Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

To the Editor:
After reading the article entitled “Shorts Project a Harmful Image,” I was completely outraged. The creators of the petition to have the “Ram This” shorts removed from the bookstore feel they have the right to impose their point of view on the entire student body. It is unfortunate that these women imagine the worst possible meaning of a simple slogan and were offended by it. My problem is not their point of view. They are entitled to think whatever they please. My problem is they assume that their point of view is fact. Just because they were offended by something does not mean that everyone is and that everyone should be forced to agree with their point of view. There may be many people who find the shorts to be amusing, or to be spreading school spirit, or who just do not read anything into the shorts at all. These people were completely ignored with the creation of this petition.
Obviously women are buying these shorts. I believe this petition implies that these women are stupid. If the shorts are so demeaning then the only women that would buy them would be women that are not smart enough to understand how the shorts are demeaning. This statement in itself is far more degrading than any slogan. So either the women purchasing these shorts are stupid as this petition implies, or they disagree with the views of the petition authors.
The most insane part of this article was a quote implying that these shorts promote violent sexual acts. No one sees a girl wearing these shorts and thinks to themselves, “I would really like to violently rape that girl.” If they do, then there is something wrong with that person which was in no way caused by a slogan printed on a pair of shorts.
My point is that no person should be able to impose their thoughts on the entire campus. The SSI bookstore is a business. If no shorts with this slogan were being sold then the store would stop offering them for sale. Getting the bookstore to stop selling the shorts is not solving any problem. There are countless other sources of similar clothing. The real problem is that many women do demean themselves and are demeaned by men. If these shorts are really so demeaning then removing them from the bookstore is like taking away drugs from an addict. That person has to make the decision for themselves not to wear clothes that demean them. It is not possible to just keep taking away each new source of clothing that could possibly be demeaning. Getting these shorts removed from the bookstore was a waste of time. The same time and effort should instead be focused on educating women about how to respect themselves. If women still wear these shorts then that is their choice, and at least they are doing so knowing that someone might find them offensive.
Mark Kanof
WCU StudentTo the Editor:
You may have read the article(s) on the controversy over the “RAM THIS” shorts and pants sold at the SSI Bookstore. Some WCU students and I are offended by this apparel and believe it to condone sexual violence and disrespect women. Thanks to SSI, we have reached an agreement, and the petitions will not need to be put to use.
Meg Panichelli and I, also a student here at WCU, met with Mell Josephs, director of Student Services, Inc., which owns and runs the University bookstore. Mell agrees that the apparel is not appropriate, because it misuses our beloved mascot, the Ram. Due to a large reordering last summer, there is still much of the merchandise left, so it will still be available upon request. However, it will not be displayed on the sales floor and will not be reordered, which was the main goal for myself and the other petitioners.
I would like to thank Mell Josephs and SSI for being so understanding and cooperative, especially for acquiescing with our requests. Although it didn’t come to needing the petitions, the article in The Quad and word of mouth hopefully got people thinking about what the apparel represents. I know that the publicity might also increase sales as well, but if we were able to spread the word and provoke thoughts about what we are wearing and what our University stands for, then Meg and I have accomplished our goals.
After the meeting with Mell Josephs, I was so happy I dug my paraprofessional fifteen percent off coupons out of the recycling bin, and plan to head to the bookstore sometime soon. SSI is not paying me to say this or anything, and didn’t ask me to say it. I just think it is great that being an activist here at WCU is possible, and that an environment which is positive and loving for all can and should be sought after freely. It is one of the many reasons why I love this school!
Sally J. Cramer
WCU Student

To the Editor:
I am writing to express my opinion on the Janet Jackson article that appeared in last week’s Quad.
The writer chose to take the position of laying the blame of the “incident” at the feet of Janet. Having a bit of jewelry on her nipple didn’t show intention in her case.
I can understand why the writer might have been confused though because he was not aware that sometimes it feels good to wear jewelry or a matching bra and panties even if no one sees them.
I think that his argument was very circumstantial, as was his full-on attack of Janets conduct. If it were not for Justin Timberlake, none of this would have happened!
Also, why is showing a breast such a big deal when people are tuning in to the Super Bowl to see grown men run at each other, fight, curse, and exhibit inappropriate conduct on the sidelines? Is this family-oriented television? If so, then maybe Americans are also ready to see nudity, whether shown intentionally or not.
Marni Shelkin
WCU Student

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