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?

You mean there’s a third choice?!

Another short, but telling, link.

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:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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.

***

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.

***

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.

Will there be a cause-effect here?

One of the saddest aspects of 21st Century male-female relationships is the “hooking up” culture — a concept that takes the love and affection and commitment out of male-female relationships, and just turns them into insta-sex moments.  There is every reason to believe that this new culture is especially damaging to women, who seem to be hard wired to connect love and sex.  Ironically, though, feminists tout it as some wonderful equality thing, even though the only person who would approve of it wholeheartedly, and who has been advocating it for 50 plus years, is Hugh Hefner.

Putting aside the ramifications for women (all negative, I think), it does occur to me that there might be one somewhat weird byproduct of this hooking up culture, and that is a lessening in the number of gay men.  My theory arises from the premise that, at least according to Kinsey, while some men are entirely heterosexual, and some entirely homosexual, there are guys in the middle who can go either way, depending on the opportunity offered.

Growing up in San Francisco in the wild 70s, I concluded that a lot of the gays in San Francisco were guys who could go either way, depending on cultural norms, and who chose gay sex because of the availability of unlimited, emotion-free sex.  In the old days of male-female relationships (before gays came out of the closet), unless you wanted to pay for it, getting sex meant investments of time, money and emotional energy.  Even if you (the guy) didn’t feel a loving emotion for the girl, you’d better pretend there was one if you wanted her to put out.

For those who valued orgasms more than relationships, though, and who weren’t squeamish about gay sex, the bathhouses were a dream come true.  With a little help from drugs (poppers, I think), it was entirely possible to have dozens of emotion-free sexual contacts in a single night.  In other words, the gay bathhouses made the fantasy of unlimited sexual encounters entirely feasible, and thousands of men embraced it — to their eternal, HIV-ridden regret.

Under the new hook-up paradigm, those men who are sexually open to going either way, even though they prefer women, and who enjoy the male fantasy of sex without the burdens of commitment and emotions, finally can have it all.  They can stay on the heterosexual side of the street, but get all the “no-strings” sex they want (and without having to pay for it either).  Of course, aside from the fact that this culture seems to be very, very, very damaging to young women’s psyches, I also fear another HIV-ridden regret cycle, one that will be especially hard on women, who seem to be more vulnerable to the virus.

Hat tip:  Suek

Britain — a nation of broken windows

Over at FrontPage Magazine, you can read an interview with Martin Durkin, describing Britain’s staggering social decline during its long years as a welfare state.  It was a slow decline at first.  When I lived there in the early 1980s, it still wasn’t clear that it was hovering on the verge of breaking entirely with a grand historic past that saw a plucky, independent, self-sufficient people who once (for better or worse) ruled the world.  In the past 20 years, though, Britain has been in free fall.  If you read the British press regularly, as I do, you’ll have no problem recognizing Durkin’s description of modern Britain:

Overall, I think in general the bigger evil effects of welfare have been enormously underestimated, even by commentators who regard themselves as more pro-capitalist in their sympathies. Welfare is the basic cause of the deleterious cultural changes we have witnessed in the West over the past 60 years.

The Welfare State, pioneered in Britain of course, has corrupted this country to its core. It has transformed the country caricatured by Noel Coward and others – essentially pretty decent, self-reliant, and plucky – into a country which is thuggish, selfish, mindless, dispirited and lost. Gone is the British stiff upper lip. Modern Britons are moaning, self-pitying inadequates. The welfare state has bred a generation of obnoxious, drug-addled criminals and ne’er-do-wells. It has also, incidentally, burdened what was once the world’s biggest, most dynamic economy with the dead weight of an obstructive and vastly expensive state machine.

I’m sorry to sound cross about this, but I don’t think people fully realise what’s happened. Britain has, I think, the highest crime rate of any industrialised country in the world. It is twice as high as the US. The violent crime rate is higher in London than New York. Britain has the highest rate of drug abuse, the highest teenage pregnancy rate and the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease in the modern industrial world.

The shrinking minority of Brits that hasn’t given up on maintaining some basic standards is increasingly finding itself beleaguered, not by fellow citizens, but by its own officials.  On the one hand, British officials are occupying themselves with every picayune rule conceivable, on such earthshaking subjects as paint, bicycles, food wrapping, or whatever other silly, bureaucratic pettifogging you (or, rather, they) can think of, and approach that seems them harassing and bankrupting the shrinking law-abiding, income-generating middle class.

On the other hand, those same officials have given up on the infinitely harder work of maintaining social order.  They’re doing the equivalent of allowing windows to remain broken and graffiti to scar the walls.  Here is just the latest story of British officialdom’s willingness to let the country slide in an amoral, unlivable morass:

A mother shocked by seeing two half-naked men having sex while out walking the dogs with her daughter was told by police to take a different route in future.

Marie Cragg, 44, spoke of her disgust at the officers’ reaction and said she feared the woodland beauty spot would be turned into a no-go area for ordinary members of the public.

The men seen by Miss Cragg and her 18-year-old daughter Jessica were stripped from the waist down and carried on with their activities even after they knew they had been spotted.

‘I called the police and never heard anything back,’ Miss Cragg said.

‘Then later I was talking to the community officers, and they said they knew what goes on and I should change our walk.

‘You should not have to see that, should you? They can go into the woods and go wherever they want  –  it’s sick.

‘They saw me and didn’t care and just carried on. I could have been a childminder with kids. I would rather go past a gang of hoodies  –  they are making the place seedy.’

The encounter happened on a public footpath where Miss Cragg was walking the family dogs, Molly and Ruby, near their home in Penwortham, near Preston, last week.

It follows a briefing last month by the deputy chief constable of Lancashire, Mike Cunningham, in which he called for police to turn a blind eye to outdoor sexual activity.

Under the Sexual Offences Act anyone who takes part in ‘dogging’, where couples meet for sex in car parks, and cottaging, where men meet for sex in public lavatories, face arrest for outraging public decency, voyeurism and exposure.

But Mr Cunningham, who is also a spokesman on homosexual issues for the Association of Chief Police Officers, argues that offenders should only be prosecuted as a last resort because of the potential impact on their lives of making their activities public.

