Episode 4: The New Era of Teen Sex Information and Much More

The new era of teen sex information, reminding TV show hosts that breasts are for babies, a defense of Planned Parenthood in Aurora, IL, interview with Hanne Blank and some Freddie Mercury love on this week’s Reality Cast. Also, our first advice seeker returns with a follow-up.

Links from this episode:
Midwest Teen Sex Show
Hannity show on Planned Parenthood
Louis Black on Planned Parenthood intimidation campaign in Austin
Bill Maher abuses breast feeders
Paul McHugh denies rape trauma
Info on Dr. George Tiller


In this week's edition of Reality Cast, we'll have an interview with author and sexpert Hanne Blank, defenses of both Planned Parenthood's right to defend themselves and women's right to breast feed in public, and a previous mailbag caller comes back with a follow-up.

But first, I have to grovel before my latest obsession. How much am I in love with the Midwest Teen Sex Show? It's just a five minute video podcast about teen sexuality, but it's so different from 95% of the sex stuff for teenagers out there, because it's actually entertaining and doesn't talk down to its audience. And they're raunchy, which is always the better way to go about it when talking about sex, because otherwise people forget what the subject is. And they're funny! Like this sketch about a creepy gym teacher:

*insert audio*

Or this one about places to do it for the first time:

*insert audio*

They make me want to give up my dirty joke-telling career, they're so good at it. So, check it out. And share it with the young victims of abstinence-only education in your life.

Bill Maher gets a lot of credit for being a lover of freedom and a fierce defender of civil liberties. But I have to quarrel with his and his fans' self-satisfied notion that he's consistently pro-freedom. There's one big time trump card with Maher. When it comes to a battle between his belief in civil liberties and his belief that women are basically here to be eye candy for him, the latter belief will win out every time. Why else do you think he loves to host right wingers with pseudo-fascist tendencies, so long as they show up in short skirts and shiny hair?

He made his real priorities quite clear in a recent episode of his show where his love of liberty disappeared in the face of his disapproval for women who take out their breasts for any other reason than to give him a show.

*maher clip one*

In case you didn't get the point, he drove home that he's got no problem with tits displayed for his eyeballs.

*maher clip two*

How old is this guy that he's jealous that a boob might be whipped out for a baby and not for him? Shouldn't that "boobies mine!" attitude fade away by the time you're old enough to cut your own meat?

Maher demonstrates the danger of talking out of your ass about things you don't understand. I've never nursed a baby, but it takes two minutes of research to find out that it's a pretty time-consuming task, since babies like to eat all the time. Which means you nurse in public or don't get out much at all. Given those options, it's hard not to point out that Maher's establishing a dichotomy here. If you're willing to take on the task of making sure you're always ready to be Bill Maher's eye candy, you get to go out in public. If you're going to do things that make him feel like you have other things on your mind than being sexy for him, it's best to stay at home. Add into this situation that breast feeding is far healthier for babies, and now you've got Maher actively discouraging healthy child-rearing practices for his own aesthetic pleasure.

Maher justifies his nasty swipe at a nursing mother's right to be out in public by saying that lactivism is a boutique cause, and distracts from important things like global warming and the war in Iraq. It's worth noting that he, on the same show, defended the important task of swapping naked pictures of teenage movie stars on the internet. Defending a mother's right to be in public is a boutique cause, but keeping the racy pictures streaming onto his computer must be right up there in importance with saving the planet.


Interview with Hanne Blank


I did not at first take your advice about the guy, and I dated him (halfheartedly, but still) for the last couple of weeks. Until Friday night, that is, when I offered to spend the night with him; he asked "what would happen" if I did, and I said I was going to go to sleep because I was too tired and drunk to have sex. And he replied, that in that case, he did not want to spend the night with me. Now, he had acted like this all along in subtle ways, but this was too much to overlook. So, basically, he was just as manipulative as his first action indicated. And I overlooked it because I thought the alternatives were him or nothing. Oh, well.

I love reading advice columns, but one thing that always bugs me is that there's a real "easier said than done" issue with a lot of the advice. I advised Confused College Girl to drop the dude after he tried to stick it in without a condom, but even as I said that, I was thinking "easier said than done". Which is why I want to thank Confused for the follow-up. If it was that easy to shrug off all the pressures put on us, then there'd be no real need for advice columns.

So, now instead of piling unnecessary advice on our friend, I'm going to offer some unsolicited advice to those out there who are inclined to act like this guy that just got himself dumped. Pressuring someone to have sex with you before she's ready might seem like the fast track to some action, but as you can see from this situation, it's actually a way to maximize the number of nights at home by yourself with a box of tissues and another porn charge on your credit card.

I cannot emphasize this enough for the pushy people out there: The best way to get someone in bed is to make sleeping with you seem really appealing. Watch some ads on TV. Which ones do you like better—the ones that are like, "Use our product or else horrible things will happen to you?" or the ones that are like, "Using our product is unbelievably fun and puts a bounce in your step?" Odds are you like the latter better. Now, dating isn't exactly like marketing, but I think the lesson applies. People respond better if you entice them rather than bully them.

