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Sexy Time: FGCU students conflict on what is obscene

Although the First Amendment grants the freedom for arts and innovation, there is still censorship guarding the obscene. Under Miller v. California in 1973, obscene materials would be judged by: “Whether the average person applying community standards found it obscene, whether the work depicts or describes in an offensive way a sexual act, or whether the work lacks artistic, literary, or political value.”

There are a lot of problems regarding the
definition of what is obscene, especially for college students whose social mores consist of going commando to class instead of doing laundry.

In fact, in one of my journalism classes, students interviewed a girl who came to school in a bathrobe because it was the only clean thing she owned. Was that obscene or just your average Wednesday?

We could look at bathrobe girl as a performance artist, transgressing the need for clothes and making a political statement for FGCU to lower the price of their washers and dryers.

However, I don’t think someone with a less theatrical background than myself would see it the same way. They’d probably see some chick in a robe sitting Indian style in the library and text their friends about how weird college is.

What defines the average FGCU student, and more importantly, what is obscene in college when rebellion and pushing the limits are the norm?

“It depends on the motive,” said Jose Belloga, a sophomore software engineering major. “Obscene is determined by her reason. If she comes to school in her underwear to be obscene or make a statement, then it is obscene. ”

Agreed – a person’s choices when it comes to their own experiences, whether they be sexual or not, determine how they can be judged. Still, we live in a very critical world. While you may find wearing a T-shirt joking about sexual assault dandy, chances are the person sitting next to you won’t be laughing.

The question of what is obscene varies from person to person and topic to topic. Some students said some clothes were obscene, while others said actions.

“I consider a lot of things obscene,” said Kerri Byron, a junior communication major. “Abortion activists and the man who preaches on campus are obscene.”

Ironically, the preachers on campus feed off student responses. They continue to come to FGCU because people stand next to them with signs and turn into monsters attacking his beliefs. If we all just went on with our day instead of giving him the reaction he craves, he would go away. Instead, we respond in outrageous and equally abusive ways fighting the obscene with the obnoxious.

Anything that could be taken as discriminatory or could deeply harm someone emotionally, physically or psychologically is obscene. Do clothes really carry that transformative power, or is the truth in the body they cover?

A few people also cited outfits as obscene; however, size shouldn’t be an issue in whether or not something is immoral. The key issue is respect, both for other people and for themselves.

If you value yourself and your university so little to go outside looking like a hot mess from Lani Kai, maybe you should look at your life and your choices.

“Going barefoot isn’t bad, but some girls wear barely anything to class just because they can,” said Lauren Blair, a junior majoring in elementary education.

Students shouldn’t completely give up their right to express themselves but should be wary of the diverse group of people around them instead. College is all about living for the day, and seizing each opportunity, but also knocking on doors that could be opened in the future. Don’t lock yourself out.

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