Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sex Week at the University of Tennessee

Plans to promote safe sex at the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus through a series of lectures, games and classes have sparked debate in the state legislature for the second year running. . .   You can read or listen to the rest of the reporting here. . .  In the news are efforts by state lawmakers to punish the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for putting this together (second year for the "sex week").  This has gone on all over the nation for years but in Tennessee it is a new thing.

Let's talk about sex... say the billboards promoting the "Sex Week" from March 2-7.  But that is the point.  The topic is hardly hidden or forbidden -- especially on a college campus.  It is not a clandestine conversation anywhere in America.  In print and movies, on the internet and in public, sex is flaunted all over the place.  If the students and their leaders want to be really radical, why not a week in which all talk about sex, all hook ups, all experimentation, all pornography, etc... are replaced by silence (or if you want to be really radical, by complete abstinence).

It is the ultimate foolishness to say that talk about sex is somehow prevented or in the closet.  That is the problem.  Nothing is in the closet anymore.  Sex is all over the media, all over the public conversation, and all over the internet.  Are we healthier because of it?  Is the incidence of sexually transmitted disease in free fall decline?  Is the use of abortion as birth control disappearing?  Is there any disorder or perversion that is not being talked about openly and publicly?  We all know the answer to these questions.

Sex week on campus is about as radical as booze week or pot week or missing class week -- it is old news.  Why do we act as if sex were somehow a forbidden topic -- especially on a public university campus?  Why do gays need liberating or college students need to talk more about sex?  Both of these topics are front and center from the news programs on TV to the movies watched on the big screen to the tweets that have hashtags to the internet with its predominance of pornographic images.

This is more than offensive, it is stupid.  There is nothing less radical than sex week on a university campus.  Now if you want to be radical, why not have the opposite -- abstinence week?!  Now that would  be something to talk about.  As offensive as much of this stuff is, it is ridiculous when we act as if more talk about sex is the necessary counterpoint to the college culture.  Really, who are we fooling here!

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