Note: I wrote the following piece for an online magazine that I occasionally work with; but in an ironic twist, they deemed it inappropriate and chose to censor it. So I've posted it here for you all to enjoy.
Also, I know I said I had big news, but its delayed a bit, but I will announce it very soon!
The University of Maryland, College Park, found itself in a bit of hot water recently when word got out that officials planned on screening the hardcore film, Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge, as part of a college-wide discussion on pornography. However, Maryland state senator, Andrew Harris (R-Baltimore County), was not going to stand for this and immediately introduced a bill to the Maryland Senate that would revoke state funding from any public college or university that sponsored the screening of a hardcore pornographic film.
Since Harris’ threat, UMD cancelled the screening, resulting in students organizing a new viewing of the film in defiance of Maryland’s conservative legislators; and a chance to speak out against censorship. Sen. Harris has said that he will push his amendment through if the film is allowed to be shown on College Park’s campus. The film is set to air Monday, April 6.
Sadly, this tactic by state legislators to impose their ideals upon college students seems to be only the latest in a growing number of similar incidents. In February, Georgia’s state legislators threatened to revoke funding from Georgia State University because of several sociology classes that dealt with sexuality, queer theory, and sex work. It seems that conservative statesman have found a new way to impose their ideals on the masses under the guise of eliminating “wasteful spending” and protecting youth.
Regardless of what you feel about pornography, you can’t help but be a little frightened at the prospect of a government strictly controlling what you can or cannot be exposed to at a college that you chose to enroll in and pay for.
I’m surprised that university officials and Sen. Harris’ counterparts didn’t take count of the multitude of events and courses that might very well offer sanctuary to those on campus looking to escape the hedonistic Pirates II. I’m sure that at any given time UMD sponsors several religious meetings of varying denominations, many of which probably preach that pornography is immoral. Certainly the student center has a Young Republicans club in addition to the Young Democrats. And let’s not forget that for every sex positive feminist like Gayle Rubin and Patrick Califia, there are numerous sex negative texts that I’m sure a few of UMD’s women’s studies courses are built on.
Many of the politicians hoping to ban porn from college campuses or eliminate the word “queer” from students’ vocabulary would do best to realize that they are heading down a very slippery slope that could hinder their own ability to indoctrinate young conservatives. After all, how long before a non-Christian legislator demands that all theology is removed from university curriculums on the basis of a separation of church and state?
Just because Pirates II isn’t your bag doesn’t mean you have the right to make everybody watch The Greatest Story Ever Told.