Teachers and students at Simmons College have voiced objection to porn legend Ron Jeremy's presence in a campus debate. Jeremy is scheduled to debate feminist author Susan Cole on Tuesday about pornography's place in society.
Dana Bialer, a 21-year old senior at Simmons, told Boston.com that Jeremy's sensationalized celebrity status compromises the serious nature of the issues. "He is a person affiliated with an industry based on racism, classism and sexism," Bialer said. "He's a white male who is very rich and has gotten very rich from pornography, and because of that he doesn't have the ability to speak accurately on the topic."
While promoting his autobiography "The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz," Jeremy recently engaged in a series of public debates with Christian anti-porn activist group XXX Church. While the right-wing organization seemed to welcome the opportunity to debate Jeremy, feminists are less enthusiastic.
"We really need responsible speakers coming in on this issue," said Bialer. "The gender issues are going to be lost because Ron Jeremy, through VH1's Surreal Life and his book tour, is sensationalized, and it's going to take away from the topic."
Wheelock College professor Dr. Gail Dines, touted as a "leading expert on pornography criticism," told reporters that Jeremy should be excluded from the event because "he is not an academic on the issue but a paid industry participant."
"Under no circumstances would I debate him, no matter how much money they gave me," Dines said. "It's a dreadful mistake for any principled person to debate Ron Jeremy because he's basically riding on their credentials. He comes only as a man with personal experience who has made a lot of money out of it."
Despite the politically-correct feminist backlash against the porn icon, some students and administrators at the women's liberal arts college are looking forward to Jeremy's visit.
"I don't think he's going to catch so much personal animosity, but he's going to get some very thoughtful questions from some very smart girls who will have done their homework," said moderator Gerry Koocher, dean of Simmon's School of Health Sciences.