Saturday, June 29, 2013

Why be blunt about sex?

As anyone who's seen my antics over at What's Wrong With the World can tell you, I don't always get along with fellow social conservatives. Part of that is just due to my personality and the way I communicate - I'm aware that I can snap pretty easily at times, that I can focus on technicalities that irritate people, and that when I feel insulted I tend to escalate rather than blow things off. I'm not exactly pleasant - a revelation that surprises no one.

But aside from that, I catch a fair amount of shit because I'm highly critical of how social conservatives handle themselves when it comes to the topic of gay marriage and homosexuality in general. I also get some unique responses out of liberals because I ditch what I see as party-line criticisms of LGBT topics - this pussyfooting around the real issues, both in a moral and a secular sense. The short version is, everyone's afraid to talk about actual sex - the fact that the central problem with "gay relationships" is not the love, the hand-holding, or even these illustrated feelings of tenderness, but the abuse of sex and the malfunction of sexual interest.

I could see part of the problem, on the part of conservatives, is a general habit of avoiding vulgar talk - and really, there's no way to both clearly talk about sex and sexual desire without being vulgar. Not if you want to actually address the topic at hand, and trying to use talk of 'sodomy' in its place not only largely misses the point, but it's archaic-sounding besides to most ears. But I think a larger worry is one that crosses the liberal/conservative divide - people are uncomfortable talking about sex, period, in anything approaching a direct fashion. Especially - and this is key - once psychology starts getting wrapped up in it all. It's too broadly personal, it pulls people out of their comfort zone. Even obnoxious extreme-end liberals who love talking in broad senses about their polyamorous relationships and pansexual gender preferences will usually drop to a deer-in-headlights stare when you ask start asking questions about specific acts and mentalities. "So what should we think about someone who really craves a long, thick cock being jammed into their ass by a person they keep calling "daddy"?" will turn a lot of self-described hedonists into Church Ladies if it's coming from anything approaching a critic. I do not think these issues are restricted to liberals.

It's understandable, on a personal level, why people wouldn't want to talk about this. Un-fucking-fortunately, sex acts happen to be the central issue of contention in every topic from basic sexual morality to theological and metaphysical moral teaching to gay marriage to otherwise. If you remove the sex and the sexual desire, there is nothing - nada, nyet - wrong with a 'homosexual relationship'. Subtract that, and you're talking friendship, even deep friendship. The sex is everything, and that means we have to talk about it.

And if we don't? Then we subject ourselves to decades of vague discussions about "gay marriage" (when, really, it doesn't goddamn matter if two heterosexual men get married - THAT is an abuse of marriage too, even if they never have sex with each other), or "same-sex relationships" and "the gay lifestyle", as if the problems at hand is an unusual affinity for rainbows or a condemnation of two men living together and not getting married. Oops, too late - we already walked that route, and it's a large part of the reason why we're on the ropes.

Which is why I demand being blunt about sex, and why I regard a conservative fatwa against vulgarity on this topic - against reasoned vulgarity - to be not only short-sighted, but literally suicidal in the culture war. We cannot keep dressing this topic up and layering over it with code words meant to not scare off the most rabbit-like of church ladies. We have to face what the real problems are, what we are actually condemning. Otherwise we're going to repeatedly get sandbagged by people who portray us as 'being against love', as if 'love' were the problem with a cock ramming into the ass or down the throat.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

No surprises from the SCOTUS

The problem I have with the SCOTUS ruling isn't that it's 'a victory for gay marriage'. It's that it's the result of the court pulling a 'right' out of thin air, once again. Instead of quoting from Scalia's dissent this time around, I'll just quote from his ruling about sex-exclusive schools - which I think sums up the issue adequately, again and again.

