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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Telling it like it is when it comes to sex, teens and dancing

I’m a very literal person, which means that, for the most part, I like to spell things out, and have them spelled out to me.  Certainly that’s been my approach when discussing boys and sex with my daughter.

I haven’t danced around the fact that boys want sex.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s their nature.  Society used to put constraints on that desire, but it doesn’t anymore.  The girl is on her own when it comes to saying “no.” I’ve spelled out to my daughter the tactics that boys will use (guilt, peer pressure, words of love, etc.), and explained that, no matter, the tactic, her answer, for her own physical and emotional well-being, has to be “no.”  Or, if necessary, “NO!!!”  She has to respect herself, and any boy who won’t abide by that self-respect isn’t worthy of her.

I’ve been thinking about the unequivocal message I’ve been spelling out for my daughter because of the school dance she went to this weekend.  It turns out that “freak” dancing has become normative at these dances.  In the car on the way over, I explained very carefully to my daughter and her friend what “freak” dancing is:  a boy you don’t know, or barely know, masturbates himself against your rear.

Both girls shrieked, “Oh, my God!  That’s gross.”  They’re right, too.  The reality of freak dancing is gross.  You can dress it up with cool names like “freak,” and say that “everybody is doing it,” and “there’s nothing wrong with it,” but it’s a disgusting practice that no girl should ever countenance.

My daughter had a great time at the dance.  She danced only with her friends, the way girls do, with all of them standing in a circle.  She didn’t kiss anyone on the dance floor and neither did her friends.  In an atmosphere rife with possibilities for mischief, they had a wholesome, fun time.  (And yes, I have only her word for it, but my instinct on this one is to trust her.)  I’d like to think that, for my daughter at least, part of that wholesome fun came about because I don’t pull my punches with her, but send her out armed with concrete information.

(I do the same with my son, of course, but he’s younger and a boy, so the messages are slightly different.)

To wrap up this post, a Billy Joel song that embodies the persuasive powers of a young man looking for sex:

You can also see it here.

Operation Fast and Furious (Sex)

We know two pivotal facts about Operation Fast & Furious, aka the Gunwalker scandal:

  1. The U.S. Justice Department arranged for thousands of American weapons to cross our Southern border, knowingly placed them in Mexican criminal hands, and sat back and watched while hundreds of Mexicans and some Americans (including border patrol officers) were then killed with those guns.
  2. Eric Holder, when asked about Operation Fast & Furious, lied under oath about what he knew and when he knew it.

What we also know is that the Obama White House has put pressure on the MSM to smother the story, and that the media has complied.  Even CBS, which was diligently covering the story thanks to the intrepid Sharyl Attkisson, seems to be clamping down on her to keep the White House happy.  In a normal world, these facts — lies, dishonesty, murder, cover-ups, media manipulation, etc. — would have the media baying for presidential blood, instead of falling into line with the cover-up.  But we don’t live in a normal world.

My first thought upon reading about media passivity in the face of a hot story was, “Well, of course.  Obama’s their guy.  They’re not going to cover it.”  My second thought was, “But they covered the Clinton scandal.”  Which led to my third thought, which was the difference between the two scandals:  SEX.

The MSM cannot resist sex.  Try as it might, the moment there’s a breath of sex spicing up what would otherwise be a dry scandal (especially a dry scandal involving the political party they love), they’re all over it.

The obvious answer is to infuse sex into the Operation Fast and Furious reporting.  You can see that I’ve made a start with the title of this blog post.  Just imagine if Bob Owens, who is offering the absolute best coverage of the Gunwalker (or Operation Fast and Furious) scandal, borrowed a page from the MSM, and lied outright to insert sex into the scandal.  With apologies to Bob, who is the soul of honor, truly, I’ve interlineated my own comments into just the first few paragraphs of one of his substantive reports on what should be a lead story in every media outlet in America:

For months, congressional investigators have battled a recalcitrant White House and Department of Justice over [sex allegations connected to] Operation Fast and Furious [Sex], a [sexual] conspiracy that had the apparent goal of sending thousands of guns [and prostitutes] from American gun stores [and brothels] into Mexico. Recovery of the guns [and prostitutes] could be used as evidence to support the Obama administration’s 90-percent lie — and perhaps even serve a more nefarious goal.

That deception [about the guns and prostitutes] seems to be collapsing, as the long suspected proof of other gunwalking [and sexual malfeasance] operations was confirmed by Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News:

An administration source would not describe the Tucson OCDTF case. However, CBS News has learned that ATF’s Phoenix office led an operation out of Tucson called “Wide Receiver.” Sources claim ATF allowed guns [and hookers] to “walk” in that operation, much like Fast and Furious [Sex].

“Wide Receiver” joins Operation Fast and Furious [Sex] as the second named gunwalking [and prostitution] operation based in Arizona, but they do not appear to be the only gunwalking [and prostitution] operations that existed.

The White House has so far refused to answer inquires from Senator John Cornyn about two other suspected gunwalking [and prostitution] operations based out of the Houston and Dallas field operations areas. Additional gunwalking operations supplied drug gangs [and brothels] in Honduras from Florida, and supplied Chicago-area gangs [and brothels] from a gunwalking operation in Indiana.

Tawdry and dishonest?  Absolutely.  But I can guarantee you that the media and ordinary Americans would sit up and take notice if Fast and Furious wasn’t just about lying, cheating, and murder — at American Justice Department hands yet — but was, instead, about good old S-E-X.

DSK’s very international affair

L’affaire DSK is all the rage in France.

On my recent visit to France, you might say I was somewhat surprised that nobody asked me about the U.S. economy, the Euro’s impending collapse or Obama. Rather, the first question out of their mouths was “what do Americans think about the DSK affair?”. They were, of course, referring to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the recently deposed head of the International Monetary Fund and French President wannabee. DSK had been arrested in New York in somewhat dubious circumstances involving alleged transgressions with a chamber maid (think “Paula Jones”).

The reason that the DSK affair was on peoples’ minds, I think, is because it jolted the French to an awareness that there was something very wrong in their society’s treatment of women in the workplace and elsewhere. It’s about time.

During my visit, I spoke with a woman that had enjoyed a fabulous career in finance and who, as a university student, had been taught by DSK. “He was truly brilliant,” she said, “But…”. Another woman, a retired Air France flight attendent, described how she and her colleagues would beg and bribe their cabin mates in order to be reassigned out of First Class whenever certain French politicians were traveling. But then, on the flip side, I heard a few men talk about how such things should be expected of powerful men, you know, “droit du seigneur” and all. These men were the exceptions, not the rule.

