To the Editor:
Volunteering at the ‘Crazy in Cancun’ VOX tables before spring break was a very satisfying experience. The response was overwhelmingly positive, as we did manage to receive over a hundred students’ information for the Planned Parenthood mailing list. But this letter is not directed at those who supported us, or even those who ignored the information table. This is in response to those who may have posed this question, “‘Crazy in Cancun’? Do they think we are all sluts?!” As many know, free condoms were available to those who kindly signed up for the Planned Parenthood Action Network mailing list. Condoms, like free pizza at many other events, served as an as an incentive to pick up a variety of pamphlets dealing with Planned Parenthood, reproductive rights issues, and petitions for those who were interested. You aren’t forced to eat the pizza if you don’t want to, right?
Availability gets confused with promotion. Pro-choice is not solely about abortion, but about every individual’s right to control their expressions of sexuality and reproduction. This undoubtedly includes the right to abstain, which is not in any way compromised by a basket of free condoms. The idea of free condoms in a freshman dorm elicits images of sex-crazed, uberhormonal students making a mad dash toward the old “jimmy caps”. This was not the reality of the situation. The students could read the poster on the table from afar and decide whether or not they wanted to approach. With a bombardment of sexual images from every imaginable source, students were not nearly as entranced or lured in by condoms and some would have you believe. I guess condoms are pretty tame. Dang. More often than not, they passed by. Those who did stop showed the same level of embarrassment they probably would have had at a store when buying them. Some were confident, others more coy. Overall, those who would not be inclined to buy condoms at a drug store the first place did not exactly rush up to fellow students to flee with 30 Trojans in hand. Please. Is it the price incentive that struck these individuals? Frankly, if the difference between $2.99 at CVS and FREE is powerful enough to change where your convictions lie, then maybe you should evaluate how strong they were in the first place. NO, we were not calling anyone at TCNJ a slut, but rather providing already-existing options for protection without cost. So please don’t be offended when you are offered condoms, because if they’re not right for you, you have the right to move on.
Jen Prizeman, Member of VOX