Page 1

6:1 - And Still No Choice Free

Sex Special

No 722


Men and Women: The Results

Men and Women's Answers

Of

the

15% the who

surveys

were

distributed,

returned.

questions haven't

those

seen

questionnaire sometimes

Below

(for

are of

you

the

before)

and

surprising,

the,

GENERAL

Men's Answers

results.

•BACK GROUND

% Yes

% No

% Other

A2

40

57

3

A4

36 74

A7 1. How old are you? 2. Did you attend a singlesex school? 3. What year are you? 4. Did you take a year out before university? 5. What do you study? 6. How often do you drink (once a week, twice a week, etc.)? 7. Did you realise that the atio was 6:1 men to women before you applied here? 8. If yes to qu 7 above, did this affect your choice and, if so, how? 9 Are you a homosexual?

B1

26

A2 A4 1 Do you ever feel threatened by the behavior of the men around you (if yes, please specify)? 2 Do you usually prefer girl talk or talking in mixed company? 3. How often do you find it necessary to talk something over exclusively with another girt (often, rarely, never, etc.)?

•RAPE

t. Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

1. If you knew that a female friend had been raped, but didn't want to report it. would you report it yourself? 2. If a close male friend had raped someone, is there any situation where you would not report it (if yes, please specify)? 3. How would you respond to hearing a rape alarm in the college area?

•ACCOMMODATION 1. How many men, and how many women, live on your floor/landing etc.? 2. Would you prefer to live in a single-sex hall (assume that there is a women's hall)? 3. If yes to qu 2 above, please explain why. 4 Do you feel selfconscious when people of the opposite sex see you in your bathrobe/nightclothes, etc.?

1. Is there any situation in which you feel rape may be justified (if yes, please specify)?

Q j you (never worry, often worry, etc.)? H

o

wb

j

ga

f e a r

j

s r

a

p

e

)

0

27 10 10

90

37

57

5

12

85

3

10 72 60

5 5 0

64

0

26

0

99

24 1

C1 C2

70

4

FRIENDSHIP

12 10

A1 A2 A3 A4

85 22 40 20

75

5

C1 C2

37 3

60 60

3 37

84 6

% Yes

% No

%

A2 A4

43 34

54

4

A7 A8 A9

76 9

66 24

0 0 23

B1 B2

A1 A2

90

LOVE/SEX

A1 A2 A3

17 45

82 52

0 3

12 15 30 65

87

0

80 50 15

5 20 20

9 3 9 13

B1 B2

29 41 7

67 53 64

4

OTHER

6 29

NUMBERS IN E A C H YEAR

65

17

65

16

B1

2

94

4

A1 A2

49

47 63

6

B2 B3 B4

33 53 33

62 38

5 9

51

16

1 3

12

81 22

11 74

8

64 65

6 11

23

64 61

23 16

A1

40

57

A2

35

60

3 5

4

14

LOVE/SEX

QUESTIONS

Non-stud Postgrad Spoilt

37% 17% 37% 0% 0% 3% 3% 3%

OTHER QUESTIONS NUMBERS IN E A C H YEAR 1st Year 2nd Year 3rd Year 4th Year 5th Year Non-stud Postgrad Spoilt

DRINKS PER WEEK None Once Twice 3 Times 4 Times 5 Times Lots

32% 17% 12% 12% 8% 5% 12%

None Once Twice 3 Times 4 Times 5 Times Lots

1st Year 2nd Year

19

22 83 90

RAPE

A1 A2

12 75 65 61

18

66 16 7

30 24

A1 A2 A3

A1 A2

79 22 26 26

A1 A2

9

FRIENDSHIP

15 12

52 70

32 17

A1 A2 A3 A4

RAPE

11

87 84

ACADEMIC

C1 C2 C3 C4

B3

1

8

1

A4

10 81 90

73

0

A2 A4

RAPE A2 A3

68 99

0

ACCOMMODATION

66

ACCOMMODATION

1 Do you belong to a mostly male club (eg. rugby club, drinking club.

1. If you are in an all male hall, and younow chose to be one. do you think youin chose correctly"

A9

10 0

A8

20 3 0

52 87

A1 A2 A3

Question

3rd Year 4th Year 5th Year

41% 16% 24% 6% 1% 1% 6% 3%

LOVE/SEX

31

4

DRINKS PER WEEK 23% 11% 18% 16% 11% 5% 13%

OTHER QUESTIONS ONE OR MORE 1. Do you think that an all female hall would be a good idea (not for you specifically, but in principle) and why?

•LOVE/SEX

1. Are you looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend at the moment? 2. Do you nave a boyfriend/girlfriend outside of college? 1 Would you prefer there 3 Would you rather have to be more women in your one partner for the course? foreseeable future, or 2. Do you feel that either would you rather have sex is more capable of several? doing your subject (if yes, 4 (Please indicate a, b. c. please specify)? d. or e.) Since coming to 3 Are you at ali college, how would you uncomfortable about describe your sex life? having to compete with the a. more sexually active opposite sex? b. less sexually active c no change since coming to college d. no sex lite 1. Do you ever feel that the e. other (please specify) girls in your class tail to 5. Are you more take the subject as comfortable meeting seriously as you do? possible partners in formal 2 Are you ever conscious situations (lectures, clubs, of being patronising lab, etc.) or at parties and towards women? pubs?

•ACADEMIC

1. Do you feel that some of the boys/male lecturers sometimes patronise you because you are female (if yes. please specify) 2. Do you ever wonder whether you can really compete in a traditionally male subject 7

7

• FRIENDSHIP 1. Do you find it easy to make friends with both sexes (if no, please specify — ie. with girls only, boys only, neither, etc.)? 2 Do you tind it embarrassing to talk about sex and related issues with membetUpt the opposite sex? 3 Are there any subjects which you would not discuss with close friends (not girlfriends or boyfriends) of the opposite sex (if yes. please specify)? 4 Would you ever try to pair off your male and female friends?

