In his column today, Stuart Taylor takes a closer look at the recent Sex Workers’ Art Show that played at Duke University on Feb. 3rd.  Following the lacrosse scandal, the university adopted a rule that stated: “Strippers may not be invited or paid to perform at events sponsored by individual students, residential living groups, or cohesive units.”  Taylor decided to ask the school why they broke their own rule:

Duke Provost Peter Lange, responding to my e-mailed questions, explained that the sponsors had followed normal procedures to get university funds and facilities. Duke “routinely hosts shows and speakers that some people find controversial or even objectionable,” he wrote, as part of its “strong commitment to free speech and academic freedom.” He added that the university takes no position on the views expressed.

Fair enough. But how can the Duke administration reconcile its solicitude for the right of some groups to pay strippers to perform with its disdain for lacrosse players who did the same?

“There is an obvious difference,” Lange responded, “between strippers performing at a private party and a group of artists touring university campuses across the country to present a show with political discussion, musical theater, and displays of sexuality.”

So people who take off their clothes and dance for money while others watch are not mere strippers, but rather “artists,” if they go on tour, call it “musical theater,” and toss in scatological and vulgar political effusions?

In other words, if you have politically correct motives, strippers are welcome at Duke:

While the show portrayed “sex workers” as both artistic “geniuses” and victims of society, males who pay strippers to perform had better have politically correct motives. The Sex Workers Art Show passed the political correctness test because, in the words of its website, it not only “entertains, arouses, and amazes” but also offers “scathing and insightful commentary on notions of class, race, gender, labor, and sexuality.”

As if the nation’s campuses were not sufficiently steeped in such stuff already.

More here.