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Duke Student Defends Decision to Reject Lesbian Porn

Duke Freshman Brian Grasso took to the pages of the Washington Post yesterday to explain why he refuses to read the lesbian book de jour Fun Home.

Oddly, yesterday The Daily Beast claimed Grasso told it the book is not pornographic in nature, yet in his WaPo column he cites pornography as precisely the reason he’s giving the book a pass.

Fun Home, written — of course — by a MacArthur Foundation genius grant recipient, tells the graphic story of the author’s discovery and exploration of her homosexuality including drawings of her pleasuring herself and performing and receiving cunnilingus, drawings based on actual photos of the author herself.

Grasso writes, “After researching the book’s content and reading a portion of it, I chose to opt out of the assignment. My choice had nothing to do with the ideas presented. I’m not opposed to reading memoirs written by LGBTQ individuals or stories containing suicide. I’m not even opposed to reading Freud, Marx or Darwin. I know that I’ll have to grapple with ideas I don’t agree with, even ideas that I find immoral.”

Grasso says there is a distinction between written words and images. He said he would be fine reading such a story but balks at the images of sexual acts “regardless of the genders of the people involved.” He says viewing them conflicts “with the inherent sacredness of sex.”

He says, “Still, if my academic experience at Duke is full of thought-provoking stimuli other than pictures of sexual acts, it’s hard for me to believe that it will be incomplete.”

Duke University is on the far frontier of the new sexual orthodoxy. It was reported two years ago the university intended to raise student fees in order to pay for sex change operations for students up to $50,000.

Duke hosts the annual celebration known as Sex Week, where lecturers come onto campus to promote things like bondage and domination. Not surprisingly, a 2013 study found that half of Duke students had “hooked-up”, that is, had sex with someone they are not romantically involved with.

Grasso says the response he has received has been largely positive. He’s become friends with a Buddhist who explained to him the Buddhist view of sexuality.

A Muslim student lamented to Grasso, “I’ve seen a lot of people who just throw away their identity in college in the name of secularism, open-mindedness, or liberalism.” Grasso asks, “Is this really what Duke wants?”

Well, yes.

Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse

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