Porn on Campus - Where's the Dialog About What Pornography is and Does? It's More Than Just a Free Speech Issue

By Katie Feifer

Last week the University of Maryland made headlines when a student group screened the XXX rated pornographic film, The Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge, on campus.  As expected, the Washington Post and CNN.com highlighted this "controversy" by only focusing on the usual debate about pornography as a free speech issue. The coverage pitted the student defenders of free speech against members of the Maryland State Legislature and their public attempts to "uphold morality."

I find it hard to believe that these were the only two perspectives that students on campus were debating--especially when the discussion is about pornography. Surely there is room for more dialog that many students on campus would like to have engaged in. 

I asked Valerie Chepp, a student at Maryland, to reflect on the matter. Please read “Pornography Reduxxx” for her very thoughtful insights about the desperate need for a complex debate at her college that this screening represents. Ms. Chepp is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland whose work focuses on feminist and social theory, media and popular culture, and African American studies.