But then, I listened to one man I know, an elderly, world-renown attorney who easily straddles both sides of the Atlantic, tell me how his law firm hires only women attorneys today. “We interview both men and women, but inevitably the women prove to be the better attorneys”. He got it. He was profoundly embarrassed and angry about the DSK affair. In his view, the grandstanding New York City prosecutor did a complete hack job on the case and DSK deserved to be completely discredited and set-up for a civil suit “even if his guilt can’t be proven in court” (for the record, I completely disagree with this premise on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”).

I can’t say anything about DSK’s innocence or guilt. What I do know is that France is having a major conversation with itself on the proper treatment of women and that this is a good thing. The conversation is moving them in the right direction.

I bring this up this narrative up with regard to the reports of misogyny emanating from our White House. I don’t know if they are true or not, but I suspect this isn’t the last we’ve heard of them. Our MSM press will cover it up, no doubt, just as they did with JFK and LBJ, but eventually the truth will out. We lost a lot of ground during the Clinton Administration (Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Juanita Broderick, etc.) and I would hate to think that workplace misogyny will again become the new norm.

Perhaps we, too, need a national conversation.

 

If you respond to an ad for S&M sex, how credible are rape claims?

It turns out that one of San Francisco’s premier sexual harassment attorneys enjoys a little S&M fun on the side.  So much so that he likes to run Craig’s List ads seeking women who like it rough:

His lawyer, Stuart Hanlon, said the women had all come to Hoffman’s Van Ness Avenue apartment to engage in what his ads in Craigslist’s “Men Seeking Women” section billed as dominant-submissive sex.

“His ad clearly said he was seeking dominant sex with submissive women,” Hanlon said. “It talked about getting controlled, getting hit and getting their hair pulled.”

Fine.  Each to his own taste, as long as it involves consenting adults.  The problem for attorney Robert Michael Hoffman is that some of the women who responded to the ads seeking abusive sex and who, in fact, participated in the abusive sex, are now crying rape:

A San Francisco employment lawyer who specializes in sexual harassment cases has been charged with rape and other crimes for allegedly attacking three women who came to his apartment in response to his Craigslist ad for rough sex.

[snip]

In at least two cases, the women had sex with Hoffman voluntarily before the incidents in which they accused him of sexual assault, Hanlon said.

The lawyer is now being held in jail, with bail having been set at $3 million.

Perhaps I’m simply too naive to understand the nuances of a situation in which women show up at a stranger’s apartment in response to an advertisement promising them violent sex, but it seems to me that they run the risk of having sex with a man who sees their protests as part of the agreed-upon game.  In other words, is Hoffman guilty of rape if the women, by showing up in response to his ad, tacitly or explicitly agreed to violent, abusive sex.  If they’re screaming “No,” how in the world was he supposed to understand that they meant it, when they’d already agreed that he was going to hurt them and enjoy their suffering.  And presumably, they in turn, would get pleasure out of that pain.

It all reminds me of a terrible old joke:

The sadist and the masochist get together.  The masochist grovels on the floor:  “I want to suffer.  Make me miserable.  Hit me!  Hit me!  Hit me!”

The sadist sneers down at him:  “No.”

Pregnant girls, by guest blogger Lulu

There is a pregnancy epidemic right now at the high school where I used to run a girls’ group. All the time I am shocked and saddened to see another young girl with a growing belly or another with babe in arms.

There is no stigma at all. Whatever happened to shame or pressuring boys to “do the right thing”? Gone are the rumors, the marginalization, the “slut” comments, the judgment of others, the pressure of peers that encourage waiting and responsibility. There simply is no stigma. In fact, the boys strut like proud roosters with their girl. The girl basks in the attention of her friends as they swarm around the mommy to be and kiss her belly.

And thanks to enforced ‘tolerance” and a determination not to marginalize girls who get pregnant in high-school, there is no longer any shame in it at all. That stinks because I believe shame is a very important emotion and shaper of our behavior.

The boys need to feel ashamed of themselves for using girls like objects, impregnating them, and then thinking their role as father is to drop in and buy pampers once in a while. The girls should be ashamed for casually bringing life into the world for their own selfish reasons (someone to love me, etc) instead of waiting until they could create an environment for the child that could provide stability and proper care.

I am angry with the school for not enforcing its own dress code. The low cut tops. The short shorts. The spaghetti straps. These are against the rules, but no one says anything. No one insists the girls cover up with an old hideous shirt from the lost and found, or old gym shorts. But they should.

Where are the staff to stop the fondling and making out on steps in full view of everyone on campus? Boys and girls. Girls and girls. No boundaries. No values.

So sad.

One exercise I did with my girls’ group a month or so ago was designed to have them explore their values versus their behavior. I wrote on the board these words:

Marriage
Sex
Relationship
Love
Dating
Living together
Baby

I asked the girls to make two lists. One was to put the words in the order in which they thought they should take place according to their values, and the other was to put the words in the order that they saw people actually following. They were allowed to leave words off if necessary.

Without fail, and to my surprise, all the girls wrote that the order things should take place in was this:

Dating, love, relationship, marriage, sex, living together, baby.

This is a very traditional view and I hadn’t expected it.

The list of what was actually happening was less sunny:

“Dating”, sex, relationship (all admitted this stage sometimes did not occur), baby.

I pointed out to them that there was a huge discrepancy between their values and their behavior. I asked them why they thought that was. Some looked so sad as they described the pressures to perform sexually or to end up alone. (Of course, they were alone anyway as these “relationships” did not last).

Will these kids ever be able to have a healthy relationship? A sex life with a caring and loving partner? What about their children who will grow up in a world of single moms, with children from multiple dads, all with different last names?

I can’t help but look at this and want to scream at the faculty, at the entire educational institution, for failing these children so egregiously, for failing to teach any moral standards at all. These kids are steeped in political correctness. Lord knows, they’ve had tons of diversity education, safe sex talks, say no to drugs, global warming awareness, and Identity politics. But at home and at school, no one seems to be willing to provide moral standards. No one is willing to upset the darlings by reminding them that having a baby too young is grossly irresponsible and even tragic. Shouldn’t society put some peer pressure on them to remember that a baby is a human being and not a doll? It’s not a Paris Hilton Chihuahua status symbol to dress nicely and neglect. A baby is a human that requires immense amounts of time and energy to raise.

They forget that a baby doesn’t stay a baby for long. Soon it will become a child that will require discipline, education, supervision, guidance, a future. What kind of environment is best for raising this child? Would it be a fifteen year old girl, no longer with the baby’s father, leaving the bulk of child rearing to her own resentful mother, and bitter because she can’t do fun teenage activities any more, or a stable, committed, financially secure, adult couple?

