Theatre teacher fired for appearing in erotic films 40 years ago

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voice of the damned

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voice of the damned

Smith wrote:

"I know you say you aren't equating the two, so why make the comparison?" END QUOTE

Because there are many on the left who do equate pornography, especially the violent kind, with hate propaganda. I'm just wondering if, in ridiculing the school for firing the drama teacher, we are also ridiculing those among our allies who take an equally dim view of the type of material she was involved in producing.

voice of the damned

And, just to make my own view clear, yes. I do, far away from babble(and the internet generally) ridicule Feminist Currents for their stand on pornography.

6079_Smith_W

D.W. Griffiths continued to recognized and honoured as a great film maker. Because he was.

As for drawing a connection between prudery (religious or otherwise) and feminism, I don't see the connection. If I were to try and equate the two I expect I would be rightly called on it.

But if someone were to fire someone and use feminism as a sole excuse (as opposed to an actual offense) I would be just as scornful, though perhaps a bit more careful about how I phrase it.

Sorry, but I take a very dim view of blacklists and purity tests. I wasn't justifying Ross's dismissal, merely pointing out that it was directed by the human rights commission.

(edit)

Cross posted. I don't ridicule people who are abolitionist when it comes to pornography, even if I don't entirely agree. There is a wide range of opinion there, and I'd say all those perspectives are important.

 

 

 

voice of the damned

D.W. Griffiths continued to recognized and honoured as a great film maker.

END QUOTE

Sure. But if one of his actors had turned up teaching drama at a school with a significant black population, I would understand it if some people objected. Admittedly, you might have to move the heyday of BOAN closer to the era of the civil-rights movement for that scenario to work. Oh well. Imagine Al Jolson had lived into the 1960s.

"As for drawing a connection between prudery (religious or otherwise) and feminism, I don't see the connection. If I were to try and equate the two I expect I would be rightly called on it."

END QUOTE

My point is that I think the school acted pretty much the way they should, according to the analysis advanced by those sections of the left which oppose pornography.

Again...

If it had been the director or the writer of a violent porn film who was found to be teaching some high-school Fine Arts class, I don't think you'd find too many of the porn-abolitionists saying "Well, I hope the school-board's dismissal of the guy wasn't motivated by prudery". I doubt that even the non-abolitionists would be making too much noise in his defense.

6079_Smith_W

Perhaps. Wouldn't have made it right.  Besides, it is often that women get hauled up for morality issues that get ignored when it is a man. So I am not sure the reversal works. 

Really, there is picking this apart and finding excepitions, then there is just doing what makes sense.

Or not. we could also not watch star wars because obi wan was Hitler.

For that matter I hear similar arguments about how religious people are supposed to think. Isn't always true in those cases either.

 

voice of the damned

Besides, it is often that women get hauled up for morality issues that get ignored when it is a man.

Actually, it occured to me after I wrote my last post that if Helen Mirren got a job teaching drama at a high-school somewhere, nobody would really care about her torture scenes in Caligula. Ditto for Malcolm MacDowell or Peter O'Toole.

One of the Penthouse Pets from the orgy scenes, however, might have a tougher go of it.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Legislating and/or enforcing 'morals' is a 19th Century policy that has no place in 2014.

6079_Smith_W

voice of the damned wrote:

One of the Penthouse Pets from the orgy scenes, however, might have a tougher go of it.

I was thinking more of convicted rapists who are framed as victims because of their promising sport careers, and women who are framed as perpetrators even though they are the ones who were attacked.

But while I agree those women might have a harder time, are you arguing that is a good thing?

Me, I am just musing about what someone like Catherine Millet would think of this tempest.

 

voice of the damned

But while I agree those women might have a harder time, are you arguing that is a good thing?

I wasn't really arguing anything, just sorta musing on the way class and/or social status would play out vs. gender in the case of a big-ticket film like Caligula.

I guess if my speculations prove anything, it's that a big-name performer(eg. Helen Mirren or Malcolm MacDowell) could get away with having a few skeletons in their cimematic closet, regardless of gender, than could a no-name like the Penthouse Pets(or, for that matter, the male extras from Caligula).  

I guess to really draw a valid conclusion, you'd need to compare two actors, male and female, of relatively equal prestige, who both had an earlier history of pornographic endeavours. I actually don't think Mirren and MacDowell is a level comparison, since the former has had the more prestigious career.

