No nice girls need apply

imageMy daughter is a nice girl in the old-fashioned sense — she’s moral and values herself. Her friends are the same — nice, old-fashioned girls.

My daughter has large numbers of friend who are boys. The really like her — but they won’t date her.

High school is peculiarly like regency England. The young men socialize with the nice girls, but date/sleep with the “bad” girls.

The “bad” girls aren’t really aren’t “bad” at all, of course. In this day and age, the girls aren’t making a moral calculation; they’re making a social and economic decision. Ace expanded on this point after reading about the economics of sex:

There are several storylines, two of which are particularly interesting. The one that’s relevant here is 12-year-old Winnifred’s story. She’s very precocious, and “gets it” on an adult level. She notes, for example, that FaceBook and other social media pictures of girls must always at least include the suggestion of being open for sex — of being “DTF,” as she says. (Down to F***.)

She says (or implies) that she’s rather trapped by the current market forces, in which boys just won’t take an interest in girls who don’t broadcast that sexual availability.

Remember, she’s 12.

When it comes to Norman Rockwell (“nudge, nudge”), homosexuality is in the eye of an obsessed culture

Norman-Rockwell-Triple-Self-Portrait-1960Back in the day, the Monty Python team was famous not only for its nonsense (“Dead Parrot” anyone?) but also for its edgy, modern, topical humor.  One of their most famous (and irritating) sketches was the “nudge nudge, wink wink” sketch, made all the back in 1971 (officially known as the “Candid Photography” sketch).  In it, Eric Idle played one of those awful people who believes that every word spoken is a double entendre about sex.  His character was both annoying and pathetic, as he responded to everything the stodgy, proper Terry Jones said with a leering “nudge, nudge, ya’ know what I mean?”

In 1971, that was still pretty ground-breaking stuff.  Before the 1960s, while people were thinking about sex, as people have done since time immemorial, most of them, barring New York sophisticates bathed in Freud and Kinsey, weren’t talking about it yet at cocktail parties or with strangers in pubs.  The 60s changed all that.  I vividly remember a family friend who pressed on my father a small book purporting to show that Madison Avenue had taken the famous “sex sells” dictum (pretty women in ads for everything from cars to cigars) and brought it to a whole new level with “subliminal” sexual images.  When you thought you were looking at a glass of Bacardi’s with ice, you were really seeing a subliminal image of a naked woman writhing sinuously in your rum — never mind that this invisible woman was missing three limbs and a breast.

By the end of the 1970s, the “everything is about sex” mentality had been mainstreamed.  One of the teachers who occasioned the most nervous laughter at my high school was the woman who insisted that Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are had achieved its iconic status, not because it showed a little boy safely acting out the frustration children so often feel in a grown-up world, but because Sendak had included couples copulating in the trees that are the backdrop to every image in the book.  If you didn’t see them, you weren’t looking hard enough.

Of course, once you’ve mainstreamed sex to the extent that everything is all about sex, you end up with blasé teenagers, instead of twittering, quivering, young sexual acolytes.  So where do you go from there?  Simple.  Everything is about gay sex.  That’s how gay activists manage to get headlines.  One of their big headlines was the claim that Lincoln was gay.  Their “proof” was less compelling than the certainty with which they expressed it:  in an era when it was the norm for men to have close male friendships and, when traveling, to share beds at inns, Lincoln had close male friendships and shared beds at inns.  If they could, the activists would have written QED after that one, not to say quod erat demonstrandum, but instead to say “queer everyone [who's] dead.”

The most recent entry in the “if he’s a famous dead man, he must have been gay” approach to biography is Deborah Solomon’s American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman RockwellSince Solomon spent a large part of her career at the Wall Street Journal, I’ll let that publication describe her premise:

Deborah Solomon starts her new biography of Norman Rockwell, “American Mirror,” with a joke the artist once told his therapist about a man who wants to marry an elephant. Unattainable love proved a powerful theme in the artist’s life, says Ms. Solomon. Her book’s theory: Repressed sexuality, fear of women and fascination with manhood made Rockwell’s art brilliant and his personal relationships troubled.

The 56-year-old New York writer spent more than a decade on Rockwell. This wasn’t a painter of family life, she argues, but a man seeking comfort outside conventional relationships. Of Rockwell’s 322 covers for the Saturday Evening Post, only three depict a traditional family of parents and at least two children, she says, adding that his paintings instead largely feature boys and men.

[snip]

Is your book basically saying that Rockwell was a latent homosexual?

I’m not a shrink, and I really don’t speculate about a life and a person’s psychology as a writer. As a critic, I can say when I look at his work I feel it’s possible to discern enormous homoeroticism as well as a desire to distance himself from his own desires. In his life, he did prefer male company. It was a special kind of sexual ambivalence that he may not have acted on. Do I think he had homosexual relationships? No. He goes camping and shares a bed with his assistant Fred Hildebrandt and the next morning he said, “Fred looked fetching in his pajamas.” He was very comfortable around men and he loved male bodies.

There’s more, but you get the idea.  Rockwell wasn’t actually gay . . . but he wanted to be.  In addition to the “I think he’s gay” stuff in the above interview, Solomon wrote other things in her biography that show a woman with sex on her brain.  The most bizarre theory comes when she discusses one of Rockwell’s more charming paintings.  It show a little girl on the cusp of adolescence, seen from the back, staring into a mirror.  She’s thrown her doll aside, and is longingly comparing her still childish face with a photograph of Jane Russell:

rockwell_mirror

You and I see the moment a girl leaves her childhood behind and starts preparing to function (and compete) in the world of adult women. Solomon saw something very different:

‘Actually,’ says Solomon, ‘seen from the back, she could be a boy.’ And the girl’s doll, tossed on the floor? ‘A bizarrely sexualized object. With her right hand buried in her petticoats, the doll could almost be masturbating.’

Wow!  They do say that, to a hammer, everything is a nail, and I guess to a New York sophisticate, everything is about sex (the more deviant the better), but that really is taking the whole thing to extremes.  I’m surprised Solomon didn’t throw in something about drag queens and cross dressing.

Solomon doesn’t stop with the gay subtext of little girls.  She also takes a stab at analyzing Rockwell’s famous “freedom of speech” painting:

norman-rockwell-freedom-of-speech-picture

You and I see a man free to stand up in his community and speak his mind.  Solomon sees “out and proud”:

Her take on Freedom of Speech is that the man standing is ‘unattached and sexually available. Unbuttoned and unzipped.’

It seems as if Solomon’s take on the matter is like a parlor game.  “Pick a picture, any picture, and I can spot the gay subtext.”  Rockwell’s world is no longer one of small town innocence and all-American charm.  It’s a shadowy world of cross-dressing boys, men advertising their wares for sale to other men, and even predatory pedophiles.  What!?  Predatory pedophiles?  Yes, indeedy.  Take that famous picture of a cop sitting at a soda fountain next to small boy who has, at his feet, the stereotypical early 20th century symbol of an innocent runaway:  a bundle of clothes wrapped in a handkerchief tied to stick.

Norman Rockwell's runaway

You and I see the cop using folksy charm to get the clearly well-cared for child to head back home, as the man behind the counter smiles at the scene playing about before his eyes.  Solomon sees something sleazy:

In The Runaway, a painting of a burly cop and a little boy on adjacent cafe stools, the cop leans toward the boy ‘as if to emphasize the… tenderness that can form between a grown man and a little boy… the hint of homo-eroticism’ she writes.

No doubt, were Solomon to analyze “Two Flirts” (one of my favorite Rockwell paintings), she would assure us that the fact that there are two men in the truck means that they are indeed homosexual (after all, one of them is touching the other one), and that their blatant ogling at the pretty blonde is their way of trying to pass for straight in a homophobic society:

Rockwell's two flirts

Solomon made only one mistake when she decided to “gay up” Norman Rockwell.  She forgot that there are people still alive who knew the man.  Unlike Lincoln, who had no one left behind to speak about him when the “Lincoln is gay” theory hit the airwaves, Rockwell still has living children and grandchildren, and they are not pleased to see their relative painted as a depressed and repressed homosexual.  They’ve issued a strong public statement challenging the book.  Intelligently, they’ve attacked myriad provable errors in the book, rather than just saying, childishly, “She’s wrong.  Nyah-nyah-nyah.”

The Norman Rockwell Family Agency, in light of today’s New York Times review of American Mirror the Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, is compelled to finally address the many analyses of Norman Rockwell. The Norman Rockwell Family Agency is making this final statement:

Many of the reviews of Deborah Solomon’s American Mirror The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell have accepted her account of his life and work. Her account is essentially wrong. She has neglected or misused the sources which she cites. Her use of Norman Rockwell’s autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator, is highly selective. As Professor Patrick Toner of Wake Forest University states in his online review on First Things.com, “Solomon has a pronounced tendency to either distort or simply ignore evidence to the contrary.”

Garrison Keillor states in today’s review, “She does seem awfully eager to find homoeroticism – poor Rockwell cannot go on a fishing trip without his biographer finding sexual overtones. Keillor comments on Solomon’s suggestion that the doll in “Girl at Mirror” could be masturbating, “Well, I suppose that Michelangelo’s “David” could “almost” be masturbating”.

On page 94 of her book, Solomon describes how Rockwell would “hang about the schools at recess . . and stop little boys on the street . .” She then comments, “Today with our awareness of pederasty scandals (meaning pedophilia) this kind of behavior might seem problematic . .” She then omits a passage just below this in the Autobiography that fully explains what really happened – after Rockwell would convince a boy to pose, they would go to ask the mother’s permission. On page 101 she comments on his relationship with his models: “The integrity of the boys was never in question. But his own character was not nearly so straightforward.” Referring to Nabokov’s novel, Lolita, Solomon writes, “In a way Rockwell was Humbert Humbert’s discreet and careful twin brother, roused by the beauty of children but (thankfully) more repressed.” Many of the reviewers have ignored the claim of pedophilia, perhaps because the suggestion of it blows the credibility of the book out of the water.

She supports this unfounded claim with another phantom theory, that Rockwell was a closeted homosexual. To link pedophilia and homosexuality in this way is offensive and clearly homophobic. We have found at least 68 of these sexual references throughout the book. On page 168 she comments on his search for costumes for his models: “. . . he did enjoy acquiring clothing from men who caught his eye, as if it were possible to acquire the less tangible parts of them as well.” Solomon now claims that sex is only a “tiny part” of her book. But sex is a major theme of the book and her phantom theories color and distort everything, including Rockwell’s entire character and her interpretations of his art. There is no way to separate her sexual theories from the rest of the book. Her take on Freedom of Speech is that the man standing is “unattached and sexually available. Unbuttoned and unzipped.” Solomon also omits from the Autobiography many accounts of Norman Rockwell’s feelings and relationships with women.

There are also many other factual errors and omissions — we have found at least 96. Again, this is something that few reviewers seem to notice — they simply do not know enough about Norman Rockwell’s life, and are too dependent on Solomon’s flawed account. She inadequately interviewed Rockwell’s three sons and therefore her account of his life is often inaccurate. She gives an incomplete account of a significant difficulty with the Post when the art editor, Ken Stuart, painted out a horse from one of NR’s covers without consulting him. Solomon omits Norman Rockwell’s difficulties when his abilities were failing — in one instance he painted portraits of the Ross Perot family and they were so badly done that Mr. Perot sent them back and NR returned his check.

Most important of all, Solomon doesn’t understand the man, who Norman Rockwell was as a person. She says “On most days he was lonesome and loveless.” This is absurd. He did not mope, was not a chronic depressive, or a hypochondriac. He went through his trials and storms as we all do, but he was someone who ultimately affirmed life. People liked Rockwell and enjoyed being with him. He was interested in people and what they had to say. On a personal note, “I always had a wonderful relationship with my father, we were especially close when I helped him with his Autobiography.”

Solomon claims that her book is based on an examination of his art and that Norman Rockwell painted mostly men and boys. We counted all the Post covers from 1916 – 1951 and all the early covers for Life and Literary Digest. There are 172 covers with girls and women, and 141 covers with boys and men. Her theory is demonstrably wrong. Norman Rockwell also did 9 covers of Santa Claus. We’re not sure in which category Solomon would place Santa.

We are troubled and mystified that the Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge has endorsed the book.

