An anonymous essay in the Yeshiva University campus paper about one woman’s “transformation from Occasionally-Cute-Modern-Orthodox-Girl into Sexually-Appealing-Secular-Woman” is the new Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The Orthodox Jewish Manhattan college is melting down over the publication of the PG-13 confession, and has split entirely from the newspaper, The Beacon. Panties, it could be said, are in a twist.
The unsigned article in “The Written Word” section of the paper is headlined, “How Do I Even Begin To Explain This,” and now comes with an editor’s note atop, warning “literary works occasionally contain material that can be perceived as offensive by some readers, so reader discretion is advised.”
But anyone who has ever seen ten minutes of programming on MTV would not so much as blush at the description of one-time premarital sex in a hotel room between two consenting adults. While it does contain some sin, the writer is even regretful of the encounter, which moves from “Stella Artois and cable television” to the steamy part:
As soon as my bra hits the floor, the voice is gone.
Between the fumbling, the pain, the pleasure, I convince myself that I’ve learned how to make love.
Then it’s right to the cuddling — that’s it. And yet The Wall Street Journal today describes an “uproar” at the religious institution and the subsequent battle over censorship. The paper’s funding has been “cut off” by the student council, according to a Beacon editor, and a co-editor has resigned. One scandalized student says that if the writer had tackled the issue “in either a theoretical way or a less graphic way, it would definitely be much more acceptable.” Some metaphor, maybe: birds, bees, and the spilling of seed.