Public college assigns comic book on lesbian sex, child molestation as mandatory freshman reading
Faculty and administrators at the College of Charleston (CofC) have assigned all freshman students a graphic sex memoir as part of their mandatory 2013 summer reading.
The controversial book entitled, “Fun Home,” includes an account of author Alison Bechdel’s closeted gay father’s trial over his sexual relationships with young boys, her coming out as a lesbian, and commentary on masturbation and her first sexual relationship with a woman.
The book, which was apparently selected by a committee of faculty, administrators, and students, cost the school $39k for distribution to 4k freshmen, according to a local newspaper, the Post and Courier. The school also plans to pay the book’s author $13k to make a speech in October.
The decision to assign the book to the freshmen class, which typically includes students who are between the ages of 17 and 19, is drawing ire from a South Carolina conservative organization, The Palmetto Family, which says it borders on pornography.
“I found it very close to pornography,” said Oran Smith, who is the organization's leader. It was “way over the top.”
School officials, meanwhile, are standing by their decision to assign the controversial book.
“Who am I and how do I fit in?” asked Associate Provost Lynne Ford. “The book will help students to learn that they are not unique. Our experience is shared by millions.”
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