B 1. When talking to female acquaintances, is sex often uppermost in your mind? 2. Do you worry that girls will mistake friendliness for sexual advances? 3. Do you usually prefer having a drink with the lads or going out in mixed company?

1 Do you find girls unapproachable/ difficult to meet/ intimidating/ unfriendly/ etc (please specify)? 2 Do women who take advantage of the men because of the ratio make you angry (if yes, please specify how big a proportion of the women you think this is)? 3 Is having a girlfriend important to you at this stage? 4 Do you fee) hurt or angry when a woman turns you

1 Did you think the ralio would make your love life better than it has, in fact, turned out to be (ie. have you been disappointed)? 2. Do you ever take advantage of men because of the ratio 3 Does being propositioned/ 'grabbed*/ stared or whistled at. flatter you at all (if yes, please specify which)? 4 Does it put you off when men try to use a line'?

NUMBERS IN E A C H YEAR 43% 15% 19% 8% 1% 2% 9% 3%

1st Year 2nd Year 3rd Year 4th Year 5th Year Non-stud Postgrad Spoilt

O N E OR MORE

PARTNERS 67%

One Many Other

27% 22% 50%

MEET IN L E C T U R E OR PUBS Lectures Pubs Other

19% 8% 20% 17% 13% 5% 18%

None Once Twice 3 Times 4 Times 5 Times Lots ONE OR MORE

32% 8% 35% 17% 0% 8%

More Less Same None Other Spoilt Several show

PARTNERS 54% 29% 17%

One Many Other

man

28% 29% 43%

Lectures Pubs Other

on

the

that

they

lived

often

man

by

some

that

to

and

be

did

at

night.

an

of

by

least

male

that

split

the

in

the

it,

of

said

reason on'

fear

about

one

men

'leading

their

precaution

don't only

many

Secondly,

worried

the

that

say and

was

very

survey

hall,

choice.

were

take

the

I should

'justification'

weren't

at

out

all

women

some

22% 11% 34% 32% 0% 1%

Firstly,

not

rape

The

they

in

but

for

came

results.

one

victim.

were

said

in

given

his

28% 27% 45%

More Less Same None Other Spoilt

things

survey

chose

actually

most

MEET IN L E C T U R E OR PUBS

interesting

up

16%

C H A N G E IN SEX LIFE

C H A N G E IN SEX LIFE DRINKS PER WEEK

58% 26%

12%

MEET IN L E C T U R E OR PUBS Lectures Pubs Other

PARTNERS

One Many Other

20%

of

but

not

of

a

rape,

ie

most walking

C H A N G E IN SEX LIFE 18% 10% 33% 38% 0% 1%

More Less Same None Other Spoilt

late

alone

because This are

9% 19% 4%

Unapp DiH M Intim Untr Other None

0% 5% 63%

criticism

has in

came

that

many

women

even gay

towards

out

wrote few

existed.

gays

say

not

this

all

the

survey

least

seem

to

point

in

be

I

said

think

rather

I

questions

am

paper

myself.

that

the

There

be

attitudes even

difficult.

be

and

been

since

some

to

were

was)

have

I

female

was

'had

they

Imperial,

at

sex thing

homosexual

should

definately

author

that

sometimes

however,

must

on

surprising

that

backward

most

questions

said

she

sample

questions relationships.

One

there

our

love/sex

platonic

acknowledge

on

that

sheets

the

person

woman

not

anonymously

at

although

Statistically,

at

of

than

a single

one

would

men

rather

noted,

that

people

made

Special questionnaire.

(although

several

to

been

was

was

sexual

a Sex

out

homosexual

coming

Women's Answers

assumed

relevant

that

FIND GIRLS

they

Criticism

would

and

like

that

suggestion

male'...'

I

on

a

wrong!

7

SOLUTIONS

Please use the space provided to write down any possible solutions to the problems raised in this questionnaire, and/or any other remarks on this subject.

GENERAL

Before

Question

% Yes

% No

A2 A4 A7

50 27 82

45 72 17

A8 A9

8 0

C1

30

and his

72 97

5 0 0 20 3

70

0

some),

In

A2 A4

0

90

10

12

82

5

C1

30

60

10

the

I

the

invaluable

would

help

should,

however,

to I

all

would

like

surveys,

solutions

Imperial

in

the

section one

way

those like

to

and

all

of or

the

quote

of

survey,

another, males an

of

thanks

processing

frustrated to

thank also

you to

the most

(and

completed Vickers

for

said

that

results.

import

ex-student

who

Andy

people more

I know of

women: there

Imperial

are who

said

...London Is a big town, so who cares about the ratio at Imperial!' Need I say more?

simply,

ACCOMMODATION

I close

returned

'

