Responses to the “I Have Sex” Video (Updated 3/16)

On March 9th, a video of Wesleyan students expressing support for Planned Parenthood surfaced on YouTube. Created by Jacob Eichengreen ’13, Su Park ’12, and Wesleyan Uncut, this video (entitled “I Have Sex” – students speak out against ideological attack on Planned Parenthood) was covered on Wesleying a few days ago. Responses to the video have begun cropping up across the internet.

Above is a screenshot of BuzzFeed’s front page earlier today. BuzzFeed describes itself as a site that “features the kind of things you’d want to pass along to your friends.” Of the 62 reactions to the video thus far, 59 of them are positive. Nice! Read past the jump for more responses.

Yesterday, the blog Jezebel headed its latest article on the Planned Parenthood issue with an embed of the video. The article covers the failure of the bill to pass in the Senate when it was voted on March 9. Pointing out that the issue is not necessarily over yet, Jezebel blogger Irin Carmon acknowledges the movement represented by the “I Have Sex” video:

If the defunding passes, they may have to answer to the constituency above, the group of college students whose protest against Planned Parenthood defunding hinges on the simple statement, “I have sex.” (Or, “I plan to.”)

Beyond its appearances on BuzzFeed and Jezebel, the video has over 90,000 views and over 650 comments – all within the last 48 hours (UPDATE 3/16: over 219,000 views and over 1,400 comments!). Courtesy of Coffee Party USA, here are some statistics from yesterday regarding the video’s impact:

  • #70 – Most Discussed (Today) – News & Politics
  • #155 – Most Viewed (Today) – News & Politics – Australia
  • #3 – Top Favorited (Today) – News & Politics
  • #2 – Top Rated (Today) – News & Politics
  • #32 – Top Rated (This Week) – News & Politics

The Facebook event (with over 30,000 guests marked as “attending”, as of 3/16) has generated some interesting comments. (UPDATE 3/14: Discussion has been moved to the new fanpage. Click “Like” to join in!) Most of these comments fall into one of several broad categories:

  • Pictures of people holding signs saying “I Have Sex,” “Stand with Planned Parenthood,” or some deviation
  • Heavy encouragement for Planned Parenthood and the cause, often with multiple exclamation points and/or personal anecdotes about Planned Parenthood’s usefulness
  • Links (almost all posted by a man named Gary Lavin Wonner) from dubious sources (Hannity via YouTube, a website called biggovernment.com, and WorldNetDaily, which boasts dozens of anti-PP articles) declaring Planned Parenthood to be greedy, corrupt, and/or racist
  • Anti-abortion posts declaring that Planned Parenthood is evil for supporting abortions; often followed by strings of comments about how PP primarily advocates preventative care, and doesn’t use government money for abortions
  • “I am not sexually active, but I still support Planned Parenthood.”
  • Posts supporting the cause, but suggesting that the slogan/event name be changed
  • Person trying to be clever by posting Akon “I Just Had Sex” video

Some of the posts have also included interesting links. One such post included this Salon article from Aaron Traister, a man whose mother had an abortion before giving birth to him. The article addresses why men should “speak up about abortion” and also support Planned Parenthood’s various missions. Regarding his wife visiting Planned Parenthood for a gynecological exam:

Planned Parenthood gave [my wife] the ability to take personal responsibility for her body and her future. It also helped keep her safe and healthy at a point in most people’s lives when those concerns are not yet a priority. That first visit to Planned Parenthood gave my wife a foundation of responsibility for her sexual health on which she ultimately built a future that included a husband (me) and two amazing children.

I owe Planned Parenthood an unqualified debt of gratitude.