Read the rest here.

I hesitate to weigh down the above-quoted Deputy Chief Constable Cunningham with some simple common sense, but I just have to say this:  Perhaps, just perhaps, if people knew public sexual activities would actually expose them to consequences (as opposed to just an audience), they might refrain.

Britain, while always far from perfect, was nevertheless something of a light among nations during its heyday.  It was the first amongst modern nations to give up some of the worst national vices, such as slavery, the political subjugation of women, child labor, and imperialism.  That is, it was not free of sin, but it stood out from other nations by recognizing and abandoning its wrongful conduct.  Now . . . well, now it’s a pathetic slum country, not even proud of, but instead embarrassed by, its rich and often honorable past.  It’s so sad.

Where’s NOW now?

American feminists, who have done quite a number on Palin, are remarkably silent about the mind-boggling restrictions placed upon, and indignities visited upon, their sisters in Saudi Arabia:

A new prohibition may be added to the long list of those placed on women in Saudi Arabia: A new sentence according to Islamic law (fatwa) determines that women exiting the doorways of their homes must cover one of their eyes.

The array of prohibitions currently placed upon Saudi women includes forbiddance to leave home without a familial “patron,” fraternize with men in public, drive a car, put makeup on and wear high heels.

The modesty squad on the streets of Saudi Arabia follows women whose abaya (long cloak) is too tight and likely to reveal their curves or those whose hair is visible through their veils.

A senior religious cleric in the country, Sheikh Muhammad al-Habadan demands that the rules of modesty be further enhanced.

In the new Islamic legal sentence, al-Habadan announced that when leaving their homes, women must keep only one eye revealed.

According to the sheikh, “revelation of both eyes behind the veil is likely to encourage women to put make-up on and accentuate their eyes. This is corrupt behavior which conflicts with Islamic principles.”

Read the rest here.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: A prescient friend of mine told me before 9/11 that the Muslim hatred of the Western world is grounded in the fear Muslim men have of female sexuality. Everything else — alcohol prohibitions, dog prohibitions, etc. — is just static. In apocalyptic fight between Islam and the West, it’s all about sex.  And in that regard, keep in mind that the incentive for Muslim men to commit suicide/mass murder is, yes, sex with those 70 luscious virgins (or, possibly, which will be a surprise to them, grapes).

American Pravda’s big and little lies about the Obama-Ayers relationship

Palin has the AP, not just running scared, but spinning lies.  I’m careful about quoting the AP, because their stuff is proprietarial, but to the extent they have the public ear, they better damn well be honest, and the following story, which I print and fisk in relevant part, is not honest:

Sarah Palin defended her claim that Barack Obama “pals around with terrorists,” saying the Democratic presidential nominee’s association with a 1960s radical is an issue that is “fair to talk about.”

[snip]

At issue is Obama’s association with Ayers. Both have served on the same Chicago charity and live near each other in Chicago. Ayers also held a meet-the-candidate event at his home for Obama when Obama first ran for office in the mid-1990s, the event cited by Palin.

But while Ayers and Obama are acquainted, the charge that they “pal around” is a stretch of any reading of the public record. [Note the careful language about “the public record” since so much of what went on between Ayers and Obama is not in the public record.  Thanks to yeoman work from Stanley Kurtz, though, we know that they had a very close relationship leading up to and including work on the Annenberg Challenge.  We therefore know that, while Obama and Ayers may not have been beer-drinking buddies, Ayers probably mentored Obama, and Obama was certainly happy to have a long professional association with a self-professed, self-confessed domestic terrorist who only regrets not doing more.  See here, here and hereJoshua Muravchick has more on that relationship, too.  It’s beyond disingenous for the AP reporter to read the phrase “pal around” so literally that it would exclude any relationship other than a weekly beer-drinking fest lasting some decades.] And it’s simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts. Obama was 8 years old at the time the Weather Underground claimed credit for numerous bombings and was blamed for a pipe bomb that killed a San Francisco policeman.  [Again, disingenous.  Yes, Obama was a small boy when Ayers was active.  However, Ayers has never apologized or repented.  He’s regretted only that he didn’t go far enough and would do it all again.  Ayers’ bomb-making days may have stopped, but he is the same man and he is currently, and has long been, Obama’s social and political mentor.]

At a rally in North Carolina, Obama countered that McCain and his campaign “are gambling that he can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance.” The Democrat described the criticism as “Swiftboat-style attacks on me,” a reference to the unsubstantiated allegations about 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry’s decorated military record in Vietnam.  [How much substantiation do you need aside from dozens of eye-witnesses, plus Kerry’s own verbal slip-ups?  Swift-boating has come to mean any accusation we, the Democrats, deny, regardless of the absence of evidence on our side, and the overwhelming amount of evidence on yours.]

During her stop in California, Palin was asked about an Associated Press analysis that said her charge about Ayers was unsubstantiated, a point made by other news organizations, and the criticism carried a “racially tinged subtext that McCain may come to regret.”  [To a hammer, everything is a nail.  To an MSM reporter, every criticism of Obama is racially tinged.  I, for one, am baffled about the racial connection, considering that Ayers is white.]

“The Associated Press is wrong,” Palin said. “The comments are about an association that has been known but hasn’t been talked about, and I think it’s fair to talk about where Barack Obama kicked off his political career, in the guy’s living room.”  [You go, girl! That’s precisely what needs to be said.  Sarah is calling the AP and other members of the MSM on the fact that their refusal to report a story does not constitute proof that the story does not exist.]

In fact, Obama was questioned about Ayers during a prime-time Democratic debate against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton prior to April’s Pennsylvania primary.  [He was questioned, and he lied.  AP forgets to add that he downplayed his association so much that his statements were falsehoods.  Or, as Muravchik explains in the same article I linked to, above:

The details of Obama’s association with Ayers remain somewhat shrouded because both Ayers and Dohrn have refused to discuss it, while Obama and his spokesmen have prevaricated about it. When, during one of the televised primary debates, George Stephanopoulos asked about his connection to Ayers, Obama replied:

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense.

