Letters to the Editor

Freedom of speech

One would think a senior majoring in journalism would understand the notion of freedom of speech. In a February 23 opinion piece (“Conversation about gays and its effects,” The GW Hatchet, p.5), the writer reiterated a conversation between two girls in the Marvin Center. He’d overheard one girl state her opinion about same-sex marriages.

The writer states that it “was wrong to have said this in the first place.” Regardless of who might have been around at the moment, those two girls had every right to voice their opinions concerning same-sex marriages. Not everyone has the same views on every subject, as we’ve all learned throughout our lives. The overheard conversation is merely another example of this.

Having read his piece many times over, I’ve noticed a few comments that seem confusing at best. In my opinion, there is a great difference between George Washington University and the GW community. GW employs an equal-opportunity policy with its members. This University policy does not necessarily have to extend to its students, however.

No law exists here that everyone must get along with each other. It would be nice to think we could all respect and accept each others’ differences and get on with our lives – but that occurrence is a long time coming. As I mentioned before, many people have differing views. Just as one would expect someone to respect his or her lifestyle, we also must respect a person’s right to voice opinions.

The writer comments about the hypocrisy of homophobic people in regard to gay marriages. He speaks of marriage and its only alternative: promiscuity. Though this does not solve the legislative issue, options to marriage (other than promiscuity) are open. I cannot understand his logic when he states, “They criticize the gay community for being promiscuous and then they eliminate the alternative.”

It would appear that promiscuity is not the only alternative to marriage and vice versa, though his comments might lead one to believe otherwise. This sort of logic only seems to perpetuate the very stereotypes the writer wishes to erase. Monogamy, regardless of the sexual preference of people involved, seems like a good alternative to promiscuity to me.

One girl’s comments do not mean that GW doesn’t support its lesbian and gay students. In fact, I have seen no evidence that proves this statement. Although issues may separate certain groups of students, it would appear to me that GW supports all of its students – regardless of race, religion or sexual preference.-Amy Leah Bluesteinjunior

Overhearing things

The opinion piece printed in the Feb. 23 edition of The GW Hatchet (“Conversation about gays and its effects,” p.5) is another great example of the impending danger political correctness presents with its “your rights end where my feelings begin” attitude.

The writer, in his self-righteous attempt to sound enlightened and open-minded, has stumbled on the same mistake on which so many proponents of political correctness stumble.

That thing is empathy. Empathy? That’s right, empathy. He made no shred of an attempt to understand the mindset of his opposition. Perhaps the comments made gave him the right to take offense. The writer, like so many others, completely disregards the “offenders” right to take offense to the topic at hand.

Some people simply cannot accept or justify the legitimacy of same-sex marriages (among other issues). Whether or not this is right is entirely beside the point. The fact of the matter remains: that the writer (and everyone else with his mindset) blatantly disregard the right of people to take a differing position on an issue.

By not attempting to understand that some people just do not think the way he does, and by setting his belief as a standard, it is actually he and all others like him who validate “the mindsets of truly dangerous people” – the very people he is trying to criticize.

What further concerns and agitates me is the fact that the writer is a senior graduating in journalism, and yet does not seem to grasp basic journalism practices.

In his article he claims that the comment made was obviously public domain. However, he neglects to mention that 90 percent of the conversation was held in another language, causing him to comment on a conversation he did not fully understand. Eavesdropping works best when you get the full account of a conversation.

-Rana Dalbah (“first girl” from the op-ed)Mona Mahmoud (“second girl”)

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