Hot and Bothered! The Not-So-Hidden Issue In Our Political Climate Today. Let’s Talk About SEX!


To begin:

WHAT I BELIEVE ABOUT SEX:

These first 5 statements are taken directly from SEICUS (www.seicus.org) Do check them out, they are outstanding.

  1. Sexual rights are human rights, and they are based on the inherent freedom, dignity, and equality of all human beings. Sexual rights include the right to bodily integrity, sexual safety, sexual privacy, sexual pleasure, and sexual healthcare; the right to make free and informed sexual and reproductive choices; and the right to have access to sexual information based on sound scientific evidence. 
  2. All people have a right to healthcare services that promote, maintain, and if needed, restore sexual and reproductive health. Healthcare providers should assess sexual and reproductive health needs and concerns as integral parts of each individual’s health and wellness care and make appropriate resources available.
  3. Sexuality is an intrinsic component of human identity. The variety of cultural beliefs, values, and customs related to sexuality has profound influence on both society and individuals. Cultural beliefs and norms are influenced and expressed through many institutions including families, communities, schools, faith-based organizations, and mass media.  These institutions have an obligation to affirm sexuality in ways that support the sexual health and rights of all members of any society.
  4. Sexuality education is a lifelong process that begins at birth. Parents/caregivers, family, peers, partners, schools, religious organizations, and the media influence the messages people receive about sexuality at all stages of life. All people have the right to accurate information and age- and developmentally appropriate education about sexuality. Sexuality education should addresses the biological, sociocultural, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of sexuality within the cognitive learning domain (information), the affective learning domain (feelings, values, and attitudes), and the behavioral learning domain (communication, decision-making, and other skills). 
  5. Human sexuality encompasses the sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors of individuals. Its various dimensions involve the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the sexual response system; identity, orientation, roles, and personality; and thoughts, feelings, and relationships. Sexuality is influenced by ethical, spiritual, cultural, and moral concerns. All persons are sexual, in the broadest sense of the word.

**Disclaimer: The below blog post will be discussing things of a sexual nature, although not explicit. Sex is a part of life. If you would prefer to not read things that pertain to sex and/or life, please stop reading at the end of this disclaimer. Also, while the author of this post is staunchly and 100% stuck in the “Independent and Pissed Off” political party, it doesn’t change the fact that she is completely and totally irritated by one particular party in our very, very flawed American system. See if you can guess who wins that prize… If there are further things to disclaim, they have flown from my mind. My apologies. Read on, y’all. **

If you do a quick and completely non-scientific social survey, I bet the top topics trending right now from the politico-sphere (is that a word? It is now!) include:

  • Access to birth control
  • Violence Against Women Act
  • Abortion/Planned Parenthood/ “Those babies could all be adopted!” (Note that no comment was made about the fact that there are already almost 500,000 children in the foster care system)
  • Rush Limbaugh being attention seeking and inappropriate (This is not news. He makes his living being insufferable and inappropriate.)
  • Poor people being characterized as “freeloaders” for taking government benefits to feed their kids/families etc..
  • Religion and sexuality
  • Rick Santorum making some inane comment about women belonging at home and the traditional family yadda yadda yadda

POP QUIZ! What two things are common trends to every single one of those bullet points??

  1. SEX (should be obvious)
  2. Women.

Yep. Women, their sex lives, and their reproductive health are making waves lately. If it’s not (pardon the expression) middle aged owners of a penis (aka men) philosophizing on the needs of women and their birth control and/or so-called “promiscuity” for using birth control, it’s another middle aged (and clearly unstable) man using foul language to describe a woman who is open about her sexuality.

Why IS that do you think?

Why has, predominately the GOP, decided to really bang the social conservatism drum so hard that it has bordered on absurdity?

It blows my mind.

We have hypocritical candidates who spend their time going on about how they could ‘abolish’ Planned Parenthood (Yes, Mitt Romney, I am talking about YOU. Did you forget that 2002 P.P. endorsement you SOUGHT OUT?) and we have candidates like Rick Santorum and at times, Ron Paul, that are, in fact, garnering an almost alarming amount of support DESPITE archaic position points.

I can tell you the abortion stand point of every single person who has campaigned for nomination thus far and I avoid the news like the plague. I could not, however, tell you the long-term foreign policy goals or the position on higher education that everyone has. Nope. That isn’t broadcast to the world and beyond. Why talk about that? It’s not titillating!

