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Think about what constitutes ‘intellectual discussion’

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I am writing this article in regard to Jon Buttaci’s Feb. 20 Letter to the Editor (“Loyal Daughters’ humor detracts from true dialogue”). I played the logic professor you made reference to in your article concerning how “Loyal Daughters” does not address “the issues of sexual assault in an intelligent way, but rather uses humor, stories and catchy tunes to attack Catholic view of chastity and Notre Dame.” I would like to take this opportunity to point out some flaws just in the one paragraph that made reference to my piece. First of all, the University policy from duLac that the logic professor addressed in his lesson to his class is an actual University policy. You stated that the policy in debate in my monologue “does not exist.” I suggest you reread your duLac. Page 94 of duLac states that “Sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to: a) sexual intercourse without consent, b) unwelcome touching, or c) other offensive sexual behavior is a serious violation. A student found in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary suspension or permanent dismissal.” Now on page 95 of duLac it states that “Because a genuine and complete expression of love through sex requires a commitment to a total living and sharing together of two persons in marriage, the University believes that sexual union should occur only in marriage. Students found in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary suspension or permanent dismissal.” This is a true University policy, and I stated these policies almost verbatim.

Secondly, I was not imitating a professor or well-known logician on campus. I am a first-year student and that is how I interpreted the piece. I have never come across a professor or instructor of that nature. Thirdly, the piece of the professor using false logic to try to point out a contradiction in University policy is supposed to make you think as you state it Jon – “Wait a second: this is terrible logic!” How can a logic professor use logic and reasoning to support an illogical University policy? You are supposed to think that the policy is not logical because how can rape/sexual assault and consensual sex have the same punishment when they are two entirely different things?

Furthermore, it was amazing to note how the audience actually responded to my question, “Is this logical?” Audience members shouted out “No” because it doesn’t make sense to have University policies like that. Fourth, how can you associate “Loyal Daughters” with comedy and toned-down explicit humor? Immediately after my monologue, a girl walked out to describe in horror how she was raped by a football player in the library only then to have him ejaculate on her face. Let me remind you that this is a true story. This monologue definitely had me rolling around backstage in laughter. Many of the monologues and short skits in this play addressed difficult issues in a serious light. With the exception of four or five monologues out of some 25 monologues and skits, I do not feel this was in any way a comedic play void of intellectual discussion. Fifthly, “Loyal Daughters” represents a variety of views expressed by Notre Dame students and faculty. It is a reflection of over 50 interviews of the Notre Dame community. This play utilizes many different theatrical and writing techniques like sarcasm and satire along with intense emotional tones to convey the many messages.

In conclusion, I find it extremely ironic that you attempt to discuss what should or should not be considered an “intellectual discussion.” You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. I felt one of the messages and purposes of “Loyal Daughters” was to make students think about what we as individuals should seek and cultivate in relationships with people of the same and opposite sex. I am deeply sorry that you missed the many intellectual messages so evident in Loyal Daughters.

Patrick Tighe


Keough Hall

Feb. 20