Last week, I wrote an article criticizing UNC Asheville for showing a porn movie based on the ?research? of Asian American Studies professor Darrell Hamamoto. UNCA Director of Public Information, Merianne Epstein firstname.lastname@example.org, offered this defense of the taxpayer-supported porn movie screening:
?(W)e believe that universities exist to provide a safe forum for the expression and consideration of different points of view and the exploration of the robust marketplace ideas and beliefs; that the search for truth and knowledge is dependent upon a climate that fosters careful exploration of difficult topics; and that the only outcome of censorship is ignorance and prejudice. We defend with unhesitating vigor the right of our students to be free from censorship as they exercise critical thinking and pursue thoughtful dialogue in the exploration of the complicated issues of our time.
As beautiful as that was, I am about to offer a restatement of UNCA?s articulate defense. In order to fully comprehend my restatement, it will be necessary to take a longer look at Dr. Hamamoto?s research. I learned a lot about it from reading his marvelous essay entitled ?The Joy F--- Club.? Some highlights of what I learned follow:
Dr. Hamamoto says that ?(w)ithout prurient intent? he has his college students ?contemplate and discuss the content of their sexual fantasy life? and to imagine what ?types of faces and bodies? they conjure when trying to reach orgasm.
Discussing student sexual fantasies in class, teaches Dr. Hamamoto that Asian American students overwhelmingly fantasize about ?Euroamericans.?He dubs this Asian American focus on ?Euroamericans? as ?a cross-generational fetishization of the White master race by Asian Americans.?
He explains that the in-class sexual fantasy exercise has, in effect, shown him his true purpose in life. ?It is out of this classroom experience that I began thinking about ways to destabilize the hegemonic system of sex/race/power, wherein the denial of unalloyed sexual desire and carnal pleasure to Yellow people is coextensive with their social subordination.?
I also learned that ?The historical legacy of U.S. imperial conquest, neocolonial occupation, dislocation, exclusion, relocation, and the depredation of global capitalism, have played a material role in shaping the multiform sexuality of Asian American men and women. Restrictive immigration legislation directed specifically against Asians has done much to distort and even prevent family formation.?
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