You can now promote world peace from the comfort of your bed. Launched on Sept. 4, 2002, by a home-made venture known only as Pretzel Publishing, www.masturbateforpeace.com advocates a self-loving form of protest to the possible war with Iraq. With slogans like “touch your sack, not Iraq” and “rub your snake for peace’s sake,” the site is a solid indicator that a community of pornographic peace-niks is alive and well on the Internet.
A masturbateforpeace.com spokesperson claims the site is especially pertinent to America’s institutions for higher learning. “College students are renowned for both their love of peace and their masturbatory zeal,” a Pretzel Publishing spokesperson writes in an e-mail.
So, in the wake of student involvement in the more conventional anti-war street rallies this weekend, FM sought the reaction of Harvard “experts” to this bold new form of protest. And members of the Harvard College Democrats are not afraid to take a stance on the hard issues of today.
“While the Dems are currently flaccid on the issue of an Iraqi War, we stand tall, erect, and firm on the issue of masturbation and self-love in general,” says College Democrats Project Chair Andrew J. Frank ’04. “When the government won’t let Americans pleasure themselves, then not only have we alienated the Star Trek nerd demographic, but also have denied one of the basic liberties protected by our Constitution.”
Peer Contraceptive Counseling director Vincent T. Byrd ’04 is also quick to sing the praises of self-gratification. “Masturbation is the safest form of sexual activity,” he says. “And we all know that sex and war is like a condom and an oil based lubricant—they just don’t mix.”
Admittedly, there are a couple of fundamental differences between the anti-war activities advocated by masturbateforpeace.com and last Saturday’s worldwide demonstrations. Those protests involved thousands of people; masturbating does not. Those protests were in public; masturbating, one hopes, will not be. Those protests were a one-time affair; masturbateforpeace.com believes that the scourge of war can be resisted multiple times per day, if needed.
The website’s purported aim is understandably questionable for Harvard faculty. “This apparently commercial site mocks the distinguished history of those anti-war protesters, such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who have dramatically contrasted warfare’s intentional wounding with the generous sharing inherent in love and sexuality,” says Brian C. W. Palmer, Lecturer on the Study of Religion and course head for the popular Religion 1528: “Globalization and Human Values.”
But with the frigid weather keeping potential protesters indoors, it seems Harvard’s student body is responsive to the movement.
“If masturbating for peace is wrong,” says Luke M. Rickford ’06, “I don’t want to be right.”