Thursday, May 13, 2010

That Can't Be Healthy

you'll know exactly when in the post i made this face as soon as you get there.

Every now and again people ask me why I pound on fundys on the internet*. "So what? blahblahblah Freedom of speech blahblahblah Who cares?"

The problem is, there are people who care what fundys think, and those people have children. It can get very disturbing, very quickly, thusly.


I’m a happily married mother of two young girls (ages 3 and 5). I want to bring my children up to embrace the kind of ideas and moral virtues you espouse on your blog, but there’s a small problem. Unfortunately, in my quest to encourage their remaining chaste until marriage, let’s just say that leading by example won’t be an option. My great fear is that a ‘do-as-I-say,-not-as-I-do (or did)’ approach will ultimately be ineffectual. Should I lie to them about what went on before meeting my husband/their father, tell them the truth (with 101 disclaimers!) or simply hope that the topic doesn’t arise?! Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, but rightly or wrongly, the issue is weighing on my mind.

I wasn’t really taught about the inherent morality of abstinence at my liberal Christian school (although I am Jewish…long story!). Abstinence was simply presented as a method of birth-control alongside the pill, condoms and IUD’s. My mother told me in a matter-of-fact way, when asked, that she lost her virginity at age 16. If she regretted having had premarital relations, she certainly didn’t let me in on it. Around the time I turned 18 she started to actively encourage me to dress provocatively in order to attract the opposite sex. When this inevitably worked, as it did time and again, her only advice to me was to use protection and, above all, DO NOT GET PREGNANT. My father didn’t get involved at all in such matters. The popular culture at the time was possibly more sex-obsessed than at any other time in history and I was fully immersed in it. Madonna’s ’sex book’ was a best-seller, George Michael was telling me that ’sex is natural, sex is fun’ and I believed it all. So, in 1992, at the age of 19, I lost my virginity. I regret it now. Oh, how I regret it. But I didn’t regret it back then. At the time it felt, well, inevitable. Until I found blogs like yours and ‘Oz Conservative’, I didn’t really know of any alternative reality. Sure I knew what chastity was, but I thought it was something that only the Victorians actually practised. Maybe if the Internet had existed back then with sites like yours…

Thank you for taking the time to read my little note and thank you again for your wonderful blog.

So disturbing on so many levels. The "wonderful blog" in question is a vomit-inducing barrage of misogyny, homophobia, fundyism and condescension that should only be viewed by professionals, and then only in small doses. This thing is on my reader, but unlike any other site on my reader, I time when I review the previews of the posts. The previews. Even the titles are occasionally enough to send me into red-faced rage. I can't do that first thing in the morning. That takes preparation. And I'm not clicking on that Oz Conservative link.**

Anyway, let's review what Sarah is saying: My parents let me make my own decisions about things. They trusted me to make good decisions for myself and felt that my body was my own to decide about. I was taught about abstinence, but at the time, I didn't think it was a better option than other forms of birth control. I chose to have sex before marriage and I didn't think there was anything wrong with that- until I found your blog and now I realize that I WAS A HUGE SLUT AND SHOULD BE ASHAMED. How can I remove decision making from my own children's lives?

I cannot tell you how disturbing I find this. First of all, yes, when you make decisions, you may make bad decisions. You may regret those decisions. Welcome to being an adult. Secondly, asking Laura for advice? Yikes. Seriously, if Laura told me that proper sandwiches involve bread, I'd have to reevaluate everything I know about sandwiches.

Laura's answer:

Thank you for writing. You are not making a mountain out of a molehill. The issue you raise is important. The majority of women who are now mothers have experienced promiscuity firsthand. Do mothers have any authority, let alone the desire, to raise children differently? The answer is simple. It does not require strained logic or unprincipled exceptions. There is only one answer. I hope you will see it and never have any doubts about this issue again.

SLUTS!!!!1!!!eleventy!!!! Of course there's only one answer- Laura's answer.

I used to know a woman who was very beautiful. In fact, she was the most beautiful woman I have ever known, perfect in every way, like a goddess. She had high cheekbones and doe-like eyes and a voice that was unusually deep for a woman but which added to her overall mystery and remarkable beauty. I knew her as a child, she was a few years older, and I have followed her life ever since. For years she had many lovers and one central boyfriend. They were perfecting their intimacy, this man and she, and both hedged about getting married. They went back and forth for years, dissecting their relationship. Finally, when she was in her mid-forties, he decided that the thing he wanted most in life was to have children. Needless to say, it was too late for her. She is still good-looking and has since found another man, incredibly wealthy and recently divorced. He asked her to quit her job and help him raise his young children. She did. He promised marriage but has since decided he’d rather not. He did, however, buy her a new car. For all those years of love, this ravishingly beautiful and self-assured woman has one thing left: a car.