Later, Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod, added: “Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school.” If this is true, Ayers’s children must be slow learners, since they are thirty-one and twenty-eight while Obama’s are nine and six. But Obama’s own reply, though less bald-faced than Axelrod’s, was thoroughly disingenuous. Thanks to the meticulous investigations of the Left-leaning blogger Steven Diamond (globallabor.blogspot.com), the story of Obama and Ayers’s collaboration has been seeping into the public record despite extraordinary efforts to seal it.

You can go to Kurtz’s articles, to Muravchik’s article, or to Diamond’s website (globallabor.blogspot.com) to see just how untruthful Obama was — but AP readily lets it pass.]

From the McCain campaign to the world

The McCain campaign is giving substantive responses to the attacks the Obama campaign is leveling against it:

TO:                 Interested Parties

RE:                Empty Words And Insults Cannot Cover A Weak Record

DATE:            September 15, 2008

Over the last few days, the Obama campaign has watched their poll numbers falter and decided to lash out with personal attacks against Senator McCain and Governor Palin.

While their attacks can be explained in part as an over-reaction to declining poll numbers, they are also symptomatic of a candidate with a thin record who is unable to explain problematic votes and statements.  Senator Obama unwittingly provided a preview of this strategy in Denver when he said: “If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.”

Because in many instances the facts are not on his side, Senator Obama has made up for this by hurling insults in the hope that people will not examine the record. In recent days, we have seen this tactic played out repeatedly:

Earmarks: In recent days, Barack Obama has decided to engage Senator McCain and Governor Sarah Palin in a debate over earmarks. However, despite his attempts to call everyone who examines his record a liar, the facts are clear:

While Senator McCain has never requested a single earmark, Senator Obama has requested nearly a billion dollars worth during his short time in office.  Though Senator Biden has been in the Senate for 36 years, he has only disclosed his earmarks for one year.

Senator Obama increased his earmark requests during each of his first three years in office. Governor Palin has cut requests for earmarks for Alaska by $150 million since entering office, and she has cut those requests every single year.  She has also vetoed a half billion dollars in wasteful spending at the state level.

Senator Obama has also attacked Governor Palin over the “Bridge to Nowhere,” despite the fact that he actually voted for the bridge, and his own party in Alaska credited her for ending the project.  The fact is the bridge ballooned in cost between the time it was first budgeted and when Palin became governor. Once in the Governor’s office, Palin examined the new facts and concluded that the project had become too expensive and a poor use of tax dollars. This conclusion led to her decision to end the project, as detailed in numerous press accounts at the time.

Sex Education: When confronted with questions about his support for K through 12 sex education, Barack Obama has lashed out at the propriety of any questions on what he voted for.  The text of the bill in question reads:

“Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.”

The fact is that this legislation stated expressly that children in grades kindergarten through 12 were to be taught about sexually transmitted diseases.  If Senator Obama believes that it is not appropriate to teach kindergarteners about sexually transmitted diseases, he should have joined with the minority who voted against the bill.  Instead, he supported it.

While Senator Obama has tried to assert that all he’s ever been concerned about was protecting young children from predators, the facts tell a different story.  For example, in describing his position on sex ed for kindergarteners in 2004, Obama specifically said it included topics other than sex predators or inappropriate touching, saying, “If they ask a teacher ‘where do babies come from,’ that providing information that the fact is that it’s not a stork is probably not an unhealthy thing.”

In 2007, Barack Obama told Planned Parenthood that he supported “age-appropriate” sex education for kindergarteners. When challenged about what was “age-appropriate,” the Obama campaign cited guidelines that included comprehensive and explicit teaching that should concern every parent.

Taxes: The Obama campaign claims that anyone who says that Senator Obama is going to raise taxes is lying. But the fact is that what Senator Obama says and what he has voted for are two different things.

He pledges on the campaign trail that he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class, but in the Senate, he voted for higher taxes on people making just $42,000 per year. He has voted for higher taxes or against tax cuts 94 times.  It is not a lie to point out this record of votes.  At the beginning of the campaign, he promised to raise taxes on every American with an investment through his increases on capital gains and dividend taxes.

Over the course of this campaign, he has run away from this record of supporting higher taxes. That is not surprising in an election year, but that is also why the record is important.  Senator Obama has put forth so many versions of his tax plan, voters are naturally going to judge him not just on what he says on the campaign trail, but what he has done during his time in office.

Senator Obama can hurl all the insults he wants, but his record is still a fair point of discussion in this campaign.

EU’s liberal fascism strikes again

I won’t comment.  You know what I’m thinking:

They have amused us, angered us and sometimes – just occasionally – they have actually made us buy something.

But now the end could be in sight for adverts which use sex to sell after they came under the unforgiving gaze of Brussels.

And, this being the EU, it is not simply raunchy advertising that is in danger. Any campaigns which are deemed sexist might have to go.

That could mean an end to attractive women advertising perfume, housewives seen in the kitchen and men doing DIY.

The new rules on sexism and inequality in advertising come in a report by the EU’s women’s rights committee which has been adopted by the European Parliament.

It wants anything which promotes women as sex objects or reinforces gender stereotypes to be banned.

Such a move would send shockwaves through the industry.

It would probably prevent images of models – male and female – in a state of undress, even when they are advertising underwear.

You can read more here.

And I changed my mind.  I will add one comment.  I think we live in a sexually saturated society, and I’d like to see that change.  Having angry bureaucrats in Brussels, who have a victim mentality about women a la Gloria Steinheim, using massive government power to make that change really scares me.

Alaska curriculum

I’m having a very hard time finding out what the sex ed curriculum is in Alaska schools.  Although Palin advocates abstinence, what are the public schools teaching?  It appears from the article that they’re teaching full sex ed, with an emphasis on the virtues of abstinence.

A couple of things.  First, that’s exactly the same curriculum in my Blue neck of the woods, and that’s because the parents demand it.  They want the kids to know have a sound scientific knowledge about the birds and the bees, and the ways to prevent little birds and bees from coming along, but they want the schools’ emphasis to be on no sex.