6079_Smith_W

Actually, I'm not interested; I raised the point to question the drawing of feminism into this (and the assumption that feminists would support this), which I see as rather mis-placed.

I don't actually care to prove it, because I think it is a tangent, and irrelevant to the actual point. But I'd say there's plenty of evidence that is the case.

That I think women do tend to be attacked by the morality squad more than men? Woman or man, A-lister or extra, it is wrong.

Again, I think the most significant thing here is not putting a bubble around sensitive, innocent  kids (smirk) but what sort of message this teaches kids who find themselves shamed or victimized in a similar way.

 

 

voice of the damned

alan smithee wrote:

Legislating and/or enforcing 'morals' is a 19th Century policy that has no place in 2014.

I agree. But, while I am against legislating "morality", I still think that certain activisties, even if perfectly legal, can preclude a person from being accepted for certain jobs and positions.

If it were revealed that some actor had a history of doing rape-porn films, I would understand it if the local women's shelter preferred to rescind their invitation for him to host their annual telethon. Even though I recognize that such films aren't neccessarily endorsing real-life enactments of the activity portrayed.   

 

voice of the damned

I raised the point to question the drawing of feminism into this (and the assumption that feminists would support this), which I see as rather mis-placed.

Well, I didn't say that ALL feminists would support the firing of the teacher(I am well aware that many would not). But, when the film in question is violent pornography, and progressives are saying that that the teacher's involvement shouldn't be a hinderance to employment in an educational instiution, I don't think it's a totally psychedelic tangent to ask how this squares with an anti-pornography analysis that was widely held on the left a generation ago, and still has promient defenders today.

It's like if someone who says he's a socialist ridicules people who oppose privatizing some Crown Corporation, and I reply "Well, back in the 70s, most socialists seemed to support nationalizing that company. Isn't it kinda strange that you're now so contemptuous of the people who wanna hold onto it?" I don't think that would be an irrelevant tangent, for anyone who knows about the history of the left in Canada.

6079_Smith_W

How about we leave concern about what people will think based on our assumptions until someone actually voices that opinion.

 

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

How about we leave concern about what people will think based on our assumptions until someone actually voices that opinion.

 

What unvoiced opinion do you think I'm making assumptions about?

6079_Smith_W

Do I need to spell it out?

voice of the damned wrote:

I don't think it's a totally psychedelic tangent to ask how this squares with an anti-pornography analysis that was widely held on the left a generation ago, and still has promient defenders today.

I'll say it again... how about we wait for someone to express that opinion, because all I see it being used as a foil, which does a disservice in two directions.

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

Legislating and/or enforcing 'morals' is a 19th Century policy that has no place in 2014.

I agree. But, while I am against legislating "morality", I still think that certain activisties, even if perfectly legal, can preclude a person from being accepted for certain jobs and positions.

If it were revealed that some actor had a history of doing rape-porn films, I would understand it if the local women's shelter preferred to rescind their invitation for him to host their annual telethon. Even though I recognize that such films aren't neccessarily endorsing real-life enactments of the activity portrayed.   

 

You make a good point.

But I guess I was referring more to a person's private life.

There is a blatant contradiction to my 'do what thou wilt' views. I think if the individual was not involved in rape,murder,animal cruelty or child molestation,they're pretty much free to do as they like.

 

Unionist

voice of the damned wrote:

Because there are many on the left who do equate pornography, especially the violent kind, with hate propaganda. I'm just wondering if, in ridiculing the school for firing the drama teacher, we are also ridiculing those among our allies who take an equally dim view of the type of material she was involved in producing.

This is near the beginning of the straw-person factory that this thread has turned into, I believe.

1. There's no pornography here.

2. There's no violence.

3. And if some (unnamed) ally takes a "dim view" of some 45-year-old films, does that mean they support banning that person from leading theatre workshops for 16-year-olds?

Let that person step forward and defend that viewpoint. Until further evidence is adduced, I do not believe such an "ally" exists.

Again, it's not surprising that no one in Québec (no one) has yet supported the termination of Mme Laurent-Auger's services. Not even the dinosaurs who did the terminating. That's cause for celebration.

 

voice of the damned

Unionist wrote:

1. There's no pornography here.

2. There's no violence.

What do you mean by "here"? Do you mean a specific place, or is "here" being used as a metaphor for the overall issue?

Unionist

"Here" means in the event that I opened this thread about. Sorry if that wasn't obvious.

