Friday, February 8, 2008

Larry Moneta Responds to Sheehan on SWAS

Responding to Ruth Sheehan's Feb. 6 editorial on the Sex Workers Art Show at Duke with a letter to the Raleigh News and Observer, Larry Moneta explained, "the fact that [Duke] provides a venue for an event organized by students through well-established procedures does not mean the university endorses the views expressed." Moneta does not say whether the university endorses the body parts exposed, but regardless that is beside the point.

Moneta claims events like the Sex Workers Art Show "should be perceived as evidence that Duke continues to be a community filled with diverse people and opinions, and one committed to academic freedom and free speech." Again, Moneta completely misses the point. It is difficult to understand how Moneta can reconcile this show (he makes no effort to do so) with Duke's policy against strippers or with the administration's previous condemnation of the lacrosse party of March 2006. He especially avoids explaining how a burlesque dancer pulling a chain of money out her bottom with her backside raised to the audience constitutes "free speech" or "academic freedom," let alone anything remotely academic.


Anonymous said...

To be strictly accurate RS wrote an opinion column rather than an editorial.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention my favorite part of his letter: "the event was sponsored by a group of student educators who promote healthy lifestyles." And then to question, how were any of their lifestyles "healthy"? Was it meant to be a lesson in what NOT to do? If so, that came through loud and clear...

Jim in San Diego said...

The assertion that the Sex Show is "Art" by Mr. Moneta and others simply confirms that there are no standards at Duke anymore.

Anything whatsoever is art just by calling it art. How about a demonstration of child pornography? With children?

Or a film of someone being murdered? With a panel discussion afterword led by several tenured professors? Would these be art, just by calling them art?

No, and the SWAS is not art, just because part of the Duke faculty and Administration say so.

Folks, the King genuinely has no clothes. More of the crowd need to recognize this, and act on the recognition.

Jim Peterson