‘sexual repression’

When Language Is More Important Than War

Sixteen million Americans fought in WWII. A half-million of them died in it. That’s equal to the entire population of Washington, DC. Or of Wyoming. Very few of those 16,000,000 are still alive, and a dwindling number of Americans actually knows one of them. To create and preserve a record of what actually happened, Ken Burns has made a 14-hour documentary for PBS. It has exactly four instances of words you might hear—or say—if someone were trying to kill you. The Parents Television Council plans to scour those fourteen hours for the four words they don’t want anyone to say…

Continue Reading
0 Comments

Singer Stefani Censored In [where?]

Quiz: Where did this happen? You may know Gwen Stefani’s music. Formerly with the group No Doubt, she’s now a huge pop star. Incredible voice. Powerful stage presence. Movie-star face. Gorgeous body. An altogether thrilling artist. Quiz: Where did this happen? Stefani’s local stadium concert is announced. A religious student group demonstrates, demanding that the sexy star dress more modestly and turn down the heat on her stage show. Conservative critics chime in, claiming that her typically revealing costumes corrupt the country’s youth. Stefani agrees to make changes. In a magazine interview, she says she’s making a “major sacrifice,” mourning…

Continue Reading
0 Comments

Americans Search for a Sexual Center

People in the media ask me all the time—sexually, is the country getting more liberal or more conservative? This is similar to the question George Lakoff discusses about politics, most recently in his article in Truthout. In it, he says there are no “centrists,” because “There is no left-to-right linear spectrum in American political life.” Instead, Lakoff talks about “biconceptuals”—“progressive on certain issue areas and conservative on others.” The importance of this, says Lakoff, is that progressive values—“protection and empowerment”—are simply American values. The idea that there is a ‘center,’ he says, “marginalizes progressives and sees them as extremists, when…

Continue Reading
0 Comments

Ode to Skimpy Summer Clothes

There are so many things to like about summer—the great weather, all that fresh fruit, home-grown tomatoes (they actually taste like tomatoes), Sunday night baseball on ESPN, the twilight that seems to go on forever… And the skimpy clothes. Revealing, unintentionally daring, did-you-look-in-the-mirror- before-you-left-the-house clothes. Speedos so tight you can tell if the guy is circumcised. Bikinis that cover the front of the breast or the side, but not both. Baggy shorts that let a ball or two lazily poke out when a guy sits down. Thin white cotton skirts that need a slip to be proper—worn without a slip.…

Continue Reading
0 Comments

“Morality” Juveniles Quiver Over Exposed Breasts

Jordache Jeans has launched an entertaining set of print and TV ads featuring model Heidi Klum. On TV we see Klum’s topless back; in print we see her looking into a full-length mirror, her out-of-focus breasts sort-of visible, nipples strategically covered with hair. Predictably, those obsessed with hiding women’s breasts from unmarried Americans went berserk. Robert Peters of Morality in Media, for example, suggested that this represents the end of civilization as we know it. As a bonus, his press release also insulted sex education and readers of Playboy. Peters is especially miffed because the ad appears in “The N.Y.…

Continue Reading
2 Comments

Caution: Karl Rove Was Hazardous To Your Sex Life

Karl Rove has built his career on terrifying people. An equal-opportunity offender, he has directed our government’s successful attempts to panic Americans about terrorism, international diplomacy, taxation, mainstream media, and the judicial system. And homosexuality, stem cell research, promiscuity, pornography, teen sexuality, and naughty words on TV. Karl Rove has reminded us that very little can motivate people more than fear. Those of us who believe in sexuality—and democracy, reason, and science—haven’t found a reliable alternative yet. Karl Rove conceived the brilliant strategy of putting “gay marriage” initiatives on state ballots to drive conservative voters to the polls—who then voted…

Continue Reading
1 Comment