 

voice of the damned

Unionist wrote:

"Here" means in the event that I opened this thread about. Sorry if that wasn't obvious.

 

Well, the event, as far as I can tell, was the firing of Ms. Laurent.

So, when you say "no pornography here"...

You're saying that she was not fired because of a previous participation in pornographic films? Or are you saying that the films in question were not pornographic?

Unionist

The films in question were not pornographic.

 

voice of the damned
voice of the damned

Well, from the IMDB listing for Secret Diary Of A Nymphomania(which is mentioned in your original article)...

"Le journal intime d'une nymphomane (1973) 86 min  -  Adult  -  21 June 1973 (France) "

You can read the decription and review of the film, plus check out what other sorts of films IMDB lists under the "Adult" classification.

If you're arguing that Secret Diary isn't one of the films she was fired for, fair enough. But, if you're trying to argue that Secret Diary wasn't intended as pornography, well, I'll just leave you to that.   

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Yeah but 'adult' film doesn't necessarily mean pornography.

Think of Lady Chatterlain's Lover or Emannuelle.Nudity and simulated sex scenes.

Fritz The Cat was considered an adult film.It's still rated X and it is pornography free.

I'm not a pornography expert but I think 'stag films' from the 60's and 70's were primarily full of nudity.

I have not seen this lady's films but if we're talking about nudity and/or simulated sex then the firing is completely absurd.

If it's a matter of opinion,even if the films were hardcore pornography,the firing is unlawful (or at least should be)

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

The films in question were not pornographic.

From the descriptions I read yes they were pornographic, or erotica if you prefer. The entire storyline was an excuse for everyone to have explicit sex with each other including at least one threesome. They were not merely nude and they were not pretending to have sex they were actually having sex. If she were teaching a workshop at a CEGEP it would have been a non-issue. If the kids had not discovered her on an XXX site it would still be a non-issue. Unfortunately they did discover it so the school had to act. Not out of judgement of her, but out of the need to keep the explicit material from circulating permanently.

6079_Smith_W

Excuse me, but who the fuck cares whether they were pornographic or not? Can I hear an explanation as to why that is in any way relevant, either as condemnation or defense?

Some might get off on hauling out the measuring stick to check out how high above the knee the hem is. I think it is nonsense.

 

 

Unionist

[url=http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/justice-et-affaires-criminelles/faits-... Presse:[/url]

Quote:

Mme Laurent-Auger ne regrette rien et ne renie aucun pan de sa carrière. Elle assure ne jamais avoir tourné de scènes pornographiques, mais s'être limitée à des films érotiques «soft» comme il s'en faisait plusieurs à l'époque.

«C'étaient des films de début de carrière, a-t-elle expliqué. Ils m'ont permis de gagner ma vie, d'être à Paris, de continuer à étudier. Et après les films plus intéressants sont venus, bien entendu. » L'actrice était de la distribution de Dany la ravageuse (1972), du Journal intime d'une nymphomane (1973) ou encore de Nathalie rescapée de l'enfer (1978).

C'était «il y a presque 50 ans», a-t-elle souligné. «J'ai 73 ans maintenant.» Et «toutes les actrices du monde ont tourné des scènes nues.»

[url=http://blogues.journaldemontreal.com/estherbegin/societe/college-brebeuf... Bégin, in Le Journal de Montréal:[/url]

Quote:
Bref, si on suit la logique du Collège Brébeuf, la prof a été « punie » pour avoir exploré –il y a près d’un demi-siècle- une forme d’art cinématographique, en l’occurrence le cinéma érotique dit soft (à des kilomètres du film porno hardcore triple XXX) qui était en pleine expansion à l’époque et qui suscitait beaucoup plus de curiosité que de scandale…

[url=http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/editorials/Editorial+Firing+teacher... Herald editorial: Firing teacher 50 years after the fact is shameful[/url]

Quote:
Laurent-Auger, who has taught at the school for 15 years, said she participated in the films, which are arty and not soft or hard porn, to earn money when she was a student just out of theatre school and trying to make her way as an actress.

Even Brébeuf never claimed that her films were "pornographic".

But I guess we can all use words any way we want. As long as we don't use it to pile on and attack a woman who has done nothing wrong. Nothing whatsoever. Except to stand up and be seen and heard.