Sunny Bains

Sex Special

FELIX


Women Scientists: Just Wobbly Tits? Why are there so few women at Imperial College, and what can the present students do to bring about a change in this situation? The Rector, Eric Ash, recently stated that he hopes to increase the proportion of women from 17% to 33% by 1993. The problem of encouraging more women to study science and engineering subjects is wide spread, and not just limited to Imperial College. To bring about a significant change, steps need to be taken to encourage women to study science based subjects at all educational levels. But, as the College Secretary J o h n Smith recently pointed out, the public image of Imperial College is such that many women are put off coming here. However, if the general attitude towards women can be altered, then maybe more will choose Imperial as a place to study. The FELIX survey will probably be criticised, and many people will say that the results are not representative of the views of the 'average' student. However, some interesting observations do emerge. A significant proportion of women said they were aware of being patronised by male lecturers and students, and a significant proportion of the men admitted they were sometimes patronising towards women. To gain entry into Imperial College women have to show that they are competent scientists, and the final degree results they obtain prove they are just as capable as their male colleagues. It's time for male chauvinist lecturers and students to not only accept these women as their equals, but to treat them as such. As long as women's achievements continue to be undervalued, a great deal of potential scientific talent will remain unused. Sexual harassment, whether it takes the form of staring, whistling or actual physical contact, is something that increasing numbers of women find unacceptable. Only 30% of the women who responded to the survey said they find these kind of attentions flattering. This dispells the myth that all women

enjoy these intrusions into their privacy. Indeed, why should a woman find it flattering to be whistled at by a man, when he probably bestows this 'honour' on every woman he sees. Here at Imperial College there is a noticable division of the sexes, unlike most other universities where there is a much greater level of integration. Coupled with the male: female ratio of 6:1, this leads to many women feeling isolated. There is always the notion that we are treated as a women first, people second; when, in fact, all we want is the reverse. A n underlying attitude that a man's opinion is more important than a woman's is still prevalent. In this environment women tend to become more assertive and more aggressive, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But, of course, then we are criticised for displaying these qualities. A dictionary definition of feminism is 'the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes', so it seems strange that only 30% of the women who responded to the survey said that they were feminists. This could be because when the word feminist is mentioned, most people picture a militant, extremist man-hater intent on domination of men; probably because this is how the media chooses to represent feminism. In reality though, most feminists are just women who want equality and the right to control their own lives. It's quite frightening that 4% of the men who answered the survey said that rape could be justified under certain circumstances. Rape, by definition, excludes this possibility. The fear of being raped is a constant worry for women, and influences the way we live our lives. It is irresponsible of the media to portray the idea that in some situations women want and somehow deserve to be raped. It's time that people realised that reality is not like this. When a woman says No, she means No. Rape and sexual harassment appear to He the expression

of a desire to dominate and intimidate women. Recently, J o h n Smith specifically named Hon Porn Night as an event which had discouraged some women from coming to Imperial College. Pornography is too frequently justified on the grounds that it is just a 'laugh'. But pornographic images which link violence against women with the sexual act cannot be regarded as funny. In too many recent rape cases, pornography of this nature has been described as a major influence on the rapist. There are many people who] hold the view that although rape is an extreme manifestation of the effects o porn, it can influence society's attitud> towards women at a much more fundamental level. In the light of these beliefs it isn't surprising that some women feel threatened by such events as Hon Porn Night. Finally this year's Rag Mag, which is claimed to have been designed to enrage people. This seems like an excuse to print blatantly sexist 'jokes' while pretending not to be chauvinist. Frankly, we don't feel outrage just pity for the people who compiled it. The Rag Mag contributes to the public image of the college. By including 'jokes' that are so offensive to those sections of society that experience genuine discrimination, it may act to discourage people from coming here. For those who haven't seen the Rag Mag, here are two of the best examples; f

Why have women got tits? — so that men will talk to them. Why did god invent women? — because sheep can't iron. Too many men at Imperial College claim not to be chauvinist, yet their actions don't fit their words. It's time for these men to critically judge their behaviour, and hopefully change. Women (at Imperial College) in Science and Technology: WIST

In The Best Possible Taste? A special sex issue of FELIX would not be complete without a mention of Hon Porn Night (that notorious R S M U event). It is the one subject at Imperial College that raises more blood pressures, causes more arguments, and provokes a greater state of excitability)!?) than even such eminently important issues as politics and religion. Porn Night is organised by the R S M U and is not advertised, being considered to be a 'private' event, notwithstanding the fact that no member of college is refused admittance. The general format appears to be a few 'hard porn' films and a couple of strippers. It pays for itself, and in the past has even made relatively FELIX

large profits. During its existence its popularity has varied, last year, for instance, there was no official Porn Night and (at the time of writing) it has not yet been discussed/decided whether or not it is to take place this year. The event's proponents say that it is a tradition, just fun, and harmless, and they also claim that there is a demand for it. Its adversaries, however, contend that it degrades women, incites prejudice, and promotes despicable behaviour towards more than half the population. In a way, it all sounds rather reminiscent of the arguments about television violence. Imposing a ban would be tinged with the dreaded hue of Sex Special

censorship, and excessive ranting and raving generates curiosity, even about the most tedious subjects and people. In the end, however, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not they enjoy attending this kind of event, for this will, perhaps more than all the bans or protestations put together, really determine the fate of Hon Porn Night.

Jane Spiegel 3


fOt

LOW...

