In regards to the Dec. 6 letter “Sorority should not be getting so much backlash for their pictures,” college is meant to be fun, but we are also here to be educated. Part of that education is learning to be sensitive to others, even if you personally don’t find something offensive. I agree with you about college being about experiencing life. But along with that is learning how to interact with others and taking responsibility when something is offensive. Let’s not be so crass as to make jokes at the expense of others whose experiences we haven’t taken the time to learn and interact. While everyone should learn to have a “thick skin,” we all can learn how to communicate our ideas in ways that do not offend others. Associating an entire group of people with a negative stereotype regarding a drug that is illegal becomes problematic, especially when that minority has been historically and systematically marginalized in pretty much all our institutions. Penn Staters have been on the receiving end of jokes regarding all the things that have occurred in the past year, so at the very least, we could attempt to be empathetic. Finally, whether the “young women” are “attractive” or not is irrelevant to this issue. It doesn’t make the photo funnier or more acceptable.
By highlighting your 60-year-old opinion that the sorority sisters are “attractive,” you take away from your point that the photo op wasn’t a big deal while walking on the borderlines of sexism. Would you call a group of young men attractive? It’s just a little creepy.
senior-comparative literature and women’s studies