We Support Tristan Taormino!

Tristan Taormino, courtesy of sexartandpolitics.tumblr.com

Tristan Taormino, courtesy of sexartandpolitics.tumblr.com

Tristan Taormino, is an author, feminist, award winning pornographer and sex educator, who runs puckerup.com and directs pornography through a feminist lens for Vivid Entertainment. She writes of her professional goals as educating “people of all genders and sexual orientations in their pursuit of healthy, empowering, and transformative sex and relationships.” In tandem with these admirable and important goals, Taormino frequents universities giving lectures on queer issues, gender and feminism.

Recently, Taormino was asked to be the keynote speaker at Oregon State University’s Modern Sex conference, and was later revoked this invitation based on the content of her resume and website. Her impressive resume, which includes lectures at Yale and Columbia, the publication of several books, TV appearances etc. was part of the basis of her “uninvite.” Considering that Taormino is an accomplished author, filmmaker and educator, her silencing by OSU is alarming.

On the matter Taormino said,

“I’m extremely disappointed that OSU has decided to cancel my appearance…I have never misrepresented who I am or what I do. I am proud of all the work I do, including the sex education films and feminist pornography I make,”

Even though Taormino is completely public and unapologetic about her work, OSU deemed her unqualified for their funding after her appearance was booked and her travel arrangements made. (And mind you, without reimbursing her for travel expenses.)

A post on Fleshbot wrote,

“I value her voice and positive message of sexual empowerment and freedom…I’m also quite disturbed by the implication that her affiliation with the adult industry makes her unfit to speak on a public university campus.”

This brings up an important point. Any sex-positive educator or activist has to unfortunately face these challenges, but despite these roadblocks their voices need to be heard. Her censorship is alarming and unacceptable.

The stigma surrounding sexuality, particularly women vocal about sexuality never seems to lose its prevalence, but in pushing boundaries some brave individuals are hopefully changing this. A university setting seems to be a great place to bring up discussions of sex education, sex-positivitiy and sexual diversity, and OSU should be honored to have Taormino speak at their conference, being that she has a strong and prevalent voice on these topics.

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3 Comments on “We Support Tristan Taormino!”

  1. 1 Tweets that mention where is your line? » Blog Archive » We Support Tristan Taormino! -- Topsy.com said at 6:13 pm on January 24th, 2011:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by THE LINE Campaign, Nancy Schwartzman. Nancy Schwartzman said: We at #TheLine object to the silencing of @TristanTaormino at Oregon State! Cancelling a keynote? http://bit.ly/f3I3tK #sexed #pleasure […]

  2. 2 Colin said at 7:45 pm on January 24th, 2011:

    After directing Sex Week at Yale and working with a number of insanely talented educators out there, Tristan is at the top of the game. She is the Michael Jordan of sex-ed – others can surely compete, but her legendary style, vast experience, and encyclopedic knowledge of everything sex make her a legend. The ones who lose here are the OSU students.

  3. 3 Rachel Ulrich said at 2:34 am on January 26th, 2011:

    The Modern Sex conference thanks you for your support!

    Larry Roper, the Vice Provost at Oregon State University, assured me that the rest of the conference will receive the funding it needs to be successful, and that all confirmed presenters will be welcome on campus.

    I absolutely agree with you that universities should provide an open forum for discussion about sexual diversity, sex positivity, and sexuality education. If nothing else, future sexual health educators need a place to develop their skills in the field.

    Students at Oregon State have submitted sex positive workshops for the conference on February 16, including: Fabulously Fetish, Toward a Queer of Color Critique: Defying the Heteronormative, and a Modern Approach to Consent, which will teach students about how to ask for and give consent.

    I’m pretty excited to see them present!



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