Academic Freedom and Tolerance Porn

Pretty much anything is a legitimate subject of academic inquiry on college campuses, besides Christianity. James Madison University, for example, held a "SexFest," which featured such enlightening endeavors as a demonstration of how to put on a condom when drunk. At many universities, pornography has been elevated to a noble discipline inside the classroom. Even so-called Christian-based universities, like Wesleyan in Middletown, Connecticut, have degenerated into this practice. Wesleyan offered a course called "Pornography: Writing of Prostitutes." For the final assignment of the class a few years ago, Professor Hope Weissman told her students to produce a piece of pornography. "I don't put any constraints on it," explained Weissman. "It's supposed to be: 'Just create your own work of pornography."

One student produced a video, training the camera's lens on a man's eyes while he was masturbating. Another turned in pictures of herself engaged in oral sex with her boyfriend. When someone finally objected, school officials initiated a review of the class to evaluate "how the course fits the College of Letters' program objectives and those of Women's Studies." The review incurred the indignation of faculty and students, who were outraged by this affront to so-called academic freedom. The administration's action "constitutes the largest attack on academic freedom at Wesleyan in at least forty years," a student editorialist charged. But pornography in the classroom is not limited to Wesleyan. Dozens of secular universities around the nation offer such courses. Constance Penley, chairman of the film studies department at the University of California-Santa Barbara, who introduced a pornography curriculum there in 1993, heralded Professor Weissman as "a very brave woman Now pornographic film can be seen as a completely normal and necessary part of a film studies curriculum."

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