A debate about young people’s behavior at CPAC highlights our culture’s inability to distinguish between things that are sexy and things that are vulgar. *UPDATED*

I’ve got sex on the mind today.  (How’s that for a great opening sentence?)  It actually has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with a confluence of posts and statements that came my way within the last couple of days.

It all started when Erick Erickson put up a post about the way in which the young men at CPAC were lining up to buy condoms.  (This distinguishes them from the lost, morally empty young women at Shippensburg University, who line up at vending machines to buy morning after pills.)  Erick believes that you cannot simultaneously stand for conservativism and act like a teenager under Progressive indoctrination:

We can be thankful that CPAC is not like the communications war room at Media Matters. But it should be much more than that. The young men and women who go to CPAC are often present or future leaders on their college campuses and within the conservative movement. They go to CPAC and are often on near equal terms at CPAC with people much older than themselves. Unfortunately, too many treat CPAC like spring break.

More than a few of the twenty and thirty somethings who go to CPAC seem to treat it like an extension of their college days doing their best to hook up before passing out. It’s not the majority to be sure, but it is a noticeable minority.

My friend Melissa Clouthier followed up on this by noting that the young men were aided and abetted in behaving badly by the young women, who were dressed more appropriately for nightclubbing than for political networking:

Second, have women so internalized feminist dogma that they see themselves in only two ways? Butch, men-lite wannabes or 3rd wave sluts who empower themselves by screwing every available horndog man?

Neither path is a way to self-love and respect, mind you. Both tracks will inhibit future success.

Women, if you’re at a conference where you’re learning to be a future politician or wish to succeed in the business of politics, dress the part. No, you don’t have to be in a business suit with pearls. However, modesty is a minimum.

Unsurprisingly, both Melissa’s and Erick’s posts generated a great deal of heat.  (I find David Swindle’s take the most interesting, insofar as he points out that an organization that tolerates street-corner women and rutting men is still barring GOProud.)

In my mind, all of these posts tied in with something I wrote the other day regarding Hollywood’s willingness to embrace Chris Brown (to the point of awarding him a Grammy), despite his admitting to having beaten his girlfriend, Rihanna, so badly that he ended up with a felony assault conviction.  Although I’m disgusted by the entertainment world’s stand, I’m not surprised.  In Hollywood, people are commodities, and none more so than women.  The adage that sex sells turned into a slight variation called “nothing but sex.”

Because everything that’s continuously thrust in ones face becomes boring after a while, and because Progressives as always anxious to break down traditional norms, in the last 40 years, “sexy” has been overwhelmed by “vulgar.”  For my purposes, these are the appropriate definitions for that latter term:

1. characterized by ignorance of or lack of good breeding or taste: vulgar ostentation.
2. indecent; obscene; lewd: a vulgar work; a vulgar gesture.
3. crude; coarse; unrefined: a vulgar peasant.

Vulgar is not sexy.  It focuses on the basest parts of the sexual appetite.  Before the sexual revolution, American women used to sell a little sex and a lot of mystery.  By doing so, they engaged men’s higher brain, not just their lower one.  And also by doing so, they reminded men that women were whole people, not just anonymous genitalia.  If a man wanted to unveil the mystery, he had to court the whole women.  Saying “Wanna f**k?” would get him nothing more than a well-deserved slap on the face.  Nowadays, that same question gets the guy some transient pleasure, and gets the girl a place in line at the Shippensburg vending machine.

Believe it or not, I’m not trying to make any moral points here, although I think that this is a pretty sad morality we’ve handed our young people, both men and women.  We’ve got women who don’t respect themselves, and men who don’t respect women.  Ultimately, a thinking, moral man is going to think less of himself too for using these pathetic creatures.  (Okay, so I am making a moral point, but I won’t beat it to death.)

What I really want to say here can be summed up in a single picture showing that, when it comes to “sexy” (not “sex,” but “sexy”), a minute of Rita Hayworth is a whole lot more attractive than an hour of Lady Gaga:

I mentioned at the start of this post that I was influenced, not only by things I’ve read, but also by something I’ve heard.  I’m very happy to say that this statement was a spontaneous utterance from my 9th grader.  “Mom,” she said, “I like the way I dress.  I wear attractive clothes, but I never show my belly the way the other girls do.  That’s just so vulgar.”