Please send mailbag questions to amanda at rh reality check dot org. We do not dispense medical advice at the mailbag, so please direct medical questions to your health practioner.

First story of the week is about another instance of how the anti-choice movement mysteriously finds itself unable to play straight with people. Could it be that opposition to women's rights and sexual freedom just isn't that popular, so they have to lie and deflect attention from their true purposes to get any support? The latest weak attempt to oppose the pro-choice movement through misdirection and subterfuge is their harassment campaign against Planned Parenthood in Aurora, Illinois. Unable to state straightforwardly that they don't want women to receive affordable, reliable health care, especially abortion services, anti-choicers are instead pretending to be outraged that Planned Parenthood dared use a management company to build their newest clinic.

Sean Hannity's show picked up the B.S.

*insert hannity segment*

Oh, come off of it. I doubt anyone actually cares if Planned Parenthood filed their permits under an affiliate, at least no one who puts effort into thinking about the issue for more than a microsecond. And I seriously doubt that the people fussing over this are pouring over the building permits in Aurora to make sure that no one "lies" about their company name. The opposition to Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with this building permit issue and everything to do with anti-choicers being aggrieved that they didn't get an early start on their harassment campaign against health workers and women.

If Planned Parenthood has to use third party affliates to get their construction done, it's because they have a long history with anti-choicers using thinly veiled threats of violence to prevent even the building of clinics. I should know; I live in Austin, Texas and we had one of the longest, most hair-raising intimidation campaigns against a new Planned Parenthood in recent memory. Local anti-choice nut Chris Danze put together a "boycott" of construction workers to prevent Planned Parenthood from getting built, but as you can imagine, this "boycott" wasn't exactly voluntary. Louis Black of the Austin Chronicle wrote about it in November 2003.

Danze is just as clear that this is not about personal conscience but the power of threat. The Daily Texan quotes him as saying, "The construction community here is very small, and when someone's working on a job, it's not something you can keep a secret very easily. We have people going by that job site two, three, four times a day. We're going to know everybody who works at that site."

In other words, you refuse to work for Planned Parenthood or Danze writes your name on a little list called "Or Else". Unspoken threats are easier to get by the cops, but they're just as effective as spoken ones. I don't blame Chicago Planned Parenthood for taking measures to avoid Mafioso techniques like this against them.

The levels of bull in that Hannity segment astound me. Notice how the reporter tries to make it sound like there's something wrong with a medical clinic trying to shield its patients from abuse? The protesters don't just want to "talk to" the patients anymore than guys who catcall you on the sidewalk just want you to smile at them. This is about harassment. And I love how anti-choice protesters are so entitled. My god, those strange women going into the clinic are their property, dammit, and Planned Parenthood is denying them their god-given right to berate these strangers.

I'm also fond the guy who says that plenty of people are not morally opposed to abortion, they just don't want it in their city. I don't disbelieve that; hypocrisy is the calling card of the right. It's the same kind of people that pass laws banning gay marriage while cruising for gay sex in bathrooms.

Anti-choice blogger Jill Stanek has been recording her observations of the protest on her blog, making sure to take plenty of swipes at Chicago Planned Parenthood director Steve Trombley because she thinks he acts queer. She's also been posting photo montages on YouTube, and this weekend the backing music for one was "We Will Rock You", sung of course by that paragon of hetero manliness Freddie Mercury of Queen. Yes, they despise us liberals and queers, but they can't even put together a simple video without unintentional help from us. It's brilliance like that from our opposition that gets me out of bed in the morning.


Last week's rip-off of the Daily Show's moment of zen got me links from Feministing and Feministe, and I'm big on giving the people what they want. And what the people want is short quotes exposing the depths of wingnuttery out there. This week's is from an interview with Dr. Paul McHugh, who was hired by the disgraceful panty-sniffing former attorney general Phill Kline of Kansas as part of Kline's relentless harassment campaign against Witchita doctor George Tiller, who runs a clinic that performs late-term abortions. Here's Dr. McHugh denying that a young woman might suffer from psychiatric problems after being raped and forced to carry a pregnancy to term.

*dr mchugh clip*

It's noteworthy that Kline was never able to prove that Tiller for performed illegal late-term abortions in Kansas. Kline lost his re-election campaign in 2006, because Kansas voters seem to feel their justice system should be prosecuting criminals instead of harassing law-abiding citizens. Dr. Tiller is still being harassed by anti-choice prosecuters, though it's hard to imagine that he doesn't follow the law very carefully since he's under non-stop investigation. On top of the legal harassment, Dr. Tiller has persevered despite a firebombing of his clinic in 1986 and being shot 6 times in 1993.

Follow Amanda Marcotte on twitter: @amandamarcotte

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    But my moment of zen was when you rolled out “We Will Rock You.” :)

    Another great episode!