***Editor’s Note: This article was published as part of the satirical April 1, 2015 issue
Aya Takalat ’16 has a plan to bring male voices to campus, but not in a social or political capacity. Instead, she enthusiastically pitched an idea for a new program at Wellesley that would bring men with amazing speaking voices to Wellesley for the express purpose of reading to students who are surrounded by primarily female voices and who may be lacking the richness and deepness of the male voice.
Takalat, who admits to having only one or two male friends, said the program was inspired by the popular Instagram account “Hot Dudes Reading” as well as her own personal experiences after a semester at Wellesley where she had all female professors and fellow students, which meant that she scarcely ever heard the male voice.
“It got to be so bad that not even endless YouTube videos of the dulcet tones of Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hiddleston could satisfy my craving for the male voice,” Takalat explained. “And with a jam-packed Wellesley schedule there just isn’t time to run into the Ville and hunt down me — I mean, to seek out the finest male voices.”
The program that Takalat proposes would be held in the most acoustically rich spaces on campus and would feature 90 minutes of men reading academic books on various subjects. This system would encourage women with an interest in a particular subject to form small clusters to listen to a man reading a book that most pertained to their current studies.
The criteria for the position are simple: All that volunteers need is a voice that is deep, rich, smooth and free of voice cracks.
“All of the potential applicants will be screened by me, of course. And of course a nice face to match the handsome voice would be wonderful, but it is not a prerequisite,” Takalat said.
Takalat can already visualize a very specific format for the group.
“Imagine the Chapel filled with gorgeous men — I mean, men with gorgeous voices. Over here there would be a group tackling Shakespeare, across the room someone would be reading Darwin’s “Origin of Species,” or Locke’s “Two Treatises on Government.” It would be like small islands of learning, floating on an ocean of gorgeous tenor and baritone voices!” Takalat exclaimed with an excited gleam in her eye. “It is a great way to kill two birds with one stone and tackle the deficit of male voices while also encouraging intellectual interests.”
Takalat maintained that the woman’s interest should be purely intellectual.
“This wouldn’t, of course, be any sort of ploy to set anyone up. No, I would never propose anything that would damage our reputation as independent Wellesley women,” Takalat clarified.
“That being said, I can’t say that I’m not looking forward to the audition process to find all of these fine male specimens,” Takalat said.
Takalat tentatively plans to call the group “Jaws for Wellness,” after the popular “Paws for Wellness” group.
A representative from the Student Organizations and Appointments Committee (SOAC) seemed skeptical of the effectiveness of the proposed program.
“The board is investigating the proposal to see if there is any scientific basis for the claim that hearing male voices is useful or necessary for female college students. Otherwise this program may present an unnecessary drain on funding for campus organizations,” the SOAC representative said.
If her proposal is accepted by SOAC, Takalat plans to begin accepting applications for male candidates next month.
“It will be a wonderful form of stress relief if we can get the program running right before finals,” Takalat said.
Photo courtesy of @HotDudesReading
Grace Ballenger ’17 is a Features Editor who is majoring in Spanish and should also be majoring in English based on the number of English classes she is currently taking. She also enjoys playing piano, singing in the choir and drawing. She can be reached at email@example.com.