Palin will be the keynote speaker at Washington University's Sex Week
next month. The abstinence-preaching teen mom has been called in, apparently, to help balance the event,
which organizers say has been criticized for being "too liberal and too
one-dimensional," Student Life's Michael Tabb reports.
The point of Sex Week is "to start an open sexual dialogue." (Haha, college.) Sex Week organizers estimate that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 students are abstinent, some of them by choice, and those kids shouldn't feel neglected. "I understand that people are not going to be happy--this will probably be protested. We really just want to start dialogue and the fact that we're bringing in a balanced panel should be taken into account," organizer Scott Elman told Tabb.
Bloggers disagree over whether Palin--who certainly has the experience to back up her view--is the right person to talk to young people about sexual responsibility.
- This Is Not About Safe Sex, Kay Steiger writes at The American Prospect. "Abstinence is certainly a component of comprehensive sex education--after all, everyone is abstinent from sex for some period of time--but the presence of Palin suggests that they're not just worried about including an abstinence message. Instead, the message has become anti-contraception and anti-abortion. Palin clearly hasn't been abstinent from sex her whole life. If they really wanted to include a discussion on abstinence, Palin seems like the wrong messenger."
- Palin Will Grab Students' Attention, The SOP's Robert Paul Reyes argues. "The Palin surname is a lightning rod, and folks will come to the sex panel to watch the fireworks. Normally students would be too busy drinking and making out to attend a panel discussion on sexual responsibility, but the Palin name will hard to resist."
- Well, at Least She's Got Experience, Matt Carter writes at TV Examiner. "What do Bristol Palin and Dr. Drew Pinsky have in common?" he asks. Sex Week! "Of course, the difference between putting the 'Celebrity Rehab' doctor on the show and Bristol is quite vast. For one, you have a professional who provides a scientific viewpoint using facts and also options. Meanwhile, Bristol has experience on her side--but also a one-sided viewpoint that favors abstinence. She also is not exactly liked by everyone thanks to her famous mother."
- More Like No Sex Week, Jezebel's Anna North writes.
The word 'balancing' is key--while the university's 3,000-4,000 abstinent students may want a greater voice in sex week, the fact is that the school has over 13,000 students, many of whom are having sex, and may look to Sex Week for discussion on how to do so safely and happily. And while it's very difficult to have a conversation about sex that's totally devoid of ideology, making Sarah Palin's daughter the keynote speaker pretty much insures that the event's going to be politically charged--rather than trying to make the week neutral, organizers have steered it all the way to the right. Sex Week is now going to start off as No Sex Week--and the majority of students who are sexually active are about to find themselves marginalized.
- Why Won't Feminists Defend Palin? Megan Fox wonders at News Real Blog. "Strangely enough, Bristol Palin may be the only single mother leftist feminists can't stand. ... Single motherhood is a political platform for the Left. But Bristol doesn't get protection from faux-feminists because she is speaking out against one of their sacred beliefs. She doesn't think orgasms are worth risking your future."