No one has told them how a baby interferes with fun and parties. Young mommies either have to stay home and care for the baby or drag it along- but it hasn’t occurred to them that their friends won’t want a baby along screaming in McDonald’s or an arcade. Babies are demanding, not logical, and if young mommies or daddies scream and ht them will only cry more. Once a teen has a baby, life will never be the same again. Finishing school and achieving life goals are do-able mainly for those girls who have parents willing to care for the baby for them.

Maybe if pregnant girls were once again shuffled off campus to a pregnant girl school it would be less glamorous and rewarding. Maybe the dads could be instantly shuffled into family court to be forced to take responsibility. Maybe along with sex ed the kids could get some values. Maybe the church should rise to the challenge and let young men know that impregnating girls is not a sign of manhood. Having sperm is no great accomplishment. Waiting to make a baby until you are mature and self-sufficient, and creating a whole and intact family, however, is a sign of manhood and maturity. We need to return societal pressure and judgment. Kids are falling apart from a lack of boundaries and moral standards. And they will take society with them.

I have yet to meet parents who say they wish their daughter became pregnant in high school (or even middle school), or that their son became an absentee father.

A final thought. In the past, and not so very long ago, girls were expected to marry as virgins. OK, many didn’t make it, but many did. Fear of pregnancy, social stigma, and wanting to be a “good” rather than a “fast” girl had a lot to do with it. But beyond that, by withholding sex and making the guys work for it- earn it, really- by getting a job and by marriage, the girls were forcing the guys to become civilized. Sex is a huge human drive and guys will work very hard to get it, and if becoming a responsible man and provider is the way to get it, by golly, guys will do it.

Now there is no incentive to be civilized. All the sex a guy can get without even buying her a soda, getting girls pregnant is a notch on a guy’s studly belt (so to speak), and he really has no parenting or financial obligations. Hey, it’s optional. And everyone is degraded. The babies suffer because they are born to a child and a shadow.

Has this generation degenerated to the human equivalent of dogs humping?

So very very sad.

I will keep you posted. I, for one, plan to react and bring in a series of speakers, former teen moms, their moms, and so on, to bring the kids a taste of reality. How will they know, if no one teaches them?

Sex ed in school

Several friends sent me links to a story about a “sex ed” class at Northwestern University.  I was all set to write a post about the decline of Western standards, and the travesty that sees parents paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to send their kids to schools that do this kind of thing on the parents’ dime.  Then I saw that Ace beat me too it.  So, read Ace and then, if you like, pretend that I wrote something that good.

A society needs minimum standards

A lot of people look at laws that are hard to enforce and say, “let’s get rid of those laws.”  The three major recipients of this line of reasoning are drugs, prostitution and illegal immigration.  People ask, “Why criminalize these inevitable behaviors, especially since criminalizing them draws into the law enforcement net people who seem more like victims than bad actors?”

I happen to think that some behavior needs to be criminalized, because a society has to draw lines defining what its values are.  I won’t touch the drug question in this post, since I think it was well hashed out here in Don Quixote’s earlier post.  However, I would like to talk about prostitution and illegal immigration.  The first issue — whether we’re right to make prostitution illegal — seems to me to reflect two core values.  The first is respect for women.  We as a society refuse to allow women to be treated as pure sexual commodities.

Of course, in reality that principle teeters on the edge of a very slippery slope.  We allow pornography and Vogue Magazine, and sleazy TV shows and sex in movies, all of which arguably fall into the same category of female exploitation.  It’s hard to draw bright lines, because the relationship between men and women is always going to be sexualized.  More than that, women tend to do a lot of parading for each other, not in a sexual way, but in a boastful way.

As a perfect example of this last point, I urge you, if you can, to watch Chris Rock’s Good Hair, which examines the obsession so many black women have with avoiding the genetic legacy of “nappy” hair, opting instead to try to replicate straight, long, Anglo hair.  The link I included above advertises the video as “funny” and, in a way, it is.  Mostly, though, it’s tragic.  It turns out that black women who want Anglo hair have two choices:  dangerous chemicals or staggeringly expensive human hair weaves.  The irony with this Hobson’s choice is that the women’s real audience isn’t men or white people, it’s other black women.  I doubt white people notice black hair much.  (The last time I noticed was in the early 70s, when ‘fros were a political, not a fashion, statement.)  Even worse, the black men to whom Rock spoke hated the weaves:  they hated the time and money spent, and they hated the fact that weaves mean that black women will not allow anyone to touch their hair, nor will they engage in any activities that mess that precious hair.

My point about the black women’s hair is that, as is true with so many sexualized activities, those activities are actually aimed at women.  (Think:  fashion magazines.)  Prostitution, however, creates a direct dynamic between male and female that we, as a moral, Judeo-Christian culture, wish to avoid.  That we are frequently unsuccessful in that effort doesn’t mean we should give up trying.  This is a line — a moral, ethical and social line — that we draw to define who we are and what we value.  It sends a message to the people within our culture.  Those who argue that legalizing prostitution actually protects the prostitutes miss the point:  the whole institution is corrupt.  Legalizing it is a band-aid over a festering wound.  Certainly the British Muslims who turn British women into their sex slaves understand the real dynamic at work.  (Porn, by the way, isn’t much better.)

I can make much the same argument for doing away with the laws governing illegal immigration, all of which focus on the ills resulting from the immigration laws themselves:  (1) Mexicans are nice people; (2) children are the innocent victims of their parents’ illegal acts; (3) we need the labor and its wrong to turn workers into criminals; etc.  Those are all the details.  The bigger principle, however, is that a nation needs to protect its sovereignty, and that includes making decisions about who crosses its borders.  Defending borders is a use-it-or-lose it proposition.  Either you are a nation, or you are a patch of land over which people fight.  I’d prefer the former, as opposed to the anarchy of the latter.  With that overarching principle in mind, I’m willing to accept the challenges of enforcement, and the tragedy of divided families (a tragedy that wouldn’t happen, of course, if the parents hadn’t decided to gamble with their children’s lives).

I’m sorry if this is a bit of a wondering post, but my chaotic day has meant that I’ve been writing these six paragraphs over the last six hours.  I admit that I’m weaving in some random thoughts as they come along, but I’m hoping that y’all get my point — one with which you can agree or disagree.  I just feel relieved that I finally was able to sit down and wrap this thing up!

A demographic shift that keeps shocking me

Thirty years ago, I went to England through my university’s junior year abroad program.  Although I had visions of walking across Cambridge’s or Oxford’s sun-dappled lawns, I actually ended up in the north of England.  My disappointment swiftly turned to pleasure when I discovered that the north of England was much more “English” than the South.  While the South already then had a large international community, augmented by hordes of tourists, the north was still quintessentially British.

