Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

In last week’s issue of The Quad, Elizabeth Coppa wrote a news article about the closing of Feminique, the store located at 104 N. Church St. For those of you who missed it, be sure to pick up last week’s issue and take a look. This week, I would like to follow up on Coppa’s news with an evaluation of the many opinions that surround this event, ones I feel need to be brought to light.
I’m sure there are many people who might be thinking, “it is a stupid store, get over it,” but those are also the people who do not realize the enormous repercussions of the store closing and what that means to the West Chester University campus community and West Chester borough community.
Feminique was a place not only to shop, but to gain knowledge and have a safe space to ask the questions that many people otherwise would not ask. Jill McDevitt made Feminique a place where all were welcome. This sex shop was the only one located within walking distance of the campus, and as pointed out by Coppa, the only sex shop owned by a degreed sexologist.
When someone went to Feminique, they were welcomed with a smiling face and greeted with a kind voice. Feminique was what I like to call a “low pressure store.” In other words, you could go in, look around and then leave without buying anything time and time again and no one would think anything negative or judgmental about you. Unfortunately, for some odd reason, sex is still taboo and people feel uncomfortable talking about it. But at Feminique, sex was viewed in a positive perspective and discussions surrounding sex were encouraged. Furthermore, not only was Feminique sex positive, it was also body positive and female positive.
Sometimes people think women’s sexuality should be hidden, yet there is this double standard that it’s acceptable for men to flaunt their sexuality. If a woman sleeps with four people she is a “slut,” but if a man sleeps with four people he’s “got game,” unless of course he is a gay man and in that case well, he should just go back in the closet. At Feminique everyone’s sexuality was not only acknowledged and accepted, but also celebrated. There is no reason anyone should have to hide their sexuality. Of course if a person wants to keep their sexuality hidden it is their prerogative and they have every right to do so and in doing so, would also not be judged.
Feminique’s legacy will live on through the many lives McDevitt and her employees have impacted. Her store supported philanthropy events for campus organizations and hosted many different classes on a wide variety of topics. Luckily for everyone, McDevitt will continue to sell products online, but more importantly she has the time and availability to travel the country educating people. The education of people about these important topics McDevitt knows so much about is imperative to the formation of a country in which sex and sexuality are no longer taboo. I’m not saying this will happen overnight, but school by school, conference by conference, party by party, and person by person she will be a catalyst for change is such a great arena.
To be very honest, although I am sad to see Feminique close, I do not blame McDevitt one tiny bit. If I owned a store that put a target on my back I would get tired of fighting much quicker than McDevitt. She has been through so much over the past almost six years. From having to argue her standpoint in borough council meetings, to people sending her death threats, trying to close her business down, and telling her the store sign was too provocative (an outline of a female body with a heart shape inside), McDevitt has been through quite a bit. In fact, the sign’s slogan, “Get your heart on!” was apparently so risqué that when Fox 29 ran their footage of the store sign the heart shape inside the female outline and the word “heart” were blurred out completely.
Yes, we are saying farewell to Feminique, but let us welcome McDevitt with open arms and wish her well in all of her future endeavors. Do not forget to thank her for all she’s already done to help improve society and people’s individual lives.
Rebekah Balmer is a first year graduate student in the higher education counseling and student affairs program. She can be reached at rb649636@wcupa.edu 

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