Shalom Life | April 23, 2014

Yeshiva University’s Sex 'Scandal'

New York’s Modern Orthodox Yeshiva University cuts ties with the student newspaper over an article on one Orthodox woman’s one night-stand.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: December 9th, 2011 in Culture » Society » News

Yeshiva University’s Sex 'Scandal'

Yeshiva University, a unique school that acknowledges merit in both religious and secular studies, has cut off all funding from their student newspaper, The Beacon, after they refused to remove a published article depicting one Orthodox woman’s account of a one nigh stand.

After YU spoke with the newspapers editors encouraging them to remove the article, both parties agreed it would be best to sever ties. The Beacon has decided to become an independent paper.

“In light of recent developments, YU and The Beacon have agreed to separate,” the magazine posted on their website. “Over the next few days, we will update the site to reflect these changes. The Beacon will continue to publish as always.”

The “sex scandal” has caused a debate campus-wide on the issue of censorship. The article is question entitled “How Do I Even Begin To Explain This” follows one woman’s detailed account of a one-night stand in Manhattan. The author describes herself as an “Occasionally-Cute-Modern-Orthodox-Girl” who decided for one night to be a “Sexually-Appealing-Secular-Woman.”

Although the article has descriptive (by Orthodox standards) sentences including, “Between the fumbling, the pain, the pleasure, I convince myself that I’ve learned how to make love,” the author’s ultimate message is that the shame she experienced the following day was not ultimately worth the experience.

After the article was posted on the newspapers Facebook page, thousands of readers began a heated debate. One YU student compared the “graphic” nature of the piece to a controversial article on a murderer.

Other students argued that reactions like this send a negative message: that Orthodox women have no one to confide in during times of need.

“Could we really turn to our Rabbis, our "friends", or parents if we had this problem? The hurtful and nasty comments that people are posting are part of the reason that people feel like they can't reach out to anyone,” the student posts.

Additionally, The Beacon’s co-editor-in-chief, Toviah Moldwin, has decided to resign.

“The publicity surrounding this incident was a result I neither desired nor anticipated, and I fear that some of this publicity may have put YU in a negative light. I have thus become uncomfortable remaining at the forefront of The Beacon, though I still firmly believe in The Beacon’s mission of promoting dialogue within the university community”, Moldwin wrote.

“The Beacon is a necessary forum for student self-expression and discussion between people with different viewpoints,” she continued.

What do you this of this article? Although its contents would most likely be labeled “kid-friendly” in any other environment, is it too graphic for Modern Orthodox students?

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