Second, if Palin’s daughter really did receive a comprehensive curriculum, one could argue that teaching about sex and birth control, with a mere emphasis on abstinence, doesn’t work.  After all, she got pregnant.

The same article says that the schools in Alaska don’t provide birth control, something with which I heartily concur.  Kids can pick up birth control at any grocery store (condoms for him, sponges for her, not to mention spermicides for both), and the school should not be in the business of putting its imprimatur on teen sex.

So it sounds to me, not as if the Palins failed their daughter, but as if their daughter might just be another casuality of public school sex training.

Three hours and 12 minutes

Three hours and 12 minutes — that’s how much time I’ve got to myself this morning.  I am beyond excited.  I haven’t really hit the online news yet, but I did discover some things last night that I wanted to bring to your attention (assuming you haven’t already read them).  I expect that, as I read more, I’ll have more ideas swirling around my head.  As it is, even though I never left town, it was such a frantically busy week last week, and an even more busy weekend, that I feel as if I’ve actually been away and am only now returning.  So, in no particular order, stuff that interested me:

Yesterday, American Thinker had two articles about Barack Obama.  That’s not unusual, of course, since Obama is definitely a topic of conversation in the blogosphere.  What struck me about both of these articles, however, is how they reminded me of closing argument at a trial.  Each was an unusually good summary of the facts we know about the man and why those facts disqualify him from being President.  More than that, rather than trying to convince us about his disqualifications — since we, the average American Thinker reader, are already among the converted — the articles explain why his same handicaps mean that, even as he bewitches the media and the intelligentsia, he’s not a sure winner.  You’ll find the articles here and here.

Kathryn Jean Lopez offers some rather stunning insights into the Planned Parenthood approach to birth control and why it will ultimately be ineffective when it comes to teaching our children responsibility, even when it is ostensibly preaching abstinence.  After discussing PP’s suggested packing list for vacation (every birth control item known to man), Lopez goes on to say:

And therein lies the problem with groups like Planned Parenthood — and with way too much of pop culture. For Planned Parenthood and the anything-goes ethos it represents, young people are always going to have sex. In their worldview, there’s no reason for living if you’re not going to mimic the rutting bachelorettes of Sex and the City. What could you possibly do to have a successful, happy life if it doesn’t involve going through a condom a day?

Likewise, in its abstinence video, PP has its little protagonist message make it clear that she’s heading for some self-fulfillment. Lopez immediately realizes what the problem is with this approach to abstinence:

So abstinence to Planned Parenthood means masturbation? No wonder they think abstinence education is a total waste of time. They can’t get their minds out from Down There. They can’t believe that if you challenge young people to want more than what they see on TV and in the movies, they’ll take you up on it. Planned Parenthood just doesn’t get it; abstinence education can never be about simply saying, “Here’s what you can do so no one gets pregnant but you can still get some sexual kicks.” It has to be part of a greater education: a character education. A physical education. A moral education.

[snip]

The girl in the Planned Parenthood video is, of course, right to say that her night at home won’t give her disease or a baby. But it’s no way to live. She’s cutting herself off from others. She believes she lives in a world in which sex and simulating sex are the only options on a Friday night. There are, of course, alternatives, and good ones at that. If there weren’t, all married couples would get divorced after only a few years of nuptial bliss.

“I want [the Israelis] to come back” — ’nuff said.  Read it.

More to follow.

One study, two spins (with one attacking abstinence)

The CDC did a study about teen sexuality. Here’s how The Telegraph, a leading British news paper spun it:

American teenagers are having less sex, doing fewer drugs and drinking less alcohol than those who grew up in the 1990s, according to a new study.

Amid growing concern about teenage behaviour in Britain, the report by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that their American peers are heading in the other direction.

The study also found that, compared with the previous generation, US teenagers were more likely to use condoms during sex, wear a seat belt and avoid getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking.

About 48 per cent of high school students – who are roughly aged 14 to 18 – said they were no longer virgins in 2007, down from 54 per cent in 1991.

There was also a fall in the number who said they had had four or more sexual partners – down from 19 per cent to 15 per cent.

The change was more dramatic when it came to taking precautions. Even though AIDS awareness is arguably less of an issue now, 62 per cent of sexually active students said they had used a condom the last time they had sex. In 1991, only 46 per cent said they had.

Drinking, the bane of British youth, is another issue on which young Americans differ significantly.

Some 35 per cent of teenagers had at least one alcoholic drink in the month before they were surveyed in 2007, down from 42 per cent in 1991.

Marijuana use has fallen to a fifth of high school students from a peak of 27 per cent in 1999. Methamphetamine use has more than halved since 10 per cent of high school students admitted taking the drug seven years ago.

Violence in US high schools often involves guns rather than the knives that increasingly appear in British schools.

However, nearly half as many students admitted to carrying some kind of weapon – 17 per cent in 2007 compared with 33 per cent in 1991.

[snip]

American teenagers are also acting more safely in cars. While 35 per cent said they rarely or never wore a seat belt in 1991, that proportion has fallen to just 12 now. They also revealed that they were less likely to get into a car with a driver who had been drinking – down from 36 per cent to 27 per cent.

That’s a stunningly positive report card, and something to be proud of. However, that’s not how the American media is viewing it. Here’s the WaPo take, syndicated in the SF Chron (meaning it’s getting wide play):

The nation’s campaign to get more teenagers to delay sex and use condoms is faltering, threatening to undermine the highly successful effort to reduce teen pregnancy and protect young people from sexually transmitted diseases, federal officials reported Wednesday.

New data from a large government survey shows that by every measure, the decadelong decline in sexual activity among high school students leveled off between 2001 and 2007 and the increase in condom use by teens flattened out in 2003.

Moreover, the survey found hints that teen sexual activity may have begun creeping up and that condom use among high school students might be edging down, though those trend lines have not yet reached a point where statisticians can be sure, officials said.

[snip]

The new figures renewed the heated debate about sex education classes that focus on abstinence until marriage, which began receiving federal funding during the period covered by the latest survey and have come under increasing criticism that they are ineffective.

“Since we’ve started pushing abstinence, we have seen no change in the numbers on sexual activity,” said John Santelli, chairman of the Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University. “The other piece of it is abstinence education spends a good amount of time bashing condoms. So it’s not surprising, if that’s the message young people are getting, that we’re seeing condom use start to decrease.”