Bless her heart, my very wholesome young lady isn’t thinking yet in terms of sex.  Instead, in a refreshingly age appropriate way, she’s thinking about what’s attractive and what’s not. She’s figured out, just by observing her peers, that when you have a 15 year old with a muffin-top parading around in Uggs, shorty-shorts, a cropped shirt, and low decolletage, it’s neither attractive nor sexy.  It’s just vulgar.

Our young women think they’re marketing themselves in the best possible way, but that’s not the case.  They’ve been tricked into selling a big-box, below-the-waste product, rather than promoting the whole, wonderful boutique package that they are.

And wasn’t it our mothers who always told us nice girls, “Why should men buy the cow when they can get the milk for free?”  Today, too many young women (including the women at CPAC) have stopped making graceful mooing sounds and are just shaking their udders.

 UPDATE:  This post isn’t even five minutes old, and I’m already updating it.  Some email comments have led me to believe that readers think I’m piling onto the CPAC attendees with this post.  I wasn’t actually intending to do that, although the posts about CPAC certainly provided the starting point.

I’m just mad at a culture that trades charm and beauty for raw sex.  Sex has its place, but in social interactions, especially amongst young people, charm and beauty are the ones that I believe provide the greatest benefit for all participants in the dance of the sexes.  What goes on behind closed doors — as long as it involves consenting adults — is none of my business.

Apropos young people, I’ll just throw one thing in here that seems relevant to the discussion:  I’ve been commenting for years about the peculiar fact that, if you go to any high school campus, you’ll see a peculiar clothing divide.  In past generations, pretty much throughout history, teenagers’ clothing had a similar “look” to it, whether polished or scruffy, innocent or sophisticated.  Now though, the girls look like street corner hookers, with massive of amounts of revealed flesh and heavy make-up.  The boys, however, look like toddlers:  their hats are on backwards, their clothes are over-sized, and their shoes are untied.  This is as true today as it was ten years ago when I first noticed this trend.

I think this clothing chasm is very, very strange, and I honestly don’t know what to make of it.  All I know is that I want my daughter to look fresh and wholesome (so far, so good on that score) and that, when my son is older, I want him to bring home fresh and wholesome girls.

UPDATE II:  On right on cue in terms of my comments about boys’ infantile dressing, read the first item in today’s Best of the Web, about men felling behind women in various economic/educational measures.

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  • Charles Martel

    Book, your closing photograph reminds me of something Orwell uddered during an interview about Animal Farm: “Four teats good, two teats better!”

  • beefrank

    The original article about ‘CPAC men’ is dubious like many of the poll ‘results’ that get reported as ‘facts’.  Really?  Six ‘young’ men with CPAC nametags in a CVS line account for all ‘young men’ at CPAC.  That passes for the statistical sample population needed to arrive at a specific summation?  This statistical formula and logical path would have received an ‘F’ in my stats and logic classes at College of Marin. (At least in the 70s. Expectations may have since been dumb downed.)   However, I did think that these six men were at least responsible, and confident, for their potential actions and did not expect to transfer the responsibility to the woman with the ‘are you?’ utterance between passionate kisses.  Frankly, the article was a swipe at CPAC with the ‘they are no different, they do it, too’ retort the Left always utters when defending a losing argument and position.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    beefrank:  I’ve added an update to my post to make the point that I’m not really concerned with CPAC, which is not an event that impinges very much on my consciousness. 

    It’s just that Erick’s and Melissa’s posts got me thinking about young women and the way they sell themselves today.  As the mother of a teenage daughter and a nice young son, I find it a very disturbing cultural phenomenon. 

  • BrianE

    You can sum this up in one sentence.

    Several generations of girls raised without a father, and several generations of boys raised without a father.

    Yes, there’s more to it than that, and as I watched a middle-aged Madonna, pretend to a mainstream audience she’s not the whore she played for twenty years, I was struck by the fact that she, more than any other female performer, turned our daughters into whores.

    I may be wrong. There may have been others as influential, but none as overt, IMO.

  • JKB

    Yes, there does seem to be confusion of vocabulary with many young women mistaking lurid for alluring.

    I’m reminded of the movie Dangerous Beauty, where the mother gives her daughter advice.  Ironic that we must use a movie about a girl being turned into a courtesan as good advice to young women today.  