Much of the Court's opinion is devoted to deprecating the closed mindedness of our forebears with regard to women's education, and even with regard to the treatment of women in areas that have nothing to do with education. Closed minded they were--as every age is, including our own, with regard to matters it cannot guess, because it simply does not consider them debatable. The virtue of a democratic system with a First Amendment is that it readily enables the people, over time, to be persuaded that what they took for granted is not so, and to change their laws accordingly. That system is destroyed if the smug assurances of each age are removed from the democratic process and written into the Constitution. So to counterbalance the Court's criticism of our ancestors, let me say a word in their praise: they left us free to change. The same cannot be said of this most illiberal Court, which has embarked on a course of inscribing one after another of the current preferences of the society (and in some cases only the counter majoritarian preferences of the society's law trained elite) into our Basic Law. Today it enshrines the notion that no substantial educational value is to be served by an all men's military academy--so that the decision by the people of Virginia to maintain such an institution denies equal protection to women who cannot attend that institution but can attend others. Since it is entirely clear that the Constitution of the United States--the old one--takes no sides in this educational debate, I dissent.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Homophobia is real.

It finally struck me today that homophobia is a real thing, an actual affliction. It's the fear of offending, upsetting, or insufficiently celebrating homosexuality in all of its manifestations.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More fun at What's Wrong With the World

I had another one of those long, fun conversations at What's Wrong With the World, once again over the topic of gays, gay marriage, and the general failure of social conservatives on that front. Not exactly productive on the surface - this time around I reacted to the catty and, frankly, fruity insults by the 'You've upset Lydia!' brigade responding with pretty direct mockery of my own - but as usual, there were some interesting anecdotes and lessons learned as a result of the entire exchange.


Monday, June 3, 2013

China seeking to tax single mothers

It's immoral, of course. But it's hard not to laugh a little.

Straight from the article:
The Regulation on Wuhan's Population and Family Planning Managementreleased by thecity's legislative affairs officeimposes financial penalties on unmarried mothersincludingthose who give birth to a child for a married man although she is aware the man is married.The aim is to intensify family planning management and keep the birth rate at a low level,according to the regulation.
Now, I'm pro-life. Life begins at conception, etc. And I have enough respect for freedom to regard this kind of government intrusiveness as absolutely foul.

On the other hand, I also have enough awareness of the sacramental nature of All Things Reproductive (especially abortion) on the secular left and the naive push towards making the government into a "well-meaning" overseer over more and more aspects of our lives. So I read this and honest to God, my gut instinct is to laugh.

Really though, it's not exactly farfetched in reasoning. Plenty of liberals have already played apologist for China's abortion policies - you know, the hand-wringing talk about how they have too many children there and the government must do SOMEthing. Just like, once the government is in on the health care game, suddenly they have warrant to dictate everything from smoking laws to sugar intake oversight (we have to keep costs low) - and hey, once you're walking down that road, it's the smallest step towards reasoning that the new life forms women tend to gestate in their wombs are also subject to a bit o' legislative oversight. After all, the government's going to have to provide for that kid, or deal with the fallout of his* being poorly raised and becoming a burden on society. And if that's the case, well... you have your warrant for taxing single moms.

In fact, it's China. Taxing is getting off light.

Anyway, on we go.

The draft states that an unmarried mother must pay a fine equivalent to at least twice the average income in the previous year
That's a hefty fine. On the other hand, taxes on cigarettes are substantial too. Don't want to pay 'em? Don't smoke. Or, if you do want to smoke, get that money together first, eh? So the same deal holds here. No one's saying you can't be a single mom. Why, just pay this modest fee and you're all set.

Yuan Xina professor of population studies at Nankai Universitysaid although the regulation is meant to check the number of children born out of wedlockit fails to take into account the complexity of society and is difficult to be carried out.
To which I say: oh yeah? Wanna bet? I have a feeling it's going to be very easy to carry out. Is a girl at a hospital giving birth? Well then, where's the father? Oh - you're not married? Alright, no problem. We've got your bill tallied and everything.

"For examplethe number of people who choose to be single has increased rapidly in recentyears," Yuan said. "If the regulation is carried outsuch people will not be able to legally have achildwhich is irrational.
No, they can legally have a child. They just have to pay the tax. And what's irrational about not allowing single people to have children without a penalty? Seriously - where does the logic train crash on this particular railway?

Finally, we have this complaint dressed up as a question:
"The regulation is ridiculous," added Wang Qionga professor at Wuhan University. "What if woman chooses to have a test tube baby without getting marriedShould she also be fined?" 
Let me consult my Magic Communist 8-Ball here... "Yes."

Huh. That was pretty easy, wasn't it professor?

(*'Don't you mean his or her, Crude?' You ask. I reply: it's China. They don't squander their 1-child permit on girls.)