The actual article is about five times as long as what I excerpted above, and focuses entirely on small changes in condom use, large opinion attacks on abstinence, and, unlike the British article, has almost no hard figures.

History repeats itself

Masturbation has been a staple of R or X-rated humor for a long time. Other than that, being a solo activity, it hasn’t had much of a public life — or so I thought until this morning. In keeping with the posts I did about the Bacchanal that San Francisco’s venerable Bay to Breakers race has become (here, here and here), Danny Lemieux sent me a link to a post article about one of San Francisco’s other bids for most debauched City in the Western world. This time, it’s about San Francisco’s annual Masturbate-a-thon:

May 23, 2008
Your Hand-y Guide to Sunday’s Masturbate-a-Thon
(By Joe Kukura)

We just got off the phone with Carol Queen, who is gripped in preparations for this Sunday’s seventh annual Masturbate-a-Thon – where good folks publicly drop trousers and raise money by seeing who can masturbate the longest, climax most often, and ejaculate the furthest. Things are really coming together for Sunday’s proceedings, with your hosts Nina Hartley and SF Boylesque, and live performances by Madison Young, Tom Orr, Sadie Lune, and loads of other local erotica superstars.

The Masturbate-a-Thon is a stand-up cause, raising money for the Center for Sex and Culture’s public library and ongoing curriculum of classes and seminars. “We don’t get any big foundation funding or government grants, so we do rely on our community,” says Dr. Queen, who along with her right-hand man Dr. Robert Lawrence have set up separate male-only, female-only, and mixed-gender areas as well as a live stream of the event for those wishing to catch the webcast. This may not be the most traditional method of fundraising – just looking at some previous years’ world records kinda makes our crotch sore — but as Dr. Queen says, “We’ll try to continue to be as subversive as we can.”

Masturbate-a-Thon // Sunday, May 25 3 p.m. // Center for Sex and Culture (1519 Mission St.) // $20 SFist: Your Hand-y Guide to Sunday’s Masturbate-a-Thon

At Flopping Aces, Marc sums up the problem with this narcissistic little event:

How can anyone bring up children in this type of environment?

It just shows you the dangers in having liberals and leftists running any city and even the country. Moderates, conservatives and the right should be extremely alarmed and concerned about these kinds of unsavory behaviors allowed by out of control left wing politicians.

The situation is actually a little more extreme even than Marc thought.  You see, it’s not just San Francisco that promotes these kinds of affairs (although SF can boast that the event started within its borders).  Masturbate-a-thons have been held in North American in Wisconsin, Boston and Toronto, and they’ve now spread to Europe, with London hosting the European event.

Much as San Francisco likes to think that it discovered sex (a belief that highlights how adolescent the City is), there is, in fact, nothing new under the sun:  sex has existed before, bizarre sex has existed before, exhibitionistic sex has existed before, and group sexual events have existed before.  The only thing that’s different is that the modern Left, with San Francisco leading the way, is the first society since ancient Rome that has taken this behavior out of the (appropriate) privacy of the home and club, and plunked it down in the public eye.  Not only is this unacceptable for those of us who cling to traditional mores, it should put us in mind of Rome.  As you probably recall, when Rome gave itself over to hedonism, its decline and fall were suddenly writ large on the pages of history.

My take on the youth sex culture in America *UPDATED*

Soccer Dad, who has a wonderful blog here, sent me a nice email agreeing with the points I made in my Biology will have its way post. He added an anecdote about Planned Parenthood: “The archdiocese of Baltimore announced that it would pay for counseling for women who had undergone abortions. Planned Parenthood objected. It was then that I realized that Planned Parenthood stood for a lot more than just freedom of choice. It stood for allowing women to be just as irresponsible as men could be. (I think that was a general point of yours.)”

First, he’s right that this Planned Parenthood story fits in perfectly with the point I was trying to make. Second, he sent me off on a rant about Planned Parenthood, abortion and the culture of teen sexuality that I thought was worth reprinting here:

I grew up very pro-Choice and still part ways with deep conservatives in that I’m unwilling to ban abortion entirely. What I’d like to do is change the culture. Hillary says “keep abortion safe, legal and rare,” but she doesn’t mean that last one, because she is unwilling to attack a sexual culture that inevitably means abortions will always be in demand.

Maybe I’m being incredibly stupid, but I do believe that if our culture stopped teaching high school, college and even middle school girls that not only does sex have no consequences but that it’s a necessary adjunct to the socialization, they’d stop having sex so much. If we went a step further, and said that self-respect, love, friendship and mature self-control all militate against jumping into bed, we’d have even less sex. In that social context, teaching matter-of-fact biology classes, akin to the ones I had when I was 14, which cover human reproduction and methods of contraception as part of that package, would not be incitements into bed. There wouldn’t be exciting and amusing demonstrations of candy-flavored multi-colored condoms being rolled over cucumbers. In my world, sex shows would stop coming to colleges, and Valentine’s Day would be about love and affection, and not about the Vagina Monologues.

I used to support Planned Parenthood when I believed that it was simply about helping adult woman make responsible choices about their sex lives. I’ve become very hostile to it now that I realize that it’s mission is to preserve the non-stop sex culture that rains down on our children.

As the mother of a 10 year old who is bombarded with nude pictures of Disney Stars, and Britney breakdowns, and Madonna kissing other women at awards shows, I loath the sex saturated culture we have become. I really wasn’t that aware of it before, because I came of age before it hit big time, and I didn’t have children in the right demographic until recently. Now that I see it, it disgusts me — and, as the parent of innocent, loving young children, it frightens me.

Soccer Dad was kind enough to send me the 199s article about Planned Parenthood, which I’m including here, below the fold: Continue reading

Biology will have its way *UPDATE*

One of the things the feminists insist upon is absolute equality, whether that means depriving men of the opportunity to participate in college sports simply because there aren’t enough women to create parity, something that’s now being done in the sciences as well; or allowing women to engage in sexual activity as if they were men. I’ve commented on that last point before in the context of the new type of rape claim, which has women getting themselves completely incapacitated through drugs or alcohol, falling into bed with a stranger and then later, when regret hits, crying rape (Laer calls this “gray rape”).