This is our last word, we are no longer going to participate in the drama Solomon has created. This book says a lot more about Deborah Solomon than it does about Norman Rockwell.

Thomas Rockwell and Abigail Rockwell

For The Norman Rockwell Family Agency
Cynthia DeMonte, 917-273-1717
cynthiademonte@gmail.com

The most telling error the Rockwell’s expose is the way Solomon asserts that Rockwell’s famous post covers gave short shrift to women, and the way that a simple count proves her error:  “Solomon claims that her book is based on an examination of his art and that Norman Rockwell painted mostly men and boys. We counted all the Post covers from 1916 – 1951 and all the early covers for Life and Literary Digest. There are 172 covers with girls and women, and 141 covers with boys and men. Her theory is demonstrably wrong.”  That one deserves a true QED.

Our society’s obsession with homosexuality is not healthy.  It leads us to pervert history, science, and the values that hold a society together.  I know I sound homophobic when I say this, but I’m  not.  When I attack American Jews who have replaced the Torah with the Democrat Party platform, I don’t see myself as being either antisemitic nor self-loathing.  I believe, instead, that I am pointing out ugly mutations in a culture that, when not mutated, is a health contributor to the world.  I believe the same is true of those who reside on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning spectrum, a spectrum that is a very small part of the larger range of human sexual behaviors.

I don’t doubt that some people (such as the ones who died in Soviet gulags and Nazi concentration camps because of their sexuality) are emphatically gay, must as others are emphatically straight.  I also believe that there are lots of people who could go either way.  They’re not bisexual insofar as they do not choose to go both ways simultaneously.  Instead, at a certain point in their sexual development, they look at a lifestyle and pick the sexuality that goes with it.  In the old days, social pressure said to men, “Pick the wife, two kids, and the house in the suburbs.”  By the late 1970s and pre-AIDS 1980s, when I was watching the gay revolution play out in San Francisco, an enticing social option to men with fluid sexuality said “Pick the lifestyle that allows you 100 orgasms per night” (which was precisely what was going on in the bath houses that were such vectors for the spread of AIDS.  The queer culture, with its press to be included in American education, is trying to revamp the 1970s and early 1980s pressure regarding gay sexual orientation.

We are an unhealthy culture when we force the brilliant Alan Turing, who may well have been the most important factor in winning World War II, to chemically castrate himself, a penalty (combined with public humiliation) that drove him to suicide.  We are an equally unhealthy culture when the prism through which we view ourselves paints everything — and I do mean everything — in terms of a sexual orientation that encompasses at most ten percent of the population (and, quite probably, far less than that).  A healthy, moral society protects the outliers from discrimination, but it must shape its values around the norm.  In our case, the norm is that big bulge in the bell curve that is heterosexuality.

Freud gave Americans permission to talk about sex, all kinds of sex.  At the same time, and long before Bill Clinton re-sexualized cigars, Freud is reputed to have warned that, at least sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

 

Pajama Boy . . . and the rest of us

Princess Pajama Boy croppedAs far as the Left is concerned, Pajama Boy — the ultimate androgynous metrosexual — represents a significant majority of young people.  Certainly that’s where the White House is betting its money.  As Rush Limbaugh said, they wouldn’t have put together an ad campaign aimed at 1,00o or 2,000 people.  The White House genuinely believes that, across America, there are tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of Pajama Boys who want to get cozy in their onesies and talk about how to promote government growth.

I wonder if the White House’s money men are right, or if the White House is deluded by the bubble in which it lives (a bubble with lots of Pajama Boys) or by the ideology that both strengthens and blinkers it.  The White House is essentially saying that, for too long, we’ve been assuming that men are . . . well, manly, when all that they really wanted was society’s permission to be girlie.  As far as the professional Left is concerned, traditional masculinity is one long, biased, societally-imposed construct that has nothing to do with biology.

I think (or maybe I just hope) that the White House is wrong.

Here in Marin, conscientious Marin parents do their best to raise their children free of gender stereotypes, yet the kids embrace those stereotypes with gusto.  Boys play war games; girls sit around and share their feelings.  That’s not all that the boys and girls do — they’ll come together for lots of shared activities — but even in shared activities, boys are rambunctious and girls are bossy.  The kids who gather in my house each represent perfectly the highest points on the bell curve defining typical male or female behavior.

Slumber partyThese behavioral differences are mirrored in their physical differences.  The boys shoot up, their voices deepen, their legs get hairy, their faces more square (and hairy), and their shoulders broaden.  The girls grow too, but not as tall, their faces soften, and they get curves in all the right places, something that they’re happy to show off in feminine clothing.  These formerly somewhat androgynous little children, once they hit adolescence are manifestly different from each other.  Moreover, as they flirt gently with each other, I do believe that each would agree with that old French expression, Viva la difference!

But back to the boys especially.  I just learned the other day that another young man of my acquaintance enlisted in the military.  On Facebook, his father showed a photograph of the young man in his fatigues after ending basic training.  I wrote a comment congratulating the young men and saying that I’m seeing more and more young men look to the military as a way to learn self-discipline, have a purpose in life, and be part of a team, all as a way to hasten the maturation process.  The boy’s father wrote a response saying that I had hit the nail on the head.  He noted that, while his son’s choice was a surprise considering his Marin upbringing, it was precisely those goals that drew him to the military.  In other words, this 19-year-old boy, despite Marin’s assiduously asexual upbringing, still wanted to be a man.

One of the things the insulated White House ignores is that, just as was the case for this Marin youth, boys want to be men.  I don’t know if the White House ignores this reality because its ideology cannot accept it, or if it ignores this reality because, as Rush Limbaugh posits, it’s filled with Pajama Boys, whether youthful interns, or wrinkled and grizzled senior advisers.  Either way, whether because they’re true believers or actual Pajama Boys, the White House has given us an insight into what it thinks the American young man is, or should be, like — and that’s like a girl.

Why a healthy society should resist the new generation of gender-neutral pronouns

You can cut off Thomas Beatie's breasts and give him hormones to grow a beard, but he's not a pregnant male, he's a bearded, breast-less pregnant female

You can cut off Thomas Beatie’s breasts and give him hormones to grow a beard, but he’s not a pregnant male; he’s a bearded, breast-less pregnant female

I understand that language changes.  We don’t speak like this anymore:

Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

Or like this:

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Or even like this:

Look at the gams on that dame — and that chassis.  Hot diggity-dog!  She’s the bee’s knees.  This sheik wants to spend some time with that sheba.

Nevertheless, fossil that I am, I find disturbing the fact that the young generation is trying to define away biological reality.  On the same day that we learn (yet again) that men and women don’t only have different hardware (that is, their physical attributes), but also an entirely different operating system (their brains are wired differently), Breitbart reports that the younger generation is trying to introduce gender-neutral pronouns into the English language:

For those who revere clarity in the English language, be prepared; there are a number of young people who are now preferring to eschew the two traditional pronouns for human beings, “he” and “she,” and choosing instead to identify their gender by such terms as “they,” “ze,” sie,” “e,” “ou,” and “ve.”

This may come as a surprise to these politically-correct, non-heteronormative statists, but English already has a gender-neutral pronoun: IT.  Of course, calling someone who is neither male nor female an “it” seems to dehumanize them, so I can see why activists insist on change.  I’m just not willing to go where they’re going with this type of assault, not only on the English language, but on reality.

Take Chaz Bono, for example, someone who seems like quite a nice person.  Chaz has female plumbing under the skin and, thanks to surgery and hormones, a vaguely male appearance at a superficial level (scanty facial hair, no breasts, and goodness knows what external plumbing).  Chaz doesn’t want to be called “she,” but it’s denying reality to call Chaz “he.”  When I write about Chaz, I avoid pronouns, which allows me to respect Chaz’s choice without doing damage to reality or to the English language.

Incidentally, Chaz has come in for some flack lately from “Stephen Ira,” who was born the daughter of Warren Beatty and Annette Benning.  As did Chaz, Stephen took hormones and had surgery to change a female body into one resembling a male body.  As far as Stephen is concerned, Chaz is trouble because Chaz actually clings to antiquated notions about “male” and “female.”  According to Chaz (and I think accurately), the mismatch between a body’s gender and a brain’s gender identification is a form of birth defect.  Stephen took umbrage, writing that Stephen does not feel that, in Stephen’s own case, this mismatch was a birth defect.  Worse, says Stephen, Chaz “is a trans man who seems to believe that his female-assignedness and socialization makes him immune from being a misogynist, and he is manifestly wrong.”  So there!!

I have nothing but sympathy for people whose sense of self, which comes from the brain, is so at odds with the body attached to that brain.  Some people with this disconnect get eating disorders, some people get disfiguring plastic surgery, and some people alter their body’s external appearance to bring it in line with the message their brain sends to them.  While I don’t applaud those with body dysmorphia who starve themselves or throw-up, or who turn themselves into monstrous caricatures through surgery, I don’t see a problem with using surgery and meds to create the illusion of a different gender (although studies show that happiness is not an inevitable sequel to surgery to alter gender appearance).

The fact that I support the fact that some people people take proactive steps to improve their own reality does not mean that we as a society must deny reality.  Denying reality, however, is precisely what this bizarre gender-neutral language is trying to do.  As a percentage of the whole population, there are very few boys who will be girls and girls who will be boys.  The rest of us are pretty clearly round pegs in round holes and square pegs in square holes, and our English language accurately reflects this actual, rather than politically-correct, reality.

 

Colorado tries to sell Obamacare by using drunks

It seems that excessive alcohol consumption is the name of the game this week at Bookworm Room.  Yesterday, I posted about the fact that my liberal friends believe that it’s wrong to tell teenage girls and young women that they increase their chances of getting raped if they drink to excess at parties.  They don’t believe it’s wrong because it’s inaccurate.  Indeed, all freely agreed that young men and women who drink too much are a recipe for rape.  What bothered them was that this implies that girls have some control over whether or not they become victims.  It makes them actually responsible for themselves, and that’s just unfair as long as there are men out there raping.  You see, the men are the real culprits so it’s just wrong to let them off the hook in any way, shape, or form by implying that women have some power in the situation.

Today, Igorvolsky tweeted out a genuine, bona fide Obamacare ad out of Colorado:

 

Party hearty, dudes!  Drink up!  Just don’t, like, you know, rape some drunk chick.  But dude!  Here’s the really awesome thing:  If you do rape the drunk chick, and she gets pregnant, Obamacare will, like, pay for the abortion.  Awesome!

The core issue between Islam and the West is control over women

I have written often at this blog about the wise words a friend of mine told me more than a decade ago.  I can no longer remember his precise words, but I can summarize them:  Islam’s problem with the West, he said, boils down to sex.  Muslim men are terrified that accepting Western ways means losing the stranglehold they have over women.  A religious and political leader in Iran confirms just how right my friend was:

Ahmad Khatami, a senior Iranian cleric and a member of the Assembly of Experts that chooses the next Supreme Leader has warned Iranians not to fall into the trap of negotiating resolution of the nuclear issue with the United States. “If this issue is resolved, the [US] will raise the issue of human rights,” he said, explaining, “Today their problem is the nuclear issue, and when this issue is resolved, they will raise the issue of human rights and say whatsoever rights men have, women should have them, too.”

Read more here.

It makes sense, actually. Humans have needs (food, water, shelter, etc.), and humans have drives (sex, power, etc.). Once the needs are fulfilled, sex is undoubtedly the strongest drive. Western society constrains men’s sex drive; Islamic society constrains the women in service to men’s sex drive.

Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines isn’t a rape song; it’s the depressing 21st century descendent of classic seduction songs

Robin-Thicke-Blurred-Lines-Ft-TI-Pharrell

It’s time for me to take a break from trying to save the world by using my infinitesimally small corner of the blogosphere to talk some sense into the Left (although, somehow, I don’t think they’re listening to me) and, instead, to leap to the defense of an unlikely pop culture figure:  Robin Thicke.  My thesis is that his song is not about rape.  It is, instead, both the lineal descendent of classic (and respected) American seduction songs and a depressingly insightful look into the schizophrenic nature of sex among American young people, which treats women like whores, but allows them to cry foul like delicate Victorian maidens.

One could say that Robin Thicke, riding high on the wave of one of the biggest hits of the year, a song called “Blurred Lines,” doesn’t need my help.  He’s raking money in hand over fist.  If I earn in my lifetime a tenth of what he’s earning on this song, I’d be a very rich woman.