Quote:
[Laurent-Auger] thanked her students for coming out in support of her, a gesture she said they made out of a “love” for her. She’s urging everyone to “talk with our heart and not anything else.”

Amen.

 

6079_Smith_W

But if she had done those things in bold font, would that have made it okay?

The question of whether this makes some blush, faint, or titter into their fans is completely irrelevant. The point is she got fired.

At the very least, if the law doesn't set that standard, it should be the case among progressives, if I may be allowed to play that card.

(edit)

In case this might seem like splitting hairs, it isn't if only for the reason that the bar for what is "pornographic" whatever that means, is way lower when it comes to some activities or forms of sexuality than others - note that "lesbianism" was cited upthread. So while I get the defense, it still plays into the idea that some things are inherently dirty, and might perhaps justify firing someone.

I'm having none of it.

 

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But if she had done those things in bold font, would that have made it okay?

The question of whether this makes some blush, faint, or titter into their fans is completely irrelevant. The point is she got fired.

At the very least, if the law doesn't set that standard, it should be the case among progressives, if I may be allowed to play that card.

I absolutely agree (as you likely know!). I just wanted to show the casual ease with which a woman gets her character assassinated, based on no evidence better than: "Well, IMDB calls them adult films, so they must be designed to help men achieve orgasm", or whatever.

Quote:

In case this might seem like splitting hairs, it isn't if only for the reason that the bar for what is "pornographic" whatever that means, is way lower when it comes to some activities or forms of sexuality than others - note that "lesbianism" was cited upthread. So while I get the defense, it still plays into the idea that some things are inherently dirty, and might perhaps justify firing someone.

I'm having none of it.

Same here. If she had been the Queen of Porn, these attacks would still be abhorrent.

 

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

Same here. If she had been the Queen of Porn, these attacks would still be abhorrent.

What attacks? No one is saying she did anything wrong.

6079_Smith_W

@ Unionist

I figured so. Thx.

 

voice of the damned

Now for Pondering...

Pondering wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Same here. If she had been the Queen of Porn, these attacks would still be abhorrent.

What attacks? No one is saying she did anything wrong.

If I understood your earlier posts, you regard these films as being harmful. If that's true(and you can correct me if I'm misinterpreting them), by what defense can you say she did nothing wrong by acting in them?

voice of the damned

From Unionist's newspaper quotes:

Elle assure ne jamais avoir tourné de scènes pornographiques

Okay, assuming that she is using the word in the same way that I would(see below), all this quote proves is that her particular scenes weren't pornographic, not that the whole film wasn't.

It's like, if somebody asks you if you acted in a racist film, and you reply "The scenes I was in didn't have any racist content", it doesn't really answer the question. Even if you were just had a bit part as a waiter where one of the characters goes for coffee, you were still involved in helping people produce a racist film.

à des kilomètres du film porno hardcore triple XXX

First off, "XXX" isn't an actual rating, or even a defined term. It's just an advertising slogan, parodying the form of a rating, intended to attract customers with the promise of explicit sex.

Secondly, even taking the terminology at face value, all that quote proves is that the films weren't "hardcore"(generally understood as meaning explicit sex). Playboy Centrefolds and cartoons of pigtailed cheerleaders squatting to urinate aren't considered hardcore either.

"Laurent-Auger, who has taught at the school for 15 years, said she participated in the films, which are arty and not soft or hard porn"

This one is cliche to the point of comedic. Claiming to be all about "art" is the standard defense of people who produce pornography. I've heard it used by everyone from strip-club owners to Bob Guccione. I guess that proves that Penthouse Letters aren't pornographic?

And, just to be clear, I disagree with the idea that art and pornography are mutually exclusive. Though I realize this puts me on the opposite end of the question from many pornographers themselves. 

Unionist wrote:

If she had been the Queen of Porn, these attacks would still be abhorrent.

Does this apply to everyone involved in the production of pornography? And, remembering your earlier plea that these films were made a long time ago, does it apply no matter what era they were working in the industry?

For example...

"Young Enough For Lollipops"

http://tinyurl.com/mgyh6gc

(It's an Amazon link)

Suppose that cover dated from 2012(it's actually '96, but the magazine still survives in much the same format). If it were discovered that the person who wrote it were teaching language-arts at a high-school somewhere in Quebec, would you and(apparently) the entire spectrum of Quebec public opinion be rallying in defense of his continued employment?