The fact is that, no matter what the feminists insist should be reality, when it comes to sex, women operate at a handicap level men don’t: historically, they were the ones who got pregnant. In modern times, we’ve been able to control that outcome, whether through birth control or abortions — both of which can be inconvenient, unpleasant or downright dangerous. Even removing or diminishing the inevitability of pregnancy, though, doesn’t do away with the hits nature imposes against women who step out too often sexually. It is women who suffer disproportionately from sexually transmitted diseases. As the African experience shows, when it comes to heterosexual sex, women are more vulnerable to HIV. Even without that scourge, women suffer more from sexually transmitted diseases: for men, chlamydia is a nothing; for women, it can create infertility, lead to greater vulnerability to HIV and, in pregnant women, put the child at risk. Likewise, for men, HPV (human papillomavirus) is an unsavory inconvenience; for women, it can be the trigger for cervical cancer.

Given the risks sex has for women — pregnancy, dangerous or emotionally devastating abortions, death in childbirth (a rather old-fashioned risk, but still a risk), HIV, infertility, and cancer — monogamous sex within a stable marriage is a great societal gift to women. I’m not talking, of course, about a situation in which the woman is expected to be monogamous, while her partner gets to do an Eliot Spitzer. That’s a dreadful situation, and Isak Dineson (Karen Blixen), whose husband infected her with syphilis, is the perfect example of the horrors of a one-sided demand for monogamy. Rather, I’m talking about the idealized relationship that sees a man and a woman meet, fall in love, get married and only then begin to have sex — with each other, and with no one else. It’s even okay if they meet, fall in love, have sex with each other only, get married, and continue to have sex with each other only. In our sex saturated society, where there’s always the promise of a new bedmate, this may sound a little dull, but it has its great compensations, for men and women both. Sexually variety is lessoned (which is, I think, a great hit to the men), but safety, affection, stability, and ease of access are all greatly increased. Even if it’s not always achievable, it should certainly be our goal.

The flip side of this idealized and increasingly arcane view of sexual relations is the new morality that tells girls that, if boys can sleep around, girls should be able to do so too. In the guise of equality, we’ve told our innocent young girls, girls who know only the world we offer them, that it’s just fine for them to “hook up” with a strange guy, have sex with multiple people, and basically to treat their health bodies as drive-throughs for men. Boys, of course, being nobody’s fools, willingly participate in this emotionally sterile culture.

If you’re curious about this degraded culture — one that is now the norm for American teenage girls and young women, and of course for the boys with whom they have sex — there are three excellent books on the subject. The first is Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, which describes the raunch culture in which our young girls (and boys) are encouraged to live; the second is Carol Platt Liebau’s book Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls, the title of which is self-explanatory; and the third is Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel, a novel describing a young college woman’s experiences in this nihilistic sexual jungle.

The problem for all the feminists, and the men who recognize a good thing when they see it (no strings sex), is that nature will bite back. And so today, we read that 1 in 4 teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease, with chlamydia and HPV topping the list. These diseases disproportionately affect African-American teens.

I’m willing to bet that, in the next few days, there will be articles about how this is Bush’s fault because he’s cut back on sex education. The fact that it’s African-American girls who bear the brunt of this epidemic means people will cite the usual culprits of racism and poverty, with the crackpots invariably claiming a Jewish plot. People will write that we need to improve birth control, that we need to improve sex education, that we need to improve screening for diseases, that we need to cut down on racism, that we need to spend government funds to fight poverty amongst African-Americans, and that we need to take the embarrassment factor out of sex so that teens will learn about birth control, disease prevention and disease treatment. (This last idea will, of course, be the most stupid, because it is the nature of ones teen years to live in an agony of embarrassment about everything. You can’t remove embarrassment, since it is the dominant underlying teen condition.)

The one thing no one will suggest, whether they’re coming from the MSM, the government, the liberal blogosphere, Hollywood, or anywhere else that has a loud voice across America, is that we start changing the culture, both among white and black teenagers. No one will suggest that movies and TV shows begin to do what was done in before the sexual revolution, which is to send out to teenagers the message that sex is for marriage and adults. Nothing in any medium will start to say that girls and boys should treat their bodies as something precious; that the sexual urge, although strong, can be controlled; and that there should be room in male/female relationships for love, affection and respect, all of which get pushed aside in the headlong rush for the bedroom. All that will happen is a shrill demand for more money to facilitate more teen sex — more sex education classes; more condoms that won’t get used; more clever advertisements about STDs, advertisements that teens will assiduously ignore; and ever more strident demands from the feminists and their opportunistic male fellow travelers that girls should approach sex in the same cavalier way that boys have been encouraged to view it.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey notes that the study was small — only 863 girls — and urges an expanded study to see if the numbers still hold. I agree with him. However, I think my points will hold up even if subsequent studies show that only 1/5 or 1/6 teenage girls suffers from STDs.

I also want to note in this update that I am not advocating a sharia like crackdown on young women and sexuality. I think that is an equally appalling way to go, premised as it is on a male fear of female sexuality and a profound lack of respect for women. They’re protected, not for their own good, but because Islam preaches that they are simultaneously dangerous and worthless. I envision a new social paradigm that says women are valuable and that we should be encouraging them to treat themselves in that way — and to be treated that way. They’re not just bodies for pleasure, but they are complex human beings made up of mind, body and soul, all of which should be treated with dignity.

UPDATE II: In England, what happens when you try to teach children morality along side sex ed and to remind them of religion in a religious school (not teach them, just remind them), is that you get hauled before Parliament as a fanatic (emphasis mine):

A Roman Catholic bishop will be forced to explain himself to MPs today over fears that he is imposing religious “fundamentalism” on children.

Patrick O’Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, will be questioned over his ban on what he calls “values-free” sex education in Catholic schools in his diocese and his order to put up crucifixes in every classroom.

His summons to appear before the House of Commons select committee on children, schools and families follows a 66-page document he produced last year which angered some MPs because of its strict line on sexual morality.

