The naked truth
Letter to the Editor
Re: "A woman on a mission"
I am glad you are keeping herd on your writers to make certain they tell it like it is. As a member of the graduating class just before yours I naturally consider somebody graduating in 1978 as young. But still, it must have grated on Meagan Fitzpatrick's nerves to be told to insert the word "young" not just once but twice in writing about a woman in her fifties (A woman on a mission).
As an aside, do all of Dr. Meredith Chivers' subjects consult with her nude from the waist up or just those posing for magazine photos?
Ralph Boardman, Arts '73
Is age 50 old? Perhaps.
Some people are old before their time; others never grow old. As comedian George Burns (who died in 1996 at age 100) noted, “Age to me means nothing. I can't get old; I'm working. I was old when I was twenty-one and out of work. As long as you're working, you stay young.”
The point Meagan Fitzpatrick was making is that as a 50-something female who’s also a fundraising volunteer, in no way does Katie Macmillan fit the stereotype—which in past has been that such volunteers have tended to be well-heeled, white, male, and older (as in retired). Katie definitely is young, relatively speaking, and she’s female and is enjoying a successful career as a self-employed business woman. The intensity of her dedication to and involvement with the University reflect those realities.
As to the matter of the attire or lack thereof of Meredith Chivers’ study subjects: The model in the photos is, in fact, “undraped.” While that was the case, we didn’t feel it was necessary to show more skin than we did. Our editorial intent was to make it clear that the focus of Dr. Chivers’ clinical research is female sexuality. And what communicates that idea more succinctly or better than a fit young (there’s that word again!) woman naked in a laboratory setting? – Ed.