We Don’t Have To Take It

You don’t have to take the 30 day sex challenge, and you don’t have to put up with the sex-phobic nonsense, and you don’t have to care what Glenn Beck thinks about your pretty face. Amanda explains why, and also interviews one of the finalists for the Fresh Focus sex ed video contest. But you do have to save your hymen for Jesus.

Links in this episode:
Saving My Hymen For Jesus
Charles Barkley v. "fake Christians"
Bill Clinton v. the anti-choicers
30 Day Sex Challenge
Glenn Beck wishes you were ugly


This week on Reality Cast, there's famous people bringing the fury against the wingnuts, a church that wants control over you sex life for 30 days, and an interview with one of the Fresh Focus video contest finalists Kamaya Lindquist. Also, further evidence that Glenn Beck's problems trace back to being rejected by a sexy feminist back in his college days.

First, a shout-out to Broad Comedy for doing a great video about the importance of saving your hymen for Jesus.

*insert hymen for jesus *

You can visit their website at broadcomedy.com. Believe me, that clip only grazes the surface of how funny they are. Their Soccer Mom Host sketch is sublime silliness.


I can say right now that I think the nation's patience with the sex-obsessed wingnuts is really running out. With that in mind, I thought I'd share with you some rants by famous people that have made me very, very happy. First, on CNN, Charles Barkley went off on the homophobes who hide behind religion.

  • insert charles barkley*

Man, was Wolf Blizter teed off. That mask of objectivity slid right off. What is with him and getting all bent out of shape at the first hint of truth on his show? It's CNN, not the magical land of Oz.

I mean, setting aside theoretical discussions about what makes someone a real Christian or not, Barkley was making the point that religion shouldn't be a magical shield to protect you from being judged by your actions. It's obvious that the hard right uses claims of religious devotion to make sure people tip-toe around their hateful behavior. This isn't a theological debate, like Blitzer clearly hopes to make it. It's about how religion is being used. Is it a matter of actual devotion? Or is it just a political tool? Think about Barkley's larger point there.

All the anti-choice blogs and YouTube channels are in a twitter lately, because Bill Clinton unleashed the fury on some anti-choicers who were protesting at a campaign stop in Ohio.

  • insert bill Clinton 1 *

Oh, it gets so much better. My heart started to soar, because he then starts whipping out the talking points that we reproductive rights activists have been trying so hard to get out there.

  • insert bill Clinton 2 *

This is crucial. Anti-choicers prefer to keep the discussion around abortion bans abstract. Like step one, ban abortion. Step two, no abortions! But if you confront them on the fact that it's more like step one, ban abortion, step two, start throwing women and doctors in jail, they start hedging. For exactly the reason Clinton states here: They know that openly demanding that we throw one in three American women in jail as murderers will not go over well with the public.

Talking point two, coming up. This one, as I'm sure you all know, is my favorite.

  • insert bill Clinton 3 *

This can't be stated enough. If a bill is brought up that actually reduces abortions by providing education and contraception, then it's almost guaranteed to have been introduced by someone who is pro-choice. You're not going to see people who hate abortion so badly they want to ban it support any measures that realistically reduce abortion, because the anti-choicers also have it out for contraception and education. There are a couple of anti-abortion members of Congress who have pushed for contraception and education bills on the hopes that it would reduce abortion, but all they've met with is resistance from the very people crying to Bill Clinton about fetuses.


* insert song and interview *


I can't even convey my depths of amusement at this CNN video on a minister issuing a 30 Day Sex Challenge to his congregation. I'm foggy on Christianity, but I don't remember it being a religion based strictly around controlling people's sex lives and enforcing gender norms.

  • insert 30 days 1 *

Best of both worlds! Let's reinforce both negative beliefs about sex at once. On one side, you have the tedious idea that sex in marriage is basically a chore done in between taking out the garbage and brushing your teeth. They interview a couple that is admirably willing to talk about how little sex they're getting. Well, the husband is, at least. The wife just sits and nods. They're boring, so I'll substitute some of this song from the Flight of the Conchords.

  • insert business time *

But the single guy taking the 30 day no sex challenge is awesome.

  • insert 30 days 2 *

I can't for the life of me imagine what woman wouldn't be thoroughly impressed by that. "You gave up sex for 30 whole days sometime in your mid-20s to impress a woman you hadn't met yet!" Yeah, that's one way to put it. In my world, we just call it a dry spell and don't try to dress it up.

Where to start with this. Well, first of all, the assumption fueling this whole exercise, which is that married people are undersexed but mature, while single people are oversexed and immature, is just a stupid stereotype that's flourished in the brains rot by bad sitcoms. In reality, married people do actually have more sex than single people on average.

But let's say that your married sex life is scant and uninspired. I'm not sure that the dutiful march to bed 30 nights in a row is really going to do it for you. Not that I think scheduling sex is a bad idea. It's actually a pretty useful way to reconnect with a long-term partner. But 30 days of mandatory sex threatens to feel like boot camp. Especially for women who are uncomfortable having sex on their period. Maybe the minister thinks women can just reschedule our periods for more convenient times.

And the single people thing makes no sense at all. The minister calls it a detox, as if sex is poison, but of course only for single people. It's the inclusion of single people that really shows what this is about, which establishing marriage as some sort of superior state. The church is portraying itself as hip and with it, but when I actually downloaded the guide to the 30 Day Sex Challenge, I found that they recommended the book "The Thrill of the Chaste" by notorious anti-choice nut Dawn Eden. Doesn't sound very progressive to me. Sounds like there's an agenda here, one that's about guilt-tripping people into gender role conformity.


And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts. Glenn Beck, who I personally would pay cold hard cash to avoid ever seeing naked, drops the standard fantasy that so many wingnut men have about progressive women.

  • insert glenn beck progressive women *

The logic behind the feminists are just ugly women thing goes like this: Ugly women have trouble getting dates. Feminists have trouble getting dates. So in order to get less dates, an ugly woman….. Wait, no, that doesn't make sense. If feminism really makes it hard for women to get dates, I figure it would be easier for attractive women to "get away" with being a feminist.

But honestly, there's no reason to believe that being a feminist means less dates. Less dates with tedious, horrible men like Glenn Beck, sure. But surely one has better things to do with her time, such as go on dates with interesting people.

Follow Amanda Marcotte on twitter: @amandamarcotte

  • invalid-0

    Thank you, RHRC, for including written transcripts for those who can’t download the podcast. I had no idea you did that. Thank you!

    I loved your take on the “30-Day Sex Challange” thing, Ms. Marcotte. You’ve summed it up well and you’ve explained perfectly just what is so creepy about it. I think I saw that same clip on the news, and I was utterly disgusted when he used the word “detox.” It’s blatantly meant to imply that single sex is wrong and that single people have no business enjoying it. The challange isn’t about enhancing your sex life, it’s about amending it to suit the church’s standards.

  • invalid-0

    Amanda, you should read _The Body and Society_ by Peter Brown. An analysis of early Christian attitudes on bodies and sex. I can’t help but think you’d find it interesting.