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Gay couples continue to celebrate the new right to settle down into the monogamous "lifestyle", abstinence-only nuts consider forbidding teenagers to have doors that shut, and Rush Limbaugh continues to have a job. Also, we shake it up with an interview with erotica editor Rachel Kramer Bussel about dirty stories and feminism.
Links in this episode:
Family planning conference
Sex ed battle in New York
New York City Planned Parenthood
Angry parents against their children’s health
The safest sex of all
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Tony Perkins on "The Colbert Report"
Ellen rips McCain
Limbaugh still crazy
This week on Reality Cast, something of a departure with an
interview with Rachel Kramer Bussel, who has a new book of erotica for and by
women. Also, a sex education hoopla in New York state, the
dialogue on gay marriage really shifts, and Limbaugh deludes himself into
thinking he’s smart. Again.
If you haven’t heard it yet, there’s a really good MP3
online of a conference panel Ms. Magazine had on international family
planning. Here’s Kathy Spillar making
her opening remarks.
family planning conference
Obviously, that’s just a hint of what’s about to come. The U.S. is in a perverse situation. The majority of the responsibility for
funding these programs falls on our shoulders, but we’re uniquely short on lack
of will because we’re so conservative.
It’s a conundrum in American politics, and I can’t recommend my
interview last week with Jeff Sharlet enough as a primer on how things got this
While reasonable, caring parents across the country are
suffering because their kids are being denied basic comprehensive sex
education, a group of anxiety-ridden parents in New York state are throwing a
temper tantrum because their kids are lucky enough to be getting sex ed from
Planned Parenthood. Before I get into
the nature of these specific complaints, here’s a clip of a New York city
educator running down a general idea of what comprehensive sex ed teaches.
pp ed run down
Notice how abstinence is mentioned? It’s always
mentioned. No one is telling your kids
they have to have sex if they don’t want to.
In fact, sex educators are usually feminist-minded, and like the evil,
man-hating feminists we are, we usually make it very clear that no one should
have sex if they don’t want to. Ideally,
a comprehensive sex education course takes time to really talk to kids about
why coercion is really bad, not to say criminal.
That same video has a doctor explaining what life was like
under the regime that this group and all anti-choice groups would like to bring
I continue to be astounded that parents are willing to
sacrifice their children’s health or happiness in service of an ideology. On my more optimistic days, I think they’re
just ignorant. But then I look at the
website of this group, and I see that they engage in the same lies and
misinformation. They tell kids that
condoms don’t work, which just encourages kids not to use condoms. Like this quote: "Why do you assume that
kids, many of whom are impaired at the time by drugs or alcohol, will put on
the condom before any emission or arousal, a wildly implausible scenario?" End quote.
Okay, so they think that a kid high on drugs might use a
condom wrong, so the solution is to have same kid high on drugs have sex
without even trying? Good god. The site pretty much puts to rest any doubts
that the group is about making sure that kids who have sex are punished with
maximum danger. Not very loving,
But it gets even sadder and weirder. Tracy Clark Flory of Salon has this angle covered.
The group’s website is covered with all these facts about
STDs and teen pregnancy. You know what
can’t get you pregnant or give you and STD?
Masturbation. Yes, even when
girls do it, the unplanned pregnancy rate is still zero from that
I was recently reading Rick Perlstein’s new book Nixonland,
and I recommend that all sex education advocates read this book. It’s about the rise of the populist right,
and sex education was a big issue in the 60s and 70s. People back then didn’t even pretend that they
promoted abstinence for health reasons.
It was all just outrage at the idea of an open acknowledgement of sex. One sex ed protester bragged that he hadn’t
ever talked about sex with his wife in their whole 17 years of marriage.
interview with Rachel Kramer bussel
The fallout of the California courts upholding the rights of
gays and lesbians to marry continues.
The tone this time is so much different than when Massachusetts did
it. This time out, even the most rabid
opponents of gay rights are feeling a little subdued. I was impressed because homobigot Tony
Perkins actually went on the Colbert Report, even though he knew what was going
tony perkins 1
Yeah, uh-huh. I love
these arguments. If you equate your
romantic love of your dog or a box turtle or even a relative with the love that
same sex couples who marry have for each other, then that’s a personal
issue. Seriously, don’t these people
realize how that sounds? You might as
well say, "Well, if I don’t get to hump my sister, you can’t marry the love of
Then Colbert went in for the kill.
tony perkins 2
Of course, the Bible is—and I know this will shock some of
our opposition listening to this—not actually the same document as our
Constitution. I know! The way people carry on, you’d think that
they’re one and the same thing. But
they’re not. In fact, and I know this
will be shocking, the Constitution actually forbids the government from
establishing a religion. Which of course
not only means that the Bible is not a government document, but by law it can’t
be treated that way. So even if Jesus
said anything about gay marriage, and he didn’t, that doesn’t mean that it’s
the law of the land.
Perkins was on plugging a new book he has out about faith
and public policy. Interestingly, while
he includes coded language about banning abortion on the front cover, I don’t
see anything about gay marriage. There’s
even stuff about global warming, believe it or not. I guess even Perkins is realizing gay
marriage is a losing issue. He certainly
didn’t want to talk about it on the Colbert Report—he complained towards the
end of the interview about it. Oh well,
shouldn’t have been such a reliable bigot, Tony.
Ellen DeGeneres also is riding high with glee. I shouldn’t have been, but I was impressed
and surprised when she confronted John McCain on her show about his lack of
support for gay marriage rights.
ellen rips mccain
You know, I don’t want to single out McCain because all the
major candidates dither like this on this issue. They do what McCain is doing here, and
admitting a) that homosexuality is a legitimate way of being and b) that same
sex relationships deserve rights and respect.
And then they deny that marriage shouldn’t be extended to same sex
couples. Because marriage is a country
club for straight people. Not very
excusive, since most people are straight and all of us can get married.
I’m glad Ellen showed how very un-American that idea
is. The government shouldn’t be in the
business of treating some citizens like they’re superior to others for
arbitrary reasons. That’s like Democracy
And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts. Going old school on the demagoguery today,
with a clip from Rush Limbaugh that probably needs no comment.
It’s obviously an understatement to note that Limbaugh is a
stellar example of unexamined privilege.
No woman, much less a black man, could suck up a ton of drugs and rave
maniacally on air for hours on end and become a millionaire. If there was a merit system, much less a
"feminazi plan", Limbaugh would be fulfilling his real talents begging for
change from people stepping over him on the sidewalk.