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

voice of the damned wrote:

And, just to be clear, I disagree with the idea that art and pornography are mutually exclusive.

Well thank goodness for that. Though I am shaking my head a bit at this, and not just because I think there is more concern to your point than substance.

We just lost a civil rights champion in the last month who fought Canada Customs over this kind of material, including plenty of stuff where there was no need for this hair-splitting debate; it was porn. I don't recall any handwringing about how the left would interpret his legacy and who might complain - though no one did.

In fact, if we want to get right down to it there are more than a few civil liberties we enjoy - here in Canada and in other countries - thanks to artists and pornographers who have pushed this envelope. Funny that it is hardly ever high art or even big businesses that gets ensnared in this trap. It is individual people, small companies, non-straight, non-mainstream who get arrested, fired, and otherwise marginalized, while sexualization and the porn industry are everywhere.

voice of the damned

Well thank goodness for that.

Just to be clear, if you agree about the compatibility of art and porn, you might have a bit of an argument from either Ms. Laurent-Auger or her defenders at the Calgary Herald(it's hard to tell whether they were quoting her here)...

"Laurent-Auger, who has taught school for 15 years, said she participated in the films, which are arty and not soft or hard porn..."

I suppose she didn't technically say "...arty and therefore not porn". But, then why bring up the artiness of the films at all, if not to refute the porn allegations? I don't think it was simply any alleged philsitninism that the college was complaining about.

Anyway, here's a somewhat similar case I recall from a few years back...

http://tinyurl.com/lnyjxpy

One wonders why there was no signficiant outrage, from either progressives or the general public, over this guy who resigned after a controversy whipped up by the Toronto Star.

Maybe people are just more prudish in Ontario? Or writing a sexy novel is different than acting in a sexy film? Or Tremblay just looked like central-casting for Skeezy Old Man(and who wants to defend that)?

Granted, Tremblay was not actually fired, but let's face it, you don't quit a job over news reports unless you're expecting some pretty major blowback from public-opinion.

 

 

Gonzaga

Sorry Pondering, for taking so long to answer. In passing, I do feel that male attitudes toward women, sex, and sexuality are more problematic than female ones in their effects. Also, being a male myself, I could better attest to how young menboys might respond.

And the effect of all this on girls and women is absolutely just as important, though I understand they're less likely to be exposed to the stuff directly since fewer of them surf porn sites.

But anyway, if, as some say, young girl's and women's self-worth is often strongly bound to physical attractiveness, seeing the material might help them understand how ephemeral (conventional) physical attractiveness is. They too might get some insight into older people, as having once been young, and as being sexual beings. They might also get an object lesson in seeing someone who did erotic films once and is now doing something else, and understand that doing erotic films doesn't define a person. And  that unfortunately you can be judged by people according to their own nonsensical prejudices for something you did 40 years ago.

6079_Smith_W

@ VOTD

Before you go setting me up in opposition to someone else as a distraction from the main point....

Seeing as my argument is that it doesn't matter, I don't see how anyone defending her would take issue with anything I have to say. I haven't offered any opinion about the movies she was in, since I haven't seen them.

More important though, is that I am sure at least some people would be scandalized and think them pornographic, and I am of the opinion that whether it is porn or not is completely irrelevant. Someone wants to use that argument though? Doesn't mean I am going to fall for the tactic of using speculation to set her supporters against one another.

(especially after baseless speculation about how that defense is somehow an affront to feminists)

I think her supporters are far more interested in her reinstatement than arguing with other supporters about why. Again, concern over substance.

 

voice of the damned

Seeing as my argument is that it doesn't matter, I don't see how anyone defending her would take issue with anything I have to say. I haven't offered any opinion about the movies she was in, since I haven't seen them.

Well, the topic we're enaged in right now is the (in)compatibility of art and pornography. I first got onto that in regards to Unionist, who quoted the Calgary Herald and/or Ms. Laurent-Auger as saying that the films were "arty and not softcore or hardcore porn". I took issue with that dichotomy, again pretty much addressing Unionist, and then you jumped in with your cooments implying that my argument against the dichotomy might be insincere.  

I guess since it was the Herald and/or Laurent-Auger, not I, who postulated the dichotomy, it was a little odd that you seemed to be taking me to task, without saying even so much as "Of course, the Herald is pretty whacked out about this too."

