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Author Topic: True Love Revolution comes to Harvard
GradCutie06
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Hi everyone, I'm not orginally from the states, but I found this article in my daily newspaper yesterday and thought it might be of interest. Not sure if anyone has seen it.

True Love Revolution Comes to Harvard
Pair of seniors starts a secular student group to fight mindless Sex
By Jesse HArlan Alderman

Cambridge, Mass. -Sometime between the fondling of a student-run porn magazine and the day the campus health advertised "Free Lube," Harvard University seniors Sarah Kinsella and Justin Murray decided to fight back against what they see as too mind mindless sex at the Ivy League school.
They founded a secular student group called True Love Revolution to promote abstinence on campus. Teh group, created earlier this school year, has more than 90 members on it's Facebook.com page and drew about half that many to an ice cream social.
Harvard has 6,700 undergraduates.
Harvard treats sex -or "hooking up" -so casually that "sometimes I wonder if sex is even a remotely serious thing," said Kinsella, who is dating Murray.
Some feminists, in particular, have criticized True Love Revolution's message. Student Rebecca Singh, said she was offended by a valentine the group sent to the dormitory mailboxes of all freshmen. It read: "Why wait? Because you're worth it."
"I think they thought that we might not be 'ruined' yet," Singh said. "It's a sympton of that culture we have that values a woman on her purity. It's a relic."
Murrary said his friends take pleasure in loudly, and graphically, discussing their sex lives just to taunt him.
"On campus there is such a strong attitude of pluralism and acceptance, but then it doesn't extend to this," Kinsella said.
In the student paper, the Harvard Crimson, columnist Jessica C. Coggins praised the group's low-key approach and scolded Harvard students for their "laughter at the virgin."
True Love Revolution members say Harvard has implicitly let students to believe that having sex at college is a foregone conclusion by requring freshmen to attend a seminar on date-rape, placing condoms in dorms and hosting racy lectures.
Dr. Dave Rosenthal, director of Harvard health services, said, "Somet students may have a feeling that acknowledgement is condoning, and it's not."

There is also a picture with a caption that reads, "Harvard University seniors Justin Murrary, who says he had sex earlier in college, and Sarah Kinsella are dating, and fighting back at what they see as too much mindless sex on campus."


There ya go, I don't know if it's of any interest, just thought it was an interesting article.

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I'm okay at this kind of angle&you're okay from this kind of light. And we don't look like pages from a magazine, but that's alright, that's alright.

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Heather
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It never fails to amaze me how simplitically people think.

(And wait for WHAT? This "You need to wait," stuff couched like this always makes me toss my hands up, because it is always worded like this. Wait for what? If they're speaking to young women -- and abstinence initiatives usually are, putting women yet again in the position of policing sex and bearing all or nearly all responsibility for sex -- do they mean wait until some man has legal ownership of you via a marriage contract -- especialy bearing in mind that we still have states where rape within marriage isn't illegal? Because that's empowering how exactly? And historically has made sex better or more meaningful for women when? And married sex is somehow never anything less than imbued with meaning? These gals need to start talking to married women, big time, if that's being assumed. I actually had to stop doing sex advice work at a site made of mostly straight, married women because it was just too darn depressing for me.)

As if there were but an either/or here -- you must either not be having any sex at all, or the sex you're having must somehow be mindless, too much, blah blah blah.

At either end of that binary, we're seeing people having sex or not having sex because of a mandate or edict from others, because some other is affixing a moral value to it, and no matter WHAT one does in this regard, you'd think that smart kids at Harvard (though we seem to hear from one of them in this piece) could put two and two together and realize that it's going to be a problem no matter what you do if you're making sexual choices based on someone else's values, rather than your own values, your own wants, your own needs, your own identity.

quote:
True Love Revolution members say Harvard has implicitly let students to believe that having sex at college is a foregone conclusion by requring freshmen to attend a seminar on date-rape
This is so beyond offensive it isn't even funny. A seminar on rape is not a seminar on sex, and conflating the two is about as ignorant and insulting as it gets.

(Nice topic, Grad.)

[ 03-24-2007, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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bluefreak44
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Although I'm obviously biased (although we all are in some way), I don't think this is a bad thing.

Maybe there are students who will feel pressured NOT to have sex because of this thing. But what about the students that feel pressured to HAVE sex in the first place?

Even if waiting is a personal choice (not influenced directly by another), it's a choice that's hard to stand by. I'm currently in college. I thought I got odd looks when I first mentioned to people that I was married (I'm not an older student; I'm 22), but that rarely compares to the looks I get if I ever mention that I was virgin when I got married. And if I mention that my husband was one, too (because even in the moral sphere, admittedly the bar is often lower for males...as unfair as that may be)? Well I might as well be from Mars.