The word 'prostitute' can summon many images into the minds of all adults. Many will think of a buxom young lady, dripping with make-up and cheap jewellery, leaning on a lamppost and swinging a large handbag down by her fishnet clad legs. Others might think of Good-time Gloria — phone 777-9999' and still others, the feather smothered dame in a western saloon bar. But hold it. Isn't this a bit glamorous? What about police harrassment, pimping and the Yorkshire Ripper? Behind the scenes prostitution can be far from fun. Some women 'on the game' do enjoy selling their bodies to tall, dark strangers, but most regard their work as dangerous, clandestine and monotonous. To them prostitution is gainful employment. To 'society' it is immoral and subversive. Both sides can put up clear logical arguments but, by virtue of their respective beliefs, they cannot agree. France, prostitutes have been forming pressure groups across the world. Among these are the E C P (English Collective of Prostitutes), F C P (French Collective of Prostitutes), C O Y O T E (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics), P L A N (Prostitution Laws Are Nonsense) and P R O S (Programmes for the Reform Of Soliciting). All of these groups campaign for: the reduction/abolition of prostitution laws and police harrasment; financial protection; and welfare benefits. They believe that the service they provide is justified by the demand for it, and that payment for their service is the correct form of reward. Their reply to feminist claims of female degradation by catering to male sexual demand is that they refuse to serve men for free. These groups are active in two major campaigns. They despise sexual descrimination, particularly that of the police and the courts who denigrate them for their 'disreputable' occupation, and punish them for their 'abnormal' behaviour by imposing crippling fines (£200 at each appearance is not uncommon).They are also a part of of the International Wages for Housework Campaign, an international women's group working for the financial recognition of the housewife's contribution to society. One major fault of all the above groups is their reluctance to talk to anyone about the profession they represent. Their reactions to men outside working hours are decidedly hostile, and their behaviour towards other women can be very cold. One organisation that does not share this failing is the Josephine Butler Society, undoubtably named after a victim of the pressures of 'the game'. A representative of the J B S happily spent 40 minutes talking to me on the telephone and freely answered all my questions. I hear that this is typical of their behaviour. The J B S aim to help women on the game and off it. They campaign for welfare aid and try to inform the public of the problems and pleasures of prostitution. Your common or garden prostitute regards most 'support organizations' as meddlers. Frequently she has turned to prostitution in order to alleviate financial 4

pressure, and so just wants to quietly earn a few pounds. There are three distinctive sources of women who turn to prostitution; the most common being housewives. They are often bored with the routine of housework, the demands of husbands and children, and the pressures of money. Subsequently they turn to the streets for relief and variety. The second includes girls who mix with the 'wrong' company from a very early age. These girls are the ones who are immersed in the seedier side of prostitution. Strip joints, massage parlours and peep shows will employ them and exploit them, though they are often seen to enjoy it. It seems that this particular breed of prostitute can actually gain pleasure and even exploits the environment in which she works. The sexual demands she can make on other (usually male) employees of the establishment she serves are often far in excess of normal human expectations. It is not uncommon for the male employees to be forced to leave their work due to physical and mental stress.

...Ofi yy

:• y

momY i

--7' st\ "*«M?r

yjp- 'w -^m

Is it for fun, relief or pecuniary reward? Andrew Vickers satisfies your curiousity about prostitution... The last and saddest group of the three are the women, young and not-so-young, who have fled from an unhappy life in one part of the country, only to find life even worse in another part. This classic tale becomes even worse when the hopelessness of these womens' predicament is considered. They can get no support from the home town they have left, and frequently know of nowhere to go to find help in the new town. The path they choose is often the only one open to people in their

situation, but prostitution is something that they would never have considered in other circumstances. It seems that the 'job description' of a prostitute does not only contain the servicing of male sexual urges. Among the many skills required are psycologist and marriage counsellor. Many punters have tales of distress and woe to recount, and they expect their temporary bedmate to listen to stories of their sorrowful lives. All this when the prostitute has her own problems to worry about: she may have to hide her activities from the family, boyfriend or husband; she will have to hide her dubious income from the taxman; and she is constantly in fear of arrest. Although the only offence she can be imprisioned for is non-payment of fines, she can be fined for 'soliciting', 'loitering', or 'resisting arrest': this happens frequently. A prostitute's life is not a happy one, especially with further harassment from self-righteous citizens. Residents action groups provide frequent condemnations of street-walkers, often with valid reason. The people who are attracted to quiet suburban streets by the prospect of a quick screw are noisy and inconsiderate. The reputation which can rapidly descend on an unsuspecting neighbourhood would be of a highly undesirable nature, and the smut everyone associates with places like Soho and Kings Cross can ruin the ambiance of any area. I can see no way of removing the seedy side of prostitution without causing great distress to the prostitutes themselves, but I am of the firm opinion that, in its current form, the oldest profession is an example of the worst in our society.

«

Sex Special

M

l

FELIX


For The Love Of God

'f/7 Lectures Us Do Part 8.00,

somewhere

in

Reading...

'I've lost my coat', 'It's in the cupboard', 'Ah... yes... my keys?', 'on the hook', 'my bike?', 'It's in the garage', 'my breakfast?', 'you ate it'. This is part of the conversation heard in the Reading area as a married student prepares to head for London. After a brief exchange of orders for the day ('get the alarm clock mended please, I hit it too hard again this morning') and a typical parting tenderness ('if you get a speeding ticket today I'll divorce you') married student sets out to find the garage. 8.15

Having found the garage ('I'm sure I didn't leave it there') married student roars off to another day of M4 commuter madness and Imperial College mayhem. The day at Imperial College ends when the supply of lobbable bits of paper runs out or when the fluid mechanics lecture looms near on the timetable. One advantage of being married is that there are loads of excuses for not doing any work. The difference between being a married student at IC and my former life as a student is very small. Admittedly I have to be a bit more careful about bringing women home, but my wife understands and doesn't hit me too hard. Marriage has an image of the middleaged couple with two children, a Ford Sierra, several bottles of sherry in the cupboard and continuous boredom. Fortunately this is not necessarily the case. Doubtless the arrival of kids pushes a marriage Sierra-wards, but unlike a recently-graduated-recently-married friend of mine, kids are not on the agenda. Role-play (you're the woman, you wash up) is also a Sierra-inducing game. The idea is to get the wife to do the washing up without getting her feminist back up — I always promise to do it tomorrow. In my case, marriage is

FELIX

simply good fun, and in comparison with 'living in sin' it's much better. It's a good feeling to know that you've found the right person, and to make a bigger commitment to them than 'let's share a flat for a while'. It's also great to plan what you want to do together (anyone for Australia after graduation?). Marriage does change people and it is a big step, but it doesn't need to take you straight into Sierra-land. What it does require is an irrevocable certainty that you're doing the right thing — if you don't think you can resist the urge to go after your tutor's secretary, don't do it; think about why you're getting married and make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. I, for example, married into money — this is a 'right reason'. My lifestyle has changed significantly through getting married (the wife limits me to two bottles of Teacher's a week) though it doesn't reflect in my life at IC (although I don't drink so much 'cos I have to ride a bike back to Reading). Really, I'm still the same old wally with a maturity problem — the only difference is that I now have an old lady to be a wally with!

