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Campus poster war continues to rage on

November 12, 2015

 

PAUL DAUTERIVE

Staff Reporter | pdd010@latech.edu

 

Last spring, fliers created by the Lincoln Health Foundation were posted around campus urging students to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases if they thought they might be infected.

 

The poster read “If you are not too embarrassed to be NAKED you’re not too embarrassed to tell him.”

 

Below the title was a picture of a naked woman covering herself with a sign that read, “I have a STD.”

 Original poster put out by the Lincoln Parish Health Foundation.

Original poster put out by the Lincoln Parish Health Foundation.

 

Last month, Tech’s chapter of the American Association of University Women countered this poster campaign with another poster that read “Boys will be held accountable for their own actions, just like everyone else.”

 

“It’s directed directly towards women and straight women as if no one else could get an STD or an STI,” said Caroline Hymel, president of AAUW at Tech.

 

Hymel said the half-naked woman in the poster looks like she is being shamed for having an STD.

 

“It is slut-shaming to insinuate that it is not OK for a woman to take her clothes off,” she said.

Counter poster made by the Association of University Women.

Counter poster made by the Association of University Women.

 

Hymel said slut-shaming is what happens when a woman is shamed for having sex or wearing provocative clothing.

 

“They make it very specific to tell him,” she said. “It’s very heteronormative.”

 

Samantha Lang, a junior biology major at Tech, said in passing the original poster does not seem obviously sexist.

 

“But if I took the time to look at it then I would wonder why it doesn’t include anything about men,” Lang said.

 

She said a gender-neutral wording would have been a better choice.

 

Jim King, vice president for student advancement, said the Lincoln Health Foundation was the origin of the posters, not the Louisiana Tech Health Center as some may have thought.

 

“Regrettably they were misinformed because they were targeting the university health center that had no knowledge of this campaign,” he said.

 

King said the administration would make plans to convene a group that includes all those involved in order to discuss the controversy.

 

At the time of this publication, a meeting date has not been set.

 

“I hope people would not argue with the fact that we have to do educational programming for sexually transmitted diseases,” he said.

 

King said sexually transmitted diseases are not exclusive to male, female, heterosexual or same-sex couples.

 

He said the Lincoln Health Foundation uses  money for the sole purpose of advancing health initiatives for the people of Lincoln Parish.

 

“The proper way to correct it would be to talk to the right people instead of some clandestine operation,” King said.

 

Ibrahim Bouchaffra, a junior biology major at Tech, said he would not have gone through the trouble of protesting the flyer.

 

“You are taking something that is a valid point and turning it into something totally different,” Bouchaffra said. “That being said I see how someone could interpret this as being sexist but I don’t think that was the goal,” he said.

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