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Where is coverage of the fencing teams?

To the editor:

This past weekend, the men’s and women’s fencing team traveled to the Eric Sollee Invitational and did incredibly well. I was anxious to see the fencing team’s achievements in print on Monday morning. But as I flipped the paper, the all-too-familiar action shot of a Penn Basketball player was staring me back in the face. Four pages of them!

I know I speak for a significant percentage of the Penn population when I say that I am completely sick of the back page of The Daily Pennsylvanian. For a student paper that is meant to glorify the achievements of its sports teams, I cannot understand the necessity for multiple articles analyzing every facet of yet another basketball loss. Since Nov. 12, the DP has published over 80 articles about men’s basketball. Compare that with 20 women’s basketball, 21 swimming, 13 men’s squash, 17 women’s squash, 19 wrestling, and a whopping three fencing stories. Yes, three. A team whose men and women are ranked sixth and eighth in the nation. Out of no disrespect to the basketball team, it is about time that the DP wakes up and realizes there are other teams on this campus performing far better this season, and they deserve recognition.

Jenna Stahl The author is a College junior and a member of the women’s fencing team.

Language can be offensive

To the editor:

In his column, Ashwin Shandilya specifically criticizes the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, in particular gay men (“Sensitivity is for ‘sissies,’” 2/4/10). He ridiculed the oppression of others while speaking from a place of male privilege. The word “sissy” is emasculating and offensive, especially those who have dealt with the stigma attached with the word. In addition to meaning cowardly, Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “an effeminate man.” Is being like a woman or womanly a bad thing? I beg to differ! I don’t think it is appropriate to encourage those who use the gender binary to hurt others. “Sissy” is an insult with roots in homophobia, and I applaud the students at Yale University who said enough is enough. “Womyn” is an accepted term in gender studies. It was insensitive for the author to dismiss a label which empowers others (i.e. dyke, queer). It is one thing to write an essay on a cultural shift, but his commentary demeaned the valid concerns of queer students. If a group at Penn proposed a marketing campaign like this, there would be immediate backlash. I would encourage instead sending a positive message of an appreciation for all members of our university.

Laura Wesolowski The author is a first-year graduate student at Fels Institute of Government.

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