Porn censorship at the University of Maryland

Chill. Porn is a genre like any other – science fiction, crime drama, horror. Why should the pleasure derived from viewing it be a guiltier pleasure from the one derived from viewing serial killers slashing throats? To each, after all, her own. (And, yes, women watch porn too).

Porn is also – whether you like it or not – protected by the constitution unless it is obscene, which most porn is not. This is good for the tens of millions of Americans that view porn every year. I am willing to bet a lot that more than a few Maryland legislators are among these millions – yet, such is the perversity spawned by the insistence that porn is somehow bad that these same legislators drop everything on the agenda when the opportunity arises to stop other adults from to seeing a porn film. A roster of imagined horrors, none of them having any connection to the findings of impartial research, thus seem to have led the Maryland legislature to threaten the University of Maryland College Park with funding cuts if Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge, part of a student-curated program, was not cancelled.

It is not clear what is worse – legislators dropping everything else on the agenda to spend half a day on student film programming or the immediate capitulation of the university. That legislators would take every chance to grandstand it, as least, no surprise – expectations for politicians are not high these days. But it is a sad sign of out economic times that an institution of higher learning would bend before the financial whip and not even attempt to make the point that, within its walls, no topic is off limits, that the porn industry is a valid subject of inquiry for anyone with an interest in this society and its popular culture, and that, finally, student-run programs should remain autonomous of administrative intervention.

About Blog of the National Coalition Against Censorship

Blogging Censorship is where National Coalition Against Censorship staff weigh in on the censorship issues on their minds.
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One Response to Porn censorship at the University of Maryland

  1. Mary says:

    I agree that the legislators were stupid to drop everything and make a big fuss about this film, which I have seen. But the dumb thing was that the UMCP people claimed it was being show for educational purposes! That’s ridiculous! It is nothing more than a high budget skin flick and a funny spoof of Pirates movies. If the Hoff had promoted it as just another move they were showing, it would not have been news. But the thing that raised the red flags with the lawmakers was that the college was claiming it to have academic value. Nonsense.

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