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Offensive Advertising

To the Editor:

I was deeply disappointed yesterday [Tuesday, Nov. 18, p. 10] to find that The Tech allowed an ad to run that was blatantly degrading to women and, I think, damaging to the MIT community. The large ad for Virgin Mobile showed a photo of the lower half of a naked woman holding a small cell phone box that barely covered her private area. The ad read “A gift from somewhere near the heart.”

Not only is this ad in bad taste, but the message it sends is harmful -- that it is okay to view and treat women like objects or products to be consumed, like a cell phone). I can think of no good reason that a photo of a mostly naked woman -- especially one with such blatant sexual content -- should be allowed to run in a school newspaper. By publishing this ad, The Tech is contributing to the misconception that it is okay to view women only through a sexual lens.

I recognize that many ads misuse sexuality and images of women’s bodies to sell products (which is a problem in and of itself), but this ad takes this problem to an unacceptable level of demoralization. I expect The Tech to act in its role as a service to the MIT community and be more responsible in accepting ads. Please remove this ad and any others like it from your publication.

Cristie Cowles Charles