‘I Heart Female Orgasm’ should not be held in chapel

By TAYLOR ALWINE

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When initially invited to an event on Facebook entitled ‘I Heart the Female Orgasm,’ I was intrigued. With such a bold, catchy name, who wouldn’t be? As I was about to click ‘Join,’ I noticed the location of the event, Ford Chapel. I was shocked. “That can’t be right…” I thought to myself. But it was. My initial reaction was pure confusion and let’s be honest… anger. But I am open-minded and knew that I had no right to criticize the event when I had never even attended it. So I went.

In summary, the event was very informative about the female orgasm and everything that goes along with that. I heard some information I already knew and some information that I really didn’t need to know. Coupled with clever humor, the presenters, Marshall Miller and Kate Weinberg, did a wonderful job of illustrating the female orgasm with diagrams, video clips and covers of Cosmopolitan magazine. The information they presented is certainly very applicable to the sex lives of sexually active individuals on campus.

I laughed, I blushed and I listened intently. But I couldn’t help, though, every once in a while, looking around and hearing my internal voice say, “You’re in a church.” As I was preparing to leave, after the event had ended, I was singing the song playing on the loud speakers, “Touch My Body” by Mariah Carey whose lyrics are not a mystery. I was singing these songs in a church. At this point, I did not regret going, but my thoughts were immediately brought into perspective.

The fact that this event took place in our campus church is simply not acceptable. I have heard the members of the organizations that sponsored this event insist that the location was not meant to offend anyone and that there simply was no other spot on campus for it to take place. Well of course it was not meant to offend religious life on campus or any other group, but what about the concept of respect?

We all know the Statement of Community we all so frequently hear, “Allegheny students and employees are committed to creating an inclusive, respectful and safe residential learning community…” Has this all so suddenly been forgotten? For those individuals who attend church in that very location every Sunday to uphold their religious values that go against an event such as this in every way, what does this say to them? Is this telling them that we do not respect their space enough to keep it sacred with the values they live by? Space is an issue on this campus, I do certainly understand. But holding such an event at a church, non-denominational or not, should never have been allowed by the administration.

Besides the whole church issue, there are other ways in which the program fell short and did not hold up to its previously understood expectations I had based on the Facebook event and what I had heard from members of the sponsoring organizations. Safe sex was mentioned once in the beginning of the presentation and then I heard nothing of it again other than a British condom commercial that was shown (but only to highlight the oral sex topic that was currently being discussed, not because of the condom usage). For an event that claims to be a “sex education” presentation, you would think that more discussion would take place on safe sex which is a very important topic, especially on a college campus.

Lastly, according to the I Heart Female the Orgasm website, the presentation should have included a lesson on “the value of learning how to say ‘no’ to sex.” This subject, much like the topic of safe sex, was only touched on briefly at the beginning of the presentation. Much of the presentation, on the contrary, consisted of explaining to the audience how to say yes to sex (with no mention of the protection you should be using) and take part in, you guessed it, the female orgasm.

I appreciate the time that the sponsoring organizations put into having this event come to campus and the intentions that they had with it. Their attempt to make this a fun topic is great, and I love their enthusiasm. But next time there is a speaker such as this, I hope there to be a much more well-rounded conversation about sex, including safe sex, saying “no” in situations of pressure and abstinence. A lot more consideration must be taken into account as well, as to who this will affect and how it will be construed by all groups on campus. And please, don’t have it in the church.