Vagina Seminars covers diverse range of topics Wednesday

By Hailey Kurth

Not many seminars are stocked with condoms and vagina-shaped chocolate, but this one was.

The Women’s Rights Alliance and Women’s Studies Program offered “Vagina Seminars” Tuesday and Wednesday night, each with different presentations. Alyssa Thomson, senior nursing major and event planner, said she thinks it’s important to educate people on different topics.

“Some of the topics were typical of what people would think of when they hear vagina seminar, like contraceptives,” Thomson said. “But today was actually informational and a little bit culturally diverse, which is a little exciting.”

As students walked into Dusable 204, a Rihanna song, S&M, played over the speakers. Amanda Schrems, community member of Women’s Rights Alliance, started the seminar off with a presentation on BDSM.

“One thing that I think is very important about the relationships is that they’re not necessarily about sex,” Schrems said. “When we hear BDSM, we think leather, we think sex, we think all these dirty naughty things that people like to do behind closed doors. That’s not necessarily the case.”

Schrems said it’s very important to communicate when participating in BDSM. Anyone engaging in S&M activity needs to negotiate what each person wants done and consent that they’re okay with it.

Schrems said a safety word needs to be made so anyone involved can stop what’s going on when they become uncomfortable.

Kim Wheaton is a doula.

A doula makes sure a mother is taken care of during child birth. She offers emotional, physical and informational support for the parents before, during and after they give birth.

A doula is not a midwife. A midwife is medical.

Cait Olson is also a doula. She explained placenta encapsulation, which is when the placenta is saved after birth and dehydrated by a professional.

Junior sociology major Kristina Redington explained how women can track their own ovulation cycle and create an alternative choice for birth control.

-Redington said a woman’s body temperature can tell her when she’s ovulating. By taking and recording her temperature every morning, a woman can pinpoint when her temperature spikes up, which means she’s ovulating.

-Women in their 20s can have up to five days per cycle of heightened fertility.

Brenda Martinez, a graduate Spanish student, talked about the concept of virginity among Spanish Gypsies, who are called Gitanos.

-Gitanos are considered bad social stigma in society.

-In our society, virginity means never engaging in sexual intercourse. In Gitano society, virginity is determined by the amount of fluid produced when a woman about to be married is stimulated.

-In Gitanos society, virginity has nothing to do with the hymen.

Jessica Ibares, a senior Spanish language and literature major, informed the audience of maquiladoras located close to the U.S. border in Mexico.

“A maquiladora is basically a legal sweatshop,” Ibares said.

-Ibares said maquiladoras hire women because they’re easy to train and highly disposable.

-Ibares said some believe femicide is happening in Mexico because the women are taking jobs that the men would usually do. Officials say 400 to 500 have been reported murdered, but Ibares said locals put the number up to 5,000.