I sent an email to the provost and to the chancellor regarding my concerns over the fact that V-week and the events surrounding it degraded women and left the impression that the body is mostly good for a sex-toy. Chancellor Thorp kindly responded. His response was, in summary, that he can do nothing about allowing people such as Sue Johanson to come to campus because he is constrained by the First Amendment. In an attempt to make this clear, he mentioned (to my delight!) that my cartoons (published in the Carolina Review) perhaps offend a mighty lot of people around here. Below was my response to his response.
I thank you very much for responding to my email. There are some things that I must take issue with regarding your point, however. I am certainly offended by Sue Johanson, but that is not my main argument. I find it hilarious that you know that I am a cartoonist for the Carolina Review and I am certain as well that my cartoons offend the sentiments of many on this campus. My points of view seem often to be in the minority and while the university pretends to believe in protecting and celebrating diversity, I often find my points of view officially condemned by UNC.
An example of what I mean can be found in the fact that the university funds an LBGTQ Center. I know of no law or amendment that requires there to be an LBGTQ Center, the university funds it because it values the inclusion of these members of our community. There is no law barring the university from funding a center that promotes the biblical point of view regarding sexuality either, however. The university obviously does not value religion, but rather secularism.
In other words, my point is that the university does not fund some things that are protected by federal law simply because it disagrees with them, or because it does not wish to see the values that would be disseminated propagated. The university, for example, would not fund a Nazi rally even though the Nazis would be protected by the first amendment. The university believes in fighting racism and, of course, a Nazi rally would not contribute to the university mission. Well, neither does a Sue Johanson speech in which her main point is to inculcate the idea that the human body is merely a sex toy (“Sexuality is the most important part of your life” and all that).
I believe women ought to be treated with more dignity that Sue Johanson treats them and thus I think her attitude toward degrading women ought to be fought.
I don’t expect a response nor do I expect you guys to read so long an email as I am sure you are extremely busy. I just wanted to respond to the assumption that my problem was in being offended. While it is against university policy (literally) to offend others, I find this a silly policy for the reasons Chancellor Thorp pointed out. I simply don’t like the idea of a public university degrading women any more than I like the idea of a public universiy supporting a Nazi rally.