guest post: "I have sex"

I was recently talking with filmmaker Eric Byler, who was telling me about a really cool video project, "I Have Sex," created by students at Wesleyan University in response to the proposed elimination of Title X, which would strip all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The clip has gone viral, and now has over 200,000 views. Take a look:

A message from students at Wesleyan University in Connecticut:
In order to "balance the budget" the House of Representatives recently announced the intention to strip all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. This is unacceptable. It's time to face reality: many young people have sex, and need to know how to stay safe and healthy. Even those who have chosen to wait still need to know how to be safe and healthy when begin their sexual activity. This extreme ideological measure threatens our youth's ability to choose their own future.

In many parts of America, Planned Parenthood is the only place young people can go to learn about safe sex, access contraceptives, or have a simple question about "down there" answered.

With all the rhetoric centering on "government waste," Congress's refusal to close multi-billion dollar corporate tax loopholes and instead eliminate essential, multi-million dollar sexual health programs is beyond hypocritical.

We are starting a student movement to make sure elected leaders know: Americans have sex, and we stand with Planned Parenthood.
And here's a video of part of the conversation Eric and Annabel Park had with Wesleyan students about the cutting of programs that ultimately inspired the creation of the "I Have Sex" video:

I like the part near the end of the video where you can hear a student ask, "Are you suggesting that we start a revolution?" The answer is yes.

Inspired by this call to action, Su Park was one of the students who stepped up and took leadership on brainstorming, organizing and putting this project together. Here's how they pulled it off -- in Su's own words:

* * * * *

"I Have Sex," a video created by the students of Wesleyan Uncut in response to the proposed elimination of Title X, has gone viral. The clip now has over 200,000 views. Their Facebook event page has some 28,000 "attending", and the video has been featured on Jezebel, Buzzfeed, the Daily Show Forum, the Frenzy, and even Fox Nation.

None of us at Wesleyan anticipated what would happen when we decided to make this clip. None of us really knew anything other than that we were tired of being disappointed in our government, not knowing what to believe, and feeling hopeless about our future.

The idea was sparked during a post-screening dinner with the directors of the 9500 Liberty, Annabel Park and Eric Byler (a Wesleyan alum!). A handful of us gathered around Annabel as she spoke about the fear that shrouds America— the corporatization of our government and the extremist rhetoric that stifles response against the divestment from the people's welfare.

Then, she looked to us. "People are tired of being in fear, contracting, fighting. People want something else. People are dying for people like you—young people." None of us felt ready to lead a revolution. We stared at each other.

"Tell me something that you would like to see changed," she demanded. "I know all of you guys have at least one thing you'd like to see changed."

After some hesitation, one of us replied, "We don't want to see Planned Parenthood get defunded."

Sobered and inspired, we reassembled at the library the next day to brainstorm. We grabbed a few cameras from our friends, camped out in major locations across campus and filmed passersby—all in between studying midterms. The entire operation was student organized and we pulled it off during one of the busiest weeks of the semester. All it took was some curiosity and the knowledge that something had to be done.

Weeks later, we're on a mission to increase active citizenship among today's youth. We're reaching out to other campuses, inspiring people to pick up a camera, take a video or picture and actively documenting/demonstrating/investigating the truth. It's so easy to feel daunted by the knowledge that the future is in our hands. But if we take it on as a collective responsibility, we will come to see the process as less of a task and more of a rite to empowerment.

angry archive