April 22-27 multiple organizations on campus hosted events in conjunction with “Let’s Talk About Sex @ MC.” This weeklong event was comprised of improvisational skits, poetry readings, panel discussions and other activities addressing sex and sexuality. According to its mission statement, the week aimed at being educational but also expressive, for the purpose of breaking the taboo surrounding sex.
Copeland CREW advisor Aja Rodriguez was involved with several events throughout the week and believes this week is an important one for students.
“Human beings are sexual no matter the size, age, shape, orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, language, political affiliation, religious belief, etc., but sexuality and all its many facets are taboo,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said that she feels that the best way to overcome the social stigma surrounding sex is through discussion.
“This means no one talks honestly and truthfully about it, so we make jokes, feel shame and essentially keep secrets,” Rodriguez said, “I have also learned that secrets make you sick, and I hope that anyone would advocate for sexually healthy adults by planning a week of events like this.”
There was a great deal of diversity among the events in order to bring about discussion, as well as expression. Sisters in Spirit hosted a poetry reading for those who wanted to showcase personal thoughts about sexuality.
Lauren Voyles, co-chair of Sisters in Spirit, said that she thought that the event was a healthy way to get students to talk about sex.
“I think events like this are important for people to understand that it’s okay and even necessary to talk about sex,” Voyles said. “Sex is a natural part of the human experience. Sex isn’t dirty or wrong, but a part of who we are.”
Garrett Painter, team leader of MC’s Student Programming Board, helped put together a public showing of “Easy A,” a film concerning public reactions to sexual exploits. He said that he believes a dialogue is important to the students of campus.
“This type of event helps teach students about healthy and safe ways to incorporate sex into their lives, and I feel as though this is much better than continuing to consider sex so taboo and not talking about it,” Painter said.
The idea for “Let Talk about Sex @ MC” began when Taylor Jackson, a freshman, began by proposing a few events and reaching out to Rodriguez about his ideas.
“The reason I pushed so hard for the program is because I felt that our generation learned about the birds as the bees in a rough way and so some general education on the subject to clear things up is nice,” Jackson said.
“Let’s Talk About Sex @ MC” is similar to a recent effort at the University of Tennessee, one that was met with a certain amount of opposition from students, organizations and even Senators. The backlash was so strong that funding was pulled from the UT Sex Week. Rodriguez said that this was a testament to the importance of MC’s event.
“I just think it will be very interesting to look back in 10 years or so and realize how scared some people were of comprehensive sexual education, but how much it can actually help,” Rodriguez said. “So, in the grand scheme of things, they just gave people like me a reason to be out there educating.”