That is no longer true.  While I might have expected the north to become “internationalized,” as the South was, something different has happened:  the north has become Pakistan on the Atlantic.  I already learned this a few years ago when I met a woman from Leeds who told me that whole towns have become predominantly Pakistani.  More than that, she said, the incoming Muslims, or “Asians” as the Brits called them, targeted Jewish neighborhoods, aggressively replacing the existing population.

Despite know this, it still surprises me when I read an article highlighting the huge demographic shift in the most English part of England.  The Daily Mail has an article about the fact that, owing to Political Correctness, British law enforcement and the British political system are refusing to acknowledge that Muslim men are systematically grooming white British girls for prostitution.  It’s a shocking article overall but, ironically, the part that shook me most was this one:

Those convicted allegedly represent only a small proportion of what one detective called a ‘tidal wave’ of offending in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and the Midlands.

Are we weirdly privileged to get front-row seats for the spectacle of a culture committing suicide?  I guess so.

No sex for terrorists *UPDATED*

I spoke this weekend to a law enforcement agent who works in domestic counter terrorism.  He said what we all know:  one of the ways in which Islamic radicals recruit previously apathetic young men is through sex.  Not actual sex, but the manufactured sex of rock videos.  In other words, terrorist recruiters have figured out what Detroit knew in the 50s — if you attach a pretty lady to the product, men will associate that product with pretty ladies, and they’ll buy.

It turns out that one of the ways to counter this fantasy is to make it very clear that, not only will the product not produce fantasy sex, it won’t produce real sex either.  Evelyn Gordon writes about the fact that, slowly but steadily, Israel has used warfare to defeat the Intifadah.  I strongly recommend reading the whole article, but I’ll share one point here:

Palestinian terrorists, once lionized, were now unmarriageable, because the near-certainty of Israeli retribution made marriage to a wanted man no life. As one father explained: “I wouldn’t want my daughter to marry one. I want her to have a good life, without having the army coming into her house all the time to arrest her while her husband escapes into the streets.” And therefore, the terrorists were quitting.

Most terrorists aren’t die-hard fanatics, and non-fanatics respond to cost-benefit incentives. When terrorist organizations rule the roost, recruits will flock to their banner. But when the costs start outweighing the benefits, they will desert in droves. And then the “unwinnable” war is won.

UPDATE: A reader emailed me saying that the word “warfare,” in my sentence that “Israel has used warfare,” sounded incomplete. He’s right, since warfare can connote all sorts of different tactics, both military and otherwise. I meant conventional warfare, as opposed to the one-sided diplomacy the international community keeps trying to foist onto Israel.

British women escaping Western nihilism

In past posts, I’ve noted that it isn’t surprising that British women are converting in surprisingly high numbers to Islam.  In a secularized, socialized, de-moralized Britain (and, by de-moralized, I mean a place remarkably free of traditional morality), the women are pickled in alcohol, and encouraged to have sex at the drop of a hat with whomever happens to be convenient.

In other words, Britain’s social mores — or lack thereof — have abandoned its to a type of decadence that and debauchery that is soul destroying.  Islam, which frees them from the drink and sex culture, must seem to offer a redemptive purity.  The price they pay — complete submission to men — seems small, since they were already completely submitted to men, only in a debauched, not a “pure” way.

The Muslims understand this.  Although the value they place is women is stifling and dehumanizing, they still value their women more than Britain values its women.  Muslims clearly see Western women in precisely the same terms that those women see themselves:  as unprotected vessels to satisfy men’s sexual desires.

This is what comes of sexualizing little children

There is a post zooming around the liberal side of the internet, in which a mom says her son is gay . . . no, he’s not . . . yes, he is . . . who really cares?  The genesis for this post was the fact that her 5 year old son wanted to be one of the girl characters in Scooby Doo.  She let him, and some women at the preschool got upset that she’d let him dress up as a girl.  The blogging mom gets the ultimate point right, which is why in the heck are people getting fussed about what a 5 year old wears for Halloween?

Where the post irritates me, and it’s not the blogging mom’s fault at all, because her bottom line is correct, is the title — “My son is gay” — and this paragraph:

If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less.

Here’s where the post gets me:  Why are we talking about the whole gay thing when the subject of our talk is a 5 year old?  I mean, I agree that if my teen or adult child is gay (or lesbian), I will love and support that child regardless.  And I totally agree with the mom (who sounds smart and loving) that cross-dressing 5 year olds, unless they live in a fetish household and are forced to cross dress 24/7, are not at risk of turning into homosexuals.  What I don’t agree with is trying to categorize little kids as gay or straight.

I admit that this is a bee in my bonnet.  Over the course of my medium long life, I’ve known totally “masculine” boys who grew up to become gay, totally “masculine” boys who grew up to become straight, totally “feminine” girls who were ultimately lesbians, and totally “feminine” girls who were straight.  The same holds true for “feminine” boys and “masculine” girls.  People’s sexuality may be innate, but their childhood behavior, unless it’s totally outside any known norms, is, at best, a most inaccurate indicator of the path they’ll choose in life.  And yet I’ve known people to say of their 3 or 4 year old children, “Well, I think he/she is gay/lesbian.”  They may be right, but why are they thinking of such a little child in sexual terms?

Clearly, I’m getting to a larger issue here, which is the way we sexualize children in our culture.  Recall the recent hoo-ha about the seven year old set doing a raunchy dance in stripper clothes.  Certainly every Halloween, somewhere there is an article righteously upset about the hooker costumes offered to the small fry.

Also, think about what “growing up” means nowadays.  Miley Cyrus came to fame as the “clean” pop star whom parents could allow their little girls to watch.  Now she’s grown up (she’s 17) and gone sleazy.  In the old days, “growing up” meant becoming sophisticated or, perhaps, responsible.  Someone who sang little girl songs might have moved to jazz.  Now “growing up” means that kids — at least, famous kids — move to nakedness and public sex.

Anyway, I’m kind of running out of steam and time here.  I agree with the mom whose post is linking that we should love and support our children no matter what path they chose (as long as they live an honorable life, of course), but I just hate the whole notion of a culture that sees us even thinking of 5 year olds in terms of their ultimate sexual choices.

Sex and the next generation of young immigrant women — by guestblogger Lulu

Some days seem to crystallize some of our society’s more discouraging trends. In my mental health work on the front lines I see a great deal of what the chattering classes cluelessly opine about. Today, for some reason, I saw, one after the other, a series of young women with similar problems and, as I spent time with them, I found myself thinking sadly of the things they had in common. (Some details have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals described, but one feature they all have in common is that they are either illegal immigrants themselves, or the children of illegal immigrants.)