Nevertheless, Thicke has incurred feminist ire because, they claim, Blurred Lines is about rape or, at least, it’s “rapey”:

Having already clinched the number 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, Robin Thicke’s catchy single “Blurred Lines” is on the path to being the party anthem of the summer.

However, despite its popularity, the hit song — which also features Pharrell and T.I. — and its accompanying music video haven’t been sitting too well with some critics who say the tune is not just disparaging to women, but could be seen as “rape-y.”

Has anyone heard Robin Thicke’s new rape song?” blogger Lisa Huyne wrote in a post in April. “Basically, the majority of the song…has the R&B singer murmuring ‘I know you want it’ over and over into a girl’s ear. Call me a cynic, but that phrase does not exactly encompass the notion of consent in sexual activity … Seriously, this song is disgusting — though admittedly very catchy.”

Before I get any further into examining the claim, let me note that the people who are claiming the song is “rapey” overlap to a significant degree with the women who advocate something called “gray rape.“  Gray rape is consensual sex right up until the woman says it isn’t.  The catch with gray rape is that the woman doesn’t have to say “no” before or even during the actual sex act for it to be rape.  She can decide hours or days later that, despite her drunken “yeses” and gropings, in retrospect she really didn’t want to have sex with that guy, so it must have been rape.  Talk about “blurred lines.”

You’re a classy crowd, my dear readers, and I suspect many of you don’t have children in their teens and twenties.  I’m therefore willing to bet that many of you, even if you’ve heard of the song, haven’t actually heard the song itself or, if you heard it, it was in the context of Miley Cyrus’ twerking and tonguing.  (I have to admit that the twerking was indistinguishable to me from the vulgar dancing that characterizes all modern popular music performances.  It was that tongue . . . that loathsome, snake-like tongue, that seemed to have an independent life force.  Ick.)

You might also have heard about the song because of the unrated video with the topless women (and don’t forget the repeated boasts about the size of Thicke’s  . . . er.  Never mind).  Or maybe you just heard about the yucky allusions to all sorts of perverted sexual practices in the mainstream video (the one your kids and grand-kids watch), which is filled with nudge, nudge, wink, winks about everything from bestiality to bondage.  Both videos are nasty enough I don’t want them at my blog.

But I don’t want to talk about the videos.  I want to talk about the song’s lyrics, which are “rapey.”  Just to be clear, here “rapey” song lyrics are bad.   Drugging and sodomizing a protesting 13-year-old girl, as Roman Polanksi did, isn’t bad because it’s not “rape-rape.”  Presumably, if Polanksi had sung to the protesting teen while he had his wicked way with her, that conduct would have been “rapey” and therefore bad.  It”s important to keep these details straight….

My first point about Thicke’s song is that it’s just the latest in a long line of American seduction songs.  Let’s do a little time travel . . . back to 1949 when Frank Loesser wrote the classic Baby, It’s Cold Outside.  It is such a great song.  My favorite version is the one with Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting, and I have no fear about sharing it with you here:

Were this song to be released today, it would definitely be called “rapey.” I mean, the sleaze is telling the protesting woman how attractive she is and assuring her that she wants want he has to offer. You can see how coercive — e.g., rapey — he’s being when you study the lyrics. In the words that are not in parenthesis, you know that she’s conflicted (blurred, maybe?) and desperate to escape, while in the parenthetical words, you can see how this sleazy octopus groping her, assuming that she wants what he’s offering her, and not taking “no” for an answer. Rapey!!!

I really can’t stay
(But, baby, it’s cold outside)
I’ve got to go ‘way
(But, baby, it’s cold outside)
This evening has been
(Been hoping that you’d drop in)
So very nice
(I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice)

My mother will start to worry
(Beautiful words you’re humming)
And father will be pacing the floor
(Listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I’d better scurry
(Beautiful, please don’t hurry)
Well, maybe just a half a drink more
(Put some records on while I pour)

The neighbors might think
(But, baby, it’s bad out there)
Say, what’s in this drink?
(No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how
(Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break the spell
(I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

I ought to say no, no, no sir
(Mind if I move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
(What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay
(Oh, baby, don’t hold out)
Ah but it’s cold outside
(Baby, it’s cold outside)

I simply must go
(But, baby, it’s cold outside)
The answer is no
(But, baby, it’s cold outside)
The welcome has been
(How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm
(Look out that window at that storm)

My sister will be suspicious
(Gosh, your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door
(Waves upon a tropical shore)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious
(Gosh, your lips are delicious)
Well, maybe just a cigarette more
(Never such a blizzard before)

I got to get home
(But, baby, you’d freeze out there)
Say, lend me a coat
(Its up to your knees out there)
You’ve really been grand
(I’m thrilled when you touch my hand)
Why don’t you see
(How can you do this thing to me?)

There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
(Think of my lifelong sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied
(If you caught pneumonia and died)
I really can’t stay
(Get over that hold out)
Ah, but it’s cold outside
(Ah, but it’s cold outside)

Where could you be going
When the wind is blowing
And it’s cold outside?
Baby it’s cold, cold outside

With those classy, elegant, seductive lyrics in mind, please take a look at the lyrics to “Blurred Lines” and you’ll see that, while they’re more graphic, the tone is identical:  He’s telling her she’s hot, he’s assuming he knows what she wants, and he’s not taking “no” for an answer:

Pharrell & Robin Thicke Intro:
Everybody get up, WOO!
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

Robin Thicke Verse 1:
If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page
Maybe I’m going deaf
Maybe I’m going blind
Maybe I’m out of my mind

Robin Thicke Bridge:
Ok, now he was close
Tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal
Baby, it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
You don’t need no papers
That man is not your maker
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a

Robin Thicke Hook:
Good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

Robin Thicke Verse 2:
What do they make dreams for
When you got them jeans on
What do we need steam for
You the hottest bitch in this place
I feel so lucky, you wanna hug me
What rhymes with hug me
Hey!

Bridge

Hook

T.I. Verse 3:
Hustle Gang Homie
One thing I ask of you
Lemme be the one you back that ass up to
From Malibu to Paris boo
Had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So, hit me up when you pass through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on ‘em even when you dress casual
I mean, it’s almost unbearable
In a hundred years not dare would I
Pull a Pharcyde, let you pass me by
Nothin’ like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that
So I’m just watching and waitin’
For you to salute the true big pimpin’
Not many women can refuse this pimping
I’m a nice guy, but don’t get confused, this pimpin’

Robin Thicke Breakdown:
Shake your rump
Get down, get up-a
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
What you don’t like work
Hey!

Robin Thicke Verse 4:
Baby, can you breathe
I got this from Jamaica
It always works for me
Dakota to Decatur
No more pretending
Cause now you’re winning
Here’s our beginning
I always wanted a

Robin Thicke Hook

Pharrell & Robin Thicke Bridge:
Everybody get up
Everybody get up
Everybody get up
Hey, Hey, Hey
Hey, Hey, Hey
Hey, Hey, Hey

Pharrell & Robin Thicke Outro:
Everybody get up, WOO!
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

I’m not comparing the quality of verse.  Loesser’s song is sophisticated and charming, with delightfully light, intelligent lyrics.  Thicke’s song has a catchy (very catchy melody) but the lyrics are crude.  They reflect the realities of culture that celebrates “Hooking up” as a sign of female liberation, even while blurring lines about what constitutes a “nice” girl, a “girl in touch with her sexuality,” a girl who enjoys what voters in Colorado and Washington say should be her inalienable right to pot, and a “girl who’s going to cry ‘gray rape’” the next day.  There are no boundaries in this world — both the world of the song and the sexual world in which we’ve placed our young people.

Yes, the T.I. line that “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two” is absolutely revolting, but for high-school-aged kids this is their reality.  At high school dances across America, the only dance the kids do is “freak dancing.”  For those unfamiliar with it, freaking is kind of like twerking, except that the girl doesn’t bend over.  Instead, she writhes erotically while the guy stands behind her and rubs himself against her butt (not near her butt, but against her butt).  As I described it the teenage girls I know, take away the “transgressive glamor” and all that freaking means is that a strange guy masturbates against your butt.

My children tell me that this is the only type of dancing done at their high school.  If you don’t want to freak, you don’t get to dance.  Yet another blurred line in today’s sexual culture.

To the extent there’s anything wrong with Thicke’s vulgar, yet catchy song, the problem isn’t with the song, it’s with the culture that gave rise to the song.  (You can read whole books on the subject: Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.) Within that context, the song simply describes the myriad kinds of sexual activity in which America’s young people are encouraged to engage, with the only limitation being a woman’s right to cry rape at any time, before, during, and after apparently consensual intercourse.

I’m not trying in this post to excuse rape.  I am saying only that Thicke and his team, in addition to writing the 21st century version of a “seduction song,” have unwittingly exposed something deeply disturbing about young America’s sexual culture.  It’s a sick Faustian bargain in which boys get virtually unlimited sex, provided that they’re willing to take the risk that the girl who writhed against them Saturday night, got stoned and drunk with them around midnight, and apparently willingly engaged in all kinds of variations on old-fashioned male/female sex with them in the wee hours of Sunday morning, can claim later that, hey, she was just blurred, and her real line was “no.”

The Left uses sex to break up American families

I had an interesting conversation with my mother, who may be 90, but is still sharper than most people you’ll meet.  We got to talking about the Gosnell abortion/murder trial, which came as something of a surprise to her.  Despite the fact that she watches the news and reads the newspaper, she hadn’t heard a thing about it.  That wasn’t a surprise to me.

From there, the conversation wandered to the moral merits of abortion.  My Mom came of age in a time and place when abortion was neither approved of nor frowned upon.  It just existed.  In the turmoil after the war, when people were starving in cities decimated by fighting, having a baby seemed like an impossibility — and it could be a death sentence for both mother and child.  Nobody approved of abortion in war-torn streets, but they didn’t stop it either.

For that reason, it’s always been hard for my mother to understand the fervor Americans feel about abortion.  To her, it just . . . is.  (That’s probably the case for a lot of people who aren’t committed to one side or another of the abortion debate, which is why the media couldn’t risk the Gosnell trial coming into the open, in case it swayed indecisive people into the pro-Life column.)

While Mom couldn’t quite get the morality of abortion, I was able to get her to understand that the modern American state uses abortion to separate children from their families.  We’ve talked before here about the fact that, in California, youngsters under 16 or 18 can’t play paintball, get their ears pierced, or get a fake tan without a parents’ permission.  They can, however, get birth control, get abortions, and get treated for sexually transmitted diseases, all without a parents’ knowledge.  Putting aside the invitation to the worst kinds of child sex abuse, what’s happening here is that the state promises children the keys to the kingdom of pleasure.

Food and shelter are necessities.  Good food and good shelter are pleasures.  But sex . . . there’s the ultimate endorphin rush.  Mom and Dad, being mean, spiteful people, won’t let you have it, and they’ll give you Hell if there are consequences because you ignored their strictures.  The state, though, it puts no obstacles in your path.  Indeed, it helps you along with condoms, birth control pills, patches, and morning after pills.  If you get pregnant, you get the Morning After pill or an abortion, and if you get an STD, it gives you antibiotics — all without the knowledge or consent of the people who, in 90% of all cases care about you most in the world.

The Left claims that this legislated immorality is to protect young girls from abusive parents who will leave them homeless or beat them if they come home pregnant.  (Again, let’s ignore the fact that everything the Left does actually encourages the sexual abuse of children.)  Using an argument that focuses on an extreme minority, the Left has put us in a position that sees all girls and boys in America get to have free sex courtesy of the State.  The state has driven a wedge into the family unit, using the most potent endorphin driver available to motivate and reorient young people.

When I put it that way (as opposed to debating abortion’s morality), my mother suddenly sat up very straight, looked me straight in the eye, and said “But that’s socialism!”  I practically jumped up and down applauding that she had realized what was going on. It turned out there was a reason for her insight.

I’ve mentioned before that my Dad came from a Communist milieu and, while he eventually voted for Reagan, his sister remained a devoted Communist until the day she died.  Although she escaped Nazi Germany and eventually ended up in Palestine (and, after the War of Independence, in Israel), she decided that this young socialist state wasn’t properly committed to true Marxist socialism.  She therefore returned to East Germany, where she lived out the remainder of her life.