All that said, if you do truly reject the Herald and/or Laurent-Auger's dichotomy between porn vs. art(and from what I know of you, it seems likely you do), I sincerely apologize for using it as part of my reply to you.

I STILL think it was a pretty bad way for them to formulate their defense of her, but that's a comment more for Unionist.

Doesn't mean I am going to fall for the tactic of using speculation to set her supporters against one another.

(especially after baseless speculation about how that defense is somehow an affront to feminists)

Well, I'm not trying to start a fight, any more than I would be trying to start a fight if I asked a bunch of Conservatives why their party opposed liberalizing trade for 120 years, and then switched sides under Mulroney, and what does that mean for the legacy of MacDonald and Diefenbaker. I suppose it might generate some lively discussion, but I'd hardly expect a chair-tossing brawl.

You may note that throughout this thread, starting in my first post, I have given counterexamples of involvement in porn(the latest being the Ontario teacher), inviting people to speculate about how they would respond. I guess what I've really been trying to get at is...

Why do people think Brebeuf's decision was wrong?

Is it because they don't think the kind of films Ms. Laurent-Auger was making are harmful?

(^ This being the position that would contradict certain feminist analyses of pornography, but we can forget that aspect if you think it's just gonna lead to chair-tossing.)

Or is it because the films, while they may have been harmful, were made so long ago that it's not fair to reprimand her for her decisions?

Or is it because Ms. Laurent-Auger's involvement in the films was so peripheral that we can't really hold her responsible for their content?

Or...?

And, just for the record, I've also called Pondering to task for what seem to me like ambiguities in his/her position, ie. Pondering seems to think that the films are detrimental to the public good, but doesn't think Ms. Laurent-Auger did anything wrong by appearing in them. I've challenged her on that, but it doesn't mean I'm trying to kick up a duststorm among supporters of Brebeuf's original decision.  

 

 

 

 

Unionist

VOTD, I think you misunderstood my reason for quoting all those media, including the Calgary Herald. It certainly was NOT because I agreed with or adopted any of the particular assessments they made. It was only to demonstrate that (and I'm repeating myself) no one has accused Laurent-Auger of having participated in the production of pornography.

No media, nobody.

Nowhere.

And for the third time, not even the jerks who tossed her, then did an about-face because some of their donors must have told them they were gonna be next in line.

By the way, I have zero interest, especially in the context of this event, in debating the aesthetic/philosophical issue of where erotica ends and pornography begins. My interest was and is simply to add my voice in opposing this vicious and obviously misogynistic attack against a woman and an educator.

VOTD wrote:
...it doesn't mean I'm trying to kick up a duststorm among supporters of Brebeuf's original decision

[Emphasis added.]

Name two, please. (You did use the plural.)

 

voice of the damned

And, since I've invited opinion, I'll state again that the first option most closely approximates my opinion. Contra Unionist, I do think the films were likely pornographic(it's not just IMDB that uses that nomenclature, as any trip into an "Adult Bookstore" can show you). However, I don't think the harm generated by pornography, to the extent that there is any at all, warrants firing someone from a teaching job.

But, I do admit to a certain ambiguity, mostly around the issue of time-passage. I can't say for certain if I'd be that lackidasical about it if, say, Ron Jeremy just walked into a school with his Special-Needs Education degree in hand and asked to resume his teaching career. It would seem to that that is a reinstatement that would put the school into quite a bit of tumult.

Pondering

Gonzaga wrote:
And the effect of all this on girls and women is absolutely just as important, though I understand they're less likely to be exposed to the stuff directly since fewer of them surf porn sites.

Therein lies the problem. Do you remember being 12? If I found out my teacher acted in anything 40 years ago I would want to see it. If it were erotica it would be irresistable. Once a single student found it the news, and the link, it must have traveled like wildfire. It's not that the kids might accidently stumble on it. It's that her presence prompts kids who haven't been to those sites to go.

Gonzaga wrote:
But anyway, if, as some say, young girl's and women's self-worth is often strongly bound to physical attractiveness, seeing the material might help them understand how ephemeral (conventional) physical attractiveness is. They too might get some insight into older people, as having once been young, and as being sexual beings. They might also get an object lesson in seeing someone who did erotic films once and is now doing something else, and understand that doing erotic films doesn't define a person. And  that unfortunately you can be judged by people according to their own nonsensical prejudices for something you did 40 years ago.