This election season has only just begun and yet instead of talking about the economy (everyone says we need more jobs. No shit, Sherlock.) we are talking about “TRANS-VAGINAL ultrasounds” and other aspects of women’s reproductive health. Awesome.

We are talking about premarital sex, pornography and abstinence-only education. We are talking about abortion and all things birth control. To top it off, we are not only talking about these issues but we are talking about them from the standpoint of the male perception of women’s reproductive rights. The voice for women was, most notably, denied being allowed to speak when a Congressional hearing was called and the speakers for the issue of “insurance coverage of oral contraceptive pills” were all men. (http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-02-16/news/31069194_1_family-planning-panel-witness) Interesting, isn’t it? I don’t remember any men giving birth while I was in labor with my daughter…yeah…must be that whole “lacking a uterus” thing. Of COURSE it would make total sense to have a group of people with ZERO chance of every falling pregnant, discussing the best or worst ways to prevent it.

I am not out to make this a sexism issue. It is making itself into that issue.

As Sally Kohn, of Fox News wrote:

While women voters might rather focus on jobs and the economy, watching Republicans jeopardize women’s health and reproductive freedom while slandering those who try and stand in their way is enough to make women demand not only good jobs and fair pay but political leaders who respect the liberty and rights of women in America. “

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/15/yes-there-is-republican-war-on-women-voters/#content#ixzz1pLKNANGh

We are a country at odds with ourselves when it comes to who or what is getting in our pants and not the pants of men…oh no…we are most concerned about what goes on when the SKIRTS are flipped up. Yep. It seems that politically, we are more obsessed with vag than a teenage kid in a hormonal spike. If we aren’t freaking out about people getting access, we are wracking our brains to try and figure out a new way to keep people out of it. It’s exhausting keeping up with it all.

  • On one hand, we have the camp that states that sex is beautiful, spiritual and absolutely ok…when regulated according to religious mandates and traditions and used predominately for the procreation of children within a heterosexual monogamous married relationship. That’s a mouthful.
  • On another hand, we have the camp that states that sex is a decision best left between the consenting partners engaging in it and, with few exceptions, is generally not for regulation at all. (Obviously sexual acts that cause harm to vulnerable populations or that is without consent is NEVER ok.)
  • Then we have people in the middle, like me, that really prefer to keep our own sex lives to ourselves and would greatly appreciate it if the government stays out of our collective lingerie drawers, no matter our marital status or sexual orientation. Let me enjoy my sex life (or lack thereof) and I shall give you the same courtesy, dear sex-police-politicians.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Another example that keeps getting bandied about in our little orgy of political-sex.

Rick Santorum wants to ban pornography and has expressed his distaste and moral outrage at the sex industry in general.

Ah, the sex industry. Let’s talk about that for a moment. Such a fickle thing.

It encompasses everything from prostitution (illegal in all states except Nevada in the US) to strip clubs (only illegal in some places) to pornography and adult films etc…

It has been accused of being the catalyst to the breakdown of society, family values, marriage covenants etc… It has been widely acknowledged as objectifying and at times, very dangerous, towards the sex workers themselves.

Let me be clear here. Porn addiction is a real thing. Human trafficking is a VERY real thing and many victims do in fact find themselves in the sex industry against their will. Violence and exploitation of sex workers is a real thing. So is psychological damage. The risks are there and they can be very grave. Personally? I am not a huge fan of the porn industry in my own life so I choose not to participate in it or purchase from it. But that’s just me.

Still, people do choose to be workers within the industry each day. Some choose to be an escort, others to be an actress, a camgirl, a phone sex operator, or a stripper. Why? My bet is the money.

Take “Diamond” a stripper in Vegas. She has a booming market for her trade. She isn’t breaking any laws. She is not a prostitute. The hours allow her to spend time with her family. She enjoys her work. She pays taxes. She contributes to society (a society that has consistently created a demand for her services). What do we do with her?

There are an estimated 2,400 strip clubs/topless clubs alone in the United States. If you think that the average club has, what, 15? 20 dancers on rotation? That means that roughly 480,000 people, women and men, are employed daily in that aspect of the sex industry. Put into perspective, that is roughly the population of the state of Wyoming…in exotic dancers. (Source: Stripped by Berndadette Barton)

The sex industry, however seedy and damaging, is responsible for, at least in 2007, 12 billion dollars of the retail sales of adult films on DVD. 12. Billion. Dollars. Spent on watching other people have varying forms of sex. And that is JUST the DVD’s. We have the internet…the clubs…the “toys”…it adds up, doesn’t it?

