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Curtsying to Mansfield

Letter to the Editor

To the editors:

Joshua P. Rogers’ article, “Mansfield Decries Harvard’s Sex Scene” (Dec. 4), is a caricature of The Crimson’s slanted news coverage and the Harvard community’s larger hysteria when confronted with conservative common sense.

The lede of Rogers’ article reports that students were “offended” by the lecture of Kenan Professor of Government Harvey C. Mansfield ’53. It seems to us that the substance of what Mansfield said should have been given priority over the students’ hyperbolic reaction to his condemnation of “free samples” and such.

We’re also baffled by what Harvard students found to be so outrageous about Mansfield’s remarks. Are not old-fashioned conservatives and disinterested gay men more respectful toward women? Are not men less likely to make a purchase when they can test drive the product at their convenience? Are not women now flirting with the sort of reckless behavior that has traditionally been the pastime of caddish males?

We bow and curtsy to the great Mansfield, who has once again proved himself to be Harvard’s most talented—and entertaining—provocateur.

JORDANA R. LEWIS ’02

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NOAH D. OPPENHEIM ’00

Dec. 4, 2003

The writers were editorial chairs of The Crimson in 2001 and 1999, respectively.

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