Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Academic Non-Issues: "Porn Class"

The University of Iowa is offering a class on Porn. Actually, lots of universities have classes on porn, which sort of shows that we try to market these classes to students. This class in particular "will examine the impact of porno on mainstream culture." Of course, that actually makes sense because this generation has come of age with porn in a much different way than previous generations.

When I was a kid, you had to go downtown to a creepy building to get porn. Most of us weren't willing to track it down. So, when the scaremongers claimed that women were kidnapped, raped and killed to make porn, many people believed them.

But, the net changed all of that. Now, most kids in university have seen porn, and many of them even have stashes of it. Porn is mainstream. So are its values. Why else would kids come to the insane conclusion that pubic hair is "dirty"? So, teaching kids to think critically about the values of porn seems fairly intelligent. And the "porn class" doesn't seem so terrible when you consider that the kids won't even see any porn in class.

Iowa House representative, and apparently aptly named, Chris Rants is upset about this. "The lawmaker said the pornography class isn't something that should be taught with taxpayer's money." Okay, but again it's not a "pornography class". Also, aren't university students adults? Moreover, did this guy actually read the syllabus? Or is he just another grandstanding blowhard? Why do we elect representatives who get righteously upset, but not ones who can read a syllabus, or even think about an issue before becoming righteously upset?

1 comment:

Jay said...

Wow, that's news to me, Carlton!

The other day I was watching this TV show called Foreign Correspondent on NDTV (an Indian news channel), and one of the topics was how to tackle the problem of increasing rapes and crimes against women in India. One of the panelists, Miranda Kennedy, felt that access to porno material should be made freer so that the urge can be satisfied there itself...kinda nipping the problem in the bud. Here in India, it's sad that talk about sex is considered taboo in social circles and discussing sex and reproduction in a non-academic context is seen as deviant.

It's also kinda sad that one can't go and tell one's parents about special feelings towards one of the opposite sex...arranged marriages are too common here...

Indeed, parents here believe that sex is not a drawing-room discussion topic and discourage their children from referring to it. I suppose that could be a reason why a lot of kids turn to porno and suffer academically.