Monday, June 01, 2015

Why Did We Ever Make the Duggars Famous in the First Place?

From Cosmopolitan.  Yes, I'm posting from Cosmo now.

We are a society so schizophrenic about sex that we use images of half-naked girls barely out of their teens to sell everything from Internet service to hamburgers while we also spend millions on abstinence-only sex education. We have one of the highest unintended pregnancy rates in the developed world but fight legal battles over whether bosses should be able to decide what forms of birth control their employees can access. We live in a country where 1 in 5 women will be raped and where we also have politicians who see fit to publicly philosophize over what makes a rape "legitimate."

More here.

That, in a nutshell, explains why American attitudes about sex are downright insane. Essentially, our public discourse on sex is bipolar. I mean, literally bipolar. We have on one end of the spectrum the religious fundamentalists who offer sexual morality designed for paranoid and primitive Bronze Age people barely surviving the harsh desert environment in which they wandered endlessly. Needless to say, such situationally specific "morality" is, at the very least, harmful in the current era. On the other end of the spectrum are the amoral capitalist exploiters who would sell their own grandmothers into sexual slavery if they could get away with it and if it was profitable enough. For them, anything goes, any humiliating oppressive depiction, no matter how divorced from the real world, no matter how many kids see it online, or everywhere, really, as de facto sex education, as de facto education on what it means to be a man or woman.

In between, there is nothing. I mean, okay sure, there is in fact quite a good discourse on sexuality out there, one looking at sex realistically, where the aim is to empower individuals in a healthy and uplifting way. But it is a discourse which is totally marginalized. A discourse you have to find on your own. It is NOT part of the public discourse on sexuality. Consequently, the public discourse we have is utterly dominated by people who really ought just to shut their fucking mouths.

The Duggars, with or without the child molestation scandal, are a part of this. It's good that their show has been cancelled. One less voice for sexual insanity is a good thing.