In the document, called Fit for Mission?, Bishop O’Donoghue wrote: “The secular view on sex outside marriage, artificial contraception, sexually transmitted disease, including HIV and Aids, and abortion, may not be presented as neutral information.”

He said “so-called” safe sex was based on the “deluded theory that the condom can provide adequate protection against Aids”.

And he added: “Schools and colleges must not supuseful-port [sic] charities or groups that promote or fund anti-life policies, such as Red Nose Day and Amnesty International, which now advocates abortion.”

Although sex education is mandatory in all secondary schools, Bishop O’Donoghue insisted that in every lesson – even science classes – it must be taught solely in the context of “the sacrament of marriage”.

The bishop has been criticised by Barry Sheerman, the chairman of the schools select committee.

“A lot of taxpayers’ money is going into church schools and I think we should tease out what is happening here,” said Mr Sheerman, the Labour MP for Huddersfield.

“A group of bishops appear to be taking a much firmer line and I think it would be to call representatives in front of the committee to find out what is going on.

“It seems to me that faith education works all right as long as people are not that serious about their faith.

“But as soon as there is a more doctrinaire attitude questions have to be asked.

“It does become worrying when you get a new push from more fundamentalist bishops. This is taxpayers’ money after all.”

The bishop said yesterday that his document had been in response to pressure from parents.

“Many parents go to great lengths to bring up their children properly and they feel that schools are not cooperating with them as well as they should,” he added.

He said Whitehall’s sex education policies had failed and 30 years of “throwing condoms at children” had simply resulted in increasing levels of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

It makes the head spin

Tell me honestly — how are the state prison systems supposed to deal with the following true scenario?

The person at issue was born a man, and started taking hormones to feminize his appearance. At some point, he committed a crime and ended up in California’s state prison system. He continued to be given access to those hormones while in prison but, because he still had male genitalia (i.e., no surgery), he was assigned to a men’s prison. While in prison, he “initially was in a consensual sexual relationship with [his] cellmate in violation of prison policy, did not report specific rape claims and refused offers to be moved to a different cell. Once []he made it clear [his] cellmate was sexually assaulting [him] and prison staff found strangulation marks on [his] neck, []he was removed to protective custody, the state maintains.”

As a result of the assaults committed against him by his former cell mate, the person at the heart of this story is now suing the California prison system (and, by extension, the California taxpayers) for an undisclosed sum of money. Here is how the AP story opens, and please note that the person at issue, although biologically male, with a full set of male equipment, is referred to throughout using feminine pronouns:

Alexis Giraldo was born as a man and takes hormones to feminize her appearance, a fact she says prison officials didn’t care about even as her male cellmate repeatedly raped and beat her.

Giraldo is suing the state prison system and several guards over the state’s policy of assigning inmates like her to men’s or women’s prisons depending on whether they have had a sex change.

“Prisons are violent places, and male prisons are especially violent places,” said Greg Walston, a lawyer who took Giraldo’s for free and asked a jury this week for unspecified damages. “You take that boiling cauldron and you put one woman in there — which is exactly what happened here — and it’s like throwing a fresh piece of meat into a lion’s cage.”

Giraldo, 30, claims Folsom State Prison guards ignored her complaints and returned her to the same cell until she was assaulted again, then placed in protective custody and moved to another facility.

Giraldo is suing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for emotional distress and violating her constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. She has asked Superior Court Judge Ellen Chaitin to order prison officials to come up with a new system for housing transgender inmates.

Several counties in California, including San Francisco, have created separate units specifically for transgender prisoners. But like other states and the federal Bureau of Prisons, California assigns inmates to prisons based on their genitalia rather than physical appearance.

Biological men who dress and act like women but have not had sex reassignment surgery can be assigned to a psychiatric prison like the one to which Giraldo eventually transferred or the general population of a regular men’s prison.

This story really bothered me, because so many of the lines that define ordinary biology, ordinary sexual identity, and ordinary common sense are blurred.  I’ve got a whole bunch of questions, and you can answer them at your leisure, since I’ll be traveling tomorrow and won’t be able to blog:

1.  Why is a prisoner wearing long hair, girlie clothes and make-up in the first place?  (See the picture in the AP story for my take on the hair and make-up.)  Why not just prison orange and a short haircut, with no make-up?  Isn’t part of the punishment of prison to remove your chance to indulge in individual self-decoration?

2.  Why is Giraldo referred to as “she” and “her”?  Giraldo can take as many hormones as he wants, but he still has external male genitalia and lacks internal female plumbing.  I’m willing to concede that, once you have the surgery and look entirely like a woman from the outside, you’ve made the shift from one gender to another, but should a pill’s effect (breasts, less body hair and a higher voice) be sufficient to justify a news report that makes it sound as if a woman somehow wandered into a men’s prison facility?

3.  I assume the taxpayer’s are paying for Giraldo’s hormones.  I may be wrong, of course, but if I’m right, why are we?

Although you wouldn’t guess it to read this, I’m sympathetic to men and women who were born with the wrong wash of hormones.  In my years as a parent, I’ve known both boys and girls whose hormonal make-up, from the toddler phase up, was completely out of synch with their body’s sex.  Nevertheless, they were still boys, albeit feminized, or still girls, albeit masculinized.

Having said all this, if the state’s version of the story is true, the state stepped in as soon as it knew something was wrong, and rescued a very peculiar, mixed-up person from an untenable situation.  And if the inmate’s story is true, the state certainly waited too long to step in and correct the situation.  And no matter which story is true, I don’t like the way the news report keeps referring to Giraldo using feminine pronouns.

Misogyny in cyberspace?

Phibian, blogging at CDR Salamander, picked up on something I’d missed entirely: the claim that the blogosphere is a haven for misogynists. I don’t know how I could have missed this because, according to Phibian, the august Washington Post, almost two months ago, opined on the subject:

A female freelance writer who blogged about the pornography industry was threatened with rape. A single mother who blogged about “the daily ins and outs of being a mom” was threatened by a cyber-stalker who claimed that she beat her son and that he had her under surveillance. Kathy Sierra, who won a large following by blogging about designing software that makes people happy, became a target of anonymous online attacks that included photos of her with a noose around her neck and a muzzle over her mouth.