    Prior to this quote she tells Veronica that any scullery maid can lift up her shift but a courtesan must offer mystery and intrigue.  Emphasis here is on the unapproachable until she’s made her selection for going behind closed doors.

    Paola Franco: In order to choose your lovers wisely, you need to understand men. No matter their shape or size… position or wealth… they all dream of the temptress. The irresistible… unapproachable Venus… who quickly turns pliable maiden when they’ve had a hard day. 

  • Libby

    I completely agree on the current trend of vulgar apparel for girls and toddler clothes on boys (it seems that as girl’s clothes get tighter, boys clothes get bigger). I’ve also noticed that clothes have gotten incredibly casual. It’s not uncommon to see a young teen wearing either pajama bottoms or low-slung sweatpants, flip-flops, and a teeny t-shirt. While I am glad that I no longer have to wear business attire to work every day, the abandonment of any kind of formality is sort of sad. Whether these youngsters realize it or not, dressing (and behaving) more casually than the occasion calls for can be perceived as disrespect (and that they not only don’t take themselves seriously, but they don’t take the event and those they are with very seriously, either).

  • Oldflyer

    How many times have we heard the “I never want to get old” mothers talking about how sexy their prepubescent daughters look?  Something happened a generation or so ago, and it is bearing fruit.
    I certainly agree with you Book, that the current generation does not grasp the concept of allure.  Of course the men don’t grasp the value of courtesy and charm either.   No one understands that dressing for an occasion, enhances the occasion. I suppose that when “hooking up”, is so easy you don’t need to make the effort on either side.  Of course I presume that their return–in pleasure– is commensurate with the investment in effort.
    Do I sound old? 

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    No, oldflyer.  You don’t sound old; you sound classy.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Hollywood can turn any woman into a whore, via star power and the circle jerk. The Left can also turn your daughters into whores, if you let them. Such is the corrupting power of evil. It taints anything it touches.

    Of course, popular American culture does not affect me. I prefer popular Japanese culture instead. It’s a lot more sane to begin with. Knowing the Japanese, that’s saying something.

     No, you don’t have to be in a business suit with pearls.

    Just for the women out there, I do think a business suit, cut  to the female form, is actually very attractive. I prefer the skirt to seeing women in pants, of course. But both can work, depending on the environment. For some reason though, I think a lot of males prefer the “younger” look. Meaning anything like cheerleader or school girl outfits that make the woman look “younger”. I’m one of those people who prefer women who are wiser and more mature, however. This was true even back in high school.

    I once wore a golden-beige vest, white under shirt, and black/beige formal pants to physics class one day. I got A LOT of strange looks. Until eventually someone asked me “why’d you come wearing that”. And I’m like “cause I felt like it”. Technically, I thought it was nice looking hanging on the closet wall and I wanted to try it out. man, back in those days, had no clue about social rules or repercussions. Half the reason people were staring is because of the novelty. The other half is because I can pick out what looks good. Color coordination perhaps appealed to the females.

     Now in this day and age, that would make me the REBEL, instead. And all of those wearing crazy mish mashes would be the “conformists”. How crazy is that?

     I don’t think it’s due entirely to the performers on this decadence issue. They aren’t evil. They are just victims of the true evil. The capitalists MAKING MONEY OFF OF HOLLYWOOD WHORING. You get it? You see, the “money makers” are the evil ones, because they benefit the most and propagate it the most. Sure, performers get “some” money… but have you ever taken a hard look at their contracts? Where do you think MOST of the money from this stuff is actually going? See, most people don’t even know it. They don’t even know where the blood money is going. All they know is that performers get some of it, the face of evil, and that’s it. That’s not looking to the source of evil here, people. You’re not going to stop Hollywood capitalism by looking at their cannonfodder stooges, the ones that “burn out” from imbibing too much evil.

    One of the interesting things about courtship which I only recently started to understand, is how saying you love someone is cheap. Proving it by words and deeds, is something else entirely. Since a man is composed of actions, not words, it’s important for a young male to show that he is a man, by actually doing something to back up his claims.So if he doesn’t have to do anything about it, to back up much of anything, then he doesn’t get much practice being a man. So he turns out to be a sissy boy, somebody weak that the rest of us can crush or make into a slave. Zombie. There was this phrase that I never really understood which becomes appropriate here. “He looks like someone I want to beat up and take his lunch money”. Which makes no sense to me, but for some reason people in the South and stuff sometimes say it and I hear it. But you get the picture.

