The editors of The Village Voice wanted someone to write about sex. Dan Savage’s weekly advice column “Savage Love” was gaining popularity and had outgrown its place in the back of the paper, alongside 900 numbers and ads for escorts. Sex needed a new section.
They convened a meeting. The late Don Forst, editor-in-chief at the time, asked if anyone had a writer in mind. One editor suggested the “Adventure Girl” columnist from the lesbian feminist publication On Our Backs. Was that the same woman who wrote that book on anal sex, another editor asked. A third wanted to know if she used to run her own ‘zine.
All three had in mind the same person: Tristan Taormino ’93, author, feminist pornographer, and now, sex columnist. They brought her into the Village Voice offices.
“They said they had one concern: Is there really that much to write about sex? Can you keep that going for a while?” Taormino said. “And of course, I kept it going for almost a decade.
“My answer then, and proves to be, yes.”
As Taormino has shaped her career, her brand of feminism has promoted realistic views of sex and sexuality by keeping politics and ethics at the forefront of her work. She had to carve her own path, but in doing so, she paved the way for dynamic change.
Over at the Wesleyan Connection, Cynthia Rockwell has posted coverage of folk singer activist Peter Yarrow’s singalong appearance in Zelnick Pavilion last Wednesday, including a new gallery of photos. The link even appears on the main page. Unsurprisingly, the photos are fantastic, with one particular clutch shot of Rotbotholding hands with Yarrow. (Way to go, Adam!) As the caption reads:
Yarrow offered slightly tongue-in-cheek advice from his experiences: “If you’re going to get arrested, it’s good to have a few members of the clergy with you.” He movingly recalled being on the platform in Washington, D.C., with the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement when someone asked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Tell us about your dream, Martin,” and the Rev. Dr. King began his famous speech.
More notably, the Connection includes a video clip in its coverage. It’s the same one Ben Doernberg ’13 shot, which has since been edited to comment on recent attempts by the University to squash nonviolent protest efforts at Wesleyan. Considering Yarrow’s singalong revolved around protest music and peaceful protest, it’s a pretty fitting touch:
According to the Wesleyan Connection, eight Wesleyan faculty members have received tenure this month: Gloster Aaron, biology; Nadja Aksamija, art; Sally Bachner, English; Hilary Barth, psychology; Daniella Gandolfo, anthropology; Phillip Resor, earth and environmental sciences; Elise Springer, philosophy; and Deb Unferth, English. Go nuts, faculty friends. You’re free! An additional eight professors have been promoted.
Which brings us to an interesting query floating around popularmedia in recent months (and, well, decades): should tenure be abolished?
Not that, you know, those professors don’t deserve it. I can’t really speak for seven of them. The one I’ve studied with is indeed fab. But is tenure beneficial to students—or anyone—in the long run? Noting that as few as 31% of full-time college professors had tenure in 2007, a 2010 Slate article answers “No,” laying out the case with one snappy analogy:
Imagine you ran a restaurant. A very prestigious, exclusive restaurant. To attract top talent, you guarantee all cooks and waiters job security for life. Not only that, because you value honesty and candor, you allow them to say anything they want about you and your cuisine, publicly and without fear of retribution. The only catch is that all cooks or waiters would have to start out as dishwashers or busboys, for at least 10 years, when none of these protections would apply.
Here’s proof that you should actually open the newsletter email you get from The Wesleyan Connection:
Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees voted on Feb. 26 to increase tuition and residential comprehensive fees by 3.8 percent for the 2011-12 academic year.
Continuing its commitment to a strong financial aid program, Wesleyan will increase its budget for aid by 11.8 percent. Wesleyan admits first-year students without regard to their financial circumstances and meets, through grants and loans, the full demonstrated need of all students eligible for financial aid.
Tuition will be $43,404 for all students in 2011-2012. For freshman and sophomores, the residential comprehensive fee will be $12,032. For juniors and seniors, the fee will be $13,678.
Personally, the first thing that struck me about this is that I had to learn about it via The Connection. We get all-campus emails about Beta three times a year but neither we nor our parents are immediately notified of tuition increases? Either way, this isn’t the first raise we’ve seen in a while. Tuition rose 5% for the 2010-2011 year, and financial aid rose a similar 11% (more here). For those of you that care about rankings, that made us the fourth most expensive college in the country.