Paul Merckx is a 2nd year undergraduate.

A Word To The Wise r Guys! So you're the typical IC male then! You know just how to handle women. You're a wise guy with street cred who knows just how to impress the girls. Read on, young man, 'cos you don't know it all.... Nothing puts a woman off more than a patronizing man. Women, especially the liberated IC women, find the behaviour of such men arrogant and offensive. One feature of so-called male love is that few men care to love a woman who is their mental or physical superior. Men imagine themselves cleverer and stronger than the fairer sex, and always the dominant one in the partnership. This might have been what girls wanted in the 1920's but the intellectual females of today, of which there are quite a few around this place, don't want that sort of man any longer. They think of themselves as mental equals and don't like the idea of being looked down on any more. They don't want a man just because he can down a pint in 3.6 seconds or boast about his past sexual exploits. Try to touch most girls up and you'll just earn their contempt — hands off is the motto, chaps. If you want to get your woman: treat her as your equal; don't lose her respect by trying to 'impress the boys'; establish in her mind that you're not a miser — or a dissapator; and, most important of all, don't forget the back of your neck in the mornings! Sex Special

very Christianity seems to have become untrendy of late... at least when discussing temptations of the flesh. Britain, though, is, at least nominally, a Christian country. Many IC students go to church every Sunday. So the Christian attitude to sex is worthy of consideration.

Christians are often seen as being puritannical, hypocritical and selfrighteous about sex. According to Christian philosophy, however, this should not be the case: in theory Christianity should be about living one's own life and not dictating to others. True Christians do not claim to be perfect, but rather they try to live their lives taking into account their 'special relationship' with G o d which motivates them to follow a certain moral code. This motivativation stems not from any duty to follow a certain set of 'rules' but rather from love. In the same way that most people will remain faithful to a girlfriend or boyfriend out of love, respect and loyalty, Christians try to remain chaste until marriage because of their love of G o d and their reluctance to hurt others. It should be noted at this point that Christians are not opposed to sex as such. They feel that G o d created sex as he created the rest of the world and that sex has its place. That place, however, is very well defined. Sex is constructive, 'good', necessary and an essential part of a stable relationship between two totally committed people — in English, this means marriage. Outside this, sex is invariably destructive and damaging to the emotional and spiritual well-being of the individuals involved. The problem at the moment is that sex is no longer seen as an integral part of a relationship but rather as an end in itself. There is too much emphasis (especially at IC and especially with the men) on 'getting laid' as a sort of status symbol and as an achievement rather than as a consummation or celebration of the total commitment marriage involves. This cheapening of sex is enhanced by the media images of sex being more exciting out of marriage and portraying sex as something that someone gets out of another person, rather than a mutually giving experience. A l o n g with sex in these circumstances come the problems of emotional damage caused by the lack of respect of either party towards the other. The Christian standpoint on sex is very clear then: no sex before marriage. However your adherence to this is not being judged. It is not a Christian's place to judge or condemn but rather to follow the path that Jesus has set out to the best of one's ability. A Christian, by definition, has already realised that he or she cannot go through life without God's help and so have also acknowledged their own fallibility. There are no rules (besides the commandments) so the choice is yours, but the one basic requirement of Christianity is simple (as expressed here by St Augustin) ie 'love God

and

then

do

what

you

like'.

Roger Preece Sunny Bains 5


Male IC students are often labelled sexist or chauvinist. But are they any worse than men in general? And if so why, and what problems do they face at IC? How do men see the behaviour of women at IC? In this article 'typical' IC male J Martin Taylor dons his amateur psycologist hat and takes a look at how we behave and why.

Men... Men at Imperial College have acquired a reputation for being unusually chauvinistic, boozy and insensitive to the feelings of the minority sex. This presumption requires some scrutiny, however. The behaviour of groups of males, separated from female company, is similar in any sort of environment. It's just that at IC such separation from female company is far more common. The antics of the College rugby teams during bar nights, for example, are no different from rugby teams anywhere else. The company of women has a marked civilizing effect on all but the most primordial man. One night he might have a 'drink with the lads', end up on his back in the street, vomit on a policeman and urinate down his trouser leg, but when in female company he may be a model of civility and good behaviour. This illustrates the fundamental problem with this stereotyped IC male. In a normal mixed environment he might have occasional nights of excessive indulgence in predominantly male company, but would usually be restrained from such behaviour by the timeconsuming process of chasing, getting and keeping girlfriends. Since most of the men at IC either have a girlfriend back home (out of sight, out of mind) or have given up any hope of finding one at College, there is nothing to prevent excessive drinking and other behaviour typical of groups of young men, becoming the norm rather than the exception. In other words, there is nothing at all abnormal about the activities of men at. IC, it's just that much more noticeable than elsewhere. It is a sympton of the imbalance in the sexes at the College. The extent of this male behaviour has declined over the years as more women have come to the College, and continues to decline. It will not reach normal levels, however, until the number of women increases still more (to, say, in excess of 25%). Of course in reality this stereotype represents only a conspicuous minority. At the other extreme male students can become withdrawn and diffident with women. Many throw themselves into their work to compensate for their poor social life. This may be good for the College's degree result statistics but has helped to create a second stereotype, that of the boring, hard working student whose idea of an enjoyable Saturday night is a good stiff problem sheet and whose social life consists of meaningful discussions on last Thursday's quantum mechanics lecture over a half of bitter with his few (all male) friends. Take such a student 6

