Tampons stealing the spotlight

When o.b. tampons first approached Portland State’s Women’s Resource Center (WRC) with the idea of holding an event to promote individuality and the empowerment of women, it seemed like a great idea.

Then members of the WRC, including the event’s coordinator, Nicole Browning, began pondering the implications of having such a big-name corporate sponsor on campus.

According to Browning, they considered all aspects of what the event would entail and, deciding that the pros outweighed the cons, agreed to reserve space on campus for the event.

The pros were clear: o.b. agreed to sponsor a future WRC event, possibly through contributed funds, which the center is short on currently in light of the university’s budgetary restraints.

Also, Browning said, the scheduled speaker holds a large draw for the center and for many feminists. Alexandra Robbins, who wrote “The Quarterlife Crisis” and another book about the Skull and Bones society at Yale University, will be speaking with attendees about individuality and empowering women.

“Her message is very important,” Browning said.

The big con for the WRC, Browning said, was the corporate sponsorship.

This concern grew when it became more apparent that o.b. was using the event as a marketing device.

“We started to feel manipulated,” Browning said.

By the time they started to feel this way, members of the WRC were already committed to the event and could not back out.

“Will we do this in the future?” Browning said. “No.”

The event is taking place today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Smith Memorial Student Union and Cramer Hall, or in the Parkway Commons if the weather is bad. Robbins will be speaking from noon until 2 p.m.