Letters to the EditorI am writing in response to the letter by Adam C. Powell ["Women's Comedy Night Deemed Offensive," April 10]. I didn't actually read his letter, but some friends of mine did, and based on their reports, I consider his letter to be misguided, inappropriate, and misrepresentative of my work. I submit the following reply.
I am sincerely sorry that you were offended. I am also sorry if it was not clear to you and your friends before you attended the event that the content would be feminist.
The material I believe caused distress to your friends was a piece about "The Rapture." The entire piece consisted of me reading, verbatim, from a publication about the Rapture put out by a Christian group in Pensacola, Fla. That much of the audience found the readings amusing was entirely their choice.
It is not my intention as an artist to attack individuals or groups for the purpose of getting a laugh. As a feminist comedian I do hold up to scrutiny many patriarchal institutions and their practices. This includes all of the Judeo-Christian religions. The purpose of this is to allow those who are oppressed by those who would oppress them to laugh at the injustices, so as not to be crushed by that which truly is offensive: oppression.
I cannot say that you were not hurt by my obvious disbelief and disagreement with a doctrine which holds meaning for you. However, I would ask you to understand that I believe a humorous presentation of Christian doctrine is not comparable with the offenses done in the name of Christianity (e.g. the burning of 9 million women).
Betsy Salkind '86
Meal Proposal Not New
Last spring, a mandatory meal plan proposal similar to the one put forth by the House Dining Committee was rejected by the UA. Where were the people on this committee last year?The mandatory meal plan controversy was covered in The Tech. The meetings where the proposed policy was debated, rejected, and replaced were publicly announced, scheduled well in advance, and open to the public.
Many people would prefer not to eat commons food, either by personal preference, religious belief, or dietary needs. Many, if not all, of the non-cafeteria dormitories have kitchens. In my experience, these kitchens (New House, East Campus, Senior House, Random Hall) are well used. Many students use them to save money. The kitchens are also more convenient for several reasons: they don't close; they allow students to choose what to eat, a particular concern for those with restricted diets; and they tend to be social centers.
To those in dormitories with cafeterias: did you know about the required meal plan in that dormitory before you chose it? If not, it isn't the fault of the students in the non-cafeteria dormitories. The blame belongs to either the residents of the dormitory or to the Institute. If a meal plan is a financial burden, why not move out of the dormitory to one without a cafeteria? I know that both Next House and MacGregor are oversubscribed each year; the meal plan can't be that much of a factor.
Please reconsider your position. Try to find the minutes of prior meetings, UA and otherwise, about required meal plans. Find out what went wrong with required plans at MIT that brought us to the current state of the Institute. Finally, find out what people in the dormitories, both with and without cafeterias, think.
Michael J. Bauer '91