Originally published in Brass Lips
Lately, there’s been a lot of legal debate surrounding several facets of female reproductive health and liberties, namely abortion law reforms and the “war” against Planned Parenthood.
I am confused to as to why reproduction has become entirely a woman’s issue. Isn’t reproduction a 50/50 operation? Unless there has been some incredible advances in science, for every woman who uses these services there is a man who benefits from them as well. Undoubtedly there is a massive number of males who would loose their shit if things like abortion or birth control wasn’t available…but their needs are unarticulated.
The Texas senate recently passed a bill requiring women to have an ultrasound preceding a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before having an abortion (they are still waiting to get approval from the Texas House of Representatives). The expectant mother would be required to view the sonogram and listen to the heartbeat as a health care provider explains the image.
"We want to make sure that they're fully informed, that they understand the medical consequences, the psychological consequences and everything involved in the procedure," (Texas abortion bill author, Republican state Rep. Sid Miller, CBS News)
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the consequences of any medical procedure fully explained to the patient by any legitimate practitioner? Does Sid Miller really think women are superficially signing up for abortions like drunken college students in a tattoo shop? Are we all so incompetent that someone needs to force us to “really think about it first”…as if we are unable to make these considerations ourselves. Further, a well-conducted study from the New England Journal of Medicine examined the long considered “adverse psychological consequences” of abortion and has found that, "There is no evidence that abortion predisposes a woman to psychiatric and mental health problems," (Blum, NPR 27 Jan, 2011, “Abortions Not Linked To Mental Health Issues”, N. Shute). The study took a look at both women who chose to have an abortion and those who chose to have the child. Apparently, the psychological distress surrounding both groups of women were comparable both before the abortion or birth…probably considering they were PREGNANT WOMEN. However, after the abortion was performed, the stresses terminated and the women returned to their normal dispositions…whereas women who went ahead with the birth had a much greater risk of developing depression. Thus proving that it is worse for your heath to actually have a child, than abort it.
Furthermore, what kind of mandated castigation is handed out to the co-creator of these unborn children? As far as I know, the father is not legally required to participate in the sonogram procedure. You don’t have to be some livid feminist to note that the flagrant sexism surrounding this motion is insulting and negligent-- undermining the very “sexual responsibility” the system itself purports to defend and protect. If women are required to have the ultrasound, the father should be required to have his balls lashed in order to remind him of the consequences of his actions. But we all know it’s not just the male dominated government driving these changes, women are involved too. These issues are entwined within a snarl of various religious constitutions, political pretensions and electoral competitions- which made me think…What the hell is wrong with people? In an America that supposedly champions a division of church and state, our government is pretty goddamned preachy. Why is the topic of sexuality (i.e. baby-making) so touchy and avoided in our supposed progressive culture? These health reforms, along with public reproductive education and America’s general disgust and aversion to any discussion or public display of sexuality (in case you didn’t know, if asked most average Americans consider HBO’s super sexed primetime programming distasteful)… are all evidence of what must lie at the root of these issues: America hates sex.
I must mention here that a large part of this problem is indeed engrained in our common religious rearing, if even latent- it’s unavoidably imbedded. But for a moment, let’s appeal to our progressive nature. I would like to take a look into the past, before the advent of Christ to a time where sexuality was discussed quite differently in the religious context. No doubt the female was grossly oppressed but her sexuality was often worshiped, yes, indeed this was a feature necessary for reproduction as a means to real survival but nevertheless, the lustful appetites of men (and women) were recognized and acknowledged. We find images of various sexual exploits inscribed on three thousand year-old Egyptian tombs. These illustrate anal sex, fellatio, everyone’s favorite sixty-nine as well as depictions of orgiastic parties involving various genders and ages. Representations of homoerotic relationships are also found on ancient Greek lekythos (oil flasks) and narrated in elegiac verse. Mesopotamian mythological texts are highly erotic and clay phallic and vulvar votive offerings were commonly dedicated at the temples of central cult deities as well as used as magic amulets to ward off evil. The erotic was imbedded within the fibers of these ancient societies, the form of female and male genitalia was an image made to arouse and exalt, a public discussion of sex, both hetero and homo, was far from obscure. Of course, given the instability of such civilizations, relationships that endorsed population growth were favored. Yet, the means to this end varied and the many pleasures that lie within the body were not unknown nor necessarily concealed.
In America, propagation is no longer an issue. The traditional family model is constantly challenged, whether or not acknowledged this is due largely in part to the rising number of educated women (the correlation between women’s education and family size has been proven), and periods of economic instability. Perhaps it’s our traditionalism that tugs on our sensibilities, triggering an inclination toward the modest and an avoidance of perverse- so that we are too uncomfortable to talk about issues centered on sexuality. But let’s be honest, our commercial infrastructure is built on sex. Why? Because the average American needs to satisfy their suppressed erotic desires and has supported an industry that provides glimmers of this indulgence as an appropriate format. Media has become the only acceptable outlet for sexual fantasy because one can enjoy these exploits concealed within the comfort of their own home- if you think grandma ain’t watchin HBO’s sexy new show and getting wet (nature permitting) you’re lying to yourself.
