A coalition of conservatives — including a professor, radio show hosts and a former student — has catalyzed Marquette University, a Catholic school, to abandon sponsoring a workshop called “FemSex: The Female Sexuality Workshop” The new “Gender and Sexuality Resource Center” had planned to sponsor the workshop in the spring. It would have been held for 12 weeks, be run by students, and the syllabus looked like this: “Themes include pleasure, health, gender, consent, boundaries, privilege, power, body image, communication, race, class, orgasms, masturbation, sex, kink, and sexual identities.”
When the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center put up flyers, political science Professor John McAdams posted them on his blog, Marquette Warrior, which prompted local Milwaukee talk radio hosts to cover the issue. Ethan Hollenberger, a former student at Marquette and a founding member of Marquette’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter, emailed Marquette President Father Scott Pilarz, S.J., and his staff, asking why the university would sponsor such an event.
As Hollenberger wrote:
While Marquette’s leaders standing up for the principles of the school is applauded, they only did so after tough questions and pressure. FemSex should have never been considered for university sponsorship in the first place. Marquette administrators have an established pattern of retreating after public outcry. If not for watchful conservatives, FemSex might be officially sanctioned today. In hosting FemSex, Marquette was complicit in undermining traditional Catholic values, once again caving in to the amoral push of progressive culture. Holding Marquette administrators accountable to the University’s Christian Catholic traditions should never happen. Unfortunately, the left’s assault on academia is prevalent at Marquette and will continue.
Marquette Provost John Pauly responded a few days later, emailing that, “After reviewing its content, we found that aspects of the program did not fulfill the expectations set out in the charter of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. Because of this, the center is no longer sponsoring the program.” He pointed out that the workshop was run by students and not the faculty. Pauly defended his decision on fairly specific grounds, saying that this particular workshop was not one that Marquette should be perceived as formally sponsoring through the center. This was likely because the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center is connected to Pauly’s office.