Duke University freshman are reportedly balking at their summer reading assignment,
Alison Bechdel's "Fun Home," saying it conflicts with their moral and religious beliefs.
According to the Duke Chronicle,
freshman Brian Grasso posted in the Class of 2019 Facebook page
July 26 that he wouldn't read the book "because of the graphic visual depictions of sexuality."
The graphic novel relates Bechdel's relationship with her father and her issues with sexual identity.
"I feel as if I would have to compromise my personal Christian moral beliefs to read it," Grasso wrote.
"The nature of 'Fun Home' means that content that I might have consented to read in print now violates my conscience due to its pornographic nature," freshman Jeffrey Wubbenhorst wrote in an email, the Chronicle reports.
Another incoming student, Bianca D’Souza, couldn't bring herself to look at the nude images, the Chronicle reports.
Grasso tells the Chronicle others privately messaged that they agreed with him, and that he posted his objection because he wanted to make sure students with similar Christian beliefs didn't feel alone.
"There is so much pressure on Duke students, and they want so badly to fit in," he tells the Chronicle. "But at the end of the day, we don’t have to read the book."
"Duke did not seem to have people like me in mind," he added. "It was like Duke didn’t know we existed, which surprises me."
The selection committee had hailed the book as one that would cover "critical issues that students will become acquainted with in college," but a committee member tells the Chronicle the choice of whether to read the book or not is left to the student.
Bechdel's memoir also was embroiled in controversy last year when South Carolina cut state funding from the College of Charleston for listing it as a summer reading book for incoming freshmen, the Washington Post reported.
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