Our sexuality is one of the biggest elephants in the room. Sure, some of you may transcend the norm, you may discuss sex much more openly than the average person, but I know you don’t always do this. There’s a time and place: we may talk about this with our lady friends, dudes may have a beer over their latest late night escapade but we sure as hell never talk about these things explicitly in a mixed gender setting. I can agree that some chick has bodacious tits with the boys but the minute I mention how I wanna do the wild thing with a dude that can pound me like the skinhead in Romper Stomper -the room goes silent. It’s awkward. You don’t want to think about your pals or your family gettin it on - but we all know we do it. We’ve created all these secret rules about how we do it and how we talk about it. It’s okay to talk a little about it with your doctor or your best friend but you never speak about it with your boss or your 80-year-old grandma. And we typically don’t say “fucking”, it’s just not lady-like or appropriate, “sex” and “love making” is polite or better yet, avoid any word that refers to IT at all! It’s okay to fuck your spouse and maybe even your boyfriend or girlfriend but it’s not okay if you’re too young, relatives, the same gender and it’s definitely not cool if your best friend is boning your mom (except really the rest of us think it kind of is). And then there’s the weird stuff, you know the things we’ve made so taboo that it gives a huge percentage of the population complexes and causes teenagers to commit suicide? Like Brokeback Mountain weird and the kind of sex that involves things bought at your local erotic novelty store or the weird shit you get into with the neighbors dog and a hot plate….
Our collective discomfort has been cultivated throughout our childhood. Our natural curiosities and young aspirations toward exploring the profundities of pleasure are oppressed before we are even given a chance to protest!
According to the Guttmacher Institute, In 2006 87% of U.S. public and private high schools taught abstinence as the most effective method to avoid pregnancy, HIV and other STDs. Later, a 2007 congressionally mandated study found that federally funded abstinence-only programs have no impact whatsoever on young people’s sexual behavior. Obviously. Talk about a waste of tax dollars! We all want to get it on, cause it feels good or at least is suppose to- it’s one of the most natural things we do! Yet, despite the innately vital characteristic of our sexuality, it is confined to grade school curriculum because our parents are usually much too uncomfortable to describe the in’s and out’s (literally) and the topic becomes the ultimate awkward issue. What’s worse is that our young wild libidos are trampled on and persecuted; we’re told it’s best to avoid sex at all costs and if we MUST indulge, we better fill ourselves with tiny pills and a multitude of latex’s and lubricants to avoid disease and pregnancy. The fear and shame championed by the public rhetoric shakes every child to the core. In reparation you’d think we would at the very least discuss how to masturbate for maximum gratification. Perhaps if children learned to please themselves (often a particular difficulty for young women) they wouldn’t seek out other forms of indulgence. It’s a shame we don’t have a public school course on sexual pleasure 101 or a discussion of how to harness one’s fetish. At the very least, we should revise our “traditional” beginning sex-ed course to include a discourse on various sexual orientations where all identities are treated equal. But alas, America would rather humiliate and shame children, condemn the slut and package the erotic so our fears, indulgences and bodies can be marketed and demoralized. “Sexuality as a sin” is one of the most exploited depravities and is vital to the ethical standards championed by our nations best-- which in turn perpetuates erotic guilt complex’s within the psyche of any person that wants to challenge the traditional husband-wife-missionary practice.
So does America really hate sex? Not really. In fact, we love it. I know I do. It’s probably my most favorite activity. I’d wager it’s a lot of people’s most favorite activity…and if it’s not they’re probably doing it wrong. Our bodies crave it. Why regulate pleasure? Why be in fear of our fantasies? I’m not attempting to incite some kind of utopian orgiastic revolution…I understand that some people are modest, that sex is personal and that creative sexpolration isn’t for everyone. However, I am attempting to demonstrate how seriously fucked up we are about fucking each other. Something fundamentally so instinctive and organic has been distorted as perverse, unnatural and downright wrong—unless of course it is performed within the approved guidelines. Let us not forget that we have murdered people because of their sexuality. I’ll tell you one thing, the way in which you choose to fuck doesn’t make you better than someone who does differently, a dick in an ass feels the same no matter whose ass it is. Humankind has indulged their sexual appetites in whatever way has felt best since we discovered the pleasures of flesh… I’m talking dick and pussy, dick on dick, pussy on pussy, pelvis on pelvis, assfucking, oral sex, ritual orgies, incest, pain, pleasure, fetish, foot jobs, hand jobs, bestiality, bukkake, MASTERbation…I mean, I could keep the list coming and coming…and none of this had been that big of an issue UNTIL some people decided to worship an unnatural god that condemns every natural fiber of our being and demands total devotion or else eternal punishment…. And so, isn’t it shocking that the largest, oldest organization of oppression, persecution and unnatural restraint is spearheading the political and social fight against free sexuality? For Christ sake someone help these people get off!
Enforced sexual regulation is an insult to our humanity. And as it is now, reproductive legislation is outrageously sexist. We are so afraid to acknowledge our erotic identities or offend others in doing so that we have essentially surrendered our bodies to moral dogmatists. I think it’s time to take it back, cram it up their ass and show em what it’s really liked to Get Fucked.