Most Yalies and well-read Republicans will know that the title of the first part of this show—“God and Sex Week at Yale”—riffs on famed, conservative, National Review founder William F. Buckley’s 1951 diatribe, “God and Man at Yale,” which is often said to have fired the first shot in the right-wing war on higher education in the arts and sciences.
Basically, they don’t want you to study any other book than the Bible. That sounds like a bad joke, but did you know that in both the Republican and Democratic conventions this year, no other book but the Bible was quoted? No poetry, no prose, no rap, no Shakespeare, no Socrates, no Kahlil Gibran, no Benjamin Franklin. Just the Bible. The Bible’s a great book and all, but there are others, brothers and sisters!
The reactionary right-wing war on liberal arts education reaches its apex when it comes to sex education, which happens to be very popular with students who would like to learn a thing or two about sex. Neocon religious crusaders are on the march at Yale and other campuses, trying to take students back to the sexual Dark Ages. As those of you who know me know, back in 2002, as an alumna, I helped Yale undergraduates start a special elective week of sex education called Sex Week at Yale (SWAY), where students of all kinds could—if they so chose—learn about sex, love and relationships from a wide range of experts, sexperts, professors, porn stars, scientists, sex toymakers, ministers, rabbis, revolutionaries, born-again virgins, and each other. It’s been great—spreading “Sex Week” to college campuses all around the country—and it’s gotten bigger every year at Yale. But then, in 2011 – 2012, partly because of its success and popularity, SWAY came under attack.
I write about this in detail in my Open Letter to Yale President Richard Levin, citing some of the spurious reasons that the man I call President Dick—now on his way out of Yale—scapegoated and censored Sex Week—from a Title IX complaint over on-campus sexual harassment that had nothing to do with SWAY and everything to do with an entrenched, over-privileged fraternity system—to the controversial new Yale in Singapore project, to pressure from extreme, anti-sex, right-wing factions; in particular. one rather new, very conservative group which named itself “Better Yale” (a subjective title, if ever there was one) and then renamed itself “Undergraduates for a Better Yale College (UBYC)”. The letter generated a lot of responses on the blog, including a few from the co-founder of UBYC himself, Yale College senior, Eduardo Andino. Since, like Jesus, I believe in reaching out to those who try to attack me, whenever feasible, I suggested taking this debate to the air, invited Eduardo on the show, and he accepted.
The show starts with Eduardo on the phone from Yale, attempting to explain and defend his extreme right-wing point of view and UBYC’s attacks on Sex Week at Yale. Of course, I counter his specious contentions and reactionary double-speak when necessary, but I also want to give him a chance to give his “side.” Let’s just say I give him more of chance to speak than Bill O’Reilly gave me.
Then I open up the conversation to my in-studio guests, including several prominent “Goddesses,” performers and directors in the adult industry that UYBC so excoriates, as well as our very own Max and Tasia. So, the first 45 minutes is a passionate political discussion about sex education, censorship, religion, repression, rape, abortion, tolerance, empathy and love, and the last 45 provides a serving of sex education, Dr. Suzy style, with generous side orders of humor, spontaneity, eroticism and fun. Our very spiritual, sexual, libational “communion” ritual with the Agwa gods lubricates a quick and easy transition between the two sides of our brain.
We also discuss the recent rioting in the Middle East by Muslims upset over ridiculous depictions of Mohammed in “Innocence of Muslims”—a so-called film that easily has the worst production values of any famous movie in history—made by an anti-Islamic Coptic Christian, financed in part by an American organization called “Media for Christ” and supported by notorious, Koran-burning Christian Pastor Terry Jones. What does “Innocence of Muslims” have to do with sex education on college campuses? Not much, and that’s the point. Anti-sex education crusaders like Eduardo, often say that sex is dangerous. It may be, though education tends to make sex less risky rather than more. And current events prove—pretty vividly—that religion is a lot more dangerous than sex. These folks have been rioting, setting fire to buildings and murdering innocent people—including one of America’s great, truly heroic ambassadors—not over sex, but in the righteous name of God.