The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Letter to the Editor: The Weekly Ringer’s sex column makes unfair assumptions about UMW students’ sex lives

2 min read

Lauren Brumfield | The Blue & Gray Press

In reading The Weekly Ringer’s new sex column, I am wondering if this is necessary, appropriate and beneficial content for the student newspaper. 

The questions being posed are incredibly personal and the responses (although they may be helpful) are far too in-depth to be sharing with everyone. These are personal and intimate questions. Is it considerate to provide the answers to the entire community, or would it be more respectful and helpful to have this exchange in private?  

Having a sex column in the student paper could present the university and its community in a light which turns away potential students. While there are many people who are completely comfortable talking about sex with anyone and everyone, there are also many who are not. This is a topic which is thrust upon us all around campus, from classes to billboards. If I had seen this column when considering attending this university, I would not have come to UMW. It would have given me the impression that everyone on campus is actively and openly engaging in sexual activity, and that this is the dominating topic throughout the community. As I am a student here, I know that this is not true. Have we considered how this column will impact potential students? In what light is the campus community presented, and is this an accurate and equal representation of the student body?  

Sex is a precious gift given to us as human beings. It is a way to give oneself to another in genuine love (not simply using someone for pleasure). It can result in procreation, a generous self-giving act which gives life to another. A common argument for being this open about sex is that many students feel that they did not receive adequate sex education before college. This argument also comes up as a source of problems such as sexual assault and failure to ask consent. But does the casual and open discussion of such intimate questions not take away from the personal and quiet beauty of sex? When we talk and act as if everyone is doing it, does that not send a message that it’s not that serious and we can do whatever we want (with or without consent)? The casual nature with which we talk about sex trivializes this precious gift of love. We have become a culture that treats others as objects of pleasure and presents ourselves as a means to pleasure. Is it merely a coincidence that casual and normalized sex with no boundaries is a common theme in all these issues?

I am not belittling the importance of this topic or the good intentions of those who are writing about it. As stated throughout this letter, I am concerned that the content is inappropriate for our student paper, that it could misrepresent the student body and that the approach we are taking to assist people with sex is harming the way that we treat each other and present ourselves.

Jean Mondoro ‘22