Unbelievably shaming anti-sex website debuts today
by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
Sometimes I believe in synchronicity. I was about to start writing a short plug for Let's Talk Sex, the campus group founded last semester by yours truly, dedicated to spreading open and healthy conversations about sex throughout the Princeton community, when I went to Feministing and saw Jessica's post on the Clare Booth Luce Institute's new site. For those of you who are not up on your insane anti-feminist organizations, the CBLI tried to shut down The Vagina Monologues (full disclosure: I am sitting on my couch in my 2008 Vagina Monologues cast t-shirt), claiming that the $30 million that the V-Day Campaign raises annually doesn't really stop violence against women.
Now, they have launched a website called "Sense & Sexuality" that is one of the worst sources of information on sex that I have ever seen. Its section called "The Facts" is full of horrifying lies designed to shame and frighten young women into locking themselves into chastity belts. The information on the site claims to be "pure medical science," but it is actually a load of bulls**t mostly culled from Miriam Grossman's book. The whole site seems to be a vehicle for Grossman (in the "activism" section, college students are told to bring Grossman to speak on their campus - and if you want to have more resources, why not just buy her book? God forbid that you should want another source of information!). I am literally dumbstruck, poking through the site, so I think I'll let it speak for itself.
From the "Facts" section:
Because clearly this website would be nothing without a mention of oxytocin: "When it comes to sex, oxytocin, like alcohol, turns red lights green. It plays a major role in what's called "the biochemistry of attachment." Because of it, you could develop feelings for a guy whose last intention is to bond with you. You might think of him all day, but he can't remember your name."
Did you know? All college guys have syphilis! "One reason genital infections are so common in young women is because so many young men unknowingly carry them. The best course is to delay sexual activity, and eventually commit to someone who also waited."
They have a section on beer goggles. Seriously. "Enjoy a glass of wine or a couple of beers at a party, and the guy hitting on you begins to look better than when you arrived. It works the other way too: guys will find your face prettier after they've had a few."
For this one, you really just need to read the section title. "The rectum is an exit, not an entrance."
A study at PRINCETON apparently confirms that 91% of women feel "used" after hooking up (Google reveals nothing about this survey's origin. And what the hell does a "hookup" mean, anyway?
And of course, the obligatory mandate to get married and pop out lots of kids: "Remember that motherhood doesn't always happen when the time is right for you; there's a window of opportunity, then the window closes."
The scariest part, though, is in the blog. A post from this morning claims that the HPV vaccine carries life-threatening side effects, and may be "forced" upon poor innocent girls if we go ahead with health care reform (just to get a nice little jab about "socialized medicine" in there). Reports that the HPV vaccine is unusually dangerous are untrue. And it is preposterous, and dangerous, to say that only "promiscuous" women should get the vaccine. What are they trying to say - good girls don't get cervical cancer?
If this hasn't convinced you to come to the Let's Talk Sex open house tomorrow night (8 pm in the Mathey College Common Room), nothing will. Websites like this only spread fear and guilt - they do nothing to help women and men own their sexuality and decide when and if they want to engage in sexual activity. Lying, inevitably, will get these people nowhere. But in the meantime, it is deeply frightening to me that this site is being presented as a source of accurate information.