The Corner

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Why I Care


A couple people have written me asking why I should care one way or another if Cornell wants to provide vibrators to female students (See, below). It’s the kind of question that takes you a moment or two to answer because it’s not immediately obvious in an intellectual way why we sometimes say “yuck” to things. So, let me answer now that I’ve thought about it. By offering these devices as part of its “Health Services,” Cornell embraces the idea that sexual pleasure is not merely a “women’s health issue” but that it is in a sense an entitlement that should be guaranteed by public institutions. It also, diminishes sex and romance while elevating self-indulgence. As some dopey kid told the Cornell Daily Sun, “We know masturbation is healthy, so any tools that can help people discover their sexuality are positive. Any action by the University that gets the idea of sexuality out of the marginalized place that we’re used to seeing it in is a good thing,” he said. I could go on, but as I write this I’ve decided that “yuck” was the right and most apposite response from the get-go.