As the California primary beckons, bringing the season to a climax, the would-be candidates have been asked questions about practically everything. I suppose we should be grateful that Hillary hasn’t been asked about the size of her hands.
As usual, there have been almost no questions regarding sexually-oriented policy. In our continuing effort to educate the media and politicians along with the public, here are 10 questions that serious candidates should answer:
* Will you encourage states to have a humane policy about sexting by minors? Especially if a state has an age of consent under 18 (half the states do)—so that people who can have sex legally can’t be prosecuted for taking nude selfies?
* Will you make sure that there’s enough funding so that anyone can get tested for an STI or potential pregnancy confidentially and anonymously within a two-hour bus ride of their house?
* Will you encourage the Congress to pass a law requiring all sex education to be medically accurate? After all, we expect geography and chemistry curricula to be accurate.
* Will you state that there is a clear difference between abortion and contraception, and that while people may differ about the ideal availability of abortion, science shows us the difference between the two? And that as a country we stand squarely for people’s access to contraception?
* Will you instruct the DOJ, HHS, and other relevant agencies that clitoridectomy of anyone under 18 (which is 100% of the cases) constitutes child neglect-abuse-endangerment (take your pick), and let every religious and ethnic community know this is American law? (Let’s not confuse the issue by bringing up circumcision, please.)
* Will you take sexual violence on campus seriously enough to come up with dependable, replicable figures on its occurrence—not the bizarre, demonstrably inaccurate “1 in 5” meme that your predecessor, some Senators, and so many activists toss around?
* Will you challenge state attorneys general to require local communities to prove they have a good reason to shut down strip clubs, swing clubs, and sex toy stores? Will you instruct the Department of Justice to examine the legality of cities inventing a Sexually Oriented Business category to create punitive zoning and taxation policies? Taxing a strip club differently than the ballet is clearly unconstitutional.
* Will you instruct the FBI to treat violence committed against clinics that offer legal abortion in the same way that they treat any organized violence against legal enterprises—i.e., as potential racketeering activity?
* Will you challenge the Department of Education to give new instructions to college campuses, requiring that all cases of alleged sexual violence be referred to local police and due process judicial proceedings, rather than instructing colleges to throw together “courts” of non-trained administrators to, um, do their best?
* When consulting religious figures about policies involving so-called morality issues—such as pornography, unwed pregnancies, taxes on condoms—will you consult representatives of the atheist/humanist community? (And will you promise never to say, on behalf of our nation, “Our prayers go out to the victims and their families”?)