Make Love Not War

Elizabeth Wood writes a thoughtful blog about open discussion of sexuality in Sex in the Public Square. If you have a few spare minutes, do take a look at what she has to say.

She has written a recent article where she discusses the possible restrictions of viewing, discussing, or even blogging about sexually related topics in public. In this case, her concern is with the restrictions on sexual content possibly placed by a variety of ISP’s, often our on-ramp to the world of the ‘Net. As Elizabeth continues, she points out how the the media panders to violence and the bloody, while acting purportedly offended at items of even nominal sexual content.

Elizabeth comments…

“I am convinced that, sexually speaking, we are about as schizophrenic as we can be. Yesterday I talked with my sister in Atlanta who told me that when she got up in the morning morning and turned on the television the news was reporting the story of a veterinarian in Japan who had had his arm bitten off by a crocodile (the event happened on April 11th). This was on a mainstream media channel on a large screen television. They showed the crocodile with the man’s arm in its mouth. Before breakfast. This is not going to be disturbing to children? The same channel also showed graphic coverage of the man who jumped from the Empire State Building yesterday. Not disturbing for children? But let a glimpse of Janet Jackson’s nipple escape onto the airwaves again — a nipple being something that lots of children are intimately familiar with and probably have happy memories of — and no doubt we will have another cultural panic about how disturbing that must be for kids. Severed limbs, okay. Healthy bodies, not so much.”

The article hit a hot button with me! Our media blathers on and on about whether Don Imus made racist comments, who the father of Anna Nicole Whatever’s child might be, or whether OJ really did it. And we all stand aghast when Janet Jackson’s breast appears accidentally at halftime of a Super Bowl due to a “costume malfunction” whatever the hell that is.

But do we stand so aghast when over 3,000 of our own young men and women won’t be coming home from Iraq? Or they come home with wounds to both body, mind, and spirit.

We simply have it backward. Maybe we should quit enjoying violence while abhorring sex and try it the other way around.

Make Love. Not War.

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3 responses to “Make Love Not War

  1. You are absolutely right, Neal. What I’ve been trying to understand is “Why?” Why is the one passion, sex, so ruthlessly forbidden as taboo and yet the other, killing and lesser injuries embraced? It’s not cut and dried. It is instead a somewhat convoluted web, but I’d like to share some salient points that I’ve been able to figure out.

    First to war. The powers that be do not highly value human life. To them, war is an economic means to an economic end. But to wage war, there must be some level of acceptance of the hostility by the public. They have to be desensitized to a good degree.

    The sex taboo, on the other hand, I think was originally accidental. It is interesting to note that some “primitive” societies do not have a sex taboo, having instead, for example, taboos concerning speech or temple etiquette. However, the sex taboo seems to be particularly potent and successful.

    Now, the United States has two main political motivations which trace back to the religious extremists and the economic opportunists that originally came here to evade persecution and make a quick buck, respectively. The latter, in my opinion, really don’t care whose wardrobe might malfunction on prime time, but do understand that the former is so terrified of sex that they actually believe that some sort of superstitious harm would actually come to their child from seeing a breast. Fear is effective. Very effective.

    But there’s also a profit motive. Take away their sexuality and then sexualize the merchandise. We embarrass a kids’ beauty pagent 12,000 miles away from home into removing a so-called “sexy body” event (much to the confusion of the locals) and we turn around and call inanimate sports cars “sexy.” Sex sells, as long as we can keep transferring the sexiness from the consumers to the products. If we allowed ourselves to be sexy, why would we need the Corvette?

    And then there’s the political shell game. War? Young men dying? Shell Shock? (Did I say Shell Shock? I meant PTSD) Don’t worry about that, John Q. Citizen, worry about Adam and Steve being allowed to marry each other. Why? Directly, the powers that be only frown upon gay marriage because it means more marriages, which means a more expensive payroll. But indirectly, it serves to rally a whole bunch of zealous busybodies who are so preoccupied with the splinters in Adam and Steve’s eyes, they can’t see the 2x4s in their own, to vote for their camp. But if sex weren’t “bad” this distraction tactic wouldn’t work. And it’s so easy! As an extreme example of this, Bills of Attainder are expressly forbidden by U.S. Constitution, BUT if you name the bill after a deceased Child killed by a SEX offender, *POOF* it passes into law. (Note that naming a bill after a child tortured, hacked to pieces, and eaten by a cannibal does not work, unless SEX is somehow involved.) People are so afraid of sex, that when a convicted murderer’s has finished paying his debt to society he goes free, but when a SEX offender has finished paying his debt to society he can be remanded to preemptive “civil” confinement for the rest of his life. Not only does this legislation fly, politicians get PRAISE for doing it. Why would politicians give this up without a vigorous fight? It is in their best interest to promote the SEX fear right alongside the TERRORIST fear as much as they possibly can. Fear is very, very effective at controlling the populace.

    Make Love, Not War. I wish, my friend, I wish. But if little Timmy and Mary start playing with each other instead of toy guns, who’s going to “protect the interests of democracy?”

  2. Just the other day a friend of mine said she’d rather take her elementary school son to a violent movie than one with a lot of sexual inuendo. And we wonder at the violence in our culture?

  3. Depending upon the actual sexual content, such a movie may not be appropriate for a kid on that basis. I do know for sure that a violent movie is certainly not appropriate for a kid. At least as they exist today.

    As Tom mentions in his comment, it might be the case that there might be both cultural as well as commercial rationale for promoting violence and making sexuality a taboo.

    It’s really easy to get numb to the violence in our world, or at least desensitized. Until till we wake up to the violence “close to home”.

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