Jim Marcus Responds to Sun-Times re: Northwestern Fucksawgate

Jim MarcusNeil Steinberg, of the Chicago Sun-Times published an editorial regarding Northwestern University Fucksawgate last night.  Jim Marcus e-mailed the response below to Neil but is unsure if it will be published in its entirety.  There’s a good chance it won’t be published at all.

Unfortunately, the four of us have learned the hard way over the last three crazy days that nearly all the major news outlets, rather than publish facts, run with short sound bites and clips taken out of context.  The event, as presented in mainstream media, is a far cry from what really happened.  And, like the game of telephone, when that story gets told to two media outlets, they go on to tell two media outlets and so on and so on, you end up with a completely different story than what you started out with.

I understand why the media does it.  The hype and the ratings will fall if the controversy goes away.  Sex and controversy sell.  They sell BIG.  Ultimately, the media is in the money business.   It’s sad, by nature of its design, media isn’t structured to put the truth first. If the truth was told and accurately represented from the get-go on this, it would have never become an issue.  I suppose I can’t totally hold it against the media, they are just trying to do their job.  I’m just sorry it took me so long to remember the media’s job, first and foremost, is generating revenue.

I’m posting Jim’s response here in hopes it will be seen.  I will also, in the coming days, be posting responses to other accusations and falsehoods that are flooding the internet.  I have a lot to say on the matter. The Northwestern fucksaw controversy has gotten way out of hand.  Hopefully we can help give it a bit more perspective so it can live out its lifecycle and die.

Here is Jim’s response to Neil Steinberg’s Sun-Times article titled Northwestern will be hearing sex show talk for a long time:

I appreciate your position and hope you will understand if I don’t agree. I think you made a poor case for why the reputation of Northwestern University will be sullied by this non-incident in an ongoing way. Disseminating actual information may be more valuable than your invocation that we “trust you” and your assessment. I don’t know you personally any more than you know me, but in my defense, I’m also refraining from calling you a “deviant” as you did me.

Equating it to the Kent State tragedy was probably the weakest part of your argument. I may be naive but I have a suspicion that a large majority of Americans will recognize the difference between a consensual act between adults, performed in front of consenting adults, that hurt no one and a bloody massacre perpetrated against peaceful students by an overzealous state guard cadre, spraying ordnance into a crowd, killing four students and brutally wounding 9 more, one of whom was left paralyzed. This may be just exactly the tiny nuance that educated people respond to and possibly call you out for. The kind of people who knew what “per annum” meant before you insulted them.

The second most poorly considered part of your article may have been your invention of the “how will this look test” as some sort of real world tangible ideal that wins when put to the test up against the delivery of honest real information in a way that can capture students’ attention and recollection. I hope that any parent who objects to what happened in that classroom gets the real information about it. More to the point, I hope that any parent who objects to what happened in that classroom has the opportunity to reflect on their own time at College and how it might have been adversely impacted had their parents and their parental sensibilities been in control of THEIR curriculum. Or if the “How will this look test” were considered by all their teachers as somehow more important than their education.

I don’t blame you for not having the facts of this. So far, just about all of the media outlets have been unable to use the words “g-spot” or “female ejaculation” in their coverage of this story, meaning that the distinction between clitoral orgasm and vaginal orgasm has been lost on nearly everyone. This, on its own, has been enough to make me feel as though what we did was justified. Your readers are adults. Please treat them this way.

Shame on you. Shame on you for being considerably less respectful than the room full of students you are infantilizing. Shame on you for asking less intelligent questions than they did. And, I suppose, shame on you for failing to recognize the collateral difference between a presentation like the one we did and a call to drown puppies. This may be one of the least lucid parts of your article, out of nearly every other false equivalency you attempted.

Shame on you, most of all, for suggesting that you would look at professor Bailey with resentment if you were there working on Nano-Technology or old world Slavonic. I suspect he would look at your efforts to expand those fields with respect and admiration, minus the judgment and disdain that you choose to level at him. He is part of a group of people trying to help people have better, more fulfilling, more responsible, consensual, safe, and meaningful sex, and training people to be a part of that. If you don’t see the value of that we may have no ideological overlap at all.


Northwestern Fucksaw: Has The New Sexual Revolution Just Begun?
All I Know About the G-Spot I Learned From My Fucksaw


20 replies
  1. miss
    miss says:

    The whole thing is ridiculous. i do NOT support the instructor or the two that demonstrated the sex act. first of all, its a college human sexuality class..im sure everything that everyone saw has themselves personally experienced behind closed doors, therefore the only reason anyone performed such was for their 15 minutes of fame, and that they get off doing sex acts in public. There was no or is no other reason for the “demonstration” Faith and Jim kudos that you’re open with your sexuality but this entire scenario is bull, and i do not support you or the instructor. Find another way to become famous.

