Letter to the Editor

Avery Pickard

I want to publicly voice my disappointment at being mislead into a promotional sales event under the guise of a “Sexual Awareness Workshop.” Eager to become more sexually aware, I went to this gathering last night and soon realized what the event really was. I stayed out of morbid fascination, keen to bear witness so that I could write your editor. Over the next hour, we girls were introduced to a panoply of products designed to make us smell like flowers, taste like cupcakes and feel like 12-year-old girls. The saleslady even hawked a product designed to tighten the upper portion of the vagina, which is biologically designed to expand during arousal!
The overall tone, to me, was that we must spend money to mask our natural selves, all in the pursuit of “driving our men wild,” as the saleslady said. I certainly wasn’t buying the “it’s for your own enjoyment” schtick. I have never had all my insecurities so fully validated-and I’m not grateful. To be fair, I did hear that the organizers of V-Day were themselves surprised. There was a time when I would have found this kind of event uplifting; there was also a time when I wasn’t confounded by how eagerly “The Vagina Monologues” reinforces that awful idea that the term “vagina” encompasses female genitalia-perpetuating the farce that it is our “vaginas” that comprise our genitalia and produce orgasms. In addition, this was indubitably a heterosexuals-only event, alienating a good number of lesbian and bisexual girls in attendance.
I do believe there is a place for real sexual awareness workshops, V-Day and even “The Vagina Monologues” on this campus. The women-and men!-of this campus deserve open, quality sexual education that starts with honesty, accurate information and our own bodies. I was extremely disappointed to realize that this is the regrettable face of female sexual empowerment on this campus, and expect to see some more sophisticated and truly empowering programming in the future.Avery Pickard, Class of 2008