I spent a great deal of time today talking with a young woman who was asking for help with her nine year old son. He was out of control. Defiant and oppositional, even in elementary school, he refused to do his work or get up in the morning to get ready for school. He preferred to hang out outside with other kids, some of them older. Mom admitted that she had not paid much attention to him. She let him go outside because she couldn’t deal with him.  She also couldn’t deal with his father. She was totally overwhelmed by her responsibilities.

The problem was that she was way too young to shoulder these responsibilities. Heavily pregnant with her fifth child, this 23 year old woman had three others under the age of five. Remarkably, she was still with the 33 year old former gang member who father the nine year old.  The father, now toiling away at several jobs to support his ever growing brood, spend almost no time with them.  The children were growing up fatherless, though there was a father, and virtually motherless, though there was a mother.

The relationship of the mother and father began with illegal sex between a young minor and a grown man. From the age of 14 and her pregnancy, she lived with him, playing house with a live child, as she grew up. Perhaps because he had been a man, not a teenage boy himself when he got involved with his child-girlfriend, the father did not abandon the mother. But, like so many men who choose children to dominate, he kept her subjugated and trapped under his patriarchal thumb.

Shortly after this meeting, I coincidentally met with a large group of teenage girls who wanted to learn about how to feel more empowered. None of them knew what a healthy relationship was, how to say “no” to unwanted advances,or even  how to plan for a better tomorrow.

I looked around the room. Quite a few of the girls were pregnant. One I remembered well from my previous encounters with her. My heart sank to see her expanding belly. She was only 15, unbelievably immature, extraordinarily angry. She was the kind of girl who got into fights and picked on other kids. She was desperately wounded inside. Her dad had abandoned the family when she was small. The mother left her with other relatives and never bothered to call. She had not been nurtured or cared for, making her exactly the sort so needy for love that she would run after any show of affection.  Sadly, “any affection” always ends up being sexual.  A baby will love her, right? It will be someone, her damaged core dreams, she can keep.

The girl is perhaps borderline retarded, perhaps just never taught how to think by her miserable upbringing. Who knows who the father of her baby is. Will he last more than a few months in her life, if he is even still around? Surely he won’t stay. She is hard to love or even like, thanks to her rage.

Over and over I have found that the girls I meet who are the least emotionally ready and capable of being parents are always the ones who end up pregnant the youngest. What makes them a burden on society is also what makes them a draw to the sleazy guys — often, grown men — who see their vulnerability and sexual availability. And none of these girls, ever, think of adoption.

I then meet individually with another young teenager, sobbing because she has just miscarried. She has been sexually active since she was twelve when she was date-raped, though she does not realize then that, when he forced her to have sex, that was rape. She has an absent father and an emotionally absent mother and the guys that offer her affection in exchange for sex sex sort of compensate for the deep emotional wound she carries. She knows that she is not ready to be a mother, but the loss of the pregnancy that shouldn’t have been, and the loss of the 35 year old lover, who now sits in jail, makes her weep.  She needs to grow up, to have a future. She needs a mother to nurture her, a father who takes the time to be a presence so she doesn’t have to find love in the arms of an adult sleazebag. The medical professionals who saw her gave her advice on safe sex and contraception. No adult, at home or in school, or in medical offices has ever told her that she could wait or even say no. They just figure she is having sex anyway.

I have found that the group of young girls is hungry for the permission to say “no.”  Their attitude isn’t about how much they enjoy teenage sex. It is about how pressured they feel, how sex is the only way they can have a boyfriend, and how they are aware that women have lowered the standards for guys and that the guys themselves have been lowered.

These children learn in school how to have safe sex, but they are not taught about commitment, nor about emotional and social responsibility. The thinking that predominates in the schools is that teaching values is judgmental. The educators cannot comprehend that teaching these girls that all teenagers are sexually active is, in fact, also teaching a value. These girls are the victims. They want guys who respect them and they never meet them.

The girls admit they accept crumbs from guys because otherwise they won’t have boyfriends. There is no such thing as restraint or protective love, or even courting. Everything ends up in a sex act — oral, vaginal.  “Dating” boils down to getting together and humping. The girl hopes this will lead to love and commitment or dreaming that the sex is a sign of love and commitment.  The boy is king of the world, a rooster strutting among his hens.

The whole day saddens me. I am sad for our society for the burden all these people place on taxpayers. We are paying for the social crises that a generation has transported across our border without our consent.  As a compassionate person I feel for their sorrows and deprivations and try to help as best I can, but as an American I cannot help but feel some resentment that this burden should be here at all.

I am certain that at least some of these innocent babies will become everyone’s problem. At least some will become the children in foster care, juvenile detention, and prison. At least some will receive free breakfasts and lunches in school, food stamps, public assistance, and time and attention from gang units in the police department, defacing our public buildings with graffiti and filling our streets with gang warfare. They will be high school dropouts or marginally skilled and marginally educated.  At least some will sell or use drugs, or become parents themselves at young ages. The babies will be US citizens, but they will live on the fringes.

Throughout the day I observed the toll and burden of illegal immigration on this country, and I observed the sorrowful emotional toll of the utter collapse of courtship and sexual restraint on our youth. Certainly, their physical desires are not stronger than any generation of young people that preceded them. Rather, they are inundated with messages, by their celebrities, TV shows, music, internet culture and on and on, messages not of self-control and dignity, but of sexual hotness. They learn that if a guy waits two months for sex it is a really long time, because the expectation is that no waiting is necessary.

Sex is empty. It is loveless, though she may think she is in love.  It is a tragic consequence of the sexual revolution that ended formal courtship and replaced it with the human equivalent of dogs humping. It lowered men and debased women, and the innocent little babies born to these needy, immature, sexually active, under-nurtured, lost young  souls makes me truly sad. Everything is backwards. First sex. Then a relationship . . . maybe. Then maybe, after a few kids, marriage one day — if they are still together.

One thing I’m sure of, after pondering about the young women I saw today and the societal message they have — in order to civilize young men once again, our young women will have to believe that they deserve better, and to refuse to sleep with men who, aside from the minimal necessity of an occasional flattering word, treat the girls like a hole in the mattress, rather like  a cherished person. The girls must be whole in order to insist that the men be whole as well.

[Bookworm here, adding one link that graphically illustrates the terrible economic consequences flowing from the social devastation Lulu describes.]

