Thursday, February 26, 2004

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Volume 8, Number 94

Write to us!
Photo of the day:
Today’s issue:


1) Professors dissect “feminism” at panel discussion

2) College creates new mean plan for off-campus

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events


1) Men’s basketball update

2) Upcoming contests


Today: Sunny. High of 44.
For Lent this year I decided to give up something really big…

Tonight: Mostly clear. Low of 28. Coffee.

Tomorrow: Sunny. High of 45.
So I’d recommend that you stay away for the next 40 mornings or so.


Lunch: Chicken pot pie, homemade biscuits, baked pasta with spinach,
vegetable ragout, spinach, vegetable blend, fajita bar, cupcakes

Dinner: Beef stroganoff, buttered noodles, garden burgers, tofu creole,
succotash, vegetable blend, patty-grilla bar, cheesecake


1) Professors dissect “feminism” at panel discussion

by Megan Mills
Communcations Editor

Students filled an overly warm Scheuer Room to capacity Wednesday
night, even sitting in the aisles in order to hear six Swarthmore
professors from different departments discuss the broad topic of
feminism. The faculty panel was sponsored by the Swarthmore Feminist
Majority, a group that is holding events this week to draw attention to
the role feminism has in today’s society.

Miriam Perez ’06 moderated the discussion in which Nathalie Anderson
(English Literature), Jeffrey Murer (Political Science), Cynthia
Halpern (Political Science), Allison Dorsey (History), Brian Axel
(Sociology/Anthropology), and Patricia White (English Literature and
Film Studies) each spoke for about 4 minutes before opening up the
floor to questions. Professors had no set topic, but were urged to
consider how feminism is defined, whether or not they consider
themselves feminists, and how has feminism changed over the years.

Anderson began by addressing the stereotype of feminists as
“man-hating” or separatists, an idea that she believes is dangerous.
She strongly considers herself a feminist, and believes that women have
talents commensurate with those of men, but are often made to feel as
if they do not. She continued by reading a statement from her Pew
Fellowship in the Arts in which she discusses her history growing up in
the southeastern United States and the effects it had on her. She noted
that anxiety, especially sexual anxiety, is a recurring theme in her
work, a probable result of being raised in a society where intelligence
and beauty are mutually exclusive, women should be available but not
desirous, and were encouraged to “flirt but not follow through”–all
factors which may lead to “neuroses.” She noted finally that she came
to feminism after the civil rights movement, and concluded that
feminism and humanism are inextricably linked through the fight to end

Next to speak was Murer who began by saying that he is “most
decidedly” a feminist. He feels that feminism’s goal is to combat
social structures that dominate and subjugate women, not just in issues
such as equal pay and equal political representation, but also in
normative constructions. He said that feminists fight for equality and
seek to wholly redefine norms and redesign gender relations. He urged
people to remember that we should not replace one ruling class with
another. In Murer’s mind, feminism is a powerful social force that
should seek “human liberation.” When men and women are both constrained
by the damaging norms in place in society today, neither can be free,
and feminism is a commitment to fight for that freedom.

When Halpern began to speak, she prefaced by saying she alone had
prepared no written notes. She identifies as a theorist, and that she
is a feminist and also a “bad girl.” She feels that defining feminism
destroys it in a way, and instead we should strive to get impressions
of it. She came to feminism through politics and the civil rights
movement, and it began as a contemplation of what was wrong with gender
relationships as they stood. Whereas Anderson came through a lens of
anxiety, Halpern came through anger and rage at the unjustness of
society. She mentioned a feminist idea that revolution is not only
necessary but should be as violent as possible and the only question
was “who to shoot first”, and that the problem became that the ones who
should be shot were the ones they were sleeping with. She concluded
that more understanding of what can and cannot be changed is necessary,
and that feminism requires an ongoing commitment to devise strategies
to change what was been in place for thousands of years.

Dorsey handed out some information before her talk, and then claimed
that she has been a feminist since she was a preteen and comes to her
understanding of the concept both as a human female and as a historian.
She also felt that it is essential that the mostly white audience from
21st century America understand that feminism is a post-civil rights
movement. She used the quote “feminism is the radical notion that women
are fully human” as her definition and saw its structure as a struggle
in thought, word, and action to end oppression. She resents the idea
that the media expounds that feminists are man hating, because that
implies that feminism is centered around men. As for the anger of the
60s feminist movement, she said “It was one rally. It was one bra. Get
over it.” While she feels that rage is understandable, it is necessary
to use it to lead to intellectual development and freedom.

Axel felt very humbled and honored and grateful to be at the panel,
and asked the audience to continue trying to transform their world. His
background is from a family of psychotherapists and a mother who worked
her way through her education, and he himself was involved in his
college’s women’s group. He comes to feminism through a critique of
violence against women, and feels that an important issue is
identity–who are men, and women, and “we,” and other generalities that
can be drawn. From this position of questioning is where he sees his
place in the feminist movement.

Opening with a clip from the new HBO film “Iron Jawed Angels,” with
Hilary Swank playing suffragist and Swarthmore alum Alice Paul, White’s
talk focused on her career as a feminist and the role of media in its
ideas. She does not have a single definition of feminism. She noted
that the “f-word” has been around for a long time despite its lack of
use in the mainstream media–for example, there is no “Feminist Eye for
the Straight Guy.” She mentioned that she took film and feminism in
college and her history as a lesbian, an activist, and a feminist are
all intertwined. She added “pleasure” to anxiety and anger, and stated
that she is more interested in how women are represented on film, not
whether that representation is right or wrong. Especially interesting
to White is the fact that women have always been viewed as consumers of
popular culture, and she remains hopeful that feminism and the masses
will become much more comfortable with each other, particularly with
young women.