She was still living in Israel, though, when my Mom and Dad got married.  One day, when my Communist aunt was present, the subject of children came up.  Mom said that she wanted to wait until she had a nice home of her own and some security before she had children, so that she could have the joy and comfort of really raising her own family.  My aunt was shocked.  “No.  That’s wrong.  The children belong to the State.  You do not have the right to withhold them from the state, which should raise them.”

With this conversation living in her memory, my mother immediately understood the ramifications of a government severing the ties between parents and children.  In some places, such as Mao’s China, it uses coercion.  In America, it uses sex.  No matter the method, the goal is socialist.

Keeping in mind the above, it’s understandable why people who fear socialism (as I do) greeted with howls of outrage the MSNBC contributor who said quite clearly, “All your children are belong to us.”  Melissa Harris-Perry framed it cutely as it takes a village to raise a child, but that soft overlay covers pure, brute-force socialism.  Villages are voluntary communities that share values.  Homes are the ultimate refuge of the individual.  Socialism holds that individuals have no value, except to the extent that they provide bodies to power the socialist state:

Learn about the world-wide sex trade and what you can do to help save its victims

MacG sent a notice to me that I would like to share with you.  If you live in the Marin area, his church is screening a movie that sounds important, although deeply saddening:

On Sunday the 24th, 5PM @ New George’s downtown San Rafael my church, Hillside Marin (based in Corte Madera), will be showing Trade of Innocents. We are doing so raise awareness of this devastating underage sex ‘trade’ and it is, as I understand it is also occurring right here in the USA.

If you don’t live near MacG’s church (which I’ve attended and can assure you is filled with very nice people), please keep your eye open for this film, or talk to your own church, synagogue, mosque, community center, parent group, etc. about screening this film.  Bad people have traded in sex since the dawn of time, but it seems worse lately.

Just today, I did a post at Mr. Conservative that sounds rather shrill — Ten Horrifying Stories of Muslims Gang Raping White Woman — but it’s actually not overblown.  If anything, it’s underblown. It took me less than 20 minutes to find those stories. I composed a Bing search: “gang rape muslims ______.” In the blank, I simply inserted country names (Germany, England, Sweden, Norway, Holland, etc.) and came up with hundreds of stories. Many of the stories involve gang rape as an instrument of power in the sex trade. In a world where sex is a commodity and where stable, two-parent homes are vanishing, young girls are easy prey for men who offer them compliments and drugs. And then the girls are gang-raped, demoralized, blackmailed, and trapped in brothels.

It’s not just Muslims, of course. Wherever there’s poverty and disenfranchisement — whether the former Soviet Union, Mexico, India, or Thailand — the sex trade flourishes. The world must stand against it as firmly as it did against racial slavery in the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries.

Porn, comedy, and an increasingly jaded culture (but don’t give up all hope)

I overheard two women talking the other day.  One told the other that her teenage son was looking at internet porn.  Worse, her husband wouldn’t help her stop this behavior because, as he said, “I used to read Playboy when I was his age, and it didn’t hurt me.”  Is it really possible for the father of a teenage boy to be that clueless? This daddy’s ignorance about internet porn is so great that it may prove that reading Playboy when he was a teen did hurt him.

Playboy nudes were wholesome.  I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but the Playmates were like the girl next door, except without clothes.  For at least the first twenty or more years of Playboy‘s history, these gals were an every man (or boy) fantasy brought to life.  The teens and young men perusing the pages could easily pretend that Miss January was that cute brunette down the street, or that Miss July was the hot girl you admired on the other side of the classroom.

Marilyn Monroe Playboy picture

Eventually, though, the pleasure centers in male consumers’ brains stopped getting a thrill from “mere” nudes.  They started gravitating in greater numbers to magazines such as Penthouse or Hustler that showed women who were not only undressed, but were also engaging in sexual acts.

With the advent of the internet, though, the old-line magazines, both hard and soft core, couldn’t keep up with the gravitational pull of the internet.  And in the internet world, where porn is king, purveyors had to keep on-upping each other if they wanted to keep traffic coming to their sites.  Changes to content, instead of happening in human years, over the course of decades, happened in fruit fly years, over the course of weeks or even days.  If I’m a porn site mogul, I show nudes, but lose traffic to the guy who shows nudes playing with themselves, so I up the ante by showing two nudes playing with each other, so he ups the ante by adding two men and, perhaps, a dog or two. And so it goes, with each competitive iteration getting more perverse in a never-ending effort to catch the attention of an increasingly jaded viewing public.

Eventually, you end up with scenes such as this one, which I’ve censored appropriately to remove any and all pornographic or distasteful images: [Read more...]

The narcissism of Leftist culture — where bad things are never their fault

I recognize that my mind makes strange, often counter-intuitive connections, but as I hear Progressives rail against guns, I can’t help but think of slut walks.

Slut walk in London 2011 (image by Chris Brown)

What?!  You don’t know what slut walks are?  Slut walks are the latest manifestation of the feminist/Progressive rule holding that a women has no responsibility whatsoever if she is raped.

Slut walks are the exhibitionist version of the same ideology that says that a young woman can go off to college, get blind drunk, fellate several equally drunk young men and then, when she wakes up the next day and realizes that one or all had sex with her, cry rape.  In each case, the entire responsibility for rape (whether it was quite obviously rape at the moment occurred or transmuted into rape along with the morning hangover) is on the man.

Drunken college girls

Before I get deeper into this one, I should say that a man is always guilty if he enters a woman without her consent, just as a robber is always guilty if he enters a house with the homeowner’s consent.  This is true whether the woman is walking down a dark alley in a bikini or the homeowner has left the front door wide open.  Nothing I’m about to say removes the moral and, almost invariably, legal responsibility the man or the robber has for the act he committed.

Burglar

Having said that, though, you and I both know that, if a homeowner leaves a window open at night or the keys in the front door, he’s going to come in for ridicule and criticism from the police and, if he has the courage to confess his carelessness to them, from his friends, neighbors, and colleagues.  “Damn, dude!  That was really stupid.  Why didn’t you just hang a sign on the door saying ‘come in and take my television’?”

Everyone engaged in this chaffing or ridiculing would understand that the homeowner’s stupidity didn’t make the robber less culpable — but that it did also make the homeowner culpable.  And we would all make extra sure to lock our own doors.  Heck, we might even buy an alarm system if we suspected that there were robbers trolling our neighborhood.

Drunken woman on the streets of Cardiff

When it comes to rape, though, political correctness mandates that we exonerate the woman of any responsibility for what happened.  Pardon me if I sound like Mr. Spock, but that’s illogical.  We know that if a half-naked drunk woman walks into a biker bar, she’s more at risk of sexual assault than if a woman in a bulky sweatshirt and mom jeans walks into a church social.  Basic common sense makes this obvious.

In the bad old days, if the half-naked drunk woman was raped in that biker bar, authorities would say “she asked for it,” and give the bikers a pass.  The problem is that, in the bad new days, if the half-naked drunk woman gives a slurred “yes” to the guy who looks cute through her beer goggles, and then cries rape the next morning, his life is over and she gets a pass.  Not only that, the message to other similarly situated young women is “Don’t change a thing — walk around the streets in clothes that western culture associates with the boudoir and get blind drunk or stoned on a regular basis.  We will never punish you.”

Depression; Poor Mental Health

Even if the Leftists give the woman a pass, though, the punishment is still there.  It’s there in the form of young men whose lives are destroyed and, even more, it’s there in the form of young women whose lives are also destroyed.  All those women urged by society into trashy, minimal clothing think that they’re never responsible for the consequences of their actions, but they’re wrong.  Even if society refuses to condemn them, nature does, whether it’s a pregnancy (plus or minus an abortion), sexually transmitted diseases, feelings of self-loathing, or irrational fears of all men that make future trusting, stable relationships all but impossible.

What drives this entire “slut” movement is the malignant narcissism that characterizes almost all Leftist social and political positions.  One of the hallmarks of narcissism is the narcissist’s inability to take responsibility for his acts.  It’s always someone else’s fault.

When it comes to rape (or “gray rape” which is the morning-after guilt a woman feels when her drunkenness led her into acts she regrets), because of feminism’s push within Leftist corridors, it’s always the man’s fault.  No matter what the woman does, no matter how foolish she is, she bears no responsibility for her acts.  She doesn’t even count as a grim warning to others who follow.  (Again, I’m not saying that the man who rapes isn’t fully responsible for his conduct; I’m just saying that rational thinking demands that women must also be responsible for their conduct.)

Carnage after terrorist bomb in Tel Aviv

The same is true when it comes to guns.  What better place to put responsibility than on an inanimate object?  “It’s all the gun’s fault.”

Here’s a real-world fact, though, one that seems to have eluded the “reality based” political party:  Guns do nothing unless people handle them.  When courageous, principled people handle them, they save lives.  When crazy people handle them, they take lives.  Crazy people also take lives with knives, fertilizer bombs, glass bottles, boots, airplanes, box cutters, and whatever else comes to hand.  Knives don’t have great reach, but bombs certainly do — and that’s true whether the crazy person is listening to the voices in his head or the voices from the imam’s pulpit.

Pulp Fiction

Leftists (primarily the ACLU) have made it all but impossible to institutionalize crazy people, no matter how dangerous they quite obviously are.  Leftists have created gun-free zones to which a crazy person can head secure in the knowledge that there’s no one there to stop him.  Leftists operating out of Hollywood have glorified a the most bloody of gun violence of a type that a conservative culture would never countenance.  Leftists up and down the Left coast, with an eye to profit, have put out video games that make it routine and painless to blast human-looking avatars to death.  And Leftists have so highly sexualized our culture that two 7th grade girls at a local middle school had a major falling out because one girl gave a blow job to the other girl’s ex-boyfriend.

Leftists make rape easy by hyper-sexualizing our culture and by exonerating women of all responsibility for their acts.

Leftists also make killing an easy and attractive option for people who, in a more conservative culture, would be kept in humane comfort behind high stone walls.   The great thing for the Leftists, though, is that they can, in good conscience, attack the Second Amendment and the inanimate gun  because being a Leftist means never having to say you’re sorry.

From the same people who brought you the constitutional right to privacy: “You have no privacy.”

In 1973, the United States Supreme Court created a federal right to abortion by finding that abortion falls into an unstated Constitutional dimension called “the right to privacy.”  (Note:  British and American common law has always recognized a right to privacy, but the Constitution makes no mention of it.)  Thus, in Roe v. Wade, the Court explained the constitutional protections for abortion as follows:

The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution.

[snip]

This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.

With the Court’s pronouncement about the huge reach of the Constitution’s unexpressed “right to privacy,” Democrats, Liberals, Communists, and Progressives pronounced themselves satisfied.  The 10th Amendment, which once upon a time reserved to the states those rights not expressly delegated to the federal government, was meaningless.  If the Left thinks it should be in the Constitution, then — voila! — it is in the Constitution. Since 1973, therefore, Americans have believed that a person’s right to privacy is all-encompassing, and prohibits the government, as well as arms of the government, such as state founded or funded universities, from poking their governmental nose into anything that pertains to our own bodies.

With the exception of abortion, which is the most challenging issue because there are competing right’s (the woman’s and the fetus’s), most libertarians would agree with a common law (and therefore worthy of full respect) right to privacy, even if they would argue, as I do, that it’s tremendously damaging to the American body politic to pretend such a right is constitutional.  If we want a constitutional right to privacy, the Constitution spells out the procedure:  amendment, not judicial fiat.

Once they established this new constitutional principle, however, Progressives realized that they should have been a bit more careful in institutionalizing privacy as a core constitutional doctrine.  As they’ve discovered, the best way for a state to control individuals is through controlling their sexuality.  By asserting increasing state dominance over people’s sex lives (which is different a society enforcing traditional moral codes), the state can break familial bonds, destroy an individual’s sense of his inviolable self, interfere with core religious doctrine, and hand out sexual treats at opiates for the masses, all of which consolidate state power over individuals.

The problem for the Progressives arises if individuals are old-fashioned enough to believe that their sexuality is nobody’s business but their own. And no, traditional marriage is not necessarily proof that people are screaming their heterosexuality out loud. Having grown up in San Francisco, I’ve known of many marriages that involved agreed-upon sexual arrangements that had very little to do with traditional heteronormative behavior, and everything to do with people wanting to live their lives their way, free from prying eyes.

