Amanda reviews the annual march against women's rights and interviews Courtney Martin about the link between sex and eating disorders. Also, what happens when an abstinence-only true believer goes on "American Idol"?
Links in this episode:
Dan Savage interviews South Carolina
Jerry Horn at the March for Life
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters
"American Idol" meets abstinence-only
MTSS on abstinence
John Gibson mocks Heath Ledger
Gibson's obsessive gay panic
This week on Reality Cast, I'll have an interview with Courtney Martin on sex and eating disorders, a review of the odious March for Life, and a look into the clash between abstinence-only types and the show "American Idol".
Okay, so I can't play bits from Dan Savage's podcast on this show, because he likes the f-word so much, but I can point you guys to this brilliant segment he did on Bill Maher's show. Dan, who is unabashedly gay, decided to go to South Carolina to interview some hardcore conservative voters about their beliefs that the government should be based on the Bible. His conservative interview subjects seem to think the Bible is just one long book about how being gay is bad. In reality, it's barely mentioned.
*insert dan savage interviews*
Check out the whole thing.
So, the anti-choicers have a big holiday every year to celebrate Roe v. Wade, which gave them license to spread their particular brand of crazy all over the U.S. It's called the March For Life, and it's a non-stop sex-hating, woman-oppressing, Bible-thumping marathon. I was not impressed with Louisiana senator David Vitter's speech.
*insert david Vitter speech*
I thought it was a *legal* struggle to deprive women of rights and punish people for having sex. You don't have to convince someone they're wrong to have an abortion when you're throwing them in jail for it.
But I love getting lectured about morals by David Vitter. For those who have short memories, here's another speech he made last year, with his sad-looking wife standing by him at a press conference.
*insert david Vitter press conference 1*
By "actions in his past", he means sleeping with prostitutes. But it's all okay now!
*insert david Vitter press conference 2*
Okay, he got right with god and with his wife, and so we're supposed to move on. None of our business, right? This is between him, his god, and his wife.
Then why on earth is he out there trying to throw women in jail for something that's between them, and their families? I guess if we all got to be senators, then we too could squeak by with a press conference instead of the handcuffs.
What's kind of alarming about anti-choicers is that the leaders, at least, are so obsessed with the idea of conception that it's their only metaphor. Here's Jerry Horn at the March For Life parade, and he clearly can't think of anything in terms other than knocking someone up.
*insert jerry horn creepy speech*
He's talking about the organization, but the scripture he uses is clearly one that's popular because it's good sentimentality for arguing for forced childbirth. He can't make a baby, but he can make an organization and talk about it as if it were a baby!
Most of this interview consists of the anti-choicers complaining that the secular media doesn't broadcast non-stop propaganda about how Jesus really wants the federal government to make you have a baby at gunpoint.
Representative Steve King from Iowa got melodramatic.
*insert steve king*
Oh, it's much worse than that. Think of all the babies not being made because the late show is on and people are staying up to laugh instead of have sex without contraception. Abortion has nothing on that. David Letterman alone has decimated an entire generation because the would-be parents were laughing when they should have been copulating.
And speaking of, why on earth are all those people standing around listening to speeches while their sex cells die unused inside them? A holocaust! Never mind the actual holocausts where people suffered and died, people with names, families, lives. You know, actual people. Once you start breathing and feeling, these supposed pro-lifers stop caring. I'd suggest they all go take a visit to the Holocaust Museum, which is in the same city as the march after all. Wonder if they could muster up some sympathy for victims of the actual Holocaust, or if real people just interest them less than potential people.
So we don't leave this on a sad note, I will leave you with this wisdom from Bill Hicks.
*insert bill hicks gym sock*
Most if the abstinence-only energy out there is aimed at young women, of course, but it's worth noting that anti-choicers do reject the idea that young men should have sex before marriage. They don't reject it as much, of course, but they do reject it. While most virginity pledgers are girls, there are some boys who do it, maybe so anti-choicers can try to avoid accusations that they're unfair.
I mention this, because "American Idol" had a contestant on who is a young man who took a purity pledge with his father. I'm not sure if he doesn't have sisters with virginities his dad can obsess over or what, but rest assured, it was pretty damn creepy with a hint of incestual overtones.
*insert American idol 1*
He and his dad then show off the fact that they bought matching necklaces, the kinds that are two parts that fit together.
*insert American idol 2*
They then lean into each other and lock their necklaces together in a way that's not all creepy. Not even slightly. I shuddered because I'm cold. Their necklaces remind me of the pair my best friend in the 6th grade and I got, two halves of a heart that said, when you put them together, best friends forever. If these guys got their necklaces at Claire's like my 6th grade best friend and I did, they must have really stuck out amongst the girls buying Hannah Montana wigs and Hello Kitty gear.
The dad brags about how he's sheltered his son from the ravages of female lips for 19 years to the host, Ryan Seacrest, who actually is kind of funny for once.
*insert American idol 3*
I kind of feel bad for the people who brag about abstaining. No, really. They seem to think that everyone is standing around in awe of them, sort of the way women are supposed to gather around fashion magazines and exclaim over how these women seem to have really conquered the urge to eat. But sex doesn't work that way. The folks at the Midwest Teen Sex Show reminded us of what people are really thinking about the abstinence braggers.
Disclaimer: I know full well that it's unfair and kind of meany-headed to say that. But it's better to know what people are thinking than not, right?
What was kind of sad was that this guy not only thinks everyone is awed by his non-kissing ways, he seems to find his entire identity in it.
*insert American idol 4*
He's holding out his penis-key Claire's necklace while he says that, all full of himself. What's going to happen to him when he actually kisses a girl and has sex and isn't all special anymore? You shouldn't lose your identity with your virginity.
You won't BELIEVE what song he sings. I mean, it's not the perfect pick. The perfect pick would have been "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson. But this may be second best.
*insert American idol 5*
Of course, this guy's not the first virgin to find solace in that song. Michael Jackson sang it when he was really young, and he made the subtext a bit more textual.
*aint no sunshine outro*
Now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts. Fox News host John Gibson apparently thinks that because Heath Ledger played a gay cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain", the actor's sudden death is reason to mock him.
*insert john Gibson 1*
This is gay panic taken to a new level, since Ledger wasn't even gay. Lest there's any doubt that Gibson is being hateful because he suspects the Ledger wasn't 100% homophobic, Think Progress happily documented the fact that Gibson was obsessed with "Brokeback Mountain" when it came out. Apparently, he thought it was part of the shadowy "gay agenda" that has weekly meetings on recruitment strategies.
One of the commenters at Think Progress suggested the Gibson's obsession with the gay agenda might indicate that Gibson has secret fantasies he is scared to talk about. So then Gibson and his sidekick had to go over that on Gibson's show, giving him another opportunity to dehumanize not just gay people but anyone who doesn't hate gay people.
*insert john Gibson 2*