The death of privacy

All over my “real me” facebook, my liberal friends have been treating Tyler Clementi’s tragic suicide by framing him as a victim of an anti-gay crime.  I saw it as him being the victim of the total loss of sexual privacy.  I was going to blog about that, but IBD got there first and did a better job than I could have.

Meredith Vieira: Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander *UPDATED*

I was much struck by how earnest and concerned Meredith Vieira was when she interviewed Ines Sainz about the sexual harassment the latter allegedly experienced in the New York Jets locker room:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Vieira wasn’t quite so restrained last year, with a handsome young naval officer seated opposite her:

(If that video will not load, you can see it here.)

I find it hard to take Vieira’s Sainz interview at all seriously, given her own crude and lascivious behavior when confronted by an attractive young man.

UPDATEHere’s something a little more thoughtful about the whole Sainz affair.

Women in Iran

If you have a strong stomach, read this horrific report about two women in Iran who were convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.  This is entirely in keeping with the point I made in my article at AT that totalitarian states view sex, not as a private matter, but as a matter of state control — hence the fact that Iran makes it a capital crime to violate rules about adultery and homosexuality.

Should I also mention here that Iran, with the Obama administration’s full approval, now serves on the U.N. Commission for Women’s Rights.  Apparently this means the theoretical right, if your lawyer begs enough, to be hanged, rather than stoned, for allegedly having had sex with a man other than ones husband.

An American Thinker article that’s all about sex *UPDATED*

A couple of weeks ago, I did a very short post bringing to your attention some peculiarities of sexuality when it comes to the far Left.  Thinking about that — and thinking about the wonderful comments you all left — led me to create a much longer post about Sex and the State.  American Thinker published that post today.  I have a few more things I want to add to it, things that came to my mind thanks to a vigorous and delightful conversation I had with Don Quixote.

DQ agreed with me about Sex, the State and Islam — namely, that Islam uses sex as a means of controlling its citizens (which is why adultery is a capital crime).  He agreed with me about the Leftist obsessions with sex, with breaking down traditional boundaries, and with interfering with the family.

Where he and I parted ways was with my belief that the Left, by approaching sex as it does, is trying to break down individual will.  His point of view is that it’s conservatives, who believe that sex should be done certain ways, who interfere more with individuality than do the Leftists.  The latter, by believing sex should be boundary free seem to give more, not less, control to individuals.  He has a point . . . except:

What I was trying to say in the article (and articulated much less well in conversation with DQ) is that the Leftist approach to sex implies that a person has no ownership over his body.  The early German Leftist experiments had sex become a public spectacle, a notion they actively pushed onto the children in their care.  Sex and the public were one.

This same notion of lack of control over ones own body is also inherent in pedophilia and pederasty.  Faced with a dominant adult figure, the child is forced into “sharing” his body, whether or not that “sharing” is consistent with his individual desires.

This whole hypersexualization — this “anything goes” approach — has led to the hook-up culture that dominates American high schools and universities.  Sex is unrelated to emotional relationships.  It’s just something you do.

What we know from an increasing number of studies on the subject is that this culture is very damaging to girls’ self-esteem.  (See this study, for example.)  They give their bodies away, not out of empowerment, but because they feel they have no control over this most personal of commodities.  A girl who feels worthless, and who feels that her body is an object as to which she has no say is, to my mind, a malleable creature who will much more readily yield herself to the State.  After all, by the time she’s 20 or so, there’s a good likelihood that she will have already yielded herself to a room full of strangers.

UPDATE:  Here’s an apropos quotation:

“It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness.”

–James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791

UPDATE II:  Melissa Clouthier took my idea and ran with it.  I love what she has to say.  The only point where I part ways with her is her belief that second and third graders do not yet know about homosexuality, so that teaching true tolerance (as opposed to advocacy) is premature at that age.  The sad fact is that, thanks to Hollywood, the kids do know about those things.  TV shows (think:  award shows), movies and especially music inundate these little people with sex.  Although I would never have played it in my home, my third grader came home from school singing “I kissed a girl and I liked it,” a song he learned from his classmates.  Hollywood, of course, is a liberal place….

The banality of perversion *UPDATED*

[Content warning for the under 18 crowd. Have your parents read this one first, and let them decide if you can too.]

The Anchoress has a post today about a Hyundai commercial that, while doing nothing to make you want to buy the car, does succeed in being offensive to Catholics.  Not “big” offensive, a la the “Piss Christ” or the dung-covered Virgin Mary, but instead it is “little” offensive, in that it reduces to meaninglessness core Catholic prayer.

In a follow-up exchange of emails, the Anchoress introduced me to Lady Gaga’s brand new video, in which that attention-starved performer, accompanied by men in fishnet stockings (at least, I think they’re men), sucks a rosary into her mouth while lolling around in a red leather nun’s habit.  Here — you can see it for yourself:

The Anchoress’ comment on the video is right on the mark:  “It’s BORING.”  Oh, God, is it boring.  It’s a very expensive version of a first year art student’s effort to stand out from the rest of the class.

More than just being boring, though, Gaga’s gag-gag video perfectly exemplifies something I realized back in 1991 or 1992, when I attended my first (and last) San Francisco Gay Pride Parade.  The Dykes on Bikes were impressive because of their sheer numbers but, really, how many naked ugly boobs can anyone look at, bouncing by on motorcycles?  The thrill of the illicit lasts about 2-3 minutes.  Than you’ve got just hundreds of uglies.  (And let me be honest here:  Outside of Playboy, Vogue, and a loving relationship, most ordinary women’s breasts, whether the women are straight or gay, are not Playboy or Vogue material.)

The Pride Parade interested me most, not because of what was happening on the parade route, but because of the guys and gals right next to me.  They were outfitted in full bondage gear, and showing way too much of bodies I didn’t want to see.  They looked intentionally perverse, which at least encouraged one to believe that what they had to say would be out of the ordinary too.

Their words quickly dispelled that little belief.  Instead, their conversation was inanely trite:  Several of them (they were apparently roommates or polyandrous lovers) were squabbling about who was responsible for having done the laundry and tidying the shared apartment.

What floated up into my brain as I listened to that hackneyed domestic bickering was a variation of Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase “the banality of evil.”  Arendt coined that phrase to describe the utter ordinariness of those who masterminded the Holocaust.  People want evil to look evil, so that they can guard against it.  It’s unnerving that evil looks and acts like the shlub next door.

My version of Arendt’s famous tag line was “the banality of perversion.”  The people next to me were very, very ordinary, yet they’d dedicated their lives to distinguishing themselves from others by embracing the most unsavory sexual existence, one, moreover, that they insisted on living right out in public.  Tragically, both for them and for the tone of popular culture, their exercise was, at best, momentarily titillating.  When that short moment past, you just had spread before you too much flesh displayed unattractively in leather and chains.

