‘sexual censorship’

GOP Nominees Asked to Pledge Marital Fidelity…And More

As next month’s GOP straw poll in Iowa draws ever closer, all Republicans who wish to be President are being urged to sign “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage & Family.” Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum have already signed. The Pledge is a bizarre combination of 1950s sexual conservatism and Cold War-style doomsday-ism (it opposes “infanticide” and the “enslavement” of military wives), which it blends into an obsession with marriage and morality. It claims, with an absolutely straight face, that “candidates’ positions on core values, such as marriage, correlate directly to their moral stances on energy issues,…

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Everything is Now “Potential” Child Porn

It’s official—every picture with a minor in it is now “potential” child porn. Imagine this perfect storm: * A mean-spirited Sheriff’s Department with too much time on their hands; * A school run by spineless bureaucrats; * A population of compliant students’ parents * Detectives who apparently think “innocent until proven guilty” is SO over. They all came together last week at Big Bear Lake High School in Southern California. After the school’s annual yearbook had been out for a while, someone discovered, in the background of a photo of a school dance, a couple in which a young man…

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Trusting Artists To Tell The Truth

Last night I spent $100 on a theatre ticket in New York. I saw “Sleep No More” off-Broadway, a site-specific, avant-garde show. Just for the record, I didn’t love it. But its use of sexuality and nudity did make me think about the artist’s responsibility to the audience, which is primarily to tell the truth. Well, some truth. For in every story, there are many truths. When Macbeth kills King Duncan, is he being selfish, a weakling caving in to an ambitious wife, or simply playing out the destiny that a witch has foretold? When Oedipus kills his father and…

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Commitment to Excellence Becomes Commitment to Ignorance

If Germany can teach courses on the Holocaust, and Egypt can learn to love democracy, and China can realize that capitalism is necessary to grow their economy, can’t the U.S. actually tolerate the teaching of human sexuality? The latest American institution to answer “no” is Northwestern University in Chicago. Generally an excellent, almost progressive institution, they’ve abruptly canceled one of the most popular courses on the entire campus, Professor Michael Bailey’s class on Human Sexuality. The cancellation is the climax of what started as a small, harmless—and unusual—lapse in Bailey’s judgment. Because it involved sexuality, of course it was transformed…

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Sex Is Evil: Film at 11.

The newest entry in the “Sex is dirty, please watch our show while we prove it” sweepstakes is this clip from ABC News. It’s an “exclusive” interview with Christine Hubbs, a 42-year-old woman who was recently convicted of having sex with her daughter’s 14-year-old boyfriend and his best friend. She’s now known as “the Hummer Mom” because she drove her little lovers around in her Hummer, creating the world’s most perfect sexual reference. The interview is very odd and very disturbing. I felt like I desperately needed a shower after watching it—and not because of Hubbs’ crimes. The first odd…

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Those Wonderful Librarians

I’m recently back from Austin, where I spoke at the annual meeting of the Texas Library Association. My topic was America’s War On Sex, Libraries, & Librarians. I’m pleased to say I was warmly received. And I sure learned plenty from them—some of it heartening, some of it scary. And some of what they said was sadly familiar. Just a few notes: * A small number of people can cause a lot of trouble. In almost every community, some people feel terrified that people—young or otherwise—are being exposed to immoral, inappropriate, unpatriotic, or dangerous material in the library. One might…

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