Those would be good lessons but they would have to go much farther. I strongly object to the portrayal of lesbianism as something women turn to when a man does them wrong. Although I haven't seen the film from the plot outline it is a vehicle for lots of explicit sex. The validity of porn, arty or otherwise, would have to be challenged from a critical feminist perspective not libertarian perspective.

To do any of that would make the film part of school curriculum. That really wouldn't be appropriate.

Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:

Now for Pondering...

Pondering wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Same here. If she had been the Queen of Porn, these attacks would still be abhorrent.

What attacks? No one is saying she did anything wrong.

If I understood your earlier posts, you regard these films as being harmful. If that's true(and you can correct me if I'm misinterpreting them), by what defense can you say she did nothing wrong by acting in them?

Harmful to minors, so are marijuana and alcohol. The only issue I see here is the unavoidable exposure of minors as young as 12 to her films and the damage to the school's reputation if they became known as the school with the porn actress. They might as well put the XXX address in the homeroom class syllabus.

If you look up the name of the director his films were rejected by the art film community as too pornographic and violent.

I do feel that the pornographic depiction of women is damaging to society but so is the amount of gratuitous violence in mass media. The existence of such material in and of itself I don't see as problematic. Pre-internet it wouldn't have been as much of a problem. The material is not suitable for minors and it's existence is a magnet to teens during the years when they are forming their sexual identities. That's the problem.

voice of the damned

VOTD, I think you misunderstood my reason for quoting all those media, including the Calgary Herald. It certainly was NOT because I agreed with or adopted any of the particular assessments they made. It was only to demonstrate that (and I'm repeating myself) no one has accused Laurent-Auger of having participated in the production of pornography.

Well, I guess one of the reasons I might have misunderstood is that you did emphasize the denials of pornography(by putting them in black) in your post #128. If you go back and read those quotes, I think you might agree that these quotes contain a bit of "assessment" of the material. (Especially, but not limited to, the Herald's "arty not porn" comment)

And for the third time, not even the jerks who tossed her, then did an about-face because some of their donors must have told them they were gonna be next in line.

Well, I don't speak French. What was the exact wording of the dismissal? What exactly did they say that she had done that they didn't like?

I mean, there are cases where I wouldn't need the exact word to be used to know that the basic idea was a factor. If you tell me that a teacher was fired for saying that blacks and First Nations are inferior to whites, it doesn't really matter if they used the word "racism" or not in their letter of dismissal.

But, to be honest, I don't know if this is one of those cases, or if there claims were vague to the point of meaninglessness.

Name two, please. (You did use the plural.)

I retract the pluralization. I thought there had been at least one other, but, checking over the thread, it seems that apart from Pondering, the only debate was about peripheral issues, not the decision itself.

That said, even if there had been some other posters arguing the "harm" analysis of pornography, pointing out ambiguities in one person's opinion would hardly be, by itself, a provocation to sectional civil war.

voice of the damned

Harmful to minors, so are marijuana and alcohol. The only issue I see here is the unavoidable exposure of minors as young as 12 to her films and the damage to the school's reputation if they became known as the school with the porn actress. They might as well put the XXX address in the homeroom class syllabus.

I see what you're saying. Though one could argue that, once the issue hit the press, any minors not already exposed to her films would likely be exposed in short order. So, the dismissal probably ended up being counterproductive anyway.

My teaching assignments currently include minors. And, in the highly unlikely event that I was offered a role in a porn film, I would almot certainly turn it down, since I would just know that it would only take one student's parents seeing it to get me fired. I suppose you could argue that the culprit is really the prudishness of society, not to mention the hypocrisy("Why was that parent watching my films anyway, huh!!") but then, on the level of individual choice, I probably should have taken that into account before I signed up to do a porn film.

voice of the damned

Pondersing wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Harmful to minors, so are marijuana and alcohol. The only issue I see here is the unavoidable exposure of minors as young as 12 to her films and the damage to the school's reputation if they became known as the school with the porn actress. They might as well put the XXX address in the homeroom class syllabus.

I see what you're saying. Though one could argue that, once the issue hit the press, any minors not already exposed to her films would likely be exposed in short order. So, the dismissal probably ended up being counterproductive anyway.

My teaching assignments currently include minors. And, in the highly unlikely event that I was offered a role in a porn film, I would almot certainly turn it down, since I would just know that it would only take one student's parents seeing it to get me fired. I suppose you could argue that the culprit is really the prudishness of society, not to mention the hypocrisy("Why was that parent watching my films anyway, huh!!") but then, on the level of individual choice, I probably should have taken that into account before I signed up to do a porn film.

Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:
I see what you're saying. Though one could argue that, once the issue hit the press, any minors not already exposed to her films would likely be exposed in short order. So, the dismissal probably ended up being counterproductive anyway.

Thank you for understanding my point. I don't think they knew she would take it to the press but even so all current students probably already knew about it. It was inevidable that a parent would find out. It will still die down faster than if she continued teaching. If she continued teaching the gossip would start up again every September and the new kids would find out about it and go looking.

voice of the damned wrote:
I would just know that it would only take one student's parents seeing it to get me fired. I suppose you could argue that the culprit is really the prudishness of society, not to mention the hypocrisy("Why was that parent watching my films anyway, huh!!

It is my understanding that a parent brought it to the attention of the school that the students had found it on an XXX site. Some parent was probably checking their kids internet history or emails or maybe their kid told them about it.

When I went to school grade 7 was still part of elementary school in Quebec. In the states they have junior high. I do think the age range in Quebec high schools is too great. 12 to 17 covers a really broad range during a period of dramatic changes in maturity. If it were 16 or 17 year olds I would be more likely to see it as a learning opportunity but even then discussing material legally designated 18+ would be problamatic.

The school was caught between a rock and a hard place.

lagatta

I don't think marijuana or alcohol (in small, controlled doses) are necessarily harmful to "minors" either. It depends on the social and cultural context, as well as the age of the minor. Is he or she 6 or 17? I'd smoked a couple of joints with friends (more to fit in than anything else) by 16 or 17, and in our household, it was normal for there to be some wine on the table for celebrations at least, with a bit for the teens. Of course I've also seen situations where minors were brought up in dysfunctional situations in which substance abuse was usually one among many dire problems. and the prospects are usually bleak.

I do also see social harm in pornography, especially violent pornography and examples that show women "loving" being raped and abused. But no, I don't think that someone who has taken part even in films or photography that might be viewed as pornographic should be punished as a result, and certainly not if the incident happened long ago. I think many people here in Québec might feel differently if a teacher was taking part in a pornographic shoot while under contract. It is a question of judgement more than hard and fast rules.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

lagatta wrote:

I don't think marijuana or alcohol (in small, controlled doses) are necessarily harmful to "minors" either. It depends on the social and cultural context, as well as the age of the minor. [...]

Thank you for that lagatta, it always seems to get lost in the discussion - the belief seems to be that the magical intoxicant fairy appears on the eve of the minor's 18th birthday and tucks the knowledge of how to deal with those things under their pillow as they sleep.

Pondering

lagatta wrote:

I don't think marijuana or alcohol (in small, controlled doses) are necessarily harmful to "minors" either. It depends on the social and cultural context, as well as the age of the minor. Is he or she 6 or 17? I'd smoked a couple of joints with friends (more to fit in than anything else) by 16 or 17, and in our household, it was normal for there to be some wine on the table for celebrations at least, with a bit for the teens. Of course I've also seen situations where minors were brought up in dysfunctional situations in which substance abuse was usually one among many dire problems. and the prospects are usually bleak.

I agree but I wasn't speaking in an absolute sense as in claiming a tablespoon of wine is harmful. The point is it is not legal for people under the age of 18 to drink but people over 18 can. Same goes for porn. The effect of porn on a 12 year old is very different than the effect on an 18 year old. It is true those ages are arbitrarily selected to some extent but there are behaviors that require a greater sense of understanding and self-control than most teens have.

lagatta wrote:
I do also see social harm in pornography, especially violent pornography and examples that show women "loving" being raped and abused. But no, I don't think that someone who has taken part even in films or photography that might be viewed as pornographic should be punished as a result, and certainly not if the incident happened long ago. I think many people here in Québec might feel differently if a teacher was taking part in a pornographic shoot while under contract. It is a question of judgement more than hard and fast rules.

I don't understand why you use the term punished. If she were teaching CEGEP it would be a non-issue. If she could remove the material from the internet or there was some other way to prevent students from accessing the material it wouldn't be a problem.

These are the consequences of appearing in sexually explicit media. If she is 73 now that means she was around 30 when she did the films.

Parents have the right not to have their kids motivated to watch an erotic movie because of the school they are attending. It's tough enough trying to keep them away from it.

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