USC Silences ‘Pro-Life’ Club, But Celebrates BDSM SEX CLUB

Emmakristina Sveen | Contributor

Kinky Trojans — a new student organization at the University of Southern California (USC) for students who practice BDSM sex — has been widely celebrated despite its founding in the wake of a free speech controversy on campus surrounding the school’s removal of “pro-life” banners put up by USC’s Students For Life group.

After the international success of the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey,” students on many campuses nationwide initiated student-run extracurricular clubs for students who felt marginalized for their preference in sexual practices — specifically bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism (BDSM).

According to this informative website, BDSM is the use of “power play” that “set[s] two or more participants at different levels of power…servant and slave.” These power roles include various sexual acts such as using “spreader bars, cuffs, [or] breath restrictors … elements of emotional abuse or humiliation … and approximations of real forms of torture.”

On college campuses such as USC, “Kinky” clubs target the “education, safety and exploration of the alternative sexuality via discussions, workshops and seminars.”

Students involved in Kinky Trojans have expressed the liberation they have felt in being able to openly discuss their sexual preferences in a safe environment without being judged by peers.

“I felt like I had permission to be interested in BDSM,” Kinky Trojan co-founder Cherys Fair told The Daily Trojan. “[Co-founder Cooper Surrett] is just a normal college student, but he’s also into these things. It made me realize you can do BDSM and not be a freak.”

“Kinky” members have also expressed pride in their defiance of all stereotypes that could potentially come along with being open about violent and erotic sexual preferences.

“A lot of people who find out that I’m affiliated with the club say, ‘You don’t look like that kind of person,'” Hannah (anonymous surname because she doesn’t want her parents to find out of her involvement), a member of Kinky Trojans said. “But I say, ‘What did you expect?’ My experiences meeting people in the Los Angeles community is that these people are doctors and lawyers and they’re in Hollywood, and they’re normal. They’re not covered in tattoos and piercings and wearing leather. They’re normal people.”

Kinky Trojans began gaining this momentum in the wake of the controversy surrounding the university’s removal of “pro-life banners” put up by USC’s Students for Life organization.

The banners posted at the end of April depicted a pregnant woman and a developing fetus. It read: “Fatherhood begins in the womb” and “Life is a beauty — admire it,” among other one-liners. And within hours, all of the banners were taken down by university officials, who said that they had not been properly registered with the school.

USC Students for Life founder Lisa Ebiner Gavit explained that the banners were meant to be “a celebration of life,” and that the removal was a restriction of free speech. The banners coincided with the club’s spring event for the end of the academic year.

“We wanted to show the beauty and value of the unborn child,” Gavit told The Daily Trojan. “We knew the banners would be controversial, but they are true.”

Austin Roy, a USC student who disagreed with Student for Life’s banners’ message, put up his own poster underneath every banner reading: “Women deserve the right to choose.”

“I saw the banners and I thought that they could very easily make individuals on the USC campus feel isolated and demonized,” Roy said in a statement to The Daily Trojan. “USC, by taking down the banners, is trying to protect its students. … These banners hold an official place at USC and [the university] should decide what is on them.”

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