Progressive’s frustration with old-fashioned notions of personal privacy — the same notion that they promoted and cheered in Roe v. Wade — came to a head in 2008 at the University of Delaware.  In academia’s never-ending push to turn people into malleable little clumps of victim-hood, and class-, race-, or sexuality-based identity groups, the University of Delaware realized that it would need to force recalcitrant students to state whether they’re LGBT, GLBT, STR8T, BI, AC/DC, or LMNOP (oh, sorry, got lost in my alphabet soup there):

A female freshman arrives for her mandatory one-on-one session in her male RA’s dorm room. It is 8:00 p.m. Classes have been in session for about a week. The resident assistant hands her a questionnaire. He tells her it is “a little questionnaire to help [you] and all the other residents relate to the curriculum.” He adds that they will “go through every question together and discuss them.” He later reports that she “looked a little uncomfortable.”

“When did you discover your sexual identity?” the questionnaire asks.

“That is none of your damn business,” she writes.

“When was a time you felt oppressed?”

“I am oppressed every day [because of my] feelings for the opera. Regularly [people] throw stones at me and jeer me with cruel names…. Unbearable adversity. But I will overcome, hear me, you rock loving majority.”[1]

She is not playing along like the other students, and the RA confronts her using his “confrontation training,” but it isn’t working. He becomes so appalled by her resistance that he writes up an incident report and reports her to his superiors. After all, this is the University of Delaware, and the school has a zero-tolerance policy for anything remotely resembling “hate speech.”

This one-on-one session was not meant to be a punishment, some kind of mandatory sensitivity training for a recalcitrant student who had committed an infraction. It was mandatory training for all 7,000-odd students in the University of Delaware dorms. The sessions were part of a thorough thought-reform curriculum, designed by the school’s Office of Residence Life, to psychologically “treat” and correct the allegedly incorrect thoughts, attitudes, values, beliefs, and habits of the students. The ResLife staff considered students too intolerant of one another, too “consumerist,” and in dire need of reeducation to become responsible world citizens who could meet the planet’s environmental crisis and the requirements of social and economic “justice.”

(FIRE successfully mounted a campaign to force the University of Delaware to abandon this forcible effort to extract personal information from vulnerable freshman, but I use it as an example here, because it so perfectly encapsulates the Leftist attitude towards privacy and sexuality.)

Aside from having a girl-crush (but not an LGBT girl-crush, just an intellectual one) on the young woman who spoke of being opera-oppressed, I’m shocked, disgusted, appalled, etc. — the usual range of emotion a liberty-loving person experiences when an institution takes vast sums of money to control a young person’s life and future and then uses its coercive power to extort deeply private information from that same vulnerable student.

What makes this Progressive attitude even more distasteful is the fact that Universities claim to be all about privacy — at least when that privacy means isolating students from their own parents, despite a reasonable presumption that these same parents, unlike the vast, impersonal institutions, truly have their children’s best interests at heart:

College and University students have a right to privacy. In the United States, it’s called FERPA: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. And there are a lot of rights and protections that you have as a student eighteen or over, and that you must respect as both a parent and a professor.

As a student, your grades, enrollment, assignments, and interactions with professors are all completely confidential. As a professor, I am not allowed, legally, to give out any information whatsoever about a student without that student’s explicit permission.

And, like practically all professors, I don’t. But this message is most important for parents, and for students who are worried about their irate parents.

Put another way:  your parent, who is probably paying for some or all of your education, cannot ask about your grades, but your university, which will have taken a minimum of $100,000 from you over the course of four years, while promising you a diploma with at least some market value, can force you to state your most private personal information.

I was going to end this post by saying the Left can’t have it both ways:  it either recognizes individual privacy or it doesn’t.  Then I slapped myself in the face and said “Don’t be stupid, Bookworm!  In Obama’s Leftist, narcissistic America, the Left can have it any way it likes it, both coming and going, as long as its demands drive the bottom line towards statism.”

A matched set, this time about young women, birth control, and sex

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a plan.  To protect your daughter from . . . you, it wants all girls who could be sexually active (that means every girl 10 or older) to have her own personal stash of “Plan B,” aka “the morning after pill:

During Thanksgiving week the American Academy of Pediatrics announced its recommendation that “morning after” prescriptions be issued to adolescent girls as a matter of course, allowing them the false security of what has long been described by advocates as a “fire extinguisher” in their purse to counter at least some of the consequences of risky behavior. “There’s no good reason” why there should not be follow-through on the recommendation, the San Francisco Chronicle asserts.

This is a heinous idea at so many levels.  I freely concede that there are young women out there who have the profound misfortune to be the daughters of abusive or unloving parents.  But I’m willing to bet that most young women have parents who love them.  The AAP is taking a problem for a minority of young women and trying to create a disaster for the majority of young women.  This is a plan that alienates young women from those who care for them most deeply — their parents:

“Girls often need support in order to avoid coercive early sexual activity, and the support of parents and medical providers is critical to enabling them to make healthy decisions,” [Anna] Halpine [founder of the World Youth Alliance and CEO of the FEMM (Fertility Education and Medical Management) Foundation] observes. “Girls want to be loved, not just used, and being affirmed in their pursuit of education and long-term dreams is a necessary part of the empowerment of any girl. Happiness is not an illusion; there are concrete things that can be done to achieve it, and explaining that to our girls is our responsibility and obligation. As the hookup culture grows ever more pervasive, it is matched by rising rates of female depression. We need to take these indicators of our young women’s development seriously, and make sure that we provide them with clear messages that help them fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams.”

Yes.  Yes, and more yes.  The government doesn’t care about my daughter, but I do.  The government cares about masses and batches of people, and the more dependent on the government they are, the better.

The government doesn’t only have no interest in young people when it comes to their emotional needs, it also doesn’t care about their physical needs.  Hormones are powerful medicines.  Every woman knows that the pill can interfere with the basic biologic function of pregnancy.  Most women know that the pill can bloat them and make them moody.  A significant number of women know that the pill can make them vomit uncontrollably.  The pill is also a not-so-rare factor in blood clots and strokes.  This is powerful stuff.  Girls who need parental permission to get their ears pierced or their bodies tanned are going to be handed hormones in sufficient doses to mess with their body’s natural functions.  Why aren’t more people outraged?

I’m not done yet, though, because I promised you a matched set.  Here’s the match:

The elite University of California, Berkeley has seen a blow to its uber-serious reputation with a controversial article from a student boasting about her marathon campus sex sessions.

Nadia Cho’s detailed account was part of her weekly column in The Daily Californian, Berkeley’s independent, student-run newspaper.

Cho writes that she and an unnamed male student started their romp in Berkeley’s library, Main Stacks, the day before Thanksgiving, when the campus was ‘marvellously empty’.

[snip]

But other students were in the library studying while the two performed and more than one student walked by them in mid-act, Cho writes.

She and her partner then moved into one of Berkeley’s classrooms, as she graphically describes.

‘Sex isn’t always about c****** and having orgasms. Sometimes it’s for s**** and giggles,’ she writes.

It’s impossible to imagine Cho’s attitude in a world where parents preach a loving, caring morality and birth control pills and abortifacients aren’t handed out like candy.  Again, I know that not all parents are loving, caring or even moral, and I know that many young women have sex without birth control or rely on things other than the pill, but the fact is that Cho is the product of a society that’s saturated in sex untethered to love, morality, family, or even plain old decency.

 

Yes, I have a very peculiar sense of humor

I’m on a mailing list that introduces potential book reviewers to newly published books.  Today’s email was about “romances.”  I quickly scanned the list of books to see whether any were worth requesting to read and review.  None were, but this one caught my eye:

Kink is not my cup of tea, so it wasn’t the cover of the book that intrigued me, with its intimations of whips, chains, Great Danes, and three on a chandelier, nor was it the description of the various esoteric activities the book covers:

Christmas is a time of love and joy, and the New Year is a time of renewal. But they are also times of stress and strife, family drama, pressure and heartache – a potent mix of high expectations and conflicted emotions. Add in power exchange relationships, kinky gift swaps, and unconventional love in a sometimes unforgiving world, and you have a formula for a sizzling anthology of stories that tug at your heart.

Nope. None of that was interesting. What made me laugh, though, was this bit of information:

20% of all proceeds from O Come All Ye Kinky will be donated to the Domestic Violence Project of the National Leather Association–International.

First of all, I didn’t know there was a National Leather Association, international or domestic. Second of all, to the extent it celebrates, not just wearing leather, but using leather for “disciplinary” purposes (or, as it calls these activities, BDSM), it seems funny (to me, at least) that this organization focuses on domestic violence. I guess it’s not “domestic violence” if your partner agrees with the whole whips and chains thing.

Is working as a porn star the cure for mental health issues?

Did any of you catch a story the other day claiming that a study of porn actresses showed that they’re happier and better adjusted than their non-porn peers?

The report in the Journal of Sex Research found that porn stars are not more likely to have psychological problems than other women.

In fact, they discovered those in the sex entertainment industry had a more positive outlook on life with higher self-confidence and more flattering views on their body image.

‘In terms of psychological characteristics, porn actresses had higher levels of self-esteem, positive feelings, social support, sexual satisfaction and spirituality compared to the matched group,’ the report summarises.

Wow!

The way that study reads, it sounds as if those dealing with depression or other mental health issues should head for the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, home of myriad porn studios, rather than seeking out more traditional options, such as a therapist, anti-depressants, or, in more serious cases, a full-care residential facility.  Sadly, we have a thread of depression running through my family’s history, and various family members have (or could have) benefited from some or all three options.

Such options weren’t always available, of course.  My mother’s maternal uncle and her paternal grandmother both suffered greatly from mental illnesses that were probably bi-polar disorder in his case and histrionic personality disorder in her case.  The Nazis dealt with these problems quite efficiently by killing my great-uncle and great, great grandmother.  I don’t know about my father’s family’s mental health history, although most of them ended up being killed by the Nazis too.  Maybe all of them could have avoided these fates if they’d become happy porn stars.

Let me say that I don’t believe this study at all.  For one thing, it’s got a very small sampling:  171 porn actresses.  For another thing, these actresses were compared to some magical “average” woman.  Lastly, I’m dubious about this kind of self-reported happiness, given the lives they lead.  I know people who practice . . . hmmm . . . let’s say “alternate” sexual lives.  These women tell me, almost aggressively, that they’re “happy” with their choices and that having myriad sexual encounters with nameless, faceless men makes them feel like sex goddesses.

That’s what they say.  What I see are women who rely heavily on pot and other drugs to maintain an anesthetized distances from their life choices.  Indeed, the study acknowledges greater drug use amongst the porn actresses studied:

While the report challenged the stereotype of porn actresses as drug addicts, drug use was found to be more prevalent among the entertainers. They were more likely to have tried ten different types of drugs compared to the control group.

These women also age much more rapidly than their cleaner-living peers.  I don’t know if it’s the sex or the drugs, but you can tell that they’ve been around the block a few thousand times.

Of course, if you report yourself as happy, maybe you are happy.  After all, our emotional well-being is a state-of-mind and, as the saying goes, mind over matter works:  if you don’t mind, it don’t matter.  If these women are convinced that they’re not prematurely aged, substance using (not necessarily “abusing,” but “using) people whose lives are defined by their exhibitionist sexual habits, but are, instead, desirable, beautiful women, than I guess they are — their perception of reality defines their reality.

We know, though, that young girls who are sexually promiscuous are less happy than their peers.  Hearing that porn stars are happy shouldn’t be used as an indicator that exhibitionism is a recipe for happiness.  At most, with such a small sampling, the study shows that people with unusual predilections have found their niche.  Most people, I suspect, would find that niche to be a very demoralizing place, indeed, and certainly not a panacea for depression or just routine unhappiness.

An ad that invites parodies

I hadn’t yet posted about the Lena Dunham ad, which just seemed too stupid to acknowledge, which is why I’m not linking to it here.  After all, I’d prefer not to sully my blog with videos that liken voting for Obama to losing ones virginity.  Frankly, maybe because I’m a mature, sentient human being, I don’t find the ad enticing so much as I find it really icky.

