Ye Olde Pornographic Ivy

Either things have changed a lot in the last 10 years, or I’m not going to the right parties. From here:

Ariel Levy attended Wesleyan University in the 1990s, and she doesn’t feel the better for it. It was a place where “group sex, to say nothing of casual sex, was de rigueur.” It was a place where they had “coed showers, on principle.” When Ms. Levy suggested to a department head that it would be nice to have at least one course in the traditional literary canon, she was dismissed with icy contempt. Yet elsewhere on campus a professor of the humanities taught a course on pornography featuring, um, detailed textual analysis.

It was all supposed to be so liberating. But it wasn’t, as Ms. Levy argues forcefully in “Female Chauvinist Pigs.” It was merely the academic groundwork for what she calls “raunch culture,” now so ubiquitous that we take it for granted. Young women wear shirts emblazoned with “Porn Star” across the chest. Teen stores sell “Cat in the Hat” thong underwear. Parents treat their daughters’ friends to “cardio striptease” classes for birthday parties. This is liberation?

A few points:

  • Of course, the pornography class is mentioned. Again. This is because any article about Wesleyan must include three things: Marijuana, the “naked dorm”, and the pornography class. ENOUGH ALREADY.
  • I was about to say that I didn’t understand how co-ed showers = sexual and raunchy, but then one word came to mind: Eclectic.
  • Rampant casual sex? Check. Group sex? Ch–Wait, say what?!

18 thoughts on “Ye Olde Pornographic Ivy

  1. Anonymous

    yes, i read the book. yes, at times she got truly irritating and sounded quite out of touch with her own sexuality, but she does make good points. if you read what she has to say and then start paying more attention, you’ll see what she’s talking about.

  2. Anonymous

    yes, i read the book. yes, at times she got truly irritating and sounded quite out of touch with her own sexuality, but she does make good points. if you read what she has to say and then start paying more attention, you’ll see what she’s talking about.

  3. Anonymous

    One of these days, calling women shrill when you don’t like their views will no longer be considered acceptable. It’s about time for this usage of shrill to be recognized for what it is.

  4. Anonymous

    One of these days, calling women shrill when you don’t like their views will no longer be considered acceptable. It’s about time for this usage of shrill to be recognized for what it is.

  5. Freehat

    Yes, Ariel Levy did come talk, do some readings and autograph her book last year.Yes, she is annoying and shrill, but once you get past the beginning of the book she starts to make some really great points about women in our society today and who the media pays attention to (Paris, Lindsey) and the affect that it has on young girls (something none of us 20 somethings really could notice unless we are a teacher or have a 12 yr old sister).Did any of you actually read the book?

  6. Freehat

    Yes, Ariel Levy did come talk, do some readings and autograph her book last year.

    Yes, she is annoying and shrill, but once you get past the beginning of the book she starts to make some really great points about women in our society today and who the media pays attention to (Paris, Lindsey) and the affect that it has on young girls (something none of us 20 somethings really could notice unless we are a teacher or have a 12 yr old sister).

    Did any of you actually read the book?

  7. Anonymous

    I just checked the oldest courses offered available via the wesmaps archives – 96′-97′. The English department was offering a variety of classes, including many on people such as Thoreau, Chaucer, Shakespeare, etc. as well as some of the less traditionally-defined classes. Maybe the professors scoffed at her because she didn’t pay attention to what was being offered?

  8. Anonymous

    I just checked the oldest courses offered available via the wesmaps archives – 96′-97′. The English department was offering a variety of classes, including many on people such as Thoreau, Chaucer, Shakespeare, etc. as well as some of the less traditionally-defined classes. Maybe the professors scoffed at her because she didn’t pay attention to what was being offered?

  9. Anonymous

    If it’s true that the English department used to be so off-the-wall, that’s actually pretty interesting. For the fall 2007 semester they’ve got straightforward courses on Shakespeare, Chaucer, romantic poetry, enlightenment British literature, and more… I wonder what precipitated the shift in departmental philosophy, in the case that this Levy person isn’t lying.

  10. Anonymous

    If it’s true that the English department used to be so off-the-wall, that’s actually pretty interesting. For the fall 2007 semester they’ve got straightforward courses on Shakespeare, Chaucer, romantic poetry, enlightenment British literature, and more… I wonder what precipitated the shift in departmental philosophy, in the case that this Levy person isn’t lying.

  11. Hunter

    I think eclectic gets mentioned more on wesleying than harry potter. if thats possible.

  12. Hunter

    I think eclectic gets mentioned more on wesleying than harry potter. if thats possible.

  13. Anonymous

    Seriously, Ariel Levy baffles me. First of all, I can’t stand her and her ilk; raunch culture, oh noes! I’m very much a feminist but JESUS CHRIST (or tom riddle?) she is SHRILL. And yes, I do hate it when people say that about feminists… But I am seriously convinced that Ariel Levy is an attention whore who couldn’t handle actual whorage to assuage her simmering insecurities, and resorted to writing mean articles about younger women. ok ok I’m being a terrible person; I take it back (some of it). But suffice it to say that she is massively exaggerating her college experience to sell books to Concerned Women for America. And that she sucks. I hope she comes to speak at Wesleyan so we can all mock her.

  14. Anonymous

    Seriously, Ariel Levy baffles me. First of all, I can’t stand her and her ilk; raunch culture, oh noes! I’m very much a feminist but JESUS CHRIST (or tom riddle?) she is SHRILL. And yes, I do hate it when people say that about feminists… But I am seriously convinced that Ariel Levy is an attention whore who couldn’t handle actual whorage to assuage her simmering insecurities, and resorted to writing mean articles about younger women.

    ok ok I’m being a terrible person; I take it back (some of it). But suffice it to say that she is massively exaggerating her college experience to sell books to Concerned Women for America. And that she sucks. I hope she comes to speak at Wesleyan so we can all mock her.

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