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January 07, 2007


The Education Life section of today's New York Times has an article about naked parties at Yale and other top colleges: "Black Tie Optional." (The link will expire in a week, so read it now. Permalink hat tip: Soccer Dad.)

This is way too idiotic for me to write a send-up. It's a parody of itself. I'll merely quote one ambivalent student:

Birk Oxholm, who graduated from Columbia in 2006 and attended a small naked party last year for a few minutes — before retreating outside — says he had a hard time believing everyone was feeling “liberated.” The party was thrown by a group of his friends in a dorm room. “To pretend you’re feeling really great and happy to be overcoming the oppressiveness of clothing, or whatever, overlooks the more authentic feeling, which is, ‘I feel kind of weird right now.’ ”

He describes the parties as an overload of the “liberal college environment where everyone’s talking about unfair conventions, post-structuralism, ‘boxes.’ I don’t know.”
The college administrators mostly couldn't care less, except for a nagging worry about sexual harassment. Seriously. I particularly liked the response from Yale:
Yale has no rules expressly forbidding the parties. “We have an atmosphere of trust,” says Gila Reinstein, a spokeswoman. “As you can imagine, we don’t do bed checks.”
Or clothing checks, for that matter. I wonder what Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi would have to say about this.

Extra: Rachel Aviv, the author of the New York Times article, wrote about female college newspaper sex columnists for the Village Voice a couple of years ago. It was probably only $43,000 or so at the time.