When The Oracle decided to run a series on human sexuality earlier this semester, we knew there would be plenty of feedback, and there was. Because sex is unfortunately such a sensitive subject, we expected at least a few people would be offended.
But some of the complaints we received were just outright absurd.
For example, I received an e-mail from an anonymous group of girls on campus saying the one-night stand article was written by a male chauvinist. They demanded that The Oracle re-write the story and correct the so-called error. Now, I understand that The Oracle staff and our parents may be the only people who read by-lines (those things at the beginning of the story that say who wrote the story), but had someone paid attention to this minute detail, it would have been realized that I, a female, wrote the story. My beliefs are polar opposite from a male chauvinists,’ and I find it hard to believe that someone with feminist morals could write anything suggesting females are weak. Besides, I find nothing wrong with one-night stands.
And then there was one article in which one person wouldn’t speak with our reporter and then proceeded to complain about the representation of his culture in the story. The information we received was from an individual who lived in the culture before moving to America. Need I say more? Although everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, how can someone complain if he or she is hindering the reporting process about the subject in question?
And there were the responses to the story on Real Dolls, life-like dolls used for self-serving activities. People complained it was in poor taste and questioned its news judgement. Why is it newsworthy? Because it happens. Because people pay nearly $6,000 for high-tech, blow-up dolls and have sex with them, and that is the pure definition of bizarre, which constitutes newsworthiness.
I understand that some of these subjects could have been considered bad judgement, but the purpose of exploring human sexuality was to open people’s minds and lessen the tension surrounding the subject. People should talk about sex openly and not just about the not-so-taboo subjects but about everything – including topics some might deem unacceptable.
Through all of this, it is evident that some people only read what they want and see what they want, especially when a story deals with a subject considered offensive or related to a particular person or group of people. That’s not to say feedback is ignored or unwelcome, because even journalists need to be kept in check. But if you take everything into account and look at stories closely, the feedback will probably be looked at more seriously.
- Contact Lindsay Fosterat firstname.lastname@example.org