Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Harvard coeds to go nude

(For an update, 11/18/09/, on this story click here. And for a post relating to a Harvard coed and her  sexual relationship with a Harvard TF, click here.)

Harvard women prepare to go nude in the new online magazine Diamond to be published by Harvard student Matthew M. Di Pasquale. Di Pasquale began to solicit Harvard coeds for nude photo opportunities via the Dunston House email list in February. The Harvard Crimson reported yesterday that “Harvard women posing nude alongside their theses just might be the way Diamond magazine wins over feminists.”

On Thursday evening Diamond founder Di Pasquale and Harvard student H Bomb editor Brandon Perkovich (H Bomb is an ongoing sexually orientated publication at Harvard) met with a dozen Harvard undergraduates at the Harvard Women’s Center to discuss the sexually orientated publications. The discussion was sponsored by the Radcliffe Union of Students.

Much of the discussion put Di Pasquale on the defensive. He told the crowd numerous times that Diamond’s purpose is to allow women to “express themselves” in a pro-sex light-not to objectify them-and that he understands their concerns about typical pornography.

“One of the ideas behind Diamond is that [the models] are not just sexy girls, but intelligent, smart, successful, Harvard girls,” he said. “I want the reader to understand who they are what they’re doing in their lives. I read the interviews in Maxim.”

While H Bomb received praise-Julia T. Havard ’11 said that it was “artistic expression” with “a message behind it”-some of those present feared that Diamond would be less like H Bomb and more like mainstream pornography.

“[Pornography] perpetuates the idea in society that it’s okay to see women on a page, that it’s acceptable in society to objectify women in terms of sexual attractiveness,” said Shanti S. Kris ’11, who identified herself as a feminist.

“In rape, you’re objectifying women through a violent action, so the danger is that it makes it acceptable to look at women as objects,” she said.

But despite the fact that the discussion became spirited at times, the conversation ended on a positive note, with those present praising the rise in sexual publications on campus.

Di Pasquale indicated that the premiere issue of Diamond will be on May 12. “Di Pasquale said that day will be a celebration of women and pornography-and perhaps the start of a profitable, enjoyable business venture.”

In a February article, the Harvard Crimson reported that the then  Harvard student editor of H Bomb, Michelle E. Crentsil, supports the efforts of Di Pasquale. “I think artistic magazines involving the way people think about their bodies is always a great thing,” Crentsil said.

DiPasquale did not dispute the reference to Diamond as an artistic magazine.

“Diamond will be more mainstream-“more Hollywood”-à la Maxim or Playboy, he said. Diamond will feature nude female models and possibly shirtless males, but not explicit sex acts, he said.

He said that he sees potential in Harvard women to make Diamond a “really sexy magazine.”

Not everyone is excited about Diamond’s debut. Leo J. Keliher ‘10, co-president of the premarital sexual abstinence group True Love Revolution said he believes that anything that allows men to look at and fantasize about women “just objectifies women.”

But campus sex blogger Lena Chen ‘09 gave her nod of approval to Diamond. “I think that any increase in dialogue about sex on campus is certainly positive because Harvard is kind of Puritanical,” she said.

Maybe somewhat Puritanical but not as puritanical as Yale. The dankprofessor cannot imagine the Yale Women’s Center hosting a discussion with the editor of a campus publication which was recruiting Yale female students to pose nude. We have two different worlds here. In fact, the Yale Women’s Center ultimatum to the Yale administration to respond to their demand for corrective action by March 7 regarding the Yale fraternity “I love Yale sluts” imbroglio did not pass  without notice.  Click here for an update.

—–
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Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessorTM
© Copyright 2008

March 8, 2008 - Posted by | ethics, feminism, Harvard University, higher education, nudity, pornography, sex, sexual politics, Yale University

1 Comment »

  1. [...] 2008 dankprofessor blog review and awards Here are the five 2008 posts which received the most views along with the number of views.                                                                                              Harvard coeds to go nude                                                            5,513 University students engage in public sex                                  2,652 A passionate defense of student professor relationships       2,210 UNM Prof Lisa Chavez speaks out                                             1,991 Sadomasochistic posing professor found fit to teach             1,761 [...]

    Pingback by 2008 dankprofessor blog review and awards « Dankprofessor’s Weblog | January 1, 2009 | Reply


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