I wrote it after hearing from a reader who found herself in the same situation you’re in. It’s very thorough and quite supportive, just the opposite of shaming those with an STD. I make it very clear that anyone can get it, and also why it’s very hard to know who you got it from, and what that means in terms of disclosure.

Now, to get to what seems to be your real objection. Saying that everyone in New York has herpes or HPV, they just don’t know it yet? Surely you can see how ridiculous this is. How do you know that these women disclose their status? Dismissing STDs as soooooo not a big deal is irresponsible. I wonder how responsible these women feel to share their status with potential partners. If everyone has it, why disclose at all? What would be the point? An awkward moment! If you just keep your mouth shut, you can rationalize your behavior, because surely they already were infected. Someone else got to them first! That is shameful, and it has nothing to do with being slutty.

The truth is, this post was inspired by a reader who saw commenters at Jezebel shot down for expressing concern about STDs. Talking openly about sex does not involve telling concerned women to shut up. It does not mean doing your writing in an echo chamber of women who boldly state that “everyone already has it.”

That kind of double talk is the reason why, in fact, a third of college students will get it, and why NYC has very high rates of infection. Women do alter their behavior based on media reports. These women writers have a lot to answer for, in that they are actively promoting irresponsible, unsafe sex, and implying that there is no real need for disclosure.

GudEnuf? says: July 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm I hope Jezebel takes a long moment of self-reflection to realize how far they’ve gone from representing your average woman:

Susan Walsh says: July 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm Wow, that is an AWESOME article. Thanks for sending it. Interestingly, the writer, Emily Gould was a sex blogger when she wrote for Jezebel, and the experience pretty much gave her a total breakdown. I wonder how Rebecca Traister et al are taking this – EG has been treated with kid gloves by the feminist sites for the most part.

Tom says: June 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm Where are we going? And why am I in this handbasket?

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