Wednesday October 02, 2002
I’m really tired of people who think it’s their duty to make sure the rest of us behave properly.
I’m especially tired of vocal minorities who make a lot of fuss and manage to get far more than their share of air time and political attention by pressure tactics, and who are thus able to have a seriously disproportionate effect on the lives of the majority. But more than that, I’m really disgusted with people who don’t pay close enough attention to what’s happening in the country and world to discern the actions of such people and do something about it. They get what they deserve. Unfortunately the rest of us also get it. That pisses me off.
It seems that the Religious Right (read: Wrong) are at it again with our esteemed President leading the pack. Once more a small number of vocal, well-financed people with a jones to control behavior that’s none of their business are moving in for the kill.
The Prez is clearly against any form of effective sex education. Remembering nothing about his unsuccessful attempts to restrict himself to socially sanctioned behavior in his youth, he has jumped on the bandwagon of the “Abstinence” crowd vis-à-vis the matter of avoiding unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Apparently 13- through 18-year-old adolescents of the species Homo sapiens, arguably the least controllable and horniest creatures in the known universe, are expected by this bunch of geniuses to forgo the experiences they’ve been contemplating nonstop since the first spurt of hormones entered their bloodstreams.
Now I don’t for a second believe that these people never had their own little peccadilloes. Lord knows Duhbya did. His are on record down at the county courthouse. So are Dick Cheney’s. Neither of them has been accused of “doing it” without a license, but both have admitted a past of intoxication. Now, I was a teenage boy about the same time those guys were. I know what teenage boys thought of—nonstop—especially teenage boys of some privilege who were at the same time under the influence of alcohol as well as hormones. And guess what? Turned out it was the same thing a great many teenage girls of varying degrees of estate were also thinking! The results, I suspect, were the same among Dubby and Dickie’s crowd as they were my own.
If you don’t thing premarital sex is OK, that’s certainly your privilege. Personally, I think properly-educated young people with the necessary knowledge of the details are well-advised to perfect their skills and hone their pleasures as much as possible in preparation for that day when they will—at least in theory—cleave to one another excluding all others. At that point, if either of them is crummy in the sack, it’s likely too late to learn (certainly from each other…and who else would teach them?) and the stage is set for a greener pastures scenario by one or both at some point. But that’s just me. If you don’t think so, then sitting on your hands while a bunch of people motivated by God-only-knows-what repressions and sexual trauma promote a policy of inadequate education for YOUR kids and grandkids is inexcusable. The only chance you’ve got of keeping them out of each other’s pants is making sure they know what happens if they get it wrong. Even then it’s liable to happen, which makes getting it right even more important.
The fact is, for hundreds of thousands of years (or 6,000 if you prefer) humans developed sexually, paired off and started having kids at about the age kids nowadays enter high school. Suddenly, in the last few centuries, we in so-called Western civilization decided that such was no longer appropriate, and it was time for our young people to shape up and just ignore a million or so (or 6,000 if you prefer) years of programming and—by gosh! — Just say, “No.”
Worked great in the ‘80’s with those other mood-altering experiences, too.
I don’t want to seem crude here folks, but the fact is that nature, genetics, their parents’ behavior, TV, advertising, human instinct and a desire to separate from their families and start their own—among other influences—leads kids to want to fuck. They aren’t into the spirituality of the experience. They just want to make the ol’ critter with two backs, and telling them not to—in this day of poor supervision, working parents, impersonal schools and peer pressure—is about as likely to stop them as me waving my finger at substance abuse clients is going to get them to stop drinking and drugging.
You know how you get addicts to stop drinking, drugging and—yes—having sex? You don’t. They learn their lessons, one way or another, and they begin to want to stop, or at least to reduce the complications thereof. Then, if they get the right kind of guidance, they sometimes manage to change their behavior enough to accomplish it.
The point is, telling us humans not to drink and drug—telling us to not do anything that we really want to do—is useless. We have to find out the consequences for ourselves. That’s universal human nature, and it isn’t going to change.
Taken in that context, teenage sex is inevitable. Anyone who thinks that promoting abstinence to the exclusion of effective, accurate sex education is the answer to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases is simply an idiot. The only chance these kids have of avoiding the consequences of unwanted pregnancies and STD’s is if they have complete and accurate information to begin with. The cockamamie idea that we can trust parents—just as ill-educated on the subject (if not more so) than their kids—to do that is, again, the province of idiots.
So, since you clearly aren’t an idiot, (you didn’t, after all, stop reading this back at “fuck,”) what are you doing to make sure those poor kids get the information they need? Why aren’t YOU writing letters to politicians? Why aren’t YOU putting pressure on school boards to do the right thing, instead of the Right Thing. Why aren’t YOU helping to put an end to ignorance that might even have made your own life more difficult than it needed to be?
Write to the politician of your choice. Don’t be one of the folks who do nothing and then bore the rest of us complaining about the results.
©2002 William E. Webb