From that perspective, I think this group can be a good thing. I know it's hard to think you're the only one not having sex. Although sex or no sex shouldn't be a measure of maturity, I was often treated as if I somehow wasn't as "grown up," as if I didn't know as much about the "real world" because I hadn't had sex yet. This group could be an encouragement to those who had already made a decision to wait but feel pressured. And what about the students who didn't think waiting was an option in the first place? Maybe they'll really think for their own on the issue.

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KittenGoddess
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quote:
Murrary said his friends take pleasure in loudly, and graphically, discussing their sex lives just to taunt him.
My first thought when I read this was that maybe this guy needs to get some new friends! Seriously, if your friends are discussing things around you that they know make you uncomfortable, then the appropriate answer is to get some new friends who are more respectful of your feelings.

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Sarah Liz

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Heather
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Again, though, bluefreak, when ANYTHING is not suggested as a choice, not a better choice for everyone, pressure is being exerted that isn't respectful of people. And when you don't ultimately have a personal agenda, it really isn't that hard to let people know whatever choice they want to make is okay and have people feel good about those sexual choices no matter what they are: heck, we do it here every day, have for almost ten years, and it hardly drains my brain or is some kind of rocket science. A lot of why it's not hard for me or the volunteers here to do that is that we earnestly don't think a person is better or worse because they have or have not chosen to have sex, and because our investment is in what THAT person wants, what is good for THAT person, by their own determination and set of values, and what results in THAT person's health and happiness. When that's your angenda, it's really quite easy to not privilege one choice over another.

Now, if and when (which is less rare, unfortunately) groups like this can find ways of sying that it is okay to do EITHER, I don't have a problem in the world. When groups like this don't put judgments on what sex other people are having -- a la, calling the sex others are having mindless -- but instead talk about what THEY want, and what is okay to want, no argument from me.

But that ain't what this is, and not only does the message matter, all of it, but so does the medium.

(And suggesting there is something wrong with a program on date-rape prevention in this contaxt on their part is so beyond deeply offensive, it's not even funny. If they really wanted everyone to have the right to wait for sex, they certainly wouldn't have any critique of work done to allow young women that right per not getting raped, for crissakes.)

[ 04-06-2007, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Queer Power
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It's also ridiculous that they oppose the distribution of free lube. Choosing not to have sex is totally awesome, but opposing the distribution of safer sex materials and information is stupid.

I question just how "secular" this group really is.

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LucysDiamonds
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I've heard a lot in the media about the "debauchery" at Ivy League schools, especially since I go to one. I really don't think it's as big of a deal as everyone is making it out to be. My school, especially, has a reputation for being the most liberal Ivy with the least morals - I prefer to think of us as "progressive." [Smile] And I've heard about things that happen at other Ivys - naked parties, for instance, which don't necessarily even involve sex, but just people hanging out, playing pingpong, talking, without clothes on - that the population in general seems to find horrifying, particularly in such well-respected institutes of higher learning. I've heard arguments that it's because we work so hard and therefore need a bigger, more shocking outlet to let off steam. I'm not sure how much I buy into that. But I do know that I've met more people here who are comfortable talking about sex, engaging in it casually, and expressing their sexuality, however not-mainstream it may be, than anywhere else. And I love it.

That said, I also know a number of people who aren't that comfortable with it, or who choose to wait, or even who have had sex but only with people they feel they really love - all of which is fine by me, and very accepted socially, and it's really not like every single activity on weekends involves massive orgies, you know? There is no pressure to have sex if you don't want it, and if there's none of that pressure HERE of all the Ivys, then I can't imagine that it could exist in the huge way that that article says it does at other Ivys.

It just really, really annoys me when people pass judgment on college students, especially when those people are themselves in college. And really, it goes both ways for me: people who think that because they're having sex left and right, they're so popular and cool, get to me just as much as those who think that by abstaining, they're in some way "purer" than the rest of us. Just let us make our own decisions. Honestly, is there anything more personal than someone's sex life? How can you presume to intrude on that and tell people what to do?

(Google "Bill O'Reilly SexPowerGod" to see a specific example. *insert string of expletives* ...yeah, we really kind of detest him here.)

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Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to fly

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bluefreak44
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
And suggesting there is something wrong with a program on date-rape prevention in this contaxt on their part is so beyond deeply offensive, it's not even funny.

I absolutely agree. I just didn't mention that part because it seemed like a no-brainer.
Posts: 81 | From: MO, USA | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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