The Monthly Manifesto is a podium for local organizations to tell Gainesville what they’re about. Submissions and inquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Monthly Manifesto.”
Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood is a group on the UF campus that promotes safe sex, sex education, healthy relationships, and reproductive rights. That’s what the pamphlet says and that’s what you’ve heard before. Here’s what it means in action.
We believe in masturbation. Not just because it’s a great stress-reliever, but because it’s you and your genitalia against the world. Give it a little love every once in a while. How are you supposed to know what makes it go if you never start it up?
We believe in consensual sexual revolution and exploration. Through experience and experimentation, with yourself and others, you may come to find out that you have your own unique sexual proclivities, but it’s important to note that your man may not be that pleased with a surprise poke in the anus. By the same token, your lady may not take too kindly to an unexpected full-on phallus-face assault. If you and your partner are into that, then sure – break out the strap-ons and hump away at her glorious visage. Communication is the cornerstone of a healthy and fulfilling sexual relationship. Ask and you may very well receive.
We believe in disease prevention and protection. Whether a one-night stand or a long-term relationship, if you trust someone enough to wedge their extremities into an orifice of your choosing, then your mouth should be unobstructed long enough to discuss and formulate a plan with your co-conspirator against STI transmission: condoms, dental dams, and non-penetrative sex are some options.
We believe in options. In heterosexual sex, unwanted pregnancy can be a concern, and birth control is different for everyone. Some folks prefer a daily oral contraceptive pill, a shot, a hormone-releasing implant, an adhesive patch, sponges, diaphragms, an apparatus in the uterus. There’s no lack of choices; even the tried-and-true intrauterine device comes in several varieties. For a lot of people, though, condoms are the way to go; they prevent pregnancy, but they’re also the only way to prevent the transmission of STIs during penis-related sexual activities.
If these methods fail, emergency contraception is the go-to backup. It’s important to say that emergency contraception like Plan B is not an “abortion pill,” but simply a high dose of birth control that can prevent pregnancy for up to five days after a particular sexual incident. A pill with a much less fancy name, RU-486, is sometimes used in place of early-gestation surgical abortions.
Here’s where things get contentious. We believe there are no dirty words, least of all “feminist,” “abortion,” or “politics.” However, in the last year, things have gotten more challenging.
We used to talk to our legislators about the power of comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education in our communities. We used to work to make sure our legislators were aware of the link between education and greater access to birth control resulting in fewer abortions. We used to appeal to reason in an attempt to improve quality of life. Now we fight simply to maintain the few sexual rights we do have for the next generation, in Florida and across the country.
We fight because we know that when a woman has the right to choose, she has the right to determine the course of her own life. It is only for her to decide when and if she wants to carry a pregnancy to term.
Our membership is diverse, and so are our causes. We are intelligent young people who are working and hoping for happy, healthy, and equal communities.