The whole experience reminded me of the quip (and I can’t trace the source), that sex was a lot more fun when it was still dirty.  If you openly display it on the street and try to pretend it’s just every day stuff, you don’t end up making the every day stuff sexy.  Instead, you effectively reduce the sexy stuff to the boredom of day-to-day existence.

The joy of a normal life, a truly normal life, is that you don’t allow yourself to get blasé.  If you live in the center of the path, which I always envision as a sort of Leave it to Beaver morality, you can still get excited by a jet flying overhead, a flower blooming at the roadside, a baby’s smile, or your lover wearing little to nothing in the privacy of your own bedroom.  This is so much better than trying to live a life in which you constantly push your own sensory envelope.  Rather than enriching your sensory life, it seems to me that, eventually, your perceptions become so calloused that there nothing left to bring you surprise or joy.

UPDATE:  The Anchoress has riffed off her Lady Gaga is BORING statement, to very good effect.

The man I want my daughter to date *UPDATED*

This is an entirely  hypothetical scenario, because my daughter is only 12, and I’m not planning on her dating for at least another fifteen or twenty years, if not more.  However, the sad fact is that, contrary to my entirely reasonable wishes, the dating scene is going to start in three or four years — and that’s just the stuff I’ll know about and can control.  Thanks to the parent grapevine, I’m completely aware that the more precocious kids at my daughter’s middle school (meaning 12 through 14 year olds) are already getting into trouble with sex.

The school is trying its best.  When Valentine’s Day became too sexualized, the school simply canceled it.  Students are not allowed any Valentine’s Day observations on campus.  I don’t know how effective that cancellation has been, and I don’t know whether it happened before or after the two 8th grade girls were caught in the bathroom at a dance orally servicing a long line of boys, but I still appreciate that the school is trying.

You really can’t blame the children.  They live in a hyper-sexualized culture.  At home, I’m preaching self-respect and abstinence (and backing that up with classic movies in which the women were strong, charming and virginal), but at their schools, they’re discussing Lady GaGa (whose costumes are so revealing they’ve sparked rumors she’s a hermaphrodite); obscenity laden rap songs (which the 11 year olds know by heart); the fact that Miley Cyrus has become a “slut;” and the sexual escapades of John Edwards.  No matter what I do, my kids are exposed to a sexual morality I find disturbing and demeaning.  Fortunately my kids are still young enough to be disgusted by these various behaviors, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re being steered into thinking sex is simply a commodity, with anything short of actual intercourse falling into the “innocuous” category.

All of which explains why I’m so taken with Tim Tebow.  Here you have a young man who is handsome, charismatic, and an extraordinary athlete — and he’s also proud about saving himself for marriage.  Despite the manifest temptations that being a star athlete must present, he’s open about his virginity.  The jaded press may giggle in shock and embarrassment but I, as a mom, am deeply impressed:

What’s so important about Tebow is that people cannot claim that he’s a virgin simply because he’s too pathetic to get a girl.  Instead, this moral dynamo is a virgin because he’s taken a principled stand that is inextricably intertwined with respect for himself, for the women he dates (and I assume he does date), and for the woman he will eventually marry.  I can’t think of a better lesson for young people.  And that’s why I want my daughter to date a man like Tebow:  someone who has principles every mother can love, and who, in a culture obsessed with sex, is proud of those principles.

Incidentally, despite the fact that 99% of the families in my ultra liberal community would draw back in revulsion at the thought of their child dating an evangelical Christian, I can guarantee you that 100% of them would be dancing on air if they knew that their daughter’s date, because of a deep commitment to and reverence for women and the sanctity of marriage, wasn’t trying to get his hands in their daughter’s pants.

I’m also very appreciative of the fact that Tebow’s sudden prominence outside of football circles (I, for example, wouldn’t have heard of him but for the Superbowl kerfuffle) coincides with a solid study showing that abstinence education is the best way to prevent kids from having sexual intercourse.  You and I have always understood that if you give kids step by step instructions, complete with condoms and cucumbers, in how to have sex, they might be inclined to have sex.  For the educated class, however, it took a vast study, complete with a large control group exposed to those condoms and cucumbers, to establish what we knew intuitively:  if you emphasize that our bodies are precious, that modern science cannot protect people from diseases and unplanned pregnancies, and that there is a deep measure of self-respect and respect for others that goes with abstinence, you will have healthier, safer children.

UPDATE:  And here comes the perfect example of the media’s constant desire to turn our children into sex objects.  These are twisted people who seek to validate their unsavory approach to life by co-opting our children.  People like Tim Tebow are vital to counteracting this cultural rot.

Americans cool on abortion, appropriately given the societal damage it both causes and reflects

My views on abortion have changed mightily over the years.  The selfish, immature side of me still longs for a pro-choice label, but the mature, moral side of me has concluded that, subject to a few exceptions, pro-Life is the way to go.  I won’t expand on that right now, but you can see more on my views here.

On the subject of abortion, I want to draw your attention to three things:

First, if you somehow managed to miss this headline story, let me be the one to tell you that the Superbowl, of all things, is at the center of an abortion controversy.  Tim Tebow, super-duper college quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, is going to be in a television commercial that is slated to air during the Superbowl.  In it, he and his mother talk about the fact that she elected to go ahead with a difficult pregnancy, even though the medical establishment assured her that the baby was likely to be dead or damaged at birth.  Tebow, of course, was neither.  Women’s groups are outraged (h/t Soccer Dad), although they sound more foolish than persuasive in their anger:

A national coalition of women’s groups called on CBS on Monday to scrap its plan to broadcast an ad during the Super Bowl featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, which critics say is likely to convey an anti-abortion message.

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year — an event designed to bring Americans together,” said Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center.

[snip]

The protest letter from the Women’s Media Center suggested that CBS should have turned down the ad in part because it was conceived by Focus on the Family.

“By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers,” the letter said.

Hmm.  While I know that large sectors of the American public watch the Superbowl (I guess that’s the coming together part), I always considered it a rather divisive thing, considering that half the audience is devoutly hoping that the other half turns off the television set in deep despair.

But more to the point, I found interesting the fact that the women’s groups state, with no authority, that celebrating a successful life that resulted because the baby’s mother made a choice, is something that will “damage [CBS's] reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers.”  I think the women’s groups are backing the wrong horse.

Which brings me to my second point about abortion.

