Metro Weekly

Dartmouth students bombard Gov. Rick Perry with anal sex questions

“In your campaigns you have received hard-money campaign contributions of $102 million, half of which came from 204 donors. Would you have anal sex for $102 million?”

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— One of several questions posed to Texas Governor Rick Perry (R.), during a speaking engagement at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. Governor Perry is openly homophobic, going so far as to compare homosexuality to alcoholism, which led to several students asking him questions that directly referenced anal sex and homosexuality. One audience member specifically called out the Governor’s alcoholic comparison, asking, “Recently in San Francisco, you explained that being gay is like being an alcoholic. Would you like to get drunk and be gay with me?”

The questions, which were distributed by student Ben Packer according to the college’s newspaper The Dartmouth, were incredibly vulgar and included, “Does your ideal anti-sodomy law prevent me from playing with my own poop shoot[sic]?” as well as, “If new documents revealed that Jesus liked to play with his own hairy hollow, would you change your opinion?” The questions, according to the document that can be viewed in the Tweet below, were “intended to mock the idea that a policymaker[sic] should have opinions on our sex acts.”

Presidents of the college’s Democrat and Republican societies condemned the questions. Michelle Knesbach, of the College Republicans, told The Dartmouth that the questions were “incredibly insulting,” adding that she was “horrified” that the questions had detracted from political discourse on the campus. President of the College Democrats, Spencer Blair, echoed her views, stating it was “really disappointing that anyone would undermine a serious political event with sexually explicit questions.”

Packer, who authored the questions, stands by his intent. “People that are opposed to this act are opposed to it because they think that it hurts their political discussion,” he stated. “I think the desired effect was to point out that their political discussion is not meaningful.”

Emily Sellers, a columnist for The Dartmouth, penned an opinion piece detailing why she took part in the “trolling” of Gov. Perry. “[Ben Packer] used childish language to highlight Perry’s childish logic regarding (homo)sexuality — he denies thousands of people human rights because he finds anal sex icky,” she wrote. She later expanded on why the students had resorted to such explicit questions. “When confronting those in power who actively disrespect the rights and humanity of others, any demand to civility is ironic. The questions were offensive because they confronted his actual policies. Why is our tone — as politically powerless undergrads — more offensive and shocking than his enacted homophobia as a man with incredible amounts of money and power? … My questions were disrespectful, but I reject the notion that I should respect a man who holds power simply because he holds it. It should matter what he does with that power, and what he does is oppress people he finds icky.”

Below is a photo of the questions, as tweeted by the Senior Communications & Policy Adviser for Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas).

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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