Abortion continues to be a weapon in the health care reform debate, Dr. Phil panics over teenage oral sex, and Shannon Boodram talks about young people’s sexual experiences.
Links in this episode:
On this episode of Reality Cast, I’ll be interviewing
Shannon Boodram about her new anthology on young people’s sexual
experiences. Also, the issue of
sexual health in the health care reform debates continues to distract, and Dr.
Phil does a ludicrous scare story about teenage girls and oral sex.
May I point you to a cute video about abstinence-only put
together by the League of Young Voters?
Abstinence-only proponents are misrepresenting a study on
delayed gratification. The
original study showed that kids who could resist eating a marshmellow not for
the promise of two later tended to better in life. This doesn’t actually mean
that waiting for marriage will make you a better person. The point was resisting temptation for
a greater reward was evidence that some kids were a bit more rational than
others. But there’s no evidence whatsoever that resisting premarital sex
results in a greater reward.
Delaying for no reason at all has not been shown to have any correlation
to better life outcomes.
NARAL’s Blog For Choice has a nice little video up detailing
how anti-choicers are using the issue of abortion in a cynical way, to obstruct
health care reform altogether. It’s
an interesting little game they’re playing, because there are layers upon
layers of deception going on here.
Anti-choicers are claiming that they merely want to stop government
funding for abortion from happening, even though that was never on the table. But if you listen closely, what they’re
really demanding is that women who currently have abortion coverage get that
care 1 *
That was, in order, David Beriet of 40 Days for Life, and
Rep. Bart Stupak. Here’s what the
explicit exclusion they’re demanding would do. All insurance companies in the country would be part of the
system, and so all of them would be forced to stop covering abortion. That means that anywhere from half to
87% of women who currently have abortion coverage would lose it. This is about depriving women of
currently existing benefits.
But it’s really more than that. Here’s the thing: Most people making these radical
anti-choice demands would not support a health care reform bill that did
explicitly exclude abortion coverage for all women. If Democrats give in on this demand, they’re immediately
going to move on to raising a panic because health care reform will cover
contraception and STD tests and treatment. Abortion is only one tool they have to use female sexuality
to raise a panic over health care reform.
This isn’t really about abortion, or sex even. It’s about using these things to create noise and shut down
health care reform.
There’s no reason to try to believe that anti-choice
hysteria over health care reform isn’t just part of a larger anti-health care
reform agenda. In fact,
anti-choicers themselves have done us the favor of linking the two explicitly.
care 2 *
What was interesting was that the American Life League’s
signs didn’t even bother to conceal that the real agenda is shutting down
health care reform. They didn’t
even reference the abortion smokescreen, and instead referenced the right wing
obsession with Ted Kennedy, and celebrated his death. How "pro-life" of them.
But as depressing as all this is, I do have some good news
to report. Senator Al Franken
introduced an appropriations amendment that would bar defense contractors from
government money if they cover up rapes committed by their employees or punish
rape victims who press charges or file lawsuits. It was brought forth because
of what happened to Jamie Leigh Jones, a woman who worked for Halliburton.
30 male Republican Senators voted against this amendment to
cut off defense contractors that do things like this to their employees.
Thank you, fine bloggers at Jezebel, for watching the Dr.
Phil show so I don’t have to.
Because Dr. Phil did a panic piece on teenagers having oral sex, and he
doesn’t even try to hide that this is one of those situations where everyone is
going to work up some outrage so they can titillate themselves by talking about
teenagers and oral sex. He really
gets into setting the stage, putting out some details to make this sound as filthy
and perverse as possible.
sex 1 *
Okay, even a libertine like myself has to admit that if your
kindergartner is involved in this sort of thing, I’d blanch, particularly if it
wasn’t just a matter of a couple of kids playing doctor. But in that case, that’s child
molestation and sexual assault, which is not what Dr. Phil is talking about
here. No, he’s talking about
consensual sexual relations between teenagers.
sex 2 *
Wait, did he just say 15 to 19 years old? 40% of the group
he’s trying to raise a panic about are legal adults who can vote, and the other
60% are pretty damn close. And he
doesn’t let you know that the percentages go up dramatically every year in that
cohort. So here’s what bothers me. Dr. Phil paints a picture of a young
woman who both sits in daddy’s lap playing with dolls and who has oral sex with
her male peers, and then he hits us with the big reveal, which is that she’s
probably 17 or 18 years old. And
we’re supposed to find the sex part creepy? I think if a 17-year-old is sitting in daddy’s lap playing
with dolls, that’s the perverted crap that needs to end. Gross, Dr. Phil. Give me an anonymous bathroom encounter
over a 17-year-old and her daddy playing like she’s 5. What, does he think girls that age
should be wearing pinafores and Mary Janes, too?
Or, he could be suggesting that because a woman used to be a
little girl, that means it is always gross that she has a sex life, even after
she’s an adult. Or maybe he means
that you should not have sex until everyone alive who remembers you as a little
girl is dead. That means most of
us can probably start having that sex stuff in our 50s, though some of us might
have to wait until our 60s or later.
That won’t really keep the human race alive, this strategy of waiting
until after menopause to have sex to protect your parents.
Of course, Dr. Phil is a firm believer that women don’t have
sexual desires of their own, so the hook for this episode is that teenage girls
are having oral sex because they’re all prostitutes doing it in exchange for
money. I’m not kidding.
sex 3 *
There’s no doubt in my mind that some women have sex they
don’t enjoy with men because they’re doormats. That doesn’t stop at adulthood, and in fact, social
conservatives of all stripes argue that female sexuality is primarily about
using sex to buy commitment from men.
But I would argue that women, like men, have sexual desires and
primarily have sex because their hormones push them towards it. I base my "women like sex" theory on
this thing called "real world evidence".
In fact, and I know this might really throw Dr. Phil for a loop, there’s
strong reasons to believe that women even have orgasms on occasion, and that
women enjoy these orgasm things so much that they even have them on their own
through a process called masturbation.
If women only have sex for male approval, popularity, and new shoes,
then there wouldn’t be any such thing as female masturbation. And yet, there it is.
The flip side of all this panic about teenage girl having
sex is the nudge-nudge, wink-wink amusement at famous teenage impregnator Levi
Johnston getting laid without bothering with boring girlie stuff like caring
about contraception. Johnston is
advertising pistachios for some reason.
sex 4 *
I bring this up, because it really shows how much this teen
sex panic is about basic sexism.
On one hand, popular culture shows like Dr. Phil are arguing, with a
straight face, that young women’s sexuality is so disgusting that it’s
basically impossible that a young woman could enjoy sex. On the other hand, you have ads like
this that treat young male sexuality with a warm indulgence, because it’s
inevitable and if they deem to take even the slightest responsibility, they’re
treated like heroes. Imagine how
much less dysfunctional our society would be without this paranoia and these
And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, you really think that
edition. Rachel Campos-Duffy on "The View" has the most asinine argument
against Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize I’ve heard to date.
Saying there won’t be peace until there’s no abortion sounds
like a threat to me, a threat to keep harassing, threatening, stalking,
shooting, and bombing until women stop aborting. Which they’ll never do, because women have always, always
found ways to end unwanted