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Barker's betting pool letter flagrantly blind

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to Dan Barker's flagrantly blind and almost intentionally obtuse letter in the last issue of the Review. He tries valiantly to explain away objectification of women by noting that Conservatory students are subjected to the very same objectifications in their performances.

But there lies the so very unsubtle difference that he either missed or intentionally omitted: these are *performances* made by Conservatory students. They are *willing* and *knowing* and *choosing* participants to competition, objectification, comparison.

Con students *choose* to participate in competition, they *willingly* subject themselves to scrutiny and *knowingly* improve their skills in order to be judged better.

Does anyone else see the difference here? If even *one* of the above requirements for fair competition were eliminated, that competition would be wrong, unjustifiable and offensive.

I must admit to not being so terribly offended by the betting pool itself. It was a mistake, one which probably won't be repeated any time soon, and one which was mostly harmless compared to the insensitivities and degradations that go on around the world and in Oberlin all the time. What *does* offend me, however, is Dan Barker's comparison. I sincerely hope that Mr. Barker's letter was written in a fit of rage and indiscretion. Any other reason for such a disgraceful set of remarks would be obscene.

-Kevin Munoz (OC '95)

Editorials in this box are the responsibility of the editor-in-chief, managing editor and commentary editor, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the Review.

Copyright © 1997, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 125, Number 25, May 23, 1997

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