a cane. But I left my disability behind long before I ever took my first steps. Those people who believe that a magazine or a newspaper justifies or encourages the actions of a sick individual will always be victims because the anger within them will forever find blame.

Mark I. Jacobson

Class of '76

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