Not linking to the ad, though, doesn’t mean not linking to the parodies.  This one, from Steve Crowder, is too good to pass up:

Hat tip: Power Line

On Yale, sex, porn, and relationships *UPDATED*

It’s no big secret in the Bookworm Room that I like romance novels.  Someone I know calls them pornography.  He’s both right and wrong.

A large percentage of today’s romance novels have pretty explicit sex scenes scattered through the pages.  The language isn’t as vulgar as true pornography, but the sex is certainly graphic enough to fall under the heading of “erotica.”  It’s also dull.  There are only so many ways to describe “insert tab A into slot B.” Moreover, romance writers, because they’re aiming for romance and not hard-core porn employ no end of awkward and embarrassing euphemisms, all of which make the whole experience seem a little bit like peeking under the modesty skirts that some Victorians allegedly used to hide the legs of their Victorian piano.

Given my druthers, I read nothing but Georgette Heyer’s exquisite romantic comedies of manners, which might end with a chaste kiss on the last page.  Sadly, though, Mrs. Heyer died in 1974, and there are no new Heyer books forthcoming.  Even I, a most enthusiastic fan, can read her existing fare only so many times before feeling a bit of ennui creeping over me.  There are other writers out there publishing “traditional” romances (i.e., no sex), but they lack Heyer’s wit and erudition, making their books a poor substitute.  Moreover, many of these traditional books are overtly Christian, and that simply isn’t a genre that appeals to me.

So, as I said, my friend is correct that there’s an erotic element to today’s romantic novel market (which is, I believe, the largest segment of both the paperback and ebook market).  What he misunderstands is that the graphic–ish sex isn’t the “porn” that draws women in.  The real porn aspect of these novels is what I call “relationship porn.”

Relationship porn doesn’t have dialog revolving around body parts and sex acts.  It has dialog revolving around a woman’s real needs.  The following aren’t verbatim quotations from any specific book, but I guarantee you that you can find variations of these themes in any modern romance novel you pick up:

Lainey walked self-consciously down the stairs, aware that Caleb had never seen her in anything other than an over-sized sweatshirt and jeans before.  In the clingy black dress, she felt acutely vulnerable.  As she drew closer, Caleb let out a long, low whistle.  “My God, Lainey!  I could look at you forever!”

Safe for the time being under the sheltering overhang of the cave, Rob carefully checked Karen to make sure she was okay.  Her hair was hanging lankly around her ears, her pale face was covered with mud, and her clothes were drenched and ragged.  She had never looked more beautiful to him.

Brad turned to Victoria and said, “Don’t worry, baby.  I’ll take care of the dishes for you.  You just go to bed.”

Yup — there’s the real porn.  Our romantic hero, who looks good and smells better (unlike many of Hollywood’s most famous and narcissistic stars, both male and female), thinks that, under any circumstances, our heroine is the most gorgeous thing in the world and he helps out around the house.

What’s sad is that relationship porn didn’t used to be a niche market idea.  Before the sexual revolution  hit, popular culture encouraged men to appreciate and cherish their woman.  That is no longer the case, though, which may explain why women are so happy wrapped in the loving arms of a romance novel.

A young Yale grad, Nathan Harden, has just published a new book that reveals both a symptom and a cause of the unloving culture we’ve created for young American women.  The title pretty much tells its own story:  Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.  I haven’t read Harden’s book, but he spells out the premise in a recent Daily Beast post, descriptively entitled “When Sex Isn’t Sexy: My Bizarre Education at Yale University.”  That premise is a simple, and sad, one; namely, that Yale has become one of American education’s major sex purveyors, and that the sex it sells to students has nothing to do with romance, love, and respect, and everything to do with commerce and impersonal relationships:

When the average person thinks of Yale University, sex probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Nevertheless, in recent years Yale has positioned itself as a leader in a radical new form of sex education, complete with sex toy pageants, porn star lectures, sadomasochism seminars, and fellatio demonstrations. What does any of that have to do with the mission of Yale University? That’s the question I set out to answer in my new book, Sex & God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

[snip]

Yale’s cozy relationship with corporate interests in the sex industry—including numerous major porn production companies and some of the nation’s largest sex toy companies—has been the backbone of its infamous “Sex Week at Yale” event for the past ten years. Other elite universities, including Harvard, Brown, and Northwestern, have begun holding sex-themed events modeled on the corporate-backed events at Yale. Yale’s leaders say that academic freedom requires them to allow these activities. But I think they need to learn a basic business lesson: When a company comes into a classroom to market and sell its products, that’s called advertising, not education.

Yuck.  Pardon me while I go refresh my mind by spending some time with Lainey and Caleb, or maybe Rob and Karen, or perhaps I’ll ask the imaginary Brad to help me out around the house.

UPDATE:  Somehow it seems apropos to note here that the First Lady has found herself guest editing a website that includes her fitness and lifestyle tips alongside sex advice from prostitutes.  Michelle Obama, of course, has nothing to do with sex advice; it’s just that the commercialization of sex, and its uncoupling from romance (pardon that pun) is everywhere.

UPDATE II:  As Abercrombie & Fitch is discovering, in a market glutted with sex, even sex stops selling.  Maybe they should raffle off their male models with the promise that the guys will come to the lucky winner’s house and do the dishes.

Putting sex back in the closet where it belongs

In today’s Marin IJ, there was a little squiblet asking people what they like about summer.  One 24 year old man was blunt — women in their summer clothes, he said, are what makes summer good.  By that he meant young women in almost no clothes.  He’s certainly right about the clothes.  Summer attire for girls here — nice, middle-class girls — consists of super-short shorts and tank tops.  That’s pretty much it.

Thinking about how even nice girls put all the merchandise on display, I couldn’t help but remembering JB Priestley’s book Lost Empires, which is now better remembered for the 1986 Masterpiece Theater adaptation starring a very young Colin Firth.  Colin Firth plays Richard Herncastle, a young man in pre-WWI Britain who finds himself traveling with musical hall performers.  Some are good, some are sleazy, all are rather interesting, and one is a beautiful older woman (in her late 20s or early 30s) who casts her eye on this innocent young man.

Both book and TV series are written as reminiscences by an elderly Richard Herncastle, writing in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and looking back upon his youth.  In the book, and maybe in the TV show (I simply can’t remember over a distance of so many years), Herncastle makes a point I’ve never forgotten:  His first glimpse of the older woman naked completely overwhelms him.  In those days, women’s flesh was suggested, not flaunted, and it was a magical moment to see that pearlescent skin for the very first time.  He went on to say that modern young men, reared on endless vistas of naked female flesh, have lost something special.

Although less romantic and graceful in tone, Woody Allen (the man who turned his son into his brother-in-law) made a similar point when he was still funny:  “The psychiatrist asked me if I thought sex was dirty and I said, ‘It is if you’re doing it right.’”  Up until recently, at least, part of the pleasure of sex was how intensely private Western culture made it.   Animals do it in fields.  Civilized humans start with public romance draped in mystery, and then go to an intense privacy that should, ideally, be shared only by the two people most intimately involved.

Old movies, constrained by the Hayes Code, pulsated with sexual excitement without ever going beyond chaste kisses.  Rather than seeing Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh doing a boring and embarrassing simulation of sex amongst skillfully draped blankets, with suitably hazy lighting, we got to see a nighttime shot of the manly Rhett carrying Scarlett upstairs, followed by a morning shot of a kittenish Scarlett smiling with satisfaction in her bed.  Adults got it; children, thankfully, didn’t.  Most people still remember the excitement of that scene although, by modern movie standards, nothing actually happened.

An equally romantic scene, yet one that shows nothing, occurs in the wonderful 1934 version of The Merry Widow, with Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier. The two meet at Maxim’s in Paris, and the virtuous widow leaves the amorous Danilov with the strong impression that she’s one of the light skirts who frequents Maxim’s. Some singing, a chaste kiss (by modern standards), and some flirtation that leads . . . nowhere. It’s ridiculously romantic — and, again, I think more romantic than watching some body doubles writhe obligingly under some sheets on behalf of the big named stars.

I know I’m old-fashioned, but I do think young people, especially young women, would benefit so much from a more chaste society. I’m not advocating imposed burqas (God forbid!). I am saying, though, that young people could discover that a culture of romance and respect is much more exciting than a culture of sex.

With that in mind, I’m not at all surprised that one of the hottest acts in the Western world right now is Britain’s One Direction. These young guys have figured out that if they sing songs about admiration, the girls will find them and buy their music:

Stockholm Syndrome, Victimization, and the media’s version of American men

Stockholm Syndrome:  In psychology, Stockholm Syndrome is an apparently paradoxical psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. The FBI’s Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 27% of victims show evidence of Stockholm Syndrome

****

Victimization Symptoms: Victimization symptoms were proposed by Frank Ochberg as a distinct subcategory of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is not formally recognized in diagnostic systems such as DSM or ICD, and includes the following:

  • Shame: Deep embarrassment, often characterized as humiliation or mortification.
  • Self-blame: Exaggerated feelings of responsibility for the traumatic event, with guilt and remorse, despite obvious evidence of innocence.
  • Subjugation: Feeling belittled, dehumanized, lowered in dominance, and powerless as a direct result of the trauma.
  • Morbid hatred: Obsessions of vengeance and preoccupation with hurting or humiliating the perpetrator, with or without outbursts of anger or rage.
  • Paradoxical gratitude: Positive feelings toward the victimizer ranging from compassion to romantic love, including attachment but not necessarily identification. The feelings are usually experienced as ironic but profound gratitude for the gift of life from one who has demonstrated the will to kill. (Also known as pathological transference and/or Stockholm syndrome).
  • Defilement: Feeling dirty, disgusted, disgusting, tainted, “like spoiled goods,” and in extreme cases, rotten and evil.
  • Sexual inhibition: Loss of libido, reduced capacity for intimacy, more frequently associated with sexual assault.
  • Resignation: A state of broken will or despair, often associated with repetitive victimization or prolonged exploitation, with markedly diminished interest in past or future.
  • Second injury or second wound: Revictimization through participation in the criminal justice, health, mental health, and other systems.
  • Socioeconomic status downward drift: Reduction of opportunity or life-style, and increased risk of repeat criminal victimization due to psychological, social, and vocational impairment.

There’s an exciting publishing sensation out there.  It’s E.L James’s S&M trilogy, the first of which is Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy.  I haven’t read the books myself but, as best as I can tell, they are this generation’s Story of O.  As a hip young college student, I tried to read the Story of O, but I quickly got terribly bored.  All the faux sophistication in the world wasn’t going to make me like a creepy story of domination and submission.  My distaste for this genre seems to leave me in something of a minority.   The trilogy occupies the top three spots on Amazon’s bestseller list.  Women, apparently, are completely thrilled by this story of a naive young woman who enters into a submissive relationship with a tortured man who has a compulsive need to dominate women sexually:

Mr Grey, a 27-year-old billionaire, seduces young graduate, Anastasia Steele. He has a penchant for bondage and soon envelops her in a world of kinky sex, S&M and XXX-rated bedroom ‘contract’ games that make for solid post-watershed reading only. Love, inevitably, is not omitted from the romance.

Maureen Dowd, who is rather famous for holding men in disdain (or, as she asked and answered, Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide) doesn’t think much of the book’s concept and, as I do, thinks it’s an O retread.  She is willing to consider the theory, however, that this whole S&M thing isn’t really about men dominating women but is, instead, about women making men do the work in the bedroom:

The Harvard-educated [Jennifer] Hunter [a dominatrix] asserts that most women are sexually submissive — “the sexually dominant woman is that rara avis” — and scoffs at the idea that anything in the book is offensive except its overwrought prose.

“Every good dominant knows that the submissive is really the partner in control,” she says. “All a submissive woman has to do is relax and enjoy the ride while delicious sexual acts are visited upon her. She’s the star of the proceedings. Someone is ministering to her needs for a change. Master is choreographing all the action. The book seems to have resonated with so many women because, after a long day of managing employees, making all the decisions and looking after children, a woman might be exhausted about being in charge and long to surrender control.”

