Three guys who work for a viral video marketing company decided to raise some money for The Orchid Project, a charity dedicated to the prevention of, and education about, female genital mutilation.
This is a great cause, because female genital mutilation is one of the most disgusting practices in the world, but unfortunately, the guys went about fundraising in a controversial way. So controversial, in fact, that The Orchard Project decided to reject the donation because of how distasteful it was, and how much it conflicted with their message and ideology.
Here is the video of their project. The guys set up a Sybian, which is a saddle-style vibrating sex toy in a public space, and offered to donate 5$ to the charity for every second that a woman rode the toy in public (over their clothes, of course, for fear of public indecency)
Now, there’s two ways to look at this. On one hand, these guys are promoting sexual freedom and sexual pleasure for women, and donating money to an excellent cause. You have to think their hearts are in the right place – even if their method of raising the money is a bit suspect. Female mutilation, on top of being a brutal practice, deprives women of sexual pleasure and sexual liberation. So the connection is there.
On the other hand, the stunt sort of flies directly in the face of the foundation’s message in its pure objectification of women and a woman’s sexuality as a PR stunt, with on-looking men salivating and licking their lips. The fact that a bunch of dudes put this stunt together also raises a dilemma; female mutilation is seen as one of the most perverse and brutals forms of female objectification, essentially removing one of their capacities for pleasure.
I’m on the fence about this. Ultimately, it’s the foundation’s choice whether to have accepted the donation or not, and I don’t think they made a mistake in rejecting it. The whole thing kind of rubs me the wrong way, but I appreciate the initiative of these guys to raise money for an important cause.