Posts Tagged “The Eagle”
A mother and professor at American University, Adrienne Pine, never thought feeding her baby would make the headlines. “It wasn’t until some of my undergraduate students saw me feed my baby through my breast that my workplace became a hostile environment,” Pine wrote in the newsletter CounterPunch.
On the first day of her introductory course, “Sex, Gender Culture,” Pine brought her one-year-old and breastfed the child momentarily when she was hungry and restless. A news editor for the AU student paper, The Eagle, sent her an email afterwards asking for an interview on the breastfeeding episode in class.
“I was hoping to be able to talk to you in order to discuss what happened in class and allow you to speak about the matter in your own words,” the student wrote in the email. “I understand the delicacy of the matter and I do not want to make you feel uncomfortable, but for the story to have the most balanced angle it would be best to have your thoughts.”
Pine was surprised, to say the least, that her breast feeding incited an uncomfortable reaction from students on campus. “I really wish this weren’t considered “newsworthy,” but I suppose that’s why a feminist anthropology course is necessary at AU. I had no intention of making a political statement or shocking students,” Pine wrote to the AU student journalist. She published her reaction in an post titled “The Dialectics of Breastfeeding on Campus: Exposeing My Breasts on the Internet.”
In the post, she added that her child was feverish that day. While she prefers to leave her family and professional lives in separate realms, she did not have a choice and expected her students to understand the circumstances.
If I considered feeding my child to be a “delicate” or sensitive act, I would not have done it in front of my students. Nor would I have spent the previous year doing it on buses, trains and airplanes; on busy sidewalks and nice restaurants; in television studios and while giving plenary lectures to large conferences. I admit those lectures haven’t always gone so well (baby can get fidgety), but as a single parent without help or excess income, my choice has been between sacrificing my professional life and slogging through it.
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In a letter to readers, Eagle Editor in Chief Charlie Szold announced that the American University student paper will switch to a weekly, tabloid format this semester.
Previously, the Eagle published a twice weekly broadsheet-style paper.
Because it fell short of repaying a $100,000 University loan last year, Szold wrote, the paper had to slash its budget in half. (Although the Eagle is technically an independent paper, it still receives University loans to cover some costs, such as printing.)
“We will be working throughout the year to permanently fix our financial problems,” Szold wrote. “Furthermore, The Eagle will be working to fix any systemic flaws that led to these problems.”
In the comments, Szold added that the cuts were not related to recent boycotts against the paper.
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Earlier this week, students at American University vandalized copies of The Eagle, its main student newspaper, over a column by student Alex Knepper in which he calls date rape “an incoherent concept.” Anonymous students littered hallways with Eagle copies taken out of their stands and hung a sign that read “NO ROOM FOR RAPE APOLOGISTS.”
In the column, Knepper explains that feminists are sucking all the passion out of sex by pushing for “a bedroom scene in which two amorphous, gender-neutral blobs ask each other ‘Is this OK with you?’ before daring to move their lips any lower on the other’s body.” He continues:
“For my pro-sex views, I am variously called a misogynist, a rape apologist and — my personal favorite — a “pro-date rape protofascist.”
Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.
“Date rape” is an incoherent concept. There’s rape and there’s not-rape, and we need a line of demarcation. It’s not clear enough to merely speak of consent, because the lines of consent in sex — especially anonymous sex — can become very blurry. If that bothers you, then stick with Pat Robertson and his brigade of anti-sex cavemen! Don’t jump into the sexual arena if you can’t handle the volatility of its practice!”
Knepper also expounded on how feminists want to ban “gendered thrills” like cross-dressing. In the comments section below his column, Knepper wrote that the article had gone through five rounds of edits to remove “remove remarks deemed too inflammatory” before it went to print.
AU student K. Travis Ballie, a feminist and LGBT activist, told Amanda Hess of the Washington City Paper section The Sexist that the vandalism, which included copies flung at the door of the AU Eagle‘s office, is unsurprising given similar Eagle pieces that had appeared and inflamed campus tempers recently.
“The Eagle has repeatedly refused for months to show adequate sensitivity, compassion, and common decency to the well-being of rape survivors on campus and is complicit in promoting a rape culture where survivors are blamed for the crimes of sexual assault perpetrators,” she wrote in an e-mail.
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WWCD: What Would Carrie Do?
When I wrote about Georgetown’s sex and relationships columns in the paper a few weeks ago, I wasn’t too impressed by The Hoya‘s current sex scribe, Colleen Leahey (COL ’11). Apparently I’m in good company: yesterday The Washington City Paper‘s The Sexist blog surveyed the sex columns currently running in local student papers and ranked them on how progressive they are—and The Hoya‘s came in last.
According to The Sexist, the city’s most progressive sex column can be found in the American University Eagle. Co-written by three anonymous authors, the column has been a bit of a mixed bag, with high highs (tackling anal sex in an enlightened way) and low lows (the inaugural column kicked off with a disturbing date rape scenario). But the Sexist found enough promise in the column-writing threesome to give them a progressive score of seven.
Coming in second was the GW Hatchet‘s sex column. The Hatchet switches off between an anonymous male writer and an anonymous female writer, and tends to neglect the LGBTQ perspective, according to the Sexist, earning them a six on the progressive scale.
The Sexist gave Leahey props for using her real name and acknowledged the challenges inherent in writing a column for a relatively conservative paper where “vulgarity” is frowned upon, but took her to task for directing her columns at “desperate” heterosexual females. Ultimately, Leahey and The Hoya walked away with just four progressive points.
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These watchdogs of democracy are busy reporting important national news
American University’s The Eagle doesn’t have a reputation for being umm… any good at all. Wrote City Paper back in August:
One [AU] writing professor joked that his colleagues spend their end-of-semester party opening a random issue and doing shots for each grammatical error …. In some cases the paper even quotes its own opinion columnists as sources.
Ouch! So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the author of the article reporting that the seat in ANC 3D reserved for a student representative is vacant clearly didn’t have a clue as to what the heck an ANC-thingy does.
Still, the fact that The Eagle staff has only just realized (or worse, only just reported) that they don’t have a rep on the ANC is truly frightening. Seriously guys, elections were in November! And another thing! The article downplays the importance of an ANC to an absurd degree:
The Advisory Neighborhood Commission’s Ward 3D commission – part of the governing body for D.C. neighborhoods – meets once a month and discusses issues that could be pertinent to AU students, but the committee has no AU student representation.
Issues that could be pertinent to AU students? I seem to remember that there are undiscovered caches of chemical weapons still buried on your campus leftover from WWI, when you were a chemical weapons testing site for the army.
The Army has been cleaning up chemical weapons buried in AU’s neighborhood since the nineties. But ANC 3D Commissioner Thomas Smith (who is currently AU students’ only representative on ANC 3D—two of AU’s dorms lie in his district, 02) worries that there’s nothing safe about the way American University is going about it (more to come in this week’s Voice).
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