Why We Criticized Sex Week

by Stephen Beale on March 31, 2010

Our recent commentary and criticism of Sex Week at Brown has stirred a lot of reaction among students—as well as an some internal discussion at The Foundation for Intellectual Diversity. Many students seem confused that an organization with diversity in its name could have a problem with Sex Week, presumably because the series of events enhances diversity. But it is precisely this false conception of diversity that we aim to critique. As our name might suggest, we advocate for diversity that is intellectual in nature, rather than based on racial or sexuality identities. On a college campus, we believe it is the latter kind of diversity that is most important.

Of course, it could be pointed out that forums such as Sex Week or Latino History Month voice ideas, but, with few exceptions, these conform to political correctness and left-wing ideologies. That’s where the diversity part of our mission comes in. During Sex Week, for example, most of the events seemed to focus on extolling the virtues of alternative, non-heteronormative sexual lifestyles and activities. We wanted to know why there wasn’t an event that discussed the benefits of abstinence and chastity. Likewise, peruse the list of events for Black History Month and Latino History Month, and you will be hard-pressed to find forums where center-right ideas are expressed for any purpose other than putting them down. So, while these theme weeks and months may bring a measure of sexual and racial diversity to Brown, they are quite lacking when it comes to true intellectual diversity.

Some students, in the comments section, have suggested that our position is contrary to freedom of speech. It is not. In fact, a careful reading of all our official commentary on Sex Week will show that while we have been critical of the various events, we have been very careful to not explicitly call for them to be defunded. Our main objective is to expose the absurdly left-wing and politically correct bias of such events, in order to bolster our case for constructive alternatives, in the form of conservative student publications like The Brown Spectator and speakers—including one we will be announcing at the end of this week.

We understand that some students may dispute our characterization of Sex Week or our distinction between intellectual and identity-based diversity—and we invite them to express their views in the comments section and continue the dialogue.

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