    The people who get the most money from Hollywood pay the most in lobbyists and bribes to government. So if you just think this is a “moral” issue or a fashion one… you are dead one. Hollywood evil directly funds DC evil which shuts down your civil liberties. So don’t think this is about morality. This is about power and totalitarian success. Evil leads to power, using immorality and temptation. It works. People who only know about this from preachers and bibles just don’t get it. They don’t get it. They have never seen the elephant.

    In conclusion, the Left is evil, all they touch is evil, and if you don’t want to turn into a zombie, practice some self-discipline otherwise you won’t become a man or woman: just a slave. 

  • Danny Lemieux

    A few years ago, when my daughter was just starting out in High School, a neighbor, the mother of one my daughter’s school mates, was haranguing her daughter about the “importance” of look appealing to the boys by wearing revealing clothing and that her object should be to try to get as many boy friends as she could. While I was listening to this open mouthed, the girl just turned around to her mother and exploded, saying, “Great Mom, the word for what you are describing is called a F*buddy. Is that what you want me to become?”.

    The young lady was obviously far more mature than her mother. Now, after college, I believe and my daughter confirms that she turned out just fine, although I believe she is still on frosty terms with her mother. I am still proud of that young lady for that moment in time where she stood up for herself. Sad to say, she was more the exception than the rule in the trashy upper-middle class boomer culture we inhabit.

  • beefrank

    Bw: I know you were not slamming CPAC.  Unfortunately, the root of most cultural ills in the 21st Century began with in the 60’s ‘free love’ and ‘civil rights’ movements.  In my opinion, that is when the ‘special’ tag was attached to skin color, gender, sexual acts, hair style, economic status, clothing and drug use.  It is when language was maligned to euphemize and standardize abnormal social behavior on many fronts. Lucid, non-chemical thinking became ‘square’, ‘unadventurous’ ‘limited’ and ‘freedom-less’; Good grades became ‘playing by the Man’s rules’; Monogamous (married and unmarried) relationships were ‘limiting’, ‘rigid’, ‘static’ and ‘boring’; Modest dress and inhibited public behavior was ‘prudish’, ‘puritanical’, ‘uptight’, ‘straight’, ‘frigid’ and ‘expressionless’.  As a result, truancy, dropouts, sexual crimes and pedophilia, social diseases, illegitimacy, abortions, infertility problems, suicides(e.g. Golden Gate Bridge stats), drug abuses and divorces have increased. The grown 60s adolescence and some children whose ‘stunted’ maturity are now in power affecting social policies as evident in the Clinton, Obama and Brown administrations. However, there are many 60s kids who grew up influenced by the ‘freedom’ mantra but matured, became conservatives, thanks to William F. Buckley, and participated in the Reagan revolution. Even the 60s radical, Jerry Rubin, shed his ‘distrust anyone over 30’ rhetoric to become a successful Wall Street businessman preaching ‘wealth creation is the real American revolution’. My confidence in America’s future grows when I see individuals like Abby Johnson, Lila Rose, James O’Keefe and many others of the ‘YouTube’, ‘Twitter’ generation attacking the Left with intensity and smart tactics.  After the Reagan revolution, Rush Limbaugh on AM radio, Brent Bozell on print media and Fox News on television created the ‘push back’ and balance against the liberal agendas I experienced with ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, Rolling Stone, Marin IJ and San Francisco Chronicle world.  Free at last, free at last, thank God we are free at last.  It is interesting to note how many children and grandchildren of the 60’s generation have rejected the politics and ‘hippie’ ideals of their pot-smoking, swinging, divorced (grand)parents to become conservatives in their lifestyle choices and politics. What is the phrase about ‘payback’?