After these talks the professors took questions on a variety of
topics ranging from more media concerns to identity to power dynamics
of women of different races and classes.

The Feminist Majority meets Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. in Parrish


2) College creates new mean plan for off-campus

by Lauren Janowitz
Gazette Reporter

Students who live off campus will soon have a new meal plan
available to them.

Starting this fall, off-campus students will be able to sign up for
a 5-lunch/week meal plan. According to Dining Service’s Linda
McDougall, this new plan will not be part of the board plan, which is
paid out of tuition costs. The 5-lunch plan will cost approximately
$325.00 for a 14 week semester–about $25 less than paying Sharples’
$5.00 lunch rate daily–and has to be paid for in advance. Students who
do live on campus will not be able to switch to this plan–it is
strictly for off-campus students only.

There are no talks for any new meal plans for on-campus students,
who can currently choose between the 14-, 17-, and 20- meal plans.


3) World news roundup

* Over the past 18 months, the U.S. military has reported 112
incidents of sexual misconduct in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. Also,
two dozen women in the training facility in Texas called Sheppard Air
Force Base, reported being sexually assaulted in 2002. In response,
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered a senior-level inquiry
this month into the sexual assaults in Kuwait and Afghanistan and “how
the armed services treats victims of sexual attacks.” Wednesday, Senate
Democrats and Republicans questioned the Pentagon’s “top personnel” and
four four-star officials for what they felt were “lapses” in the
military’s efforts to protect servicewomen from assaults, provide
adequate treatment to the victims, and to punish the violators. The
reported assaults have prompted reviews in the Navy, Army, and Air

* Britain has decided not to prosecute the 29-year-old linguist,
Katharine Gun, who admitted to leaking a top secret memo from the
United States requesting assistance in bugging United Nations
diplomats. The United States National Security Agency made the request
a year ago, during the war in Iraq. Had the trial gone forward, the
linguist’s lawyers claim they would have turned it into a debate about
the legality of Britain’s entry into the war. Ms. Gun’s defense was
that she acted out of conscience and that she was concerned that the
United States was trying to undermine the United Nations debate over
the war in Iraq.

* The National Education Association, the largest teacher union in
the United States, is up in arms about comments the Secretary of
Education Rod Paige made Monday where he stated that he “considered the
N.E.A. to be a terrorist organization”. Representative Betty McCollum,
a Democrat from Minnesota, described his remarks as “neo-carthyism at
its worst.” The N.E.A. is demanding that President Bush replace Paige
over this remark. His remark is the latest in an ongoing battle between
the Bush Administration and the N.E.A. over policy issues, especially
since the President signed the No Child Left Behind Law in January 2002.


4) Campus events

Scott Arboretum Lunchtime Lecture
Scheuer Room, 12:00 p.m.

Lecture: “Evolution of Lexical Contrast Patterns Through Self
Science Center 199, 4:00 p.m.

Lecture: “Interpreting the Illicit: Gender and Violent Crime in
Mid-to-Late Nineteenth Century Egypt”
Science Center 101, 4:30 p.m.

Potluck Dinner with David Grant, Legislative Director of the Nonviolent
Friends Meetinghouse, 5:30 p.m.

Career Services Information Session: Peace Corps
Bond, 6:30 p.m.

Lecture: “Nonviolent Intervention in Armed Conflict”
LPAC, 7:30 p.m.

Lecture: “Latin American Women in Social Movements”
Scheuer Room, 7:30 p.m.

Movie Screening: “The Producers”
Kohlberg 226, 7:30 p.m.

Living Wage Call-In and Letter Writing
Outside McCabe Library, 8:00 p.m.

WRC Coffeehouse and Open Mic
WRC, 8:00 p.m.

The Ring: Living Wage Proposal
Mephistos Lounge, 10:00 p.m.



1) Men’s basketball update

Garnet junior Matt Gustafson was named to the 2004 All-Centennial
Conference First Team today. Gustafson led the Garnet this year in
scoring. He is joined by Duran Searles (Franklin & Marshall), David
Glaser (Gettysburg), Steve Juskin (Franklin and Marshall), and Player
of the Year Dennis Stanton (Ursinus).


2) Upcoming contests

There are no contests scheduled for today.

There are no contests scheduled for tomorrow.

[note: Wednesday’s women’s tennis results were not available at press



“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as
you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too
high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson


Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
Got a news or sports tip for us?
Just want to tell us what you think?

Contact the staff at

Communications Editor: Megan Mills
Features Editor Alexis Reedy
Living & Arts Editor: Jonathan Ference
News Editor: Greg Leiserson
Sports Editor: Alex Glick
Photo/Graphics Editor: Charlie Buffie
News Reporters: Anya Carrasco
Lauren Janowitz
Sanggee Kim
Brendan Moriarty
Ken Patton
Maki Sato
Angelina Seah
Victoria Swisher
Siyuan Xie
Sports Writers: Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil
Cara Tigue
Photographers: Kyle Khellaf
Robbie Hart
Nicole Oberfoell
Anthony Orazio
World News Roundup: Victoria Swisher
Campus Sports: Alex Glick
Webmasters: Charlie Buffie
Greg Leiserson
Weathercaster: Josh Hausman

The Daily Gazette is published Monday through Friday by an
independent group of Swarthmore College students. The Daily Gazette Web
Site is updated regularly, as news happens. Technical support from the
Swarthmore College Computer Society is gratefully acknowledged.

Our world news roundup is compiled daily, using a variety of
most notably the Associated Press (,
Reuters (, CNN (, and The New York Times ( Our campus sports
summaries are derived from information provided by the Swat Athletics
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This concludes today’s report.

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