Think about that theory:  because women are in charge of everything all day long, and are responsible for everything, their sexual fantasy involves a man who takes charge, even if the manifestation of that willingness to take charge is to engage in bizarre, but ultimately tame, sexual games that would have left the Marquis de Sade nodding in bored approval, much like a doting parent at the kindergarten play.  Or to put it more bluntly, since men are disappointingly absent during the daytime, let’s pretend they can be “manly men” at night time.  I don’t know about you, but I find that terribly sad.  It answers Dowd’s question by saying men aren’t necessary at all, except to fulfill some freakish fantasies.

50 Shades of Grey isn’t the only pop culture phenomenon out there celebrating bizarre sexual practices that see women pretending to be the weaker sex.  Frank Bruni, with great sadness, examines a new TV show called Girls, which he sees as emblematic of the failure of women’s lib, which has resulted in a dehumanizing, dead-end, hook-up culture.  As with 50 Shades of Grey, the young woman in Girls is a prop for the man’s fantasies, with the woman’s pleasure (if any) coming from that passive prop status:

THE first time you see Lena Dunham’s character having sex in the new HBO series “Girls,” her back is to her boyfriend, who seems to regard her as an inconveniently loquacious halfway point between partner and prop, and her concern is whether she’s correctly following instructions.

“So I can just stay like this for a little while?” she asks. “Do you need me to move more?”

He needs her to intrude less. “Let’s play the quiet game,” he answers.

The second time, she’s an 11-year-old junkie with a Cabbage Patch lunchbox, or so he tells her, commencing a role play in which he alone assigns the roles. He has highly specific fantasies, and she’s largely a fleshy canvas for them.

Who needs love when you can turn every relationship into a porn tableau?  Bruni is correct that this is deeply saddening.  I’m not sure, though, that I see it as a failure of women’s liberation, so much as one of its goals — but more about that in a few minutes.

Cultural critic Bill Bennett has looked at Dowd’s and Bruni’s columns and weighed in himself.  He sees this trend in pop culture as a terrible reflection on men — and he’s right, but for the wrong reason.  To Bennett, the book and show reveal a trend that has men degrading women:

Bruni goes on to grapple with Dunham’s loveless sex scenes and wonders whether today’s onslaught of pornography and easy sex has desensitized men to the point where they view women, to recall the words of an earlier day, only as objects. Even the act of sex itself is boring to some men unless it is ratcheted up in some strange, deviant fashion–all at the expense of the thoroughly humiliated and debased woman.

In the act of degrading women, men are also degrading themselves.

James Taranto explains, however, that Bennett errs at a very fundamental level in making the above comment.  You see, both 50 Shades and Girls emanate from female creative minds.  Yup, the fantasy of bored, overwhelmed women who desperately need someone else to take control in the bedroom is a female fantasy:

How does an essay about “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Girls” turn into an anti-male screed? Both are written by women for women. Dowd notes, but Bennett omits, that the real first name of author E.L. James is Erika. As for “Girls,” Bruni points out that Lena Dunham “is not only its star but also its principal writer and director.” And if it’s anything like “Sex and the City,” no heterosexual man will ever watch it except as a favor to someone of the opposite sex.

We don’t dispute Bennett’s contention that pornography is degrading to women, but it takes no courage or insight to say so. “Fifty Shades of Gray” and “Girls” sound degrading too, but Bennett seems to shy away from confronting the fact that this degradation amounts to female pornography–produced by women for the entertainment of other women. In postfeminist America, it’s so much easier and safer to scapegoat men.

Taranto is absolutely right, but he hasn’t gone far enough, while Bennett hasn’t quite figured out what’s really going on.  Post-feminist America is indeed remarkably hostile to men and these books are evidence of the fact that feminism has reduced men to mere sexual utility.  Looking back on the rhetoric of the 60s and 70s, this was one of feminism’s goals all along.  After all, who can forget Gloria Steinem’s stirring battle cry:  “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”  Feminists seem to have discovered that this is true in every area of life (work, child rearing, socializing, etc.), except in the bedroom, where an archaic amalgam of heterosexual urges and sheer exhaustion make a faux manly man an object of desire.

Both Bennett and Taranto, however, have pulled back from noting one important thing:  today’s media men — the film producers, TV producers, publishers, etc. — are entirely complicit in this trend of degradation, a trend that not only turns women into sex objects, but turns men into ciphers, useful only in a utilitarian way once the bedroom door closes.  Women may be roaring all over, but you cannot get these films and TV shows made, or these books published, without male participation, participation that is often very enthusiastic.

Take a film such as The Help, which was a Hollywood big deal.  Although it’s based upon a book that a woman, Kathryn Stockett, wrote, the movie is a male production.  A man — Tate Taylor — both wrote the script and directed the move.  And it is not a nice movie when it comes to men.  For one thing, the men are mostly missing in action. When they do appear, with two minor exceptions, the men in The Help are cowards, wife beaters, and racists.  The two exceptions are a paper cut-out black preacher man whose sole role is to give a brief sermon about Moses, and a white man who is on the screen for about two minutes and who is not racist.  And that’s it.  That’s Hollywood’s most recent approach to men in the Jim Crow South.

The Help is not anomalous.  Men do not fare well in media land.  They’re buffoonish, violent, and often invisible.  Women and girls routinely teach them lessons in order to make them more sensitive.  And invariably, the men are complicit in this.  Male actors, male producers, male directors, and male whatever other else they are in Hollywood willing produce widely broadcast materials that make America men look just awful.  It’s the rare production that celebrates manly virtues.

Hollywood’s men are not interested in providing affirmative role models for America’s boys and young men.  Instead like sufferers of Stockholm Syndrome or Victimization Syndrome, they gleefully join in with their intellectual captors in denigrating and demeaning men.  This is a tragedy when it comes to the men who have already given themselves over to their feminist captors and a national disaster when you imagine the second generation of young men raised to hate themselves.

Moderating the sexual revolution

Yesterday, I riffed on James Taranto’s post regarding whether the sexual revolution bell can be un-rung.  I don’t think we can go back to the way things were before — time does, after all, run forward, not backwards — but I do think we are still in a position to moderate its worst excesses.  With that in mind, I looked to the way the staid, even repressive, Victorian era followed upon, and was a reaction to the licentious rapacity of the Georgian period.

Taranto provided more food for thought, because he published an interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who spoke not only about ObamaCare but also about the sexual revolution.  I think Dolan’s thoughts are a nice complement to my ideas about re-elevating sexual morality to a public virtue (emphasis mine):

What about the argument that vast numbers of Catholics ignore the church’s teachings about sexuality? Doesn’t the church have a problem conveying its moral principles to its own flock? “Do we ever!” the archbishop replies with a hearty laugh. “I’m not afraid to admit that we have an internal catechetical challenge—a towering one—in convincing our own people of the moral beauty and coherence of what we teach. That’s a biggie.”

For this he faults the church leadership. “We have gotten gun-shy . . . in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality.” He dates this diffidence to “the mid- and late ’60s, when the whole world seemed to be caving in, and where Catholics in general got the impression that what the Second Vatican Council taught, first and foremost, is that we should be chums with the world, and that the best thing the church can do is become more and more like everybody else.”

The “flash point,” the archbishop says, was “Humanae Vitae,” Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical reasserting the church’s teachings on sex, marriage and reproduction, including its opposition to artificial contraception. It “brought such a tsunami of dissent, departure, disapproval of the church, that I think most of us—and I’m using the first-person plural intentionally, including myself—kind of subconsciously said, ‘Whoa. We’d better never talk about that, because it’s just too hot to handle.’ We forfeited the chance to be a coherent moral voice when it comes to one of the more burning issues of the day.”

Without my having raised the subject, he adds that the church’s sex-abuse scandal “intensified our laryngitis over speaking about issues of chastity and sexual morality, because we almost thought, ‘I’ll blush if I do. . . . After what some priests and some bishops, albeit a tiny minority, have done, how will I have any credibility in speaking on that?’”

Yet the archbishop says he sees a hunger, especially among young adults, for a more authoritative church voice on sexuality. “They will be quick to say, ‘By the way, we want you to know that we might not be able to obey it. . . . But we want to hear it. And in justice, you as our pastors need to tell us, and you need to challenge us.’”

That hunger is the beginning of the Victorian revival.

Putting the sexual revolution genie back in the bottle — it can be done

James Taranto says that the Left has ceased to be a revolutionary movement.  Instead, it is a monolithic institution that spends its time trying to preserve the changes it has already wrought in society.  The two big changes Taranto mentions are the New Deal of the 1930s and 1940s, and the sexual revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.  With regard to the latter, he points to Ann Patchett’s defense of the modern sexual status quo in America.  Patchett contends that a revolution, once done, cannot be undone.  Says Patchett:

Here’s the thing about revolutions–there is no taking them back. . . . If you feel that the sexual revolution destroyed the American family by giving women power over their reproductive choices, and that power turned daughters and wives, by and large, into a bunch of wanton hussies, well, stew over your feelings all you want, but you might as well give up thinking that it is possible to herd us up and drive us back into the kitchen. . . .

For those who remain bitter about the revolution and wish it had never happened, join hands with the likes of me, who see the rights and freedoms of women as the only possible outcome for a thinking society.

Taranto points out the obvious fallacy in Patchett’s rather naive belief that you cannot put the genie back in the bottle (or, more prosaically, reverse historic trends):

The presumption that history inevitably moves in one ideological direction is reminiscent of Marx, just as the determination to defend decades-old revolutionary gains echoes the Brezhnev doctrine.

In one sense, of course, Patchett is right. Time moves only in one direction, and events that have happened cannot unhappen. The consequences of the sexual revolution will always be with us, just as the consequences of the Russian Revolution still are. But just as in the Soviet Union, that does not preclude the possibility of some sort of counterrevolution. The intellectual frailty of today’s defenses of the sexual revolution is one reason we think a sexual counterrevolution may be in the offing in the coming decades.

Apropos the sexual revolution, and the fact that sexual mores are anything but irrevocable, think about this:  The Victorian era, one of the most sexually staid periods in modern Western history, followed swiftly upon the heels of the extraordinary licentiousness that characterized the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  (For more on that pre-Victorian sexual revolution, check out The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution, by Faramerz Dabhiowala. I haven’t read it yet, so I don’t know if I’ll agree with its ultimate conclusions, but I do know that it provides detailed evidence about the social debauchery that existed side-by-side with Jane Austen’s refined world.)

It was no coincidence that the restrained Victorians immediately followed the Georgian rakes.  The Victorian era was a direct response to the social decay and upheaval of that earlier sexual revolution.  It was, to use Taranto’s word, a Counter-Revolution, one that took place, not in the streets, but in drawing rooms, parlors, and bedrooms.  As much as anything, a social revolution can result from a sense of repugnance.  Society may feel that it has reached a point of almost no return, and withdraw, much as a snail does when it senses a killing amount of salt in its environment.

I do not believe that our society will revert to barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, just as the Victorians didn’t revert to wimples and witch-burning.  I do believe, however, that an increasing number of American people feel that they are staring into a moral abyss, and that they need to draw back before they (and their children) are pitched into the darkness below.

What’s in a name — or yet another reason Sandra Fluke bothers me

A fluke is a one time thing, a bizarre coming together of circumstances that cannot be relied upon to occur on a regular basis.  We’ll hope that Sandra Fluke falls into this category, because she’s been a headache.  (Although, I suspect, for many outside of New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, her arguments, and the defenses the MSM offers on her behalf, have been enlightening to say the least.)

I realized this morning that Fluke’s name is even more apt than being a reminder that she represents a peculiar moment in history.  This gal is advancing a form of parasitism — she wants to live off of insurance companies.  She doesn’t just want insurance for the actual flukes in her life — the unexpected moments that are impossible to plan — but, instead, wants permanent lifestyle maintenance from a third party.

Sandra Fluke, may I introduce you to the Liver Fluke, another parasite?

Are these names a coincidence?  I think not.

By the way, you might have noticed that I don’t often link to Mark Steyn anymore.  It’s not because he is less brilliant than he used to be.  He’s just as brilliant as ever.  It’s just that his articles really depress me.  Today, however, his article was so brilliant on the flukiness of American politics that I got past my depression, and really have to share it with you:

As I said, I’m on the other side of the planet, so maybe I’m not getting this. But I’d say the core issue here is not religious liberty — which in these Godless times the careless swing voter now understands as a code phrase meaning that uptight Republicans who can’t get any action want to stop you getting any, too.

