Editor’s Note:
Due to the large number of responses to Alec Mouhibian’s column (“Private Dancer: The Deception Behind Gender Studies,” Daily Nexus, April 19), we have published excerpts from several of the submissions, edited for space. His original column can be found at http://www.dailynexus.com.

I am thoroughly disgusted that you would even consider printing Tuesday’s column by Alec Mouhibian (“The Deception Behind Gender Studies,” Daily Nexus, April 19). I understand freedom of the press and free speech, but this column accomplishes nothing more than spreading sickening misconceptions and flat-out lies. You should not only be ashamed of yourself for allowing this toxic waste disguised as journalism to be printed, you should be fired for such reckless irresponsibility.

I am very disappointed in your newspaper for supporting such intense sexism and will encourage not only a complete boycott of the Nexus, but a boycott of local advertisers who support your paper.

Your accusation that as feminists, we hang onto every word of Andrea Dworkin, our intellectual idol, is just plain false. I won’t discount her voice, but you have to be very shallow not to acknowledge that she is only one amongst a multitude of people who identify as feminists. There are pro-sex , anti-porn, third-world, post-colonialist and lesbian feminists, as well as many, many more. Your article over generalizes the movement as some monolithic, man-hating project, where we all agree with the views of one person who “promotes sexual paranoia.”

Your writing reeks of ignorance. You feel that sexual violence statistics are exaggerated? If this is true, how come I personally know a young girl that was molested at the age of six? Why do two of my immediate family members still have to deal with issues because of their sexual assaults? If these statistics were exaggerated, I shouldn’t know anyone who has been assaulted, right?

Your article reads like the opinion of a man that has never had to fear going out past a certain time at night to do your laundry. A man that has never had to experience and confront sexual harassment at work including being kissed, touched on your thigh or been given a phone number by a man old enough to be your father. A man that does not have to seriously consider where he lives so that he is active in reducing the number of violent attacks that could possibly occur against him. You have no idea what it is like to have to actively protect yourself from being in certain situations. Sexual harassment is not women reporting eye contact and a sense of humor, as you put it. It is reporting inappropriate behavior that women are sick of enduring that is standard practice and acceptable in your patriarchal system.

To claim, as Mouhiban did, that rape exists only because of “pathological failure to control natural urges” is ridiculous, as is his assertion that women at UCSB ask for rape because on campus “female sexual confidence reigns supreme.” It saddens me that the Nexus would print such an article. Had this article been written towards any other group besides women, perhaps African-Americans, I doubt it would have been published. Perhaps the MultiCultural Center shouldn’t exist because racial discrimination is “invented” too.

I challenge Mouhiban to speak to rape victims and share his opinion with them. Perhaps then he will understand rape is not invented by women, nor asked for, nor an act of sex, but a display of an attempt to exhibit power.

It seems appropriate that it is today – the anniversary of Hitler’s birth – that we must confront fascistic ideas on campus. The fact that you printed Alec Mouhibian’s moronic column is an embarrassment to you and your, apparently, junior-league publication, as well to the campus. His “arguments” are not worth refuting as they are intended as merely provocations by the leadership of one of the campus’s right-wing cliques. Of course, now we have seen both the low-level of intelligence and brutality of the right wing here on campus.

It is your responsibility to set the record straight about the reality and horror of rape that Mr. Mouhibian would like to downplay and make fun of for his own ends.

I am anything but one of the “de-penisized” pantywaists that Mouhibian decries. A father of two, I spent four years as a United States Army infantryman – you don’t get much more masculine than that. I am also a sex-positive feminist. What Mouhibian describes is not feminism as it exists, but rather the false and insulting canards that have always been slung against any woman who dares ask for equal rights, equal pay and equal protection under the law. Maybe it’s not so wise, Alec, to get your talking points from Jerry Falwell.

I don’t want my little girl to grow up in a world where men like Mr. Mouhibian think date rape is a myth and sexual violence isn’t “real violence.” You don’t need Birkenstocks, hairy legs or “morbid Marxist ideology” to be a feminist; you only need to not be an asshole.

While you displayed your higher intelligence in sharing that “the word ‘rape’ turns me on because it rhymes with ‘ape,'” it is true that one in four women, on average, are victims of rape or attempted rape. Sexual violence is very widespread, whether you want to admit it or not, Alec.

How could you compare “regret” as the cause for declaring “date rape”? A woman or man who was date raped has been seriously violated and temporarily lost control of what was happening to his or her body. Date rape is a horrific crime! Regret after a sexual encounter does not cause somebody to cry “date rape.”

I suggest that you take a women’s studies class before bashing gender studies and de-valuing rape and its survivors.

Mouhibian is a disgrace to men on this campus. Men need to realize that sexual assault does not affect them directly, in most cases, but that it truly has a great impact on their lives. Anyone who takes the time to educate themselves on the topic of sexual violence will see what I mean. Men are the perpetrators of rape and sexual assault in the vast majority of cases, but this means that men are in an important position to end rape. The best thing you can do is to consult a reliable source. Don’t take it from a columnist who is just spewing out old and tired myths about rape and feminists, we’ve heard it all before.

Mouhibian claims that dealing with rape includes “realizing that women have never had more power and protection than in ‘patriarchal’ capitalism.” This is a misconception. Women in America have never had more power than they do in this day and age. However, feminism is not limited to the concerns of American women. It is concerned with women everywhere. Many women in second- and third-world countries do not have power. In fact, even in the glorified American system, there are certain places where women do not have power. Feminism is about empowering all women, but we cannot even begin to do that when victims of sexual violence are downplayed by people such as Mr. Mouhibian, who tells us that statistics about sexual assault are lies. He effectively disempowers all women on this campus who have been victims of sexual violence by saying that what happened to them is only a falsified statistic.

As I was waiting for my women’s studies class to begin yesterday, I happened to stumble across Alec Mouhibian’s article. After choking on the pure irony of the situation, I worked my way through the piece. More appalling than his overall ignorance and close-minded view of women was his arrogance. Belittling such a strong and progressive woman as Gloria Steinem only showcases his lack of knowledge regarding women’s studies and feminism in general. He parades Andrea Dworkin as a zealot feminist, cursing men and sex. I doubt Mouhibian would be singing the praises of his abusers if he were sexually assaulted twice before the age of 20 and suffered through 5 years of a physically abusive marriage.

The professors of women’s studies are not the feminazis Mouhibian may picture them to be, standing at their podium preaching for women to go Lorena Bobbit on every male they encounter, instead they teach women about their past, giving us a sense of history, allowing us to draw inspiration from the struggles of women before us.

I don’t mind reading columns that support an argument different than mine on particular issues because they usually make me think. They usually have well-researched supporting material and make good points. This article did not fall in that category. There was no supporting evidence anywhere in the article and when I was finished I was not only angry, but confused about the point he was trying to make. I am appalled that a student with this obvious lack of persuasive journalism skills is getting paid – by money we pay the school – to write for a newspaper that in a way defines our university.

I think he should be fired, or at the very least, closely monitored so that he does a proper job as a journalist and gets all the facts straight.