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The Burning Issue of Beanies



To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Judging by the last week or two, the Radcliffe student body has seized almost total monopoly of your letters column. The avalanche of opinion seems to have been perpetrated, innocently enough, by a small piece of flannel headgear ("The Red Menace"), and been swept into the rhetorical realms of women's rights, regimentation, Freedom of the Individual, Harvard's parity or superiority to Midwestern universities, etc. We have suddenly become a Burning Issue. We are reminded: (1) Beanies are cute (2) Beanies are ugly (3) We are indulging a degrading herd instinct (4) We are following the dictates of Free Enterprise and by-golly-have-a-right-to (5) Women have no business at Harvard at all (the Reactionaries) (6) Women must be supported in their battle against a totalitarian exclusion polciy (the Marxists) (7) If we keep on like this we'll become Coco-Cola "co-eds" (8) We must keep on like this because we have a great intellectual, etc. heritage to fulfill in the world (9) Who do we think we are, anyway? (10) We are a minority group being cruelly discriminated against . . . etc. etc. etc. etc.

Now, this all makes for amusing reading--but pretty pointless. The "issue"--if it can be called that--has merely served as a pleasant excuse for idle Harvard undergraduates to take callow pen in hand and produce--Look, Everybody!--a Treatise. Students with serious qualms about the furtherance of Joint Instruction might do better by presenting petitions to the proper College authorities, or merely by leaving, than by cheapening their newspaper with a deluge of trite beefs. However, it seemed to us that most of the letters were written in a spirit of levity; if not, their feverish carnestness about so trivial a matter produced the same effect.

We would, therefore, suggest that the whole thing be let drop. Those who can spare a minute from the heat of the fray will notice that very, very few beanies are being sported at Radcliffe. Thus, our status is not fundamentally changed: we still manage to please some of the people all of the time. And the columns of the CRIMSON will cease to resemble a Louella Parsons forum on The Moral Cupidity of lugrid Bergman, and perhaps return to subjects worthier of its aspiring journalists and ostensibly-intelligent contributors. Please, please, let us enjoy one of women's oldest and most harmless prerogatives: the last word. Susan Seldman '50   Dorothy Judd '51   Judy Illsley '51   Janice Bowman '51   Shirley Laird '53   Marianne Sorensen '52

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