As women gain visibility in the blogosphere, they are targets of sexual harassment and threats. Men are harassed too, and lack of civility is an abiding problem on the Web. But women, who make up about half the online community, are singled out in more starkly sexually threatening terms — a trend that was first evident in chat rooms in the early 1990s and is now moving to the blogosphere, experts and bloggers said.

***

Joan Walsh, editor in chief of the online magazine Salon, said that since the letters section of her site was automated a year and a half ago, “it’s been hard to ignore that the criticisms of women writers are much more brutal and vicious than those about men.”

Arianna Huffington, whose Huffington Post site is among the most prominent of blogs founded by women, said anonymity online has allowed “a lot of those dark prejudices towards women to surface.” Her site takes a “zero tolerance” policy toward abusive and excessively foul language, and employs moderators “24/7” to filter the comments, she said.

***

Some female bloggers say their colleagues just need thicker skin. Columnist Michelle Malkin, who blogs about politics and culture, said she sympathizes with Sierra but has chided the bloggers expressing outrage now. “First, where have y’all been? For several years, the unhinged Internet underworld has been documented here,” she wrote, reposting a comment on her site that called for the “torture, rape, murder” of her family.

Report the serious threats to law enforcement, she urged. And above all: “Keep blogging. Don’t cut and run.”

But Herring said Malkin is in a minority. “There’s a whole bunch of women who are being intimidated,” she said. They include academics, professional programmers and other women normally unafraid to speak their minds.

I think the WaPo is right.  There is a lot of misogyny in cyberspace. There’s also a lot of anti-Semitism, anti-Christianism, homophobia, heterophobia, racism, anti-Conservatism, anti-Progressivism, and just about any other anti you can think of. There is no doubt that many people, writing with the freedom of anonymity, are going to express some of the deeper, darker thoughts that they would normally keep locked away in a face to face situation. Thus, while someone might say to your face, “I think you’re wrong to oppose same sex marriage,” that same person, hiding behind an anonymous email or comment, may well add “you disgusting, slime eating homophobe; I wish you’d die” as the final salutation to that same message.

In other words, I think Phibian had it right when he told his daughters:

[T]he Internet is just like a very large city. You have many great and wonderful things out there, but you also have some of the worst things man can think up. Evil lurks there – and you aren’t going out there without me being with you.

Incidentally, I have to say that I’ve never received threatening or sexually explicit comments at my blog, something for which I’m very grateful.  Certainly some people have disagreed with me, and done so strongly.  I’ve deleted three posts in almost as many years because they simply had too many obscenities for me to tolerate.  I flatter myself that those who come here, whether they agree or disagree, are trying to the best of their abilities to touch upon the merits — and when you’re talking about the merits, there really isn’t room for personal attacks.  Even those who like me least, and who fall back most on ad hominem attacks, level their worst slings and arrows at my political views, and not at my sex.

Ultimately, Michelle Malkin is right.  You have to have a certain toughness to tolerate the freedom of expression the internet gives to its users. And, just as the attackers hide behind their anonymity, the bloggers can too — I certainly have.  Lastly, it’s useful to know that the traditional legal process does give some protection to those whose attackers are genuinely threatening.  Blogger Lee Kaplan, who became the victim of a very frightening cyberstalke0r who set up a Blogger site aimed at harassing him, pursued the matter aggressively and won in court.  Kaplin is now pushing to have internet service providers act more aggressively to block those who threaten physical violence or who create situations conducive to physical violence.  As a lawyer, I would say that site providers would be wise to do as Kaplan asks.  Certainly (and God forbid), if any person is ever actually hurt by an internet stalker, and if the service provider knew of that stalker, I think the provider would be a sitting duck for a multimillion dollar lawsuit.

Men are not gatherers

If you walk into my neighborhood grocery store at about 5:30 or 6:00 in the evening, about half the shoppers are men. What’s so funny about these men is that, without fail, most of them are on the cell phone. It’s obvious that their wives or girlfriends asked them to pick something up on the way home from work, and that they’re receiving detailed, at-the-scene instructions for this mission. Most of them have expressions that are part blank, part frightened. “Gathering,” as opposed to “hunting,” is manifestly not a natural role for them. And it turns out that I’m not alone in my observation. Someone’s actually done a study that backs me up:

So, this guy walked into a grocery store … and got completely overwhelmed.

U.S. men are doing more and more grocery shopping, both for themselves and their families, but retailers are still not doing much to make the trip any more enticing, retail consultants and industry experts said.

“Men do represent a large part of grocery shopping dollars and they aren’t being very well accommodated … sales are being lost,” Mandy Putnam, vice president at consulting firm TNS Retail Forward said.

In a recent report titled “Men in Grocery Stores,” Putnam said that men shop inefficiently, which leads to missed sales for retailers.

Many men have difficulty finding items, forego buying rather than risk purchasing a substitute for an item on the grocery list and hesitate to ask for help if they can’t find an item, Putnam said in her report.

“They never ask for help, except maybe from the butcher, but they always say they never had problems finding anything when the cashier at the register asks,” she said.

***

Unlike women, men tend to hone in on the specific thing they want to buy instead of surveying the entire aisle, consultants said. That can be a problem for manufacturers and retailers trying to promote new products that are the life-blood of packaged food companies.

“They were great at picking out the stuff that they bought before. It’s the new stuff, or something new and different that a manufacturer is trying to promote, that they have trouble with,” said Putnam, who walked along with men as they shopped as part of her study.

Men also tend to bristle at the overwhelming number of choices in grocery aisles, with the cereal aisle being one prime example, Putnam said.

“One guy I thought was going to have a nervous breakdown in the cereal aisle,” Putnam said, adding that this man, in his early 30s, worked the night shift as a police officer in a dicey part of town and was otherwise used to stressful situations.

Mr. Bookworm still hasn’t recovered from his last trip to the grocery store, a trip that left him so flustered that, when he finally left the store, he inadvertently abandoned his groceries, something he discovered only when a clerk came racing out after him.