from an all male public school, one with no sisters or female friends of his own age and it's no wonder that he has difficulty relating to women and may find them threatening. Most men at IC fall somewhere in between these two extremes, but many find College's strange social atmosphere stressful and can have personal problems as a result. However, one of the strongest of society's sexual prejudices is that men shouldn't display such feelings — it is quite understandable and acceptable for women to have problems because of the situation here, but not so for men. Instead the problems find their expression through the chauvinistic, boozy and insensitive behaviour for which we are famous or the less obvious inability to make female friends and the consequent distorted view of women and their role in society.

happens without the conscious effort of the women concerned. When it comes to getting their own way on something many women at IC, either consiously or sub-consiously, use the fact that they are women to good advantage. Such behaviour can sometimes have sexual overtones, but in practice sexual promiscuity amongst women at IC is not as widespread as might at first be expected. A third category into which most women fall most of the time, is to ignore the sometimes excessive behaviour of the men at the College and to find some separate social niche which is more evenly mixed where men display their more civilized side. This involves a belief that 'boys will be boys' and should be allowed their occasional excesses, so long as it doesn't involve them. Sometimes such women might take advantage of their special status at IC, but more often than not they find the extra attention unwelcome and would prefer to blend more easily into the crowd. I believe this is the most common form of difficulty women face at IC — no matter how hard they try they are still someone special, they can't just be an ordinary student. The final type is, fortunately, fairly rare. It involves suspicion and distrust of men at the College, apart maybe from a few who are well known to them. Such women can appear cold and unfriendly towards men. Perhaps this is caused by a belief that 'they're only after one thing', or maybe the attitudes, real or imagined, of most men here puts them on the defensive. Such women are the counterpart of the second stereotyped male described earlier — they may well leave IC with a distorted view of the opposite sex and find them difficult to deal with.

...And Women... Much has been said about the problems women face at IC. However, it might be worth looking at how women react to the situation. For the purpose of this article I have identified four main types of behaviour which I have observed. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive. First, there is the honorary man. This type of woman becomes 'qne of the lads' and can down a yard of ale as fast as anyone. Such women act in a similar way to the first stereotype male mentioned earlier. In normal mixed company they behave differently to when in predominantly male company. There is an important difference from their male counterparts, and that is that sexual frustration isn't one of their problems. It's more joining in and having fun in an environment where because they are a tiny minority they enjoy special status. A second group are those women who, whilst they often wouldn't enjoy the boisterous atmosphere of a bar night, find they can take advantage of the situation at IC. It is a fact that girls at IC, particularly pretty ones, are noticed more, are better known, and become the centre of attention much more easily than men. This is inevitable, and often

S E T S To h

Sex Special

This article seems to give a bad picture of the situation at IC. However, as we all know most people manage to survive their three or four years relatively intact. In fact most women find it easy enough to ignore the bad male behaviour if they want to. A n d I think most men, however they behave towards women students, do have a sneaking admiration for their female colleagues who have to overcome the extra hurdle of being women in the male dominated worlds of science and engineering. There may be isolated cases of real harassment and discrimination against which we must act strongly, but women as a minority at College will inevitably be treated differently to men and those who are successful here manage to come to terms with this. Since those women students who go on to work in the same field as their studies will have to survive their whole careers in a male-dominated profession, perhaps in a strange way being at IC is a uniquely appropriate preparation. However, it is unlikely to prove very attractive to girls contemplating which university to go to, even if they have decided they are prepared to enter a male-dominated profession.

FELIX


Books — Christopher Murray These three books are suggested reading matter for all who are inquisitive about the sex lives of their lecturers or about how they could have conceiveably obtained their positions. They are all portrayals of the upper echelons of university life and, having read them, I am left the opinion that they have all been written by jaundiced professors. They are intellectual, derisory pokes at fellow lecturers and the academic system and are all used as a good excuse for their authors to regularly and neatly slip in off the wall observations on or scenes involving sex; the incident in Changing a student runs into the Places, in which kitchen in order to find some cooking oil to massage into the company present, is a good example of this. Please note though that these criticisms are not intended to be derogatory as they are some of the most perceptive and wry books that I have read. However, the disturbing vision that they are conjure up of bitter academics locking themselves in their offices masturbating, is not away particularly appealing

The History Man is a very elegantly written satire that throws up the absolute bastard trendy character of Howard Kirk, a sociology lecturer. Fornication has replaced the psychiatrist's couch and 'urgent feeling breaks grammar, methodology

up and

represents the phase

the of

low social

without Watermouth University, he is a non-entity. In his developing years, Howard was such a good boy: he would treat authority with trepidation and respect, graduated with a first (albeit with the help of Barbara, then his wife-to-be), and was 'pallid in features and in mind.' Therefore, the moral of this would seem that even to be a radical, one requires a first — keep watching the front rows of the lecture theatres for the emergence of the next Che. The incident that changed our Howard was the discovery of Barbara's momentary unfaithfulness - this is Kirk's first and probably only experience of reality. He is incapable of dealing with it conventionally and instead tries to explain its rationale; from then on, everything is considered in terms of 'a little Marx, history.'

a little

Freud

and a little

social

Turning attention to the plot, Howard is a natural stirrer or, using his vernacular, a radical; his scheme this term is to provoke reaction by propagating the rumour that Mangel, a famous geneticist whom Howard describes as a Facist for FELIX

preserve itself by any means once threatened.' This equally applies to

accurate 'It's so quiet you can hear the guy's beard growing. Desperately I ask one of them a direct question 'And what are your thoughts on the text, Miss Archer?' Miss Archer then falls off the

chair

in a swoon.'

something she fainted, symbolic.'

