Saturday, February 2, 2008


Porno Conference Poster

So I went to the porn conference for about an hour today. The female speaker Gail Dines was quite entertaining. She had SI Swimsuit photos in her PowerPoint, and she dropped 13 f-bombs in her British accent--riveting all aound. She was passionately anti-pornography, coming from a feminist point of view. But what would be troubling to many Rovers was her unmitigated support for birth control. She took a slight shot at Notre Dame by suggesting that all DomerGirls refuse to put out until DomerGuys convince the school to fill prescriptions for the pill. I know that Kevin and others already touched on the issue of birth control at the St. Liam pharmacy so I won't revisit it. But I think we do need to take a look at the sexuality of Notre Dame (whether it be the ubiquitous taboo of homosexuality, or the systematic practice of sexile, which I first witnessed only last week). Are we any different than other college campuses? Dines asked if there was as much sex at Notre Dame as the average college campus. While I prefer to think there is less I am apparently in fairy tale land because the resounding response was an emphatic, gigglish yes. So it begs the question of whether Notre Dame's stringent policies based on Church teaching actually change anything. Based on today I suppose not. The only thing that can make us a different university from the mainstream, a university that still harbors traditional sex practices, are the values of the students themselves. If students don't buy into a pure lifestyle, then all the rules about pornography, parietals, alcohol, whatever, can never make them chaste. It may be better to not enforce such rules, but to have a student body that believes in the ethics behind them, and live their lives according to such without the coersion of ResLife.


pbh said...

the disconnect between what this university officially espouses and what it implicitly condones is frustrating to me. I'm applying to be an RA next year and that's the one issue that I think might trip me up most.

Kevin Donohue said...

From my own personal experience, comparing Notre Dame to the state schools in Florida, UF and FSU, etc. We are a much more less-sexually active campus. If this is because of our policies or the type of person admitted to the university, I can't say for sure. But, again in my opinion, the rules and atmosphere are most likely most responsible for this difference.

Rachel said...

I went to this lecture. Well, that's misleading...I missed the first 20 minutes because of class, grabbed a cookie on my way in, stayed for 15 minutes, became disgusted and left...and of course grabbed a cookie on my way out.

The lecture was appalling and inappropriate. This was not a healthy response to the problem of pornography in our culture--it was an angry, embittered tirade of a woman who lacked the ability to coherently deal with the problems she brought up. It was filled with profanity, involved pornographic images (ironic, eh?), and apparently contradicted Catholic teaching on several counts.

Of course women are objectified by men. Of course violence against women is all-too-commonplace. But the answer to this isn't to rant about the patriarchal society that brought us to this low point. And it's certainly not to splash Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and Maxim covers--much less hardcore porn (however blurry) on the screen during your presentation.

It's hypocritical to champion contraception and premarital sex among ND students while at the same time lamenting the utter lack of respect for women in our culture. These issues are all connected, and until people such as Ms. Dines recognize that, little can possibly change.

If you're looking for a positive response to violence against women, look for more information about the Edith Stein Project, coming up this March 28-29.