On March 31, I attended the Campus Women’s Coalition’s annual symposium “Sexuality in the City.” This year’s theme was female pleasure (Gasp!) A speaker from an adult retailer and education center from Minneapolis came to speak to the students of SDSU about using safe adult products, how to protect themselves sexually, and the general anatomy of the human body. About 60 students attended the event, including about 20 men. After the hour-and a-half-forum, we heard the announcement that a Christian group was outside protesting the event.
The Campus Women’s Coalition had expressed that they were surprised that they didn’t get any complaints about the advertisements for the event, so there was no surprise when they found out that protesters had showed up outside the doors of the symposium. The CWC deals with this unnecessary controversy several times every year. Living in the second most conservative state in the U.S., the CWC knows that their events and fundraisers will always receive unwanted attention from those who disagree with them.
The symposium about female pleasure was an educational event that answered questions that, many times, people are afraid to ask. When I personally found out that the event was being protested I had to ask myself, “Why would anyone protest something that teaches people to be safe?” The answer lies in one three-letter word that has been under constant fire from religious groups for thousands of years: sex. Why is such a natural function so wrong or dirty to people in a country that holds freedom as its most important aspect?
I can turn on any cable channel and see people getting shot, tortured, stabbed, and murdered in every way imaginable, but as soon as a female nipple appears, people start screaming, “HIDE YOUR CHILDREN! WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY DO WE LIVE IN?!” As my mother told me when I saw nudity in a movie for the first time at the age of 7, “Get over it. It’s just a boob.”
Sex is not dirty and it is not wrong. After all, we are all products of it. As long as all parties involved agree upon it and nobody gets hurt in the process, it is perfectly healthy. We shouldn’t be ashamed of educating ourselves about our bodies or our natural functions. Even I fall victim to this, having censored myself throughout this entire column.
Organizations like the CWC strive to spread this message, but are constantly met with resistance. It turns out the group who was protesting the symposium that night had been incredibly misinformed about what the event would include. Even so, I am appalled at the behavior of my fellow Americans and how they are constantly shaming people out of being who they really are. Stop praying for people who chose to have sex, stop trying to “save their souls”, and let them be who they really are. Spend your energy on more noble causes like helping the homeless, raising money for cancer victims or donating your time or money to your local animal shelter, not on praying for those who have healthy sex lives.
For anyone who would like to know more about sex education or sexual safety, check out Scarleteen.com.
Hannah is a senior journalism major. Reach her at [email protected]