He then adds, 'it had

to do with the kid's but somehow it

period seemed

If there are any lecturers reading then please write into FELIX and comment on the accuracy of these books. Perhaps a sequel to the Sex

that

this,

Special can be compiled from the replies!

— the outcome? Well .... Lucky J i m is written more conventionally but there again, Kingsley Amis is primarily an author whereas the other two writers are primarily university professors. Jim Dixon is a totally amiable character who struggles out of one of one situation to descend into another. The scenes in which Dixon is invited to his Head of Department's house, and his public lecture on Merrie England, were particularly enjoyable. However the scene which remains most vivid in my mind is the one in which he describes how he obtained his job not by intelligence — there were other candidates more suitably qualified — but in the selfconfident way that he presented himself. I often think of this scene when I have asked a demonstrator for help and he has

Sex Culture given me a very convincing unrelated argument which leaves me in no better a position. Of all of the three books, Changing Places is my favourite. It aims to compare the British and American university systems by the reactions of two English lecturers, Morris Zapp (American) and Philip Swallow (British), to their new environments when they exchange positions. According to the author, Americans can be regarded as 'professional academics' as opposed to their 'purist' British counterparts. David Lodge neatly expresses this when he describes how American lecturers can 'screw' as many students as they like, however, they will be dismissed if they do not produce enough papers. The British counterpart, in comparison, can only be removed for having sex with a student. If you believe the author the two attitude regarding the bachelor's degree are also different: in America, it is comparatively easy to obtain this degree, much in Lodge's words 'there is not suspense or expense or anxiety about the eventual outcome. He (or she) is therefore free to give full attention to the normal interests of late adolescence sport, alcohol and the opposite sex.'

(Postgraduates are, however, a different matter.) Lodge quite humourously exaggerates this in the description of one American lecturer's marking scheme, in which the students are allowed to grade themselves. In spite of this decadence and although reassured that her essay was at least worth a C, one student still failed herself. Sex Special

I paticularly enjoyed the description of the British tutorial system as seen by American and found it quite unnervingly

Kirk

traditional organisation.'

From my experience, IC does not posess one lecturer who could even be compared to Kirk; it is difficult to contemplate a long-haired, kaftan-clad IC academic inciting a campus riot if, say, an eminent professor were invited here to lecture in support of nuclear missiles. Perhaps discussing him is therefore irrelevant, though it does allow derisory snipes to be directed towards our R C A neighbours. Kirk, in spite of his repeated contrary claims, is immature: he has rarely experienced the 'real world' and has been sheltered from it by the educational establishment. As the book says, 'for the Kirks, the summer point of the year, neglect.' And so

studying the difference between races, will be visiting the college. As a result, at a firey departmental meeting, even though there was no initial intention, an invitation is issued to Mengal to lecture at Watermouth. At the same time, Kirk is being threatened by one of his conservative (lower- and upper-case) students, George Carmody, to whom Kirk shows utter contempt by down-marking him. This will mean that he will fail his degree. So in an act of desperation to save himself, he exposes Kirk for political bias and 'gross moral turpitude.' Kirk's assessment of Carmody is 'arrogant privilege trying to

For many people, the idea of going to see a four hour play about a drag queen may have less appeal than a quantum mechanics lectute: especially in a world paranoid about AIDS, and in a college which jealously guards its supremely macho image. However, Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein is the kind of play (or rather set of plays) which could (probably) melt the heart of even the most fervent Rugby Club member. The plays guide us through six years, two major love affairs and much emotional turmoil in the life of a Jewish American. Obviously written from the authors own experience (he too is Jewish, gay and from New York) the plays convey all of the pleasures, pains, and problems that being gay involves, and in a way which could be understood by gay and straight alike. The lead character (played beautifully by Anthony Sher) has elements of stereotype about him — when we first see him for example, he is in drag — but not just gay stereotype. His actions are, perhaps, more typically Jewish in many ways than typically gay. His emotions are the same emotions as those of us who purport to be 'normal', perhaps more feminine, but certainly no different. His goals and ambitions are the same as those of the rest of us — he wants a family, he wants to achieve something in his life, he wants to be loved — and yet he is definately gay and so has the added difficulty of trying to do what he wants to do with the rest of society looking upon him as some kind of freak show. The plays are, despite their serious message, very funny. Sher plays Arnold Beckoff, the queen with the heart of gold, with wit, sensitivity and conviction, and it must be said that he carries the show. The supporting cast are good to adequate, and the direction, by Robert Ackerman, was effective and interesting. Please don't be put off by the length... Torch Song Trilogy is amusing, informative, and touching, and, even if for no other reason, should be seen for Anthony Sher's quite stunning performance. 7


The Mechanics Of Incest 7 thought what was happening was normal, butj still felt something funny was going on. I didn't know what it think I had any choice. I felt was. I didn't it was my duty. His wife was crippled and I guess she didn't satisfy him. I was afraid to stop. Finally I tried to escape by the only way I could think of suicide.'

