Harvard’s annual ‘IncestFest’ party where students ‘are encouraged to hook up with each other’ branded ‘offensive and insensitive’

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By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:16:50 EST, 11  October 2012| UPDATED:16:50 EST, 11 October 2012

Students at Harvard  University have lambasted one of its halls of residence for naming  a party ‘IncestFest’ – at which students are reportedly encouraged to make out  with as many people as possible.

Kirkland House, which accommodates  undergraduates at the illustrious university, throws the winter gathering for  its ‘close-knit, bordering on downright incestuous’ students  every year, the student newspaper explained.

Now one Harvard student has spoken out  in  the newspaper, The  Crimson, about the ‘offensive and  insensitive’ name of the party, and her criticisms are picking up support from  fellow  students.

'Offensive': Students walk into Kirkland House at Harvard, where the annual 'IncestFest' party is held 

‘Offensive’: Students walk into Kirkland House at  Harvard, where the annual ‘IncestFest’ party is held

‘I am not only objecting to the name  “IncestFest” because it is offensive and insensitive – although, indeed, it is,  and it saddens me that this is not immediately obvious,’ Samantha Berstler  wrote.

‘I am writing this because incest is  notoriously invisible and leaves its victims burdened with shame and  humiliation for the rest of their lives.

Anger: Student Samantha Berstler called the name 'offensive and insensitive' in the student paper 

Anger: Student Samantha Berstler called the name  ‘offensive and insensitive’ in the student paper

‘This invisibility and this shame are  directly enforced by the myths of incest as “sexy” and “misunderstood” – myths  propagated by using “incest” as slang for “sex with someone I’m living with” and  by dances that institutionalize this meaning.’

She added that her horror over the flippant  use of the name came as incestuous relationships are often not between two  consenting adults, but often involve children as victims.

‘Generally a father is exploiting a daughter  or an older sibling is exploiting a younger sibling,’ said  Berstler, who is from Madison, New Jersey  and currently studying for a year in Oxford, England.

‘The sexy siblings on TV and the image of  the oppressed pedophile are lies that distract from a silent epidemic raging  throughout the world.’

Yet her article was criticised by some  students, who said she was taking the name too seriously.

‘Looks like someone needs to get some action  at IncestFest,’ one commenter, who also attends the nation’s top university,  wrote.

Others backed her idea, condoning the  tasteless name for the party.

‘The name will stay along with the  posing  that it is hip, transgressive and avant garde until incest  actually resumes  being transgressive in the part of America that Harvard students care about,’  one wrote.

Debauched: Students reportedly aim to 'hook up' with as many people as possible at the party (file picture) 

Debauched: Students reportedly aim to ‘hook up’ with as  many people as possible at the party (file picture)


Top rate: The undergraduate winter party seems at odds with Harvard University's illustrious reputation 

Top rate: The undergraduate winter party seems at odds  with Harvard University’s illustrious reputation

In a welcome pack, The Crimson warns  new  students that as term nears Christmas, they’ll ‘watch underclad men  gyrating in  the dining hall and figuring out who  you’ll hook up with at  IncestFest.

‘House life is incredibly  close-knit,  bordering on downright incestuous,’ it adds, according to a report on Campus Reform.

Kirkland House, which is also known as the  place Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his dorm room, would not respond to  requests for comment or further information about the celebration

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2216419/Harvard-campus-party-named-IncestFest.html#ixzz293Kr7JgK Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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