I consider myself fairly liberal when it comes to people’s sexual practices. I believe that homosexual love does exist and that, even though I don’t swing that way, there’s a place for it in the world. I believe what consenting adults do in their own bedrooms is generally none of my business as long as no one gets hurt. I even believe there’s a place for pornography. Again, as long as no one gets hurt. (That statement could cause huge arguments, I know, but let’s leave that for a moment and get onto the part where I become a prude.)
I work on a state university’s campus. Last year, we came to work to find posters reading GET BETTER SEX NOW! on the walls, approved by the dean of whoeverthehellapprovesthisstuff. We were a little shocked. I mean I realize college kids are having sex (I sure missed out on that part of school!), but must we encourage it? None of us in our office every said anything to anyone official, but the posters disappeared pretty quickly. Since it was close to Parents’ Weekend, we figured somebody blew a gasket. And I can’t blame them.
So I was a little surprised when I walked into the building this morning to find this:
Okay, I’m not going to post a picture. While I get an occasional swear-word off in here, this is generally a family-friendly blog and I don’t feel right posting a centerfold here. Yes, THAT kind of centerfold. Oh, she’s covered up by her own arms and legs, but the woman on the poster is naked. Or, if you’re Jeff Foxworthy, nekkid. Because she’s not wearing clothes and fully looks like she’s up to something.
This is a model from a very popular gentlemen’s magazine (who are we kidding with that phrase, by the way?) who is HIV positive. She’ll be giving a speech on campus about protecting yourself from STDs and various other nastiness. Okay, I’m on board with the speech. But to advertise an event meant to discuss high risk behavior by plastering a naked woman’s picture all over campus? That I don’t get. Isn’t a naked lady supposed to have these 18-year-old walking hormones to want to have sex? So now she’s going to go preach to them that the only 100% effective method to prevent STDs is abstinence? What the…
Yup. I’ve become Tipper Gore. I will never forget watching MTV in the 80s (yes, I did that back then) and seeing Dee Snyder next to john Denver (talk about strange bedfellows) bemoaning the fact that a lyrics rating system was censorship. And this was before rap really got going. All the while, Tipper and her ladies in waiting sat up on the bench looking as if they’d never even heard of S-E-X. Please.
And yet, the hearings back then led to labeling of music, which I don’t think is a bad thing. See, while I might (or might not) get my freak on every other Friday night in the privacy of my own home, I wouldn’t put it in writing or take a picture to put on the walls of a classroom building, for Pete’s sake! So what is this lovely naked woman going to wear to the presentation, I wonder. If you believe her posters, I’d say nothing.
And before you start telling me I’m being unfair to this perfectly wonderful person, I’m not saying I think she’s promiscuous. I have no idea. None of my damned business, really. But I think that putting up a poster of a naked person posing in a sexually suggestive manner on the walls of a classroom building on a college campus is sending the wrong message. And with three young boys about to plow headlong into puberty, this is the type of stuff I’d like them to have to work for to see. Oh, they’ll see it, alright! I’m not naive enough to think they won’t. But does it have to be on the way to Algebra?