If you are a member of the student body at Furman University, you have surely by now either read or heard about the article written by a Furman student published in the National Review that criticizes the event ‘Sextacular’ which took place last week. If you somehow have not heard about this article yet, I will give you a quick summary. Basically, this student bashed Furman for holding an event that openly promoted safe-sex and then he went on to further indulge in religiously biased statements regarding the rightful place for sex both in schools and in people’s personal lives. The fact of the matter is, the article that this student wrote is so deeply influenced by Catholic/Christian belief, that it surpassed homophobia a couple miles back; this article is quite literally just a brainwashed rant of misinformation written by a person who has fallen so deeply into southern Christian propaganda that they forget to just shut the hell up and love thy neighbor.
The article misleads its readers to imagine this event as some bizarre orgy-like experience on the steps of Furman’s library with people shoving condoms into your pants and promoting practices like BDSM and other ‘kinks.’ Meanwhile, for the other people that attended the event and witnessed the ideas it promoted, it was quite apparent that these claims were quite literally the opposite intent of the fair. Sextacular is a fair promoting physical, sexual, and mental health which offers up information regarding the resources on campus and the Greenville community that students can utilize. There were organizations involved with Sextacular that have nothing to do with sex or the LGBTQIA+ community or ANY of the other groups our lovely Christian authored disrespected in his article. Groups like PHOKUS (Promoting Healthy Options through Knowledge, Understanding and Service) took part in Sextacular, the Title IX office had a booth on what to do in case of harassment or discrimination on campus, as well as the Body Project and More than Muscles – organizations whose missions revolve around physical health and eating disorder prevention. Unlike what the other article was attempting to coerce you into believing, Sextacular was not just about sex, it was about the physical well-being of Furman students in multiple spheres.
As my final rebuttal, I would like to acknowledge the offense that the other article’s author took to Furman’s promotion of sexual health and safe sex. Yes, Sextacular is many things, and one of them is indeed sex – it’s in the f*cking name. The other author continually repeats how awful it is that Furman no longer aligns with Christian beliefs and philosophies surrounding sexual activities. Furman disaffiliated from the Baptist convention in 1992; the student that wrote the article is merely a Junior here at Furman meaning that Furman disaffiliated from the church at least 10 years before they were so deviously conceived. If you are so appalled by a school that does not align with Christian values then how about you don’t apply to it in the first place, especially when those values have been out the window for over 30 years. Furman is a safe space for people to openly converse about sex, gender, identity, and everything else under the sun; I am thankful every single day for that under-appreciated privilege. I am proud to go to a school that so openly promotes ideals of that kind as well as holds the people who placed harmful stereotypes around them in the first place accountable. Furman is adapting a new identity and growing out of the deep-south Christian roots. The only people scared of progress are the ones who will lose their power to oppress along with it. I hope my friend who wrote the other article can find some peace in learning to love people for who they are and what they do – because Furman sure is doing a far better job.