Speaker barred from Modern Sex Conference for speaking about… Sex?
Oregon State University is coming under fire after canceling an invitation to Tristan Taormino, a self-described feminist pornographer, to be the keynote speaker for the school’s upcoming Modern Sex Conference.
The Campus Women’s Center, which is hosting the conference, selected Taormino as the keynote speaker during the fall semester. Taormino was invited to give a talk on the broad theme of “sexual empowerment.” However, after announcing their program, the Provost's office contacted the Women’s Center to inform them they would not be allowed to use their budget to bring Taormino to campus. According to the Student Government, the Provost’s office claimed that because of her background in pornography the department could not use their funds to pay her travel or speaking fee.
Its hard to imagine how this could be a more cut and dry violation of Academic Freedom. The administration at OSU is attempting to bar one of its departments from bringing a speaker explicitly because they disapprove of views she has expressed.
The Center has been in contact with the Student Government and Women’s Center while they decide how to proceed forward. We’ll be working to make sure this decision is quickly reversed.