‘sexual repression’

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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Mona Lisa Censored From TV?

Say a deranged woman attacked the Mona Lisa as it hung in the Louvre last week. It would be big news worldwide, including in the U.S.. Your favorite TV station would of course show the painting and discuss its historical and economic value. Now what if instead of the Louvre it was America’s National Gallery in Washington, and instead of DaVinci’s Mona Lisa it was Gaugin’s Two Tahitian Women. Same deal, right? Some perky anchorwoman would read the teleprompter: “…masterpiece done for the upcoming Exposition Universelle of 1900, similar to Gaugin’s famous works now hanging in London’s Tate and Moscow’s…

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Is It Sex?

I’m in Houston, lecturing to the Houston Group Psychotherapy Society about “sexual narratives”—the vocabulary and stories with which our culture discusses sexuality, which patients and therapists inevitably use, too. Stories like “all men are hounds,” “I have a hot Italian temper,” “oral sex is for prostitutes,” or “I’m cursed with a small penis, so I can’t satisfy women.” This morning, I talked about the place where I get my hair cut. You check in, then go into the changing room to remove and hang your blouse or shirt, and put on a smock. On a busy day, there might be…

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Arizona Outlaws Non-Existent Abortions

The Arizona legislature, to its eternal frustration, can’t simply make abortion illegal. Its phony “conservative” Republicans want to shrink “Big Government” just small enough to fit under people’s bedroom doors. But the state is still part of America, however much they—or we—might regret this. Arizona can, of course, make the experience of a simple abortion as miserable as possible for residents who have the nerve to pursue a legal medical procedure. And the state can throw a fit and just invent reasons that people can’t have abortions. One imagines them criminalizing abortions taking place on February 30; banning abortions if…

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11th Annual Sexual Intelligence Awards

The annual Sexual Intelligence Awards honor individuals and organizations who challenge the sexual fear, unrealistic expectations, and government hypocrisy that undermine love, sex, and relationships—and political freedom—today. Previous winners include Catholics for a Free Choice; Candye Kane, Red Hot Musician; Robert McGinley, Non-monogamy Activist; and National Center for Reason & Justice. This year’s winners are: Melissa Fritchle, International Sex Educator The first miracle was that she was invited to Uganda. The second is that she went. The third is that she made a difference. There’s an obvious danger to being a sex educator in Uganda. This is the country proposing…

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What Kind of a Sick Mind Calls This Child Porn?

The internet has given anti-sex lawmakers the opportunity to create entire new classes of crime. Predictably, petty bureaucrats are seizing these laws to go after an assortment of “perpetrators,” no matter how trivial, petty, or pointless their “crime.” America has always aspired to have laws which punish the actual harming of actual people. Admittedly, we haven’t always attained this ideal; examples include criminalizing interracial marriage, arresting people who burn the flag, and banning grocery stores from operating on Sundays. But the biggest legal bonanza of digital technology is that it offers a virtual world in which activity that doesn’t harm…

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