Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, March 7, 2007
In the Tuesday, March 6 edition of The Observer I read an article regarding pornography in male dorms (“Group discusses pornography in male dorms”). As the Gender Relations Commissioner for Carroll Hall, I felt that I should speak up on the issue. The article mentioned that students (males and females alike) feel uncomfortable around pornography; this is due to the action of their consciences and is a sign that pornography is not “good” from a moral standpoint. I am extremely embarrassed to say that images of scantily clad women abound in rooms in my hall and all around campus. Alumni Hall senator Danny Smith raised the question (and I paraphrase): “Is Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit edition pornography?” My answer is a clear and resounding “Yes!”
Pornographic images are those which cause males to lust over the female body. When this happens, women are not viewed as people but instead as objects, and the casual and everyday acceptance of pornography leads to the cultural acceptance of objectification of women. I am not saying that it is wrong to appreciate the female form, as God made us complementary to one another, in body and mind. However, I (and the Catholic Church) feel that a male should appreciate a woman’s mind along with her body to support a loving and fulfilling relationship. I hope that some time in the future pornographic (including non-nude but lust-inducing) images will be removed from the dorms to allow students to mature morally as well as academically over their time here, as well as decrease the lack of respect young males seem to have for women in this day and age.
In the meantime, I look forward to working with the Gender Relations Center and Father Jim Lewis, rector of Carroll Hall, to create programs addressing dorm pornography which will raise awareness of its detriment to moral and academic development and eradicate its presence in the dorm completely.