  2. thanks
    thanks says:

    Miss, you really miss the point. Not supporting the instructor or the demonstrators means you’re against open discussion and exploration of sexuality. The contention that “everything that everyone saw has themselves personally experienced . . .” is not only poor use of the English language, it’s also directly contradicted by the reactions (including your own) to the class presentation. Unless you and everyone else in outrage are tremendous hypocrites who love all manner of sexual stimulation including the use of modified industrial power tools but don’t want anyone else to learn how to do so safely. That would mean you and the rest of the detractors are horrible, mean spirited people who get off on denying orgasm from the anonymous masses. I can’t really find that to be consensual in any way, so I not only don’t support YOU, Miss. I also relish the opportunity to publicly strip you down and shame you for your faux indignation, hubris, and ignorance.

    Please engage in meaningful conversation or please leave.

    And Thanks, SunnyMegatron.

  3. miss
    miss says:

    First the demonstration was about the female orgasm, and now it’s about the exploration of sexuality? Make up your minds already, this is the problem with fame seekers, you never have your stories straight. I can’t support the instructor or the demonstrators because behind this stunt there is no logic. I can watch two people create sex acts every day, it’s called porn. Something I’m sure you know quite well. Trying to understand what I’m saying before you go on your little rant you stoop down to the level of a sixteen year old with your dungeons and dragons lingo. You unfortunately cannot stip me or shame me, This is MY opinion and this is where I firmly stand. And as far as I’m concerned I will voice my opinion how I please and where I please. I’m not the one asking for support. I’m not seeking my fifteen minutes of fame with cheap titillation. Now head back to Neo where you belong.

  4. Zelda Gillian
    Zelda Gillian says:

    Thanks for sharing, Sunny. I think that it is important to get Jim’s words out there.

    And, to Miss, I say that you are mistaken and are being irrationally inflammatory. This whole situation, including the class and the demo, is about the exploration of human sexuality. There is great logic in the demonstration that took place, as it was done to dispel misconceptions surrounding the female orgasm, misconceptions that were being communicated even in a video presented to the class in advance of the demo. These misconceptions are very real and are easily corrected with simple education. This is an institution of higher learning, afterall, and a class on human sexuality; the school would be doing a disservice to its students by continuing to propogate falsehoods on any subject that it teaches.

    I imagine that the reaction you are having is driven by your own lack of knowledge on the subject and an inherent fear of the unknown. It shocks me to this day that sex is still so taboo. It’s like the general public is willing to accept that it happens and is necessary for the continuation of the species, but any acknowledgement beyond that is considered inappropriate. What I don’t understand is why it scares people so much. Why is something that is so natural and instinctual so feared?

    Lastly, Miss, your propensity to resort to slinging slurs and empty accusations only serves to cheapen and lower the efficacy of your argument. You will not win any debates this way, which makes me wonder why you even bother other than to be inflammatory? Where is the value in setting a fire for which you have no fuel to keep burning?

  5. miss
    miss says:

    I’m not looking for a debate, I’m simply voicing my opinion. AGAIN try reading before you rant. I don’t fear sex, or sexuality, I’m quite open. BUT before my husband and I decid to stick a dildo to a chainsaw and let others watch as a “demonstration” of a female orgasm, I’d have a better reason and a SINGLE reason for the “demonstration”. Now, if it were labeled art..that would be something completely different, and acceptable. R-E-A-D.

  6. miss
    miss says:

    I’m not looking for a debate, I’m simply voicing my opinion. AGAIN try reading before you rant. I don’t fear sex, or sexuality, I’m quite open. BUT before my husband and I decid to stick a dildo to a chainsaw and let others watch as a “demonstration” of a female orgasm, I’d have a better reason and a SINGLE reason for the “demonstration”. Now, if it were labeled art..that would be something completely different, and acceptable. R-E-A-D.

  7. Sara
    Sara says:

    As a 16 year old girl, who’s opinion may seem invalid; I’m in full support of Jim and Faith’s demonstration. Sex is a natural thing, and though many are not comfortable with doing or witnessing something thought of as such an extreme sexual act, no one was forced. I think the reason our society fears sex so much is how it will affect my generation. Speaking only for myself, but I think I can include many other teens in this count; sex is something that can be controlled, and to do so we need the education. The idea of over-censorship is a far greater concern. I cannot stand to think of growing up into a world where we pride ourselves in ignorance, and denying natural truths. And Miss, I understand that you might be sick of this feud I seem to have entered in on, and I’m not here to attack you. But you said it would have been ok if it had been “art”? Who is to say that it is not?

  8. miss
    miss says:

    So you’re saying that as long as someone agrees, no matter who they are, it’s okay to voice your opinion. Talk about hypocrisy.