maybe

For hundreds of years the blame for incest has been placed squarely with the victim, rather than the aggressor. Legislation, dominated exclusively by men, has subconsciously sided with the victim's father, and this has led to a wide range of myths, authenticated' over the years by psychiatric and psychoanalytical theory. But the real mechanics of incest are more complex. In a 'typical' incest family, if such exists, the parents of a victim are emotionally or physically weak. Father nas little impulse control, and is usually in strong need of physical love. Mother cannot cope with her maternal duties. Perhaps she is in ill-health, or simply cannot continually satisfy her husband's sexual needs. Gradually she passes her duties as a mother onto her daughter: washing-up, housework, babysitting and, eventually, her sexual duties as well. To the daughter, this increased attention is not entirely unpleasant. Often, it may be the only love she has ever known. Because the love comes from her father, and 'daddy and mummy are always right', she may be quite unaware that anything is wrong. Her trauma begins when the incest is discovered. Mother is torn between blaming her husband and her daughter, but as father is the archetypal 'breadwinner' and 'head of the household', she is far more likely to side with him. This allows father to transpose his responsibilty and alleviate his guilt, and, as father is considered 'blameless' whilst his daughter is 'cheap', she is wide open to abuse, verbal and sexual, from her brothers, uncles and even grandparents. The victim quickly learns how to blame herself. She becomes promiscuous, indulging in acts which she loathes. She uses alcohol and drugs both as an escape and as a means of further selfabuse. When family pressure is overpowering, she runs away or attempts suicide. The authorities pick up a teenage drunken whore; who will believe her story of sexual abuse? The will to prosecute in the face of

such hostile opposition is enormous. Thus, the incest affects a victim's entire life, though she may never know why, or even that it does so. And yet because it is so disastrously hidden, the wide effects of incest in our society remains concealed: a well kept secret. Sadly these effects have yet to be perceived by members of the caring professions; doctors, psychoanalysts and social workers. The effect of incest on a victim is guilt. One victim wrote: 'Think of the lowest thing in the world. Whatever it is, I'm lower.' The reaction by society to incest is one of rage, horror and disbelief. Unfortunately, such attitudes are often reflected in therapy. Some modern counsellors attempt to make the victim turn against her own father, treating him as a scapegoat, upon which she can pour out her guilt and loathing. The extra pressure which this places on the victim is deplorable. Often, the doctor is a caring individual, who unfortunately deals only with with the symptoms of a victim's trauma, rather than trying to find a cure. This is quite often the case in psychosexual counselling. The patient is encouraged to approach their partner gradually, stopping when the patient becomes traumatic, but always seeking to progress until the client is considered 'clinically orgasmic'. In very few cases does the cause of the problem ever come to light, unless by accident, and it is quite plausible that a psychosexual counsellor may 'cure' their patients for only a limited length of time, if at all. By way of contrast, Freudian psychotherapists treat victims' reports of incest with utter disbelief, attributing them to female-fantasy. Medical journals as late as 1960 lay heavy responsibility with the victim, who is subconsciously driven by the absurd notion of 'penisenvy'. Other therapists react to incest 'from the gut', subconsciously siding with the aggressor or the victim's negligent mother, whilst appearing to be open minded and professional to outside observers. Incest is one of the greatest taboos in our society, yet it is also one of the most common. One in ten people are members of incest families; one in three families with daughters shelter father-daughter incest. The chances of not knowing an incest victim are remote. John Burgess

Back To Your Sinks! As soon as you come to Imperial College, you are told how bad the 6:1 ratio is. You are also told about how the College is trying to do something about the ratio. However, I ask you, is it really surprising that only 17% of the students at IC are women? From the start of civilization women have been regarded as the fragile sex. Incapable of intellectual and physical work. Only fit to work in the home. Is this really just some massive coincidence? Surely men wouldn't have been dominating women for centuries if the average woman was as smart as the 8

average man. The women would have rebelled. There are so few women at IC because women are incapable of the intellectual effort required to study science. The few women who are here, only got in because the admissions tutor thought they had big tits (which, incidentally, nature put there for a reason). Society would be much better if women recognised that their true vocation was in the home.

bastard, raving nancy, turd Q ueer burglar, limp-wristed queen, and perverter "of little boys. These are all terms which deny the fact that most gays are indistinguishable from their heterosexual counterparts. More to the point they reflect an attitude which alienates gay people from a society of which they are part. IC is 83% male, although people have always tended to quote that statistic the other way round. This means that, unless there is an amazing statistical fluke, there are a substantial number of homosexual men at College. Why then is there not a trace of a gay group of some sort? It is difficult to briefly assess why some people exhibit so much fear and hatred of a group of people whose only difference from the 'Christian norm' is their personal sexuality. Certainly a lot of prejudices stem from grossly misleading impressions gained from a small

Out In The College

proportion of the gay community. The leather-clone brigade who congregate at the Colherne or Heaven are a world away from most gays. However from this small but extrovert stereotype, promoted by Rag Mags etc, a large number of people derive very strong views. Much of the feai element comes from an insecurity about one's own sexuality, or a percieved threat to it, yet it is the gay alone in a macho, beer swilling society who has the most to fear. Homosexuality is not a disease, it is not contagious, it is not a problem. The gay community does not seek to turn us all into refugees from the Rocky Horror ÂŤhow but they ask to be treated as human beings. Strange then that an institution dedicated to the development and broadening of ideas should appear to suppress its gay population with such totality. Carl Burgess Mark Cottle

ULU Lesbian and Gay Society meets every Thursday at 7.30 pm in Room 2E, ULU building, Malet St.

M C Pig "ex Special

FELIX

http://felixonline.co.uk/archive/IC_1985/1985_0722_B  

http://felixonline.co.uk/archive/IC_1985/1985_0722_B.pdf

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