Wow. You know what, I have written about Laura before, haven't I? She had a similar fascination with women in that post, too. Isn't Goddess Hobag's tale tragic? Isn't that what happens to every woman who has sex before marr- what? It's not? One little story does not a trend make? Your friend's tragic tale doesn't actually prove anything? Welcome to Logic 101, Laura.

This is a relatively trivial example of the harm the sexual revolution has caused. A river of tears runs through our culture. Sex is miraculous and we have made it dull and destructive, murderous even and cruel. But, I don’t have to tell you all this. You already know it. You have found happiness, but you still see the waste, the loss of something sacred.

A river of tears runs through our culture? Is that the Mississippi or the Rio Grande? And when did sex get dull, destructive, murderous (scaring me, you are) and cruel? When I have sex it's none of those things. You didn't accidentally wander into an extreme BDSM club at some point, did you? This is seriously freaking me the fuck out.

Oh, Quantum Field, no! She's probably the one who gives "the talk" to her children!

That’s the most important thing, that you see the waste and admit your own role in it. Wrongdoing does not disqualify a person from advising against wrongdoing. It is not hypocrisy to say, “Do not do as I have done.” It is hypocrisy to see that some activity is objectively wrong and then not advise others against it. That is inconsistent. That is hypocritical.

Okay, on the one hand, yes. It is a logical fallacy, tu quoque, I believe, to say, "Well, you do it, too!" Good advice is good advice no matter who gives it. On the other hand, hypocrisy is a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion. It isn't hypocritical to see that something is wrong and not say anything, it's hypocritical to say something is wrong if you don't see anything wrong with you yourself doing it.

But that’s a long way off. In the meantime, you can prepare them for a better life. You can help them know what is right when they are still little girls. For most children, life is filled with beauty and God is real. You can confirm their impressions. Through stories and fairy tales, myths and legends, the works of the imagination that all children love, you can show them there is both danger and wonder ahead. The written word is indispensable. Faith and prayer are indispensable. Sex education starts in the imagination and the soul.

Does anyone read that as "lie, lie and lie some more"? Is that just me? Also, I'm fairly certain that is a good description of religious indoctrination, not sex ed. I can only imagine what some peoples' wedding nights are going to be like.

As they get older, you can talk to your daughters more and more about marriage and men. This is the job of mothers, not schools. They will trust what you say. If you tell them with conviction that love is much better when one is married, they will believe you. If you tell them with conviction, not once but many times, that many men do not respect a woman after they have had sex with her, unless they are married to her, they will believe you. If you tell them marriage and motherhood will be the best experiences of their lives, they will believe you. But, you can’t say it just a couple of times. The opposite message will be conveyed elsewhere.

The same could be said of the existence of unicorns. Or god.

When they are young women, you then can tell them all the brutal facts about the sexual revolution in an impersonal way, the truths that they may not hear elsewhere, such as that most women who have had abortions regret it and live in remorse for years and that abortion is objectively murder. You can point out all the cases of disease that lead to infertility and tell them the truth about single motherhood. You can tell them how unfair it is to raise children without a father.You can tell them about the women you know who have never had children and were lonely when they were old. You can tell them that adoption is often the best way with a pregnancy before marriage. They will believe you if you say these things often enough.

Oh, yes, those women living in regret. Except for the ones who don't. Also, you keep using that word, objectively. I don't think that word means what you think it means. You know, it's terribly dangerous to tell children things that aren't true. One day, they may discover that it isn't true, and then everything you ever said is in doubt.

Again, anyone has the authority to raise her children differently provided she has sincerely examined her own conscience. Parents not only possess the moral legitimacy to teach their children restraint, they have the absolute duty to do so. In fact, they may possess even more authority than parents in the past.

It is very unlikely if you do all this that your daughters will go wrong, but if they do, you should be prepared to detach yourself somewhat from them. That’s the hard part and that too is your duty. A mother’s disapproval is a powerful corrective.

It’s all worth it, don’t you think?

I do so enjoy advice from sociopaths. If your children fail to do what you want them to do, cut them off. That'll teach the little bastards.

Yes, what a wonderful website indeed!

*Cuz I can, that's why.

**I probably am. