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Mr. MIT contest is a degrading event

FI:LANG.24L

To the Editor:

The Mr. MIT Contest held Thursday May 2 at the Student Center was a most degrading event for men and vividly demonstrated MIT's double standard. Despite the fact that men outnumber women nearly 3 to 1 in the MIT community, women appeared to be the majority at the contest. While the mistress-of-ceremonies made sexual innuendoes, the women in the audience cheered the bare-chested men prancing around in bikini underwear and boxer shorts.

A pair of women next to me entertained themselves by commenting on the size of the males' private parts. A table full of women near me offered one of their female friends $50 to go up and "touch" one of the contestants. Shame on you guys who participated in the event and allowed yourselves to be abused like this.

The Mr. MIT Contest is just a part of the MIT double standard -- one policy for women and another policy for men. Every possible convenience is made for women and no potentially degrading events are tolerated.

On the other hand, men's feelings, rights and welfare are neglected, leaving female members of the community free to degrade males as they wish with events like the Mr. MIT Contest sponsored by the Women's Independent Living Group (WILG). If Shirley McBay weren't so worried these days about our drinking habits, she'd form the Ad Hoc Committee on Men's Feelings and put an end to these inconsistencies. Why is it okay to have a Mr. MIT Contest, but it's not okay to have a Homecoming Queen? Why is it okay to have men shake their bikini-clad behinds for a group of screaming women, but it's not okay to show X-rated movies which might degrade women on registration day? Women should realize that it is hard for men to be sensitive to women's feelings when women and the administration are obviously not sensitive to men's.

The double standard at MIT must end. The Mr. MIT Contest must end. All of the fun student activities at MIT must end so that we can all get back to chugging over Kool-aid and doing our problem sets, living out our undegraded lives like good little MIT boys and girls.

John Lang '85->