Fear and Loathing and Fucking

No matter how cynical I get, no matter how many nauseating things that I see perpetrated in the name of morality and decency, it seems that there’s always some fucktard out there whose mission in life is to show me that there’s always just a little farther they can take things.

In short, although I didn’t think that I could be shocked anymore, I am once again appalled at the fear and hatred of sexuality that those in charge of our country harbor in their hearts. Hatred of the naughty bits has been an aggressive part of the Republican party’s agenda at least since Reagan’s malign neglect of the AIDS crisis, allowing thousands to die because they were a bunch of sinful faggots and junkies while simultaneously casting abortion as a luxury item for murderous sluts who would rather kill a baby than lose their girlish figures.

Open faggot-bashing is increasingly going out of style, which is one of the reasons that Rick “Sex with someone of the same gender is just like fucking a dog,” Santorum now finds himself unemployed. But as a society, we have a deep fear of sex, and are absolutely fucking obsessed with the dangers of non-adult sexuality that the fear itself is a toxin in our sexual psyches at least as harmful as the actual effects of incest or pedophilia. Our culture obsesses about these things so much that we watch the world through the imagination of sexual predators, and are unable to see anything else. As Nietzsche said, “When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

And like I say, I know all these things. For the last 25 years, I’ve watched the Republicans make sexual ignorance into a sarcrament under the rubric of “protecting the children” using the farce of abstinence-only “education” programs. The philosophy of abstinence-only programs is in fact anti-educational — they teach children nothing about their bodies and their desires other than to tell them not to acknowledge those desires unless they’re monogamously, heterosexually, married and not using birth control. Sex, in the abstinence-only philosophy, is a pathology; at best, it can provide nothing more than a glimmer of pleasure, followed by pain and death.

The fact that abstinence-only pedagogy hasn’t been laughed out of the public square like theories about the hollow earth or Holocaust denial has always left a bitter taste on my tongue, one that’s become stronger over the years. It is a philosophy of death; it literally does kill people, through denying them the proper information about birth control and sexually-transmitted infections. It’s the same philosophy of death that guaranteed the deaths of thousands of gay men in the 80’s and 90’s while the moral guardians of society stood aside, pontificating about “lifestyles” and dividing the corpses into “innocent” and “guilty.” We’re more comfortable with it, though, because it’s all about protecting the innocence of the children, and that sits well with our Puritan souls.

But it’s never been about the children, it’s always been about the fear and loathing of sex itself that’s been deeply ingrained in our society from the word go. It’s about the sense, held even by many ostensibly liberal people, that we would all be much better people if our cocks didn’t get hard and our pussies didn’t get wet.

So I shouldn’t be surprised or shocked when that urge to wipe sex from the public imagination becomes evident. And yet, I still can be. I mean, I expect them to have the decency to at least give lip service to the idea that adult sexuality is a legitimate thing, even if they can’t quite get themselves to say that it’s a good thing.

Nope. On the queerest, most sexual, most non-Christianized holiday on the calendar, this hit the news outlets:

The federal government’s “no sex without marriage” message isn’t just for kids anymore.

Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.

The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it’s a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.

“They’ve stepped over the line of common sense,” said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. “To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It’s an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health….”

The revised guidelines specify that states seeking grants are “to identify groups … most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock, targeting adolescents and/or adults within the 12- through 29-year-old age range.” Previous guidelines didn’t mention targeting of an age group.

Of course, it’s S.O.P. for the Republicans and the Christian Taliban backing them to be out of touch with reality. But reality isn’t really the point of a policy like this, as Wagoner so succinctly points out. I hope that the recent elections will temper their willingness to think that they can do any fucking thing they want, but it’s a slim hope. The elections represented a change, but it wasn’t that big of a change. Remember that none of the past six years — the sexual puritanism as policy, the imperial model of the presidency, the institutionalization of torture, the thousands dead in a pointless war — none of it would have been possible without the active collaboration of the Democrats. What happened on Tuesday was the easy part. We’ve taken Congress back, now we have to take the Democratic Party back.

In the meantime, remember: every time you have an orgasm, a Republican cries. Get fucking.

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2 thoughts on “Fear and Loathing and Fucking”

  1. I guess one could call abstinence-only the “pro-active” approach family planning, when one remembers the “anti-abortion bonus” that was part of the 1996 welfare reform act. The following is an excerpt from an interview with Sharon Hays, a Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at the University of Virginia and author of Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform.

    The welfare-reform act included a prize of $100 million to be shared among the five states that showed a decrease in the rate of unwed births without a corresponding increase in the rate of abortion. Of course, the welfare-reform act didn’tinclude any proposals for family planning. In fact, it absolutely prohibited the promotion of family planning by any method other than abstinence. In one of the welfare offices I researched, the caseworkers were strictly forbidden even to mention birth control. This is a self-defeating policy. Almost no one thinks promoting abstinence is a solution. Congress eventually decided to discontinue the anti-abortion bonus, because it found that a state’s welfare policies had no effect on its rates of unwed births and abortion.

    From: The Sun Magazine, August, 2004

    The message here: if you are unable to exercise enough self-control to abstain from sex, and you do become pregnant, don’t you dare ask for help. However, there is one ray of hope. Your children can still receive welfare benefits even if you can’t. Just drop them off at your parents on the way to the homeless women’s shelter. If your folks have trouble making ends meet, don’t worry. We’ll privatize Social Security so your parents can use up their retirement dollars to support their grandchildren. Yes, it’s difficult, but you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you did your part to bring about a balanced budget and and a 40% decrease in welfare recipients.

  2. Geez. You always know how to cheer me up, Kochanie.  There are so many Machivellian twists in that adorable combination of misogyny and class warfare that I’m sure that even Kissinger would be appalled.  Or maybe just really impressed.

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