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Feminists advocate self-love

Taylor House/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Communication sophomore Tiffany Tedesco, a member of the Network of Feminist Student Activists, raffles vibrators donated by Fascinations on the UA Mall yesterday afternoon. The money raised in the raffle will go toward a showing of 'The Vagina Monologues' at the UA in February.
By Ariel Serafin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
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Vibrators, lubricant help women get comfortable with their bodies

Members of the UA Network of Feminist Student Activists raffled off vibrators and gave out personal lubricant in the name of women's safety yesterday.

In celebration of "Love Your Body Day," feminist members had a booth on the UA Mall and sold raffle tickets for two "high-end" vibrators donated to the event by Fascinations, a local adult novelty shop.

The student feminists told passers-by that the $2 raffle tickets were a good deal for a chance to win one of two vibrators valued at either $70 or $140.

Items like water bottles and henna tattoos were also sold and Astroglide lubricant, cookies and information sheets on issues like AIDS and eating disorders were given away for free.

More than $200 was raised at the event, which was sponsored in part by the National Organization for Women and the Younger Women's Task Force. The money will be used to fund this year's production of "The Vagina Monologues," said group member and sociology senior Amy Russell.

Proceeds from "The Vagina Monologues" will be donated to the UA OASIS Program for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence, Russell said.

More than 40 raffle tickets were sold for a chance to win one of the vibrators, and Russell said the turnout for the event was good, although the booth received mixed reactions from passers-by.

"Some people are a little offended, certainly," Russell said. "Some are a little shy about taking the Astroglide."

Although Love Your Body Day is celebrated nationally, the UA feminist members decided to have a smaller scale version at the UA and decided to take a different spin on it.

Tiffany Tedesco, a pre-communication sophomore, said distributing the lubricant and raffling off vibrators was a way of teaching women to "literally" love their bodies.

"I think women at this campus especially are afraid to express their sexuality," Tedesco said.

Mary Adde, a physiological sciences graduate student, agreed that the intention of the day was to help women get more comfortable in their sexuality and celebrate their bodies.

"Women's sexuality is seen as benefiting men," Adde said. "We're ashamed of it and it's sad."

Adde said one of the group's many goals for the day was to help defeat the double standard about gender and masturbation.

"If you ask guys if they masturbate they're like 'Yeah, like 10 times a day,'" Adde said. "But if you ask a woman the same question she'd probably say something like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe you said that to me.'"

Adde said helping women to become more comfortable with things like masturbation would help them to become more comfortable with their sexuality, and themselves.

"We should just be like raging clits saying, 'Yeah baby, rub me,'" Adde said.

Although the day's profits served the greater purpose of helping victims of sexual assault and violence, Russell said there was also an important message that needed to be delivered.

"You need to respect yourself and love yourself before you can do that for other people," Russell said.

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