Marquette Pulls Support of Bawdy FemSex Workshop
During the opening of the Gender and Sexuality center, you said the center will “create a community rounded in personality and will delve into issues of gender and sexuality with respect, sensitivity, academic rigor, and a concern for social justice.” As a supporter of the center, do you support the FemSex workshop as written?Having gotten no response, he wrote again three days later, noting “I am still seeking comment from the President’s office regarding the Gender and Sexuality Center’s FemSex workshop.” He further observed that “Historically and culturally, Marquette is a Catholic university. Seemingly, by hosting this workshop Marquette is caving to current cultural pressures.”
If you were advising a Catholic student who was saving herself for marriage, would you recommend this workshop?
Can you defend the discussions on safer sex, masturbation, sexual desire, or the use of the “cunt coloring book”?
Reading the syllabus of the workshop, the premise of the workshop is understanding the body. Giving into sexual desires and lust are both expressly regarded as sin. Do you defend FemSex as consistant with Jesuit and Catholic teachings?
What do you see as the purpose of this course? Why is it written with vivid sexual overtones?
Marquette is often criticized for not providing contraception (as it shouldn’t) in student health services, largely because abstinence is key to the Catholic feelings on pre-marital sex. Do you see Marquette moving away from that policy?
Why isn’t the Center teaching Catholic traditions on sex and marriage in a seminar?
The University’s mission reads, “Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university dedicated to serving God by serving our students and contributing to the advancement of knowledge. Our mission, therefore, is the search for truth, the discovery and sharing of knowledge, the fostering of personal and professional excellence, the promotion of a life of faith, and the development of leadership expressed in service to others. All this we pursue for the greater glory of God and the common benefit of the human community.” Where does this workshop fit into that?
Lastly, what is your response to a donor who may stop giving to the University because of this course?
Finally, later that afternoon (yesterday afternoon) Provost John Pauly responded:
Dear Mr. HollenbergerTranslation: the workshop had created a firestorm of criticism after local conservative talk radio publicized it in the wake of our blog post. One could say we are thankful that Marquette finally “saw the light.” But that would misrepresent what happened. In this issue, as was the case with the aggressive lesbian Arts and Sciences Dean candidate that Marquette was about to hire, but then declined to hire under pressure from local Catholics, Marquette caved in. A genuinely Catholic university would not need to cave in to pressure on an issue like this, because they would not approve something like this to begin with.
In response to your inquiry to the President’s office, I wanted to provide some additional information.
We recently became aware of the student-led Female Sexuality program. After reviewing its content, we found that aspects of the program did not fulfill the expectations set out in the charter of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. Because of this, the center is no longer sponsoring the program. To be clear, this was not an academic course and was not led by faculty. It was student programming that took place outside of the classroom.
We support the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center and the goals set forth in the center’s charter, and have done so since its inception. The center plays an important role within the university, allowing us to delve into issues of gender and sexuality with respect, sensitivity, academic rigor and concern for social justice. It also provides educational programming related to sexual violence, harassment and discrimination, better equipping our students to be able to respond society’s complex cultural issues.
The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center was set up precisely as a sop to gay student and faculty activists and their liberal allies. It was entirely predictable that it would do something like this. In fact, many of their other activities have had a similar politically correct focus, including a discussion of a feminist screed that demonizes males and Christians, and publicizing the appearance of lesbian comedienne Julie Goldman at UWM.
If the University really minded stuff like this, they would never institutionalize the worldview that produces it. But the trouble is that they don’t really mind it.
The workshop, Pauly made clear, can continue to meet as a purely unofficial group of students. And of course, if any group of female students wants to get together for a bawdy hen party and talk about sex, that’s their right. But the University should never endorse or officially condone a program whose express purpose is to oppose Catholic teachings on sexuality.
But given the nature of the Marquette administration, look for such programs to happen again with regularity.