Cary Nelson of the American Association of University Professors was more circumspect: "Academic freedom for faculty and intellectual freedom for students give them the right to speech that shocks and challenges." Helaine S. Klasky, spokeswoman for Yale, stated, "The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman's body. (Shvarts) is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art."
All rights have reasonable limits. The right to bear arms does not include a right to own a nuclear weapon. The right to free exercise of religion does not include a right to ritualistic child sacrifice. The right to free expression in art should not include a right to film yourself having an abortion; neither should it include a right to use feces, urine or any other bodily fluid in public, nor should it include a right to engage in sex acts before live audiences.
The public has an interest in preventing the pollution of its artistic culture -- and the law should reflect that interest. As for the "boundary-pushing" performance "artists," those "artists" who cannot work within the bounds of common decency should find another line of work. Shakespeare somehow worked within the strict guidelines of his time; so did da Vinci, and so did Beethoven, Brahms, Bach and Mozart. If Aliza Shvarts, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano and other "artists" cannot do the same, they ought to consider going into the demolition business. After all, they're so good at destroying worthwhile ideas and limits already.
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