All women must be free to make their own choices
(re: “Empowerment or sexism?” Issue 19, page 12)

Dear editors,

This is a response to the ‘Empowerment or sexism? Women in the rock music scene’ article from your Women’s Issues issue last week.

Let me begin by saying that, although I credit the article with attempting to illustrate an important account of what’s happening currently with women in the music scene, I don’t think that the article provided the proper feminist analysis that was necessary for the subject.

The article’s objectives seem to struggle with recognizing that women have different ideas about what choices are empowering to them, and that any woman’s choice (limited to the choices that do not, in turn, harm others) is totally okay.

A woman’s choice to become “a serene housewife” is as worthy as the choice another woman may make to never get married. The choice of some women in music who would rather perform and exist outside of any political contexts is just as valid of the choice of some women who perform and exist with political and feminist meaning.

It is important to recognize that the choices women make are not up for raging debate. Rather, it should be looked at as just a beautiful reflection of how many women there are, especially in the Peterborough music scene, who are able to make these choices for themselves and about their art.

I want to emphasize the point of respecting and loving women for who they are and who they choose to be, rather than suggest one choice over another.

I feel that there is enough judgment of the choices women make for themselves in the music scene (that is not just limited to the Peterborough scene) due to the fact that systemic oppression and misogyny is pervasive in all social spaces, as much as we would like to think it is not.

Sincerely,

Calla Durose-Moya

Issues of ageing and sexuality run deeper than Cosmo and WebMD
(re: “65 and sexy?” Issue 19, page 13)

Dear Editors,

Congratulations on Arthur’s Women’s Issue, which drew attention to some really important topics. I was particularly pleased to see the issue of aging women and sexuality raised (“65 and sexy?” by Kelly Davey). Davey is right to suggest that ‘sexual ageism’, with its insistence that sexiness is linked to youthfulness – or appearing youthful – is a real problem.

However, surveys on WebMD and articles in Cosmo don’t do justice to the breadth of contemporary research on aging and sexuality. We do aging women no favors by buying into the heteronormative and phallocentric framing that Cosmo’s solutions reflect, exemplified by extolling the beauty benefits of semen as a skin toner! (There are some pretty sexy lesbians who might take issue with that!)

And holding out for “female Viagra”? Is buying into Big Pharma’s biologically-reductive push to commodify women’s sexuality really what we aspire to as feminists?

Research on aging and sexuality tells us that there are many ways to age healthily and sexually, and I hope that this diversity is increasingly acknowledged by those of us, like Davey, who are interested in promoting the idea that “the aged are sexy too”.

Barb Marshall,
Trent Sociology Department

Bringing the situation to justice
(re: “Leaked Documents…” Issue 18, cover)

I have chosen to write a response to the article because I feel there has been a great injustice done to the people involved, primarily former TCSA President Braden Freer, and Trent Conservatives Vice President Corey LeBlanc.

I believe I can give an unbiased response to this article by breaking down the fallacies within the article. As well, I would like to bring forward what I believe to be the main issue, something even bigger than what this story discusses.

This response may come off as support and defence for the Trent Conservative campus club and the two individuals named in the article, but that is not because I have a biased opinion in favour of them, but because I believe a defence is required to bring justice to this situation.

The term “takeover” is overused and pushed upon us (the students) to an extreme extent within this article. The accusations based on screenshots of a Facebook conversation (that we, the students, have not seen to get a clearer context of how the term was used), are twisted to lead the reader to a conclusion that the article is presenting.

In fact, the truest and most logical statement comes from Mr. LeBlanc himself at the end of the article stating, “I don’t understand what the story is here. Students get to vote in the TCSA elections, so if we had every single person that we ran elected – that’s not a takeover, that’s democracy.”

A democracy, which the TCSA is. The students are the ones with the power here, and no “takeover” is possible without the will of the students, ignoring the fact that zero Trent Conservative members are even running for positions in the TCSA this year. But all of this has already been said, debated, dismissed, and much more. The real issue lies ahead.

What bothered me about this article is the mentioned “leaked” screenshots. The article starts by stating, “Last week a series of private Facebook messages were anonymously leaked to Arthur Newspaper…”

First of all, this is not a leak. A leak would be if these screenshots were released to everyone through some means that this primary source could be seen by anyone who wanted to see it. However, this is not the case of a “leak”, but rather someone anonymously submitting stolen, private messages to Arthur and a very limited number of people (leaving a vast majority of the students with no opportunities to view these “leaked” screenshots), and having a story printed about said messages.

This story should never have reached anywhere near this far, in fact as soon as the Arthur received these illegally obtained screenshots their action should have been to contact the correct authorities immediately. A proper investigation into finding out who (assuming the Arthur is not aware) broke the online privacy laws in the process.

One main concern that I particularly have from reading this article is not related to the topic at all. What concerns me is the protection of students in the future (and perhaps the past) in regards to articles that may have accusations of a similar or even higher degree, and how legitimate the sources are that Arthur’s writers have used.

I don’t even know if I am sure I want to submit this response because of these concerns, but I do so anyway and hope for the best.

Jacob Hadley

Trent Conservatives ashamed of Arthur
(re: “Leaked Documents…” Issue 18, cover)

Dear Editors,

As the President of the Trent Conservatives, I am completely dismayed and offended by the article published by Arthur, which is based on information gained through illegal means, and pertains to TCSA President Braden Freer, and our (Trent Conservatives) Vice President, Corey LeBlanc.

It is very disturbing and saddening that Arthur would publish an article which attempts to taint two of the most hardworking and good willed people I know.

I can write, with confidence, that both Corey and Braden have never had discussions that do not focus, in nature, on anything but improving the campus experience for students attending our university. Specifically, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Corey quite well over the past year or so; and I can proudly say that he is intensely passionate about both politics, as well as the Trent community, and how he can use his unique skills to improve both. I can also say, that I have become familiar with Braden, and he shares the same vision as myself and Corey, in regards to the improvement of the campus experience for all Trent students.

I challenge Arthur, to do due diligence in finding out who stole this conversation between Corey and Braden, and I also challenge Arthur to report on the growing controversy surrounding journalistic sloppiness used in the article itself.

Fairness, and the protection of privacy should be of the utmost importance to a student-led newspaper. I am ashamed of ours.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Hubble
President, Trent Conservatives