Another interesting post included a link to this TIME article regarding the House’s bill to cut Planned Parenthood’s funding. The article points out how the “cost-cutting” bill also intends to cut funding for community health clinics – the institutions that opponents of Planned Parenthood point to as an alternative:

That’s because the GOP spending bill does not only cut Planned Parenthood; it kills Title X, the 1970 law that provides family planning for nearly 5 million women every year at more than 4,600 health centers. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that for every dollar invested in Title X — specifically for contraceptive care — taxpayers save a little under $4 in Medicaid costs for mother and baby just in the first year. Title X prevents about a million unintended pregnancies annually, of which about half would likely end in abortion.

Consistency is the true test of conviction; anything less is just prejudice dressed up as principle. If pro-life lawmakers kill Title X, they need to accept either the risk of increasing the abortion rate or the cost of growing numbers of children born to poor parents. Their plan also cuts money for prenatal care and slices $750 million for nutrition for mothers and infants. If women can’t get screenings and preventive care at Planned Parenthood, they could go to community health clinics — except the GOP plan cuts a billion dollars from those as well.

The TIME article also brings up another interesting fact: “Abortion represents roughly 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services, they argued; family planning, immunizations and screening for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases account for 97%.”

EDIT (3/12/11): The website Feministing reposted the video under the title “This is the best thing you will see today.” Awesome! Thanks to an anonymous commenter for the tip!

EDIT 2 (3/13/11): The Daily What featured the video as the “student protest of the day” on 3/11. Their video also features some hilarious comments. Also, Sister Toldjah, a conservative blog featured the video calling it “the face of progressivism.” Needless to say, they are not huge fans of the video or its message. Thanks to commenters for both of these tips!

EDIT 3 (3/14/11): Discussion on Facebook for the “I Have Sex” video has been moved to a fanpage for efficiency purposes. Click “Like” to join in!

EDIT 4 (3/15/11): We’re on Fox Nation! They just posted the video, and left it to the commenters. Needless to say, said commenters are not pleased, but some hilarious comments, arising mostly from their inflammatory nature, have popped up.

EDIT 5 (3/16/11): The video has crossed the language barrier! A few days ago (3/12/11), the Spanish newspaper Público ran an article describing what the video says for the benefit of non-English speakers and giving background on the debate surrounding Planned Parenthood.

The video has also appeared on the community weblog MetaFilter, with some rather entertaining comments, including several that seem to believe that Wesleyan is still Methodist. Also, keep an eye out for a chain of irritable comments by the commenter Ideefixe, which are ripped apart by other posters. Thanks to Mary Ellen Marshall ’92 for the tip!

Keep an eye out for this video, and if you see it cropping up in any other articles or websites, be sure to let us know; shoot us an email at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org.

[Screenshot courtesy of Solomon Billinkoff ’14]

[Originally posted on March 11, 2011 at 8:25 PM]

13 thoughts on “Responses to the “I Have Sex” Video (Updated 3/16)

  1. Bullfrogpond

    Smart video, yes, but intelligent, not so much. Might I remind Wesleyan Uncut of comments in the video: “Cut corporate welfare” and “Cut corporate entitelment” and refer them to Planned Parenthood’s official website, http://www.plannedparenthood.org/index.htm which states at the bottom: “Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.” It, too, is an American corporation. Do we cut all welfare and entitlements, or just those with which y’all disagree? Before you join the private sector, sexed or not, know that we expect results, not academic hype.

    1. katv

      I can see your point, but trying to compare Planned Parenthood with its relatively modest budget (75 million that goes straight to providing services to lower income Americans) to the tax breaks for oil companies of 2.5 Billion (For cheaper gas? More money to drill oil wells in American waters while we pay them to drill our oil and sell it to other countries as well as our own? Huge bonuses for the top brass? Posting record gains while gas prices are hiked to near-record highs?) is like saying that the best way to lose weight is to continue eating a diet high in saturated fats but to just reduce your intake of everything – including your veggies. After all, it’s only fair to make it an even reduction across the board. You’ll lose weight, but you’re not making yourself all that healthy.

      While I don’t think that oil companies are all the same, all the boogie man out to do no good, I do think that they’ve brought all of this bad press upon themselves.

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