Nor is the core issue liberty in its more basic sense — although it would certainly surprise America’s founders that their republic of limited government is now the first nation in the developed world to compel private employers to fully fund the sex lives of their employees.

Nor is it even the distinctively American wrinkle the Republic of Paperwork has given to governmentalized health care, under which the “right to privacy” the Supreme Court claimed to have discovered in Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade will now lead to thousands and thousands of self-insuring employers keeping computer records of the morning-after pills and herpes medication racked up by Miss Jones on reception.

Read the rest here.

Please, please, please let Gloria Allred be successful in convincing Florida to mount a criminal prosecution against Rush Limbaugh

Gloria Allred is demanding that Rush face criminal prosecution for calling Sandra Fluke a slut:

In a letter dated March 8, Allred, writing on behalf of the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund, requested that Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe probe whether the conservative radio personality had violated Section 836.04 of the Florida Statutes by calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke the two derogatory words.

The statute stipulates that anyone who “speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity” is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. Allred explained that the statute recently came to her attention as having never been repealed, and that it could very well apply to Limbaugh’s remarks as his show is broadcast from West Palm Beach.

When I read that, my first thought was, “Please, please, please, make it so!”  Can you think of anything more wonderful than having Fluke in court defending her sex life?

Think of it:  the legal standard is that the prosecutor, in order to win, must first show that Fluke was sufficiently chaste that someone could be convicted for wrongly accusing her of not being chaste.  Keep in mind that Fluke gives no appearance that she is a blushing virgin.  Rather, she is a 30 year old activist who insists that taxpayers and the Catholic Church fund her sex life.

Any trial of this matter will be a circus, and any circus can only benefit both Rush and the conservative point of view.  It’s already wonderful enough that Allred is making this hysterical claim, but the icing on the cake, the gilding on the lily, the cream in the coffee, would be a criminal action.

But . . . but . . . there’s a caveat.  If the Florida prosecutor goes after Rush, he also has to promise to go after Maher.  That one, at least, should be an easy case to make:

Molock rising

Long ago, in ancient Phoenicia, arose a religion reviled in Biblical as well as in Greek and Roman lore, that worshiped a deity most commonly known as Molock, Moloch or Moleck. To this deity, parents sacrificed their infant children by cremating them alive in the bronze hands of a bull-shaped statue of the deity (the golden calf all grown up?).

The religion generated revulsion among the Jews, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans and other Mediterranean peoples of that ancient time. In Judaic and Biblical lore, Molock was associated with demonology and Satan’s reign. The Romans purportedly destroyed the last vestiges of this religion in the rubble of Carthage, destroying and scattering every structure down to the last brick, so that it could never ever spring back anew. However, this rationalization for infanticide, just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, makes me wonder if  Molock isn’t stirring anew in the ebb-tide of the Judeo-Christian West.

http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/02/22/medethics-2011-100411.abstract

In my lifetime, I have been witness to the normalization of promiscuous sex, throw-away children, abortion, partial birth abortion, euthanasia, and now, the open rationalization of infanticide should parents change their mind about a living baby. This is the end game of secular humanism, where there is nothing more transcendent about human beings than simple utilitarian sacks of meat. It was observed by G.K. Chesterton that when cultures (or cults) begin to kill their weakest members, their old and their children, such cultures are in the final stage of collapse.

I came to my Christianity relatively late in life. My faith in my faith is absolute. The existence and/or nature of a force for evil in the world, however, has been a more difficult concept to grasp, as there are so many other ways to rationalize evil behavior – e.g., bad upbringing, mean parents, schoolyard bullying, chemical imbalances, mental illness, hubris, etc. Now, though, I am coming to the conclusion that evil is a palpably real force in the world. Either that, or a violently real, contagious, psychic virus!

Ann Coulter’s most recent book, “Demonic”, relates the proclivity of the secular Left (Democrats) for mob violence and bloodshed, tracing its bloody trail from the French Revolution through the Nazi and Communist abominations of the 20th Century, to the social-justice proclaiming Liberal/Left movements of today (oh, heck, let’s throw in the Marxist Jim Jones Cult for good measure). The violence that our society increasingly wreaks on our weakest members is all part of the same disease and I fear that it is going to get much, much worse.

For me, it’s simple: babies are for loving, not killing — I know, I know…others disagree! The publication of such an article under the guise of “medical ethics” tells me that something truly wicked this way comes. Today, the secular Left may feign indignation at the thought that their revolution will ultimately involve killing those that do not fit their Utopian ideals, but we can see how easily they are getting comfortable with the concept over time. It will be what it will be. I hope that I don’t live to see it. But, as the New Age of Molock establishes itself, I certainly will resist it to the end. I know that you will, too.

 

*** UPDATE

And, now, in support of the Secular Humanist view of human kind as utilitarian pieces of meat, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius shares her policy perspective that abortion and contraception means fewer babies, ergo fewer government expenditures. Human reproduction becomes a simple government-mandated budget line item.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/sebelius-decrease-human-beings-will-cover-cost-contraception-mandate

One would have to be a total fool not to recognize that this is Government asserting its sovereignty over reproductive rights and life and death decisions.

 

 

Now that Obama has put contraception front and center, Progressives attack as insane and dictatorial those who want to raise human sexuality above base animal practices *UPDATED*

This is just the week for me to have sex on my mind.  It’s not my fault, though, because the culture insists on pushing it into the forefront of my brain.

Ours is a sex saturated culture.  Progressives like it that way and want it to stay that way.  Conservatives point out that, while sexual pleasure is one of life’s blessings, a sexually saturated culture is not a healthy culture.  Instead, it is one beset by fatherless children (who are more likely to live in economically unstable homes); unmarried teen mothers; demoralized women with low self-esteem; rampant sexually transmitted diseaseabortion rates high enough to shock even many of those who support abortion in theory; and nihilistic youth who squander their sexual capital in loveless relationships during their teens and twenties, and who then wonder why, Peggy Lee-like, they’re left asking “is that all there is?”.

Since the statistics support the conservative view, statistics have only one way to challenge the conservative narrative — they have to denigrate the conservatives themselves, without actually touching upon the narrative.  That’s what we’re seeing with Rick Santorum.

I haven’t yet warmed up to Santorum, but I don’t fault him for wanting to talk about problems in our culture.  Birth control has changed behaviors and — which is something few want to acknowledge — the Pill is a very powerful drug that profoundly affects a woman’s hormonal balance.  Blithely handing it out to teens, without parental knowledge or permission, is not something a culture should undertake lightly. And yet that’s what Progressives want to do.

Worse, if someone (Santorum, for example) says “Hey, wait a minute,” Progressives refuse to talk about the health risks of not only giving teens massive amounts of hormones, but also giving them permission to engage in activities that can harm them both physically and mentally. Instead, Progressives try to paint their challengers as maddened Victorian censors, intent upon using the full power of the federal government to return women to a barefoot and pregnant existence in the kitchen.

Don’t believe me?  Just watch Jon Stewart, who manages in a single segment to (1) gloss over the lies within the HHS mandate (because nothing is free); (2) misrepresent the Church’s position regarding Obama’s HHS mandate by pretending that the Church is attacking contraception, rather than fighting against a government putsch that forces them to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization; (3) launches a direct attack on the Church’s decency; and (4) shows Santorum as a mad man.  Warning:  this video is NSFW.

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(Mr. Bookworm, having watched this segment, turned to me and announced “this is why I can never vote for Santorum.  He’s a God freak.”  Mr. Bookworm was taken aback when I said that he couldn’t support Obama either, because Obama had used Jesus to justify higher taxes.  I got an earful of silence back after that one.)

James Taranto, in a post that looks at anti-Santorum attacks from conservatives who disagree with him on social issues, still manages to explain precisely what’s going on:

In truth, Santorum says only that he would “talk about” what he sees as the social harms of contraception. There is no conflict whatever between limited government and moral exhortation, provided the latter is unaccompanied by legislative or administrative action.

And the quote is very much in keeping with “a tradition rooted in the pursuit of happiness.” Santorum is merely making a case for deferred gratification. His claim is that the easy availability of birth control has enabled and encouraged a pursuit of pleasure that is inimical to the achievement of happiness. One may reasonably argue that Santorum is overgeneralizing or that on the whole he is mistaken. But to write him out of the American tradition on the basis of that quote, as Friedersdorf attempts to do, is simply bonkers.

[snip]

What he says is that birth control has greatly expanded sexual freedom, and that sexual freedom has had consequences that are harmful to society and to women in particular. Again, one may disagree whether, on balance, these harms outweighed the benefits. But what is so upsetting about the idea that they might have? What in the world explains Friedersdorf’s and Rubin’s overwrought emotionalism?

Here’s our attempt at an explanation: In liberal metropolises like Los Angeles, Washington and New York (homes of Friedersdorf, Rubin and this columnist, respectively), a high proportion of conservatives have internalized the assumptions of feminism. One of those assumptions is that female sexual freedom, an essential component of sexual equality, is an unadulterated good. Santorum’s statements to the contrary challenge this deeply held view.

Furthermore, contemporary feminism is, as we recently argued, a totalitarian ideology, by which we mean one that tolerates no divergence between the personal and the political. If you are not a feminist, you can enjoy a lifestyle of sexual freedom and also take seriously the idea that sexual freedom is bad for society. If you are a feminist, that is a thoughtcrime.

[snip]

Totalitarian ideologies sustain themselves in large part through fear, and feminism has been particularly fearsome of late, as the Susan G. Komen ladies and the Catholic bishops can attest. But our intuition is that this is a sign of weakness, not strength. The fearful reactions to Santorum’s heresies against sexual freedom reinforce that sense.

This column has its differences with Rick Santorum, but we admire him for his fearlessness in challenging feminist pieties. “One man with courage makes a majority,” Andrew Jackson is supposed to have observed. Is Rick Santorum such a man? If not, let’s hear a reasoned argument to the contrary.

Rick Santorum is not the only conservative who is subject to ad hominem attacks for daring to raise factual challenges to feminist pieties.  In today’s SF Comical, Amy Graff, who is one of the paper’s official bloggers, is disgusted by an anti-Planned Parenthood video that is filled with a collection of graphic sexual images.

Reading Graff’s post, one finds that she’s not at all troubled by the fact that the video is correct in stating that Planned Parenthood, with help from federal tax dollars, goes to schools all over America to sell sex as a consequence-free activity for young people that’s fun, fun, fun.  (Indeed, just the other day, a San Francisco high school celebrated Valentine’s Day, if not with PP’s help, at least with PP’s style.)  Instead, Graff thinks it’s disgusting that the dirty-minded people at the American Life League were sick enough to assemble all of the PP propaganda in a single place:

The video was created to show that Planned Parenthood is a “perverted” organization, turning America’s children into sex addicts through community events featuring penis-shaped balloons, vagina macaroons, vulva puppet shows, and giant vagina costumes. And then there’s all the masturbation literature, graphic images of naked boys and girls, and online descriptions of sexual organs. Planned Parenthood would tell you they offer these materials to educate youth and encourage safe sex but Michael Hichborn, media director of the American Life League, says, “They’re selling pornography to kids as science.” No matter, this video is quite an impressive collection of lewdness.

Graff’s right in a way.  Ripped free of the youthful “rah-rah” and feminist ideology in which PP packages these sexuality promotions, the material it routinely distributes as schools throughout America does look remarkably like pornography for the younger set.  Here — see for yourself, but just be sure not to watch this video in the office:

Although this may come as a surprise to Progressives, conservatives like sex.  Indeed, to the extent that devoutly religious people such as Santorum believe that human sexuality is a direct gift from God, they probably appreciate it even more than Progressives do, seeing as the latter simply view it as a pleasurable animal instinct.

Conservatives, however, are the ones who are willing to point out that nothing is free, not even a gift from God.  Sex comes with strings attached, and it’s a health society that respects those strings and weaves them into a strong social fabric, rather than rope with which to hang our young people.  It’s very important, therefore, that we fight back against the Obama narrative that has moderate social conservatives — meaning people who don’t want sexual segregation, burqas, the end of contraception, etc., but who do want sex, and women, treated with more reverence and respect — painted as the worst kind of puritanical totalitarians.

UPDATE:  Tina Korbe, at Hot Air, also weighs in on the now-pulled American Life League video, and includes a link to information about its contents.