Read the full article by Tracy Clark-Flory at Jezebel.com

 

A couple weeks ago, longtime porn performer Nina Hartley went to University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to give an optional lecture to students. The 59-year-old spoke about STI testing, the importance of consent, and the potential pitfalls of learning about sex from porn. The talk was soberly titled, “Fantasy vs. Reality: A critical view of adult media.” There were no explicit images or videos, just an informational Powerpoint slide.

And yet, of course, conservative media outlets are losing their shit over it, because a porn star (who is also a sex educator and activist) spoke with our kids (who are actually legal adults) about fucking (but really much more).

Hartley was invited to speak by Joe Gow, the chancellor of the university. She gave a 90-minute talk that “touched on everything from female empowerment, to the necessity of consent, to the importance of differentiating porn from reality,” according to the La Crosse Tribune.Hartley reportedly told the audience of roughly 70 students, “It’s important that you view all media with a critical eye,” and emphasized that this was especially so for porn. She also told the crowd that communication is key during sexual encounters, that it can preserve feelings and personal safety.”

For this, she was paid $5,000 from Gow’s office fund, as opposed to with state tax dollars. Word spread and then began that sensationalistic headlines that desperately attempted to turn it into a tawdry sex scandal—for example, “Chancellor gives porn star $5,000 to lecture students, hides it from the public.” It was only hidden in the sense that the university didn’t alert the press or put the event on its public calendar, fearing that some might, in Gow’s words, “sensationalize it.” (Which they did. Before the speech even happened, the La Crosse Tribune reports that it was fielding calls from outraged community members.) Instead, the event was actively promoted through signs around campus. Then Fox News jumped into the fray.

The outcry was such that Gow felt the need to pen an op-ed in the La Crosse Tribune titled, “Why Nina Hartley spoke at UW-La Crosse.”