  • Michael Adams

    There are web sites,  which you have mentioned, and, now, Facebook pages, too, in which young “men” encourage one another in pursuing reptilian sexual morals.  They say that women show no evidence of any sort of moral virtue, no loyalty, nothing beyond the hookup, so  they try to make the best of the situation, which favors the boys’  biological nature anyway.
    Lat Sunday, during coffee hour, I was talking about grown kids with a man about my late father’s age, and he said, “It’s hard to raise kids in this day and age.”  I realized, and blurted out, “Jamie is not doing that!”My son is living up to a higher standard than my grandparents.  He married at nineteen, had his first son at twenty one, and now there’s the third child on the way. Their social life revolves around their church, and their oldest son’s home school group, and his parents. His wife, marrying early because he would not do the deed unless she did, says, now, that girls today have no knowledge or background to tell them what men/women relationships ought to be, except maybe television and movies.. (My wife and I have often said so, but never to her.)
    We can’t be the only ones. In spite of the barnyard morality that oozes over us from the media, there must be some people out there who are getting it mostly right.  Certainly Bubba and Cissy Bookworm seem to be on the right track, and the LeMieux kids, and at least one of their friends.  I always say that, if you find a needle in a hay stack, it is a fairly safe bet that that hay stack is full of needles.
    Part of the problem, and it is the link between “social” and “fiscal” Conservatism, is that the Government is subsidizing this  appalling social deterioration, and has done so for forty five years.  “When you find yourself in a hole…”

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Oh, there’s plenty of people living great lives in America. Evil, however, is not about killing everyone. First, it’s about enslaving everyone. So even if you live a good life, you’ll be doing it in service of somebody else: the Master.
     It gets to that point after a critical point is crossed. 

    The LEft did a lot of infiltration in the 60s. Funded by, who else, the Soviets. With that much money, they could finally implement a lot of things which they just couldn’t do previously as simple unfunded domestic terrorists and eugenicists.

    America seems to think they beat the Soviets. Until they beat the Left, they haven’t beaten the Soviet legacy just yet. The Leftist alliance is essentially a left over super weapon that the Soviets didn’t have the opportunity to use at WWWIII. Now it’s a rogue super weapon, doing whatever it wants. Mainly making butt loads of money for itself and its members. Money, which coincidentally, comes from taxes and federal printing and laundering of Benjamins.

    So evil is fine with people living great lives. So long as they obey the true Masters of this Earth. Being the Leftist elites.

  • Libby

    Michael Adams – I think the key to finding more of those needles in the haystack is in the beginning of your post: “Last Sunday, during coffee hour…”. There are all kinds of interesting and stable kids at my church and I’m guessing that this is common at every church and synagogue.
    I grew up in Boulder in the 70’s & 80’s, so there were a great many opportunities for me and my siblings to go astray (sadly, many of our childhood friends are still trying to “find themselves”). Having fabulous parents who didn’t divorce was the main reason all of us turned out OK, but a close second was our involvement in church. Eventhough it was a fairly liberal church (this was Boulder), the values it taught us, and the vast network of all kinds of interesting, caring people it brought into our lives made it much easier to skip temptations like drugs. It also reinforced the idea of formality (including formal attire) and behaving in way that fits the occasion on a weekly basis – something that is missing lately. ALso taught us that there are things bigger than ourselves (and our own lives, needs, etc.). What is sleazy attire in search of sex if not the pursuit of instant gratification?

  • http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/ Indigo Red

    And then there’s this story from Miami about college women using a website – http://www.seekingarraingement.com – to find men who will finance their college educations in exchange for sex. But please, don’t call it prostitution because the participants are building a relationship.

    Financial Sex Aid: Florida Co-Eds Seek “Sugar Daddy” for College Degree

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Btw, those people Indigo Red linked to, aren’t the “Progressive masterminds” and dastardly evil doers either. They don’t know what they support, the true nature. And this matters because…? It doesn’t, evil cannon fodder does as evil wishes. It doesn’t matter if they “know” or not, that their ultimate consequences are essentially harmful. If they get paid for education and get elevated to “Educated class”, that’s enough for their Faust deal.

    Try to change their minds, why don’t you. See if you can do that. If you can’t, you’re not going to change the minds of blacks or other Democrat house slaves. 

  • Michael Adams

    Yeah, Libby, you are right.  And Rousseau knew it, too.  To destroy the bourgeoisie, you must destroy our institutions, which convey our values. In his day, not everyone went to school, but they nearly all went to church. Bipolars may be crazy, but are rarely stupid, e.g. Rousseau.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar


    How about make a profit, stop talking about values. Because corporations allied with government need not even listen to their shareholders when Obama says that the shareholders are wrong.