Monday, January 23, 2012

Sex-Positive Politics

A friend of mine shared this photo on facebook. Gay marriage. Marriage equality. Whatever you want to call it, a consenting adult should be able to marry another consenting adult without government interference. The conservatives and liberals in my political discussion group all agree on this issue. It just makes sense.

So why do all the candidates running for president oppose marriage equality? Ok, Obama thinks civil unions should be granted to gay people. It's not the same thing. It's separate and unequal.

Instead, presidential candidates run on these conservative family values platforms. No gay marriage. We wouldn't want to destroy the sanctity of marriage, says Newt Gingrich, the guy who just won the republican nomination in the South Carolina primary. The guy who is currently on wife number three after his first two models crapped out on him. I guess he forgot about the "in sickness and in health" part of his marriage vows. Twice.

But you know what? I don't care that Newt Gingrich committed adultery with his current wife, Wife Number Three, when Wife Number Two was sick and denied him his request for an open marriage. I mean, I think he's a jerk for doing that, but I don't think it makes him automatically a shitty world leader. A terrible husband, yes. A terrible president? Yes, but not because he's a jerk to his wife. Because he's a jerk to poor people.

Someone who wasn't a terrible president, who was much less of a jerk to poor people than Gingrich, is President Bill Clinton, the guy Gingrich tried to impeach. Clinton's an example of a good world leader who happened to be a shitty husband. Or maybe not. Maybe Former-President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have an arrangement. Which is their choice. Again, how two adults decide to love each other, as long as it's mutual, is none of my business.

Newt Gingrich made it his business when he tried to impeach the president over lying about his affair, while Gingrich was cheating on his own wife. Yep. Tits for tat. Sadly, this headline is not from The Onion, "U.S senator who tried to impeach Bill Clinton over the Lewinsky affair - admits he was having an affair too..."

It's all so ridiculous. And then President Clinton has the gumption to fire Joycelyn Elders for having an open mind to the idea of teaching our kids that loving their own body is a good way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Instead of firing her, perhaps President Clinton should have taken Dr. Elder's advice and masturbated instead of cheating on his wife with another woman.

Our society needs to teach children that masturbation in private is healthy and normal. I don't understand why people who are opposed to sex before marriage also tend to be anti-masturbation. How cruel is that?

I think we should talk to children about how masturbation in private is one of the healthiest ways to show you love yourself and to release natural biological urges while acting responsibly to not get pregnant before you want to and to not contract a sexually transmitted infection. I want to raise my daughter to be in charge of her own body and her own sexuality and to not feel that she has to "give" herself to anyone before she has decided she's ready.

With all the sex saturation in our society, I had a hard time just now thinking of pop culture references that glorify masturbation. Because everyone knows my daughter is not going to learn that masturbation is healthy and natural by hearing it in a sex ed class at her public school. Or by having her sex-positive feminist parents tell her it at home. She'll grasp an understanding of this fact through pop culture bombardment like all good Americans do. So here it is, yo. I'm calling for more artists to write pro-masturbation songs, publish pro-masturbation books, paint pro-masturbation pictures. Whatever your genre: we need more pro-masturbation artists telling our kids it's ok.

Here's what I came up with so far: Green Day's excellent song "Longview". It's not very sex positive, but at least it puts the topic out there. And from all the fans of the song we can see how people can relate to its sentiment. But pop culture needs more references to sex-positive masturbation. I wish more people knew how cool Betty Effing Dodson is: "Sexual pleasure and orgasm is the source of life and creativity. As we awaken our bodies through the senses, we awaken our minds to the knowledge that we are all related and connected to every living thing on planet Earth and throughout the vast universe." Take a look at her website. It's beautiful.

I posted on my political group's wall this link about the Joycelyn Elders firing. I mentioned my thoughts about teaching our kids that masturbation is healthy and natural. No one argued with me. I was surprised. If you listen to the people running for president, with their hypocritical speeches about family values, you'd think Americans were much less sexually evolved than we actually are.

It's time we get some sex-positive politics in this country.