The invaluable Zombie was out on the streets of San Francisco this past weekend, documenting the annual pro-Life rally held in that bastion of radical liberalism.  What you’d except from a photojournalist is a series of photos showing a few cowering pro-Lifers, surrounded by screaming pro-Choicers, all carrying “keep your hands off my uterus” signs and wearing kuffiyahs (because who doesn’t go to a feminist rally wearing the clothing symbol of the most repressive, misogynist culture on earth?).  But there you’d be wrong.  In a stunning combination of photos and text, Zombie reveals that the rally was a blow-out for the pro-Life crowd.  As Zombie says:

[W]hen the anti-abortion group Walk for Life staged a march in San Francisco last Saturday, January 23, they turned out an overwhelming and jaw-dropping 40,000 pro-life activists, who were met by a well-advertised counter-protest which managed to draw no more than 80 (that’s eighty, eight-zero) pro-choice advocates. 40,000 vs. 80 is a 500-to-1 pro-life advantage, something that seems inconceivable in the sex-positive liberal stronghold of San Francisco. How did this happen?

Talk about must-read journalism.

And the third and last thing I want to discuss about abortion isn’t really about abortion at all, it’s about the culture that supports unfettered, unlimited abortion.  As you probably read somewhere the other day, the teen pregnancy numbers rose a bit higher in 2006.  Robert Rector tells us that (a) those numbers are not what they seem and that (b) more seriously, those numbers reveal, not about a problem that can be corrected with ever more birth control and abortions, but a fundamental societal breakdown amongst young Americans.

As for me, with one pre-teen  and one very observant 10 year old, I spend a lot of my time talking about values and self-respect.  I’ve learned that, in a wired world, I cannot protect my kids from exposure to our sex saturated culture.  All I can do, over and over, is talk about the value they should place on themselves, the respect they owe others, the moral forces in favor of marriage and abstinence, and the risks associated with disease and young, out-of-wedlock pregnancy.  I hope, devoutly, that my kids take these messages to heart, because I really don’t have much else in my armament.

My parents always complained that, raising children in the late 1960s and 1970s, they had a hard time parenting against societal trends.  They couldn’t have imagined how much worse it would become.  Yes, they had to deal with hippies and self-actualization, but pop culture was still reasonably traditional.  The Brady kid actors may have been getting into trouble behind the scenes, but the message to the viewing audience was still one of traditional values.  Who would have imagined then MTV, YouTube, Lady GaGa, Adam Baldwin Lambert (isn’t that the crotch-grabber from American Idol?), and the whole parade of degradation that oozes out of every pore of American society?  Looking around, it’s clear that abortion is both a cause and a symptom of a society that has lost its sexual bearings, bearings that should be grounded in respect for the opposite sex and reverence for human life.

Really sweet Steve Crowder post on marriage

Steve Crowder who is not, so far as I know, married, used the GLSEN scandal as the starting point for some really sweet thoughts about marriage:

When I really think about it, it seems as though the only kind of sex at which Hollywood will ever choose to poke fun… is the kind that occurs within marriage.

Don’t you watch the movies? Haven’t you listened to the stand-up comedians?  The day you tie the knot is “the day your sex life ends.” According to sitcoms and romantic comedies, it’s a scientific impossibility for married couples to enjoy playful romps in the bedroom.

Correct me for being naïve, but isn’t married sex supposed to be the best sex of your life? Shouldn’t your life-partner provide you with the most sexually gratifying experiences you’ll ever have the pleasure of knowing? Afterall, your wife or husband is supposed to be the person you love more than anyone on the planet. Given that mutual appreciation and (hopefully) an unparalleled level of communication, how could the sex NOT be amazing? What is marriage, if not an institution designed to cultivate bonding/closeness on every level, including physically?

I think that, when Crowder does get married, his wife will be a very lucky woman.

Zac Efron

In my Friday Open Thread, I promised that I’d blog about Zac Efron.  First off, let me clear the air here and explain that I haven’t developed some pathetic “middle-aged woman/teenage boy” obsession with him (although he does bear an uncanny resemblance, girlish hair and all, to the teen idols of my youth).  What makes me interested in him is the movie 17 Again, which I saw last weekend.

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SPOILER ALERT: The rest of this post is going to discuss plot lines in the movie, so if you’ve been dying to see this one, and you want it to stay fresh, you’d better stop reading right now.

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17 Again is about a man who, dissatisfied with his life, is given his 17 year old body back.  That is, he isn’t sent back in time to the year in which he was 17.  Instead, he becomes his own children’s peer, attending high school with them. Further, he’s not completely 17 years old.  Instead, he still has his adult knowledge, values, attitude and memories, except that they’re all packed into a teeny-bopper cute Zac Efron package.  As the movie develops, he realizes that he’s not going to change his own life trajectory, but that he can help his children.  His son his being bullied by the sociopathic captain of the baseball team and, worse, his daughter is dating the same sociopath.

With this plotline, you can imagine this is not a movie I normally would have chosen to see myself.  However, given the PG-13 rating, I wanted to make sure I knew what my 11 year old daughter and her 12 year old friend would be watching.  I could, of course, just have said “no” to her request to see the movie, but I knew that, thanks to DVDs, there was a 100% certainty that my daughter would end up seeing it at someone’s house in a few months.  Given my certainly in that regard, it seemed to me that the smartest thing for me to do would be to know the details and counterattack — if necessary.

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that the movie was not very good from a grown-up perspective.  Nevertheless, it earned an A+ from me for one scene.  In that scene, the sex education teacher says (and I paraphrase), “We officially teach abstinence here, but we know you’re going to have sex anyone, so here are some condoms.” She then passes around the condoms.  The Efron character, a 30 something father in a 17 year old body, watches his daughter take a condom, and then watches her boyfriend take a handful.

Right about this time, I was contemplating (a) dragging the girls out of the theater or (b) giving them an hour long lecture during the 20 minute ride home.  As it was, I didn’t have to do either, because the cute Efron character came to my rescue.

You see, when the condom basket came to the Efron character, he refused to take one.  Then, with all eyes upon him, he stood up and explained that he will not take one because he’s not in love with anyone, and you don’t have sex unless you’re in love.  And, even better, you don’t have sex unless you’re married, because sex really boils down to having children.  He than rhapsodized about the wonders of fatherhood, and the importance of a committed relationship.

This is the same speech I routinely give my kids.  Right now, they listen politely, but I know that, in a year or two, I’ll just get eye-rolling coming back at me.  With Efron giving the speech, however, my daughter and her friend were much struck by it.  It meant something to them that the cutest, coolest guy in Hollywood advocated a position remarkably similar to that put forward by Mom and Dad.