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Jewish World Review June 21, 1999 /7 Tamuz 5759

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Pornography course contributes nothing to moral sensibility --
IT WOULD SEEM that much of "higher learning" has gotten real low.

Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., has a course that requires students to produce pornography as their final exam. This course, "Pornography: Writing of Prostitutes," examines the history, impact and portrayals of pornography in society. Hope Weissman, a women's studies professor, teaches the course. Speaking of the students' final requirement to produce pornography, she said to The Hartford Courant, "Nothing would be considered too risque."

Among this year's projects were a female student's re-creation of a sadomasochistic beating, and a video showing the eyes of a male student as he masturbated.

It is amazing that this comes from a respected educational institution with a Methodist heritage.

I'm also surprised that the course is run by a female feminist. Hasn't it been the position of the feminist movement that practically all sex, and especially pornography, was part of the patriarchal oppression and denigration of women? Is pornography a worthy enterprise for women if they are "on top"?

I'm more surprised that parents have been shelling over their hard-earned money for tuition for their children to engage in such despicable and shameful acts of human degradation.

A short time ago, after a listener to my program sent me information about this course, I went on the air and condemned the school for this vile offering under the guise of education in women's studies, literature or anything else.

Subsequently Douglas J. Bennet, Wesleyan's president, announced a review of the 2-year-old pornography course and admitted in The Chronicle of Higher Education that the media coverage had alerted him to the final projects (the self-produced porn) and that he "has no personal view on this at all."

Can you believe this? The president of a major university hasno personal view about offering pornography to teen-agers and young adults for course credit?

"There is no question in my mind that the course is a good one, and that the subject matter is legitimate," he said. "But there is a question of its being offered instead of others."

Parents, do you want to send your children to a university where pornography is a legitimate subject? Why isn't Larry Flynt the department head?

Some student was quoted as saying, "I don't see it as being substantially different from a literature class where the instructor gave a creative writing assignment for a final." Really? If the students see no difference between pornography and literature, then what is being taught in this school about human dignity?

"The problem is that pornography is more stigmatized," the student continued. And it shouldn't be? This is a horrible example of the "liberal" in liberal education going way too far, so far that there is no right and no wrong, no good taste and bad taste, no difference between admirable and despicable human behavior. Is this the world you want your children to live in for the four years of their college life? I don't.

I love it when these pampered, inexperienced, unenlightened, dependent yet arrogant students have the gall to talk about freedom as an excuse for courting vulgarity and evil. Our founding fathers would probably be shocked to learn that freedom from tyranny was twisted by future generations to include freedom to position degenerate behavior as higher education and to protect their right to course credit for studying bestiality and sadomasochism. These privileged kids have no comprehension of what real oppression is. I'd like to send each and every one of them to live for one year in one of many countries where freedom to choose one's spouse, one's career and one's words about the government are not taken for granted, nor even imagined.

One of my listeners fired off a letter to Mr. Bennet, the president of her alma mater, and said the following: "In the Wesleyan Education for the Twenty-first Century report, you list essential capabilities that Wesleyan graduates will require. Included among those is 'moral sensibility.' I ask, how can a course requiring the student to produce pornography in any way contribute to moral sensibility? May I remind you that Wesleyan's founding president said, 'Education should be directed in reference to two objects -- the good of the individual and the good of the world.' Please explain how this course can do either."

I, too, am awaiting a reply -- not only from Wesleyan, but from the innumerable colleges and universities around America that are right now also supporting the teaching of trash as education. Parents, please check your child's college course catalog to make sure you are not sending your children to such a school.

Don't finance their actions to deliberately destroy the moral fabric of our nation through undermining our children's sense of decency.


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05/10/99:Good teachers offer more than 3 R's
05/03/99: Cybersex survey a travesty of science
04/19/99: Legal abortion not the salvation that feminists claim
04/12/99: Moral parents struggle against upside-down value system
03/31/99: Children need attention before they cry out for it
03/29/99: Family values fall victim to advertising whims
03/19/99: Snooping can be healthy if it saves a child in trouble
03/05/99: Traditional religions offer optimism to adherents
03/05/99: Tearing down foundations, brick by brick
02/26/99: With power comes obligation to lead by example
02/19/99: National Prayer Breakfast inspires public servants
02/12/99: Overcoming selfishness leads us closer to human potential
02/09/99: Youth's difficult lessons make us better adults
02/02/99: Rituals, icons remind us of our obligation to G-d
01/22/99: 'Consenting adults' don't always examine consequences
01/18/99: Day care no substitute for love of mom and dad
01/08/99: Don't use others' misfortunes to build your self-image
12/31/98: Tracking HIV-infected people makes good sense
12/24/98: How can we teach ethics without defining morals?
12/18/98: Parents afraid of firm values leave their children adrift
12/11/98: Spread righteousness by refusing to accept the 'code'

©1999, Universal Press Syndicate