Americans, we may like to say that we vote like sexual puritans, but there are clearly large numbers of us that certainly don’t LIVE like sexual puritans…

I could continue on this topic for a good long while, but I think I shall stop here and go play with my kid. I would be interested to know what issues of the social conservatism media-blitz have you all hot and bothered! Please comment and let me know! I love to continue the conversation!

Peace, Love, and healthy attitudes towards sex,

Bekah

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Comments
3 Responses to “Hot and Bothered! The Not-So-Hidden Issue In Our Political Climate Today. Let’s Talk About SEX!”
  1. Shauna C. says:

    I love this. I share almost the entire viewpoint on this as you do. I did a little of my own research on the birth control and health insurance coverage issue (using drugstore.com of course). The average pack of birth control pills, retail, is about $50/month. A months supply of Viagra (assuming the man would like to pitch a tent 10 times in a month) is $220. Which of these is going to actually cost the insurance companies more? Now I know much of the argument has to do with promoting sex and not abstinence etc, but one of the argument is the cost. Employers are crying foul because their health insurance premiums are going to go up if they have to cover birth control pills, right? Well what I want to know is are these same companies willing to cover Viagra? My copay for either drug assuming I had a need for Viagra would be the same. I would be paying $40 for my current birth control pill or the Viagra. (My current pill is $84/month). That means the insurance company would pay $44 for my pill and $180 for the Viagra!! So if they are going to complain about birth control costing too much to cover, then I really REALLY hope they are not going to cover erectile dysfunction medication. My guess is that they would, because as you pointed out, it’s the men that are making these decisions, and they always say that men think with their you know whats.

  2. Nick says:

    Man such ferocity! Although I do really appreciate your views and zeal behind it.

  3. Casey says:

    The beat on the social conservative drum is to shift conversation away from the economy, which is getting better, toward social issues where they can paint their enemies as people of poor character. By wrapping themselves in G-d and taking a stance against sex they are calling out to their socially conservative religious base that birth control is equivalent to pre-martial sex, abortion is murder because people won’t take responsibility for consequences, and that liberals are trying to use their tax dollars as another hand out. All of these tie into a theme of irresponsibility and increased power for females.

    In the last 15 years, the GOP effectively captured the small town, religious, white, elderly and male vote (any combination) by playing on themes of victimization. The world has changed and those who have lost their control or power are afraid of the rising power of woman, minorities, foreign powers, technology, and homosexuals. There is a fear of helplessness, retaliation, being taken advantage of and change that causes them to blame others and lash out. It is why they vote against their interests, they still want to behave as if they are entitled. It is why they love the patrician Reagan who made them feel safe and that everything was in control. It is why they love to attack the “Liberal Media” that picks on their worldview with facts or claim that their freedoms are being taken away by the smallest issue. It is why they are terrified that a biracial man in office is going to punish them or never let them have their power back. It is also why Sarah Palin plays so well. Her whole schtick is that she is a victim of sexists, liberals, intellectuals, the media, rivals, or anyone because they are trying to hold her down. It is not that XX group finds her competence or intelligence lacking, it is because she is just a XX from a small town and they don’t want her around because of XX reason. It really resonates with a lot of people who feel like they are judged, held back or had beliefs forced on them by those who think they are better than them.

    So… basically this started as the GOP trying to score some outrage points with their conservative base with the trope of “Liberals forcing someone to violate their beliefs.” They followed up with the trope that “Liberals don’t believe in sanctity of marriage and want to encourage irresponsible consequence free sex (which is unchristian).” They played it safe by not letting women testify and make a scene. Rush did his best to marginalize the female that the democrats were able to get to speak at another opportunity. It would have been business as usual except Rush pushed too hard and on a non-public figure and that Rick Santorum is a crazy person. If Santorum wasn’t keeping this in the news, then all of their efforts to keep women from having power over their own bodies would have stayed out of the national spotlight.

    The GOP party and a large part of their base resent and fear the power of women. Women who will be assertive, who will not be defined by their man and who will not keep their mouths shut. If they cannot keep women down then women will usurp their roles, take away their power and emasculate them. Their self worth is based on the respect that comes from having power over women and minorities. Taking women down a peg through control of their vaginas (the only part they care about) keeps men up and safe from the aforementioned fears.

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