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Campus Sex Month at UNH to Feature Film About ‘Adolescent Sexuality’

Campus Sex Month at UNH to Feature Film About ‘Adolescent Sexuality’

“takes a revealing look at how American attitudes towards adolescent sexuality affect today’s teenagers.”

If colleges are the hotbeds of sexual assault the left claims they are, why do schools host events like sex month?

The College Fix reports:

Campus sex month will feature film on ‘adolescent sexuality’

A campus’s sex month will feature numerous sex-related events and panels, including the screening of one movie that examines “adolescent sexuality.”

The University of New Hampshire’s “Sextober” celebration, which promises “educational programming all month long,” features at least 20 separate events from late September until the end of October. One of those is a screening of the movie “Let’s Talk About Sex” on Oct. 7.

That movie, the event listing states, “takes a revealing look at how American attitudes towards adolescent sexuality affect today’s teenagers.”

“We live in a society that uses sex to sell everything from lipstick to laptops. Yet fear and silence around sex and sexuality also permeate our culture. Teens are paying a terrible price for this confusion in unintended pregnancy, STDs, and even HIV,” the listing continues.

The film’s website says that its director “tries to make sense of our contradicting attitudes about sex and sexuality by talking to the people they most affect: teens and their families.”

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It is perhaps appropriate that UNH would host this,given the involvement of two New Hampshire authors and residents, Joyce Maynard and J.D. Salinger. Joyce Maynard, a UNH faculty brat, published an article in the NYT Magazine when she was a freshman at Yale. As a result of that article, she got a letter from J.D. Salinger. Joyce Maynard, aged 18 so still a teenager, moved in with J.D. Salinger.Vanity Fair (1998):Salinger in Love. She later published an article two decades later on the consequences of that 1998 Vanity Fair article. NYT (2018): Was She J.D. Salinger’s Predator or His Prey?

It has been said of me, in the pages of this newspaper, that I am a predator. The author of those words was hardly alone in her assessment. In 1998, nearly 20 years before the #MeToo movement, I published a book about my relationship with a famous and revered writer who sought me out when he was 53 and I was 18.

I won’t catalog here all the epithets — “stalker,” “leech woman,” “opportunistic onetime nymphet” — of which I and my work (“a tawdry boudoir confession”) were the objects that season. The story I told in my book, “At Home in the World,” was received in the literary press with near universal condemnation. This did not destroy my career or my emotional well-being, but it came close.

My crime — which earned me the dubious distinction of being, in the opinion of one prominent critic, the author of possibly “the worst book ever written” — lay in my decision, after 25 years of silence, to write a memoir in which I told the story of my relationship with a powerful older man.

In the spring of 1972, following the publication in The Times Magazine of an essay of mine accompanied by a particularly guileless photograph of me (bluejeans, scruffy hair, no makeup), I had received a letter from J.D. Salinger in which he offered his admiration, friendship, mentorship and spiritual guidance — and, in subsequent letters and phone calls, urged me to leave college, come live with him (have babies, collaborate on plays we would perform together in London’s West End) and be (I truly believed this) his partner forever.

I gave up my scholarship and dropped out of Yale, cut off communication with my friends and moved (with a suitcase of miniskirts and record albums I was forbidden to play) back to my home state of New Hampshire to be with him. Seven months later, during a trip we’d taken to Florida, with words as devastating as they had once been captivating and entrancing, he put two $50 bills in my hand and instructed me to return to New Hampshire, clear my things out of his house and disappear.

Believing Salinger to be the most spiritually elevated man I would ever know, I accepted his assessment of me as unworthy, and for the next quarter-century I barely spoke of my experience, even to the man I ultimately married, with whom I had three children. Still, word had got out that I’d left Yale to be with Salinger, and during those years, hardly a week went by when I was not asked about the great man. Each time I said that I would respect his privacy…

I am 64 now. In the decades since I published my story about those days and their enduring effect on my life, I have received many letters from readers. Some are from women with chillingly similar stories to share, of powerful older men who, when these women were very young, captured their exceedingly naïve trust, as well as their hearts, and altered the course of their lives.

I have also received letters and emails from women around my age, with a more familiar story to tell: of having received a letter long ago, around the age of 18 — an absolutely captivating letter, magical, even — composed in a voice they recognized as that of Holden Caulfield, though bearing an even more familiar name at the bottom of the page and containing words I could recite, I know them so well. It turns out that at least one of the recipients of these letters was carrying on her correspondence with Salinger during the very winter when I was living with him, so careful never to disturb his writing.

In a cursory look at the UNH’s Sextober website, I have not located any mention of Joyce Maynard. Had she been invited to comment or participate in UNH’s Sextover, it is not difficult to imagine why she would have declined.

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