  9. Shay
    Shay says:

    I agree with the demonstration that was performed by Faith and Jim, I am personally very closed about my sex life, but am also interested and open to learning about the different aspects of sexuality and sex, and believe that the more we understand our bodies and our reactions the more we can make informed choices about what we do sexually.

    For those who claim that the students may as well have been showed porn, I have watched porn and I really do not think that you can learn about the physical responces of the body from the overly dramatized sex that is featured in pornagraphic videos that are for entertainment not education.

    @ miss… I did not once see anyone on here telling you that you are not entitled to your opinion, however if you comment negatively on a post you are going to start a discussion with the author, and yes they will argue their point, but isn’t that what you are doing?

  10. Roger
    Roger says:

    Actually Miss, Sunny could have easily removed your comments if the intent was only to have people with the same opinion post. Instead you are allowed to say whatever you like.

    Of course in your case you are proving the point that you were not educated as to the nature of the demo, and that your ability to put together a convincing argument is lacking.

    Watch this, it is the most reasonable discourse I have seen/read which highlights the exact nature of the incident.


  11. Sunnymegatron
    Sunnymegatron says:

    Yes, I have no issues with anyone voicing their opinion. Rodger was correct, I could have easily deleted your comments but I have integrity. We can’t grow without healthy debate and I’m glad people are talking about these issues—it tells me these conversations should have been had a long time ago. The question becomes when do we let opinion dictate academic freedom? Where is that line? That is something worth debating and I’m glad we all have an opportunity to do that.

    This topic has taken over my life for the last week and it’s difficult to keep debating about every last fine detail. That’s why I’ve been relatively quiet in the comments and rather I’m leaving the debate to you guys. I’ve said my peace a gazillion times, had it twisted around by the media too many times to count and frankly, I’m tired.

    For the record, this is a presentation/demo that has been going on for YEARS and no one batted and eye up until this point. Many other sex educators conduct hands on demonstrations as well. There is no way in hell we could have predicted this type of reaction. If we were trying to “get famous” there are plenty of other, more favorable ways to go about it.

  12. miss
    miss says:

    Does anyone in this country know how to read??? Perhaps if your closed minds weren’t so far up each others asses you stop putting words in my mouth and twisting this entire thing around. Sheep. all of you.

    As for “there are plenty of other, more favorable ways to go about it” That would take work, and people like you don’t know how to do that or what that actually means.

  13. Sunnymegatron
    Sunnymegatron says:

    Wow, Miss– I’m not insulting you at all. I have no issue talking about real points but name calling and mud slinging is unnecessary and unhealthy.

    I suggest to everyone we no longer feed the troll.

  14. Sara
    Sara says:

    I’ve been following this page and I see that it is not longer an open discussion, but a closed, childish insult game. If you are going to resort to personal attacks, then it’s a good indication that you’ve run out of points about the subject matter at hand. Sunny, you have my complete support and though I don’t know Faith, she and Jim also have my support. Miss, please refrain from you snide comments aimed at “you people”, I think you are losing respect for your side of the case.

    I’m involved in theatre and had worked with Jim when I was younger and know for a fact that he is a good-hearted man who is simply trying to open the minds of those who are interested. He has been a role model of mine for years and I find it insulting for you, Miss, to degrade those who are not here to defend themselves.

    Though i disagree with your point of view, I am happy to hear from your side of things if it is done in a tasteful manner.

    And as for you, Sunny – keep up the positivity; you’re right this was a topic that needed to be discussed. Be proud to be a part of it, even when others don’t appreciate that.

  15. Tianna Xander
    Tianna Xander says:

    There are too many people out there who are willing to point the finger at others for doing something they deem inappropriate for one reason or another. The thing that I found that is most fullfilling for myself and my family is to be true to yourself.

    When you are true to yourself, you don’t feel the need to answer to others for your life’s choices and learn to accept criticism as either relevant to your life or not. The media’s rants and hype, in my opinion, are not relative to either the lives of the people who attended and enjoyed that class or mine. As a matter of fact, I almost wish I had been there. I’m always missing out… but I digress.

    The mainstream’s censure of the class and the issue Fucksawgate is merely the censure of smaller minds unable to comprehend the impact of what such a thing can mean to someone who thinks they are strange or deviant. It’s wonderful to find that you are not alone in whatever habits or preferences you may have developed in your lifetime. I once thought I was strange because I like writing erotic fiction. Now there are thousands of authors out there just like me.

    Everyone has their fetishes, whether it’s they must always have sex in the missionary position or hanging upside down from their ceiling fan. One thing I can tell you, if there weren’t so many people out there interested in sex or sexuality, my books wouldn’t sell nearly as well as they do. I, for one, support you and ‘the class’ that has been brought to everyone’s attention.

    I’m stepping down off my soapbox now.


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