Oregon State’s “Modern Sex” Tainted by Feminist Porn Hypocrisy

tristan taorminoBy now you may have read about the scandal plaguing Oregon State University’s upcoming “Modern Sex” conference. OSU had a hell of a lineup, including respected and accredited sexuality speakers and teachers from around the US and some of the foremost thinkers in emergent discussions on sex ed, feminist and female pornography, gender and identity in life and media, and much more. They had invited Tristan Taormino: sex educator, columnist, and adult filmmaker (best known for her groundbreaking pornographic sex ed series “Vivid Ed” that fuses real sex ed with couples learning and demonstrating real lessons).

UPDATE February 11: Tristan Taormino will now be speaking at OSU after all for an event organized by students – though sadly it is not scheduled as part of OSU’s Modern Sex event. How unfortunate.
[END UPDATE}

At the last minute, OSU canceled Taormino’s keynote, after the marketing materials had been made. They are citing two reasons, which are wrapped in OSU’s either incomplete communication or hypocrisy. One is stating that the fees to Taormino were from funds that could not go to a “controversial speaker” (despite the fact that OSU hosted Ann Coulter with her post-9/11 travesty of a speech). The other reason they cite is the content of Tristan’s work (allegedly unknown to them), despite the fact that it is impossible they could not have known, nor despite the fact that speakers still on the lineup do the same things Tristan was allegedly disqualified for. One is the winner of the 2010 Feminist Porn Awards.

OSU has severely damaged their reputation. It is not a scandal of taxpayer funds or an internal blame game. It is a scandal about female and queer sexuality, and our right to debate, examine and have access to the real-life issues about women and pornography.

Further reading – there are lots of links online, but I think these are the best summaries and updates:

* Tristan Taormino’s post with verbatim communication with OSU on the matter. (puckerup.com)
* Examiner.com spells it out. (Examiner.com)
* The Sexademic explains why this is about denial to sex ed access. (sexademic.wordpress.com)
* Dr. Charlie Glickman, the “Modern Sex” replacement keynote, describes his position and why he thinks OSU’s reasoning is flawed. (charlieglickman.com)
* My original tinynibbles.com post (NSFW) about OSU’s hypocrisy and when Ann Coulter spoke there. (tinynibbles.com)

About violet

Violet Blue (tinynibbles.com) is a Forbes "Web Celeb," a high-profile tech personality and one of Wired's "Faces of Innovation." She is regarded as the foremost expert in the field of sex and technology, a sex-positive pundit in mainstream media (MacLife, The Oprah Winfrey Show, others) and is regularly interviewed, quoted and featured prominently by major media outlets. Violet has many award-winning, best selling books; her book The Smart Girl's Guide to Porn is featured on Oprah's website. She was the notorious sex columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. She headlines at conferences ranging from ETech, LeWeb and SXSW: Interactive, to Google Tech Talks at Google, Inc. The London Times named Blue one of the 40 bloggers who really count (2010). Violet Blue is in no way associated with the unauthorized use of her name (or likeness) and registered trademark in pornographic films.
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2 Responses to Oregon State’s “Modern Sex” Tainted by Feminist Porn Hypocrisy

  1. When Taormino spoke at my college, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a conservative writer complained, the chancellor apologized in a move showing the same lack of internal communication. Claiming to have been unaware of the nature of her work, making false claims about what her work is – it was all there. This was prior to her work for Vivid, but she was already an amazing and informative speaker. Our chancellor even stated that Tristan’s videos were “illegal.” It was absurd.

    Luckily, our students took matters into their own hands and raised the funds to bring Tristan back to speak a second time to a much larger, packed audience. I hope OSU’s students are equally as brave.

  2. Harold says:

    Why do you call out female and queer sexuality in the last paragraph? I admit I don’t know much about Tristan Taormino or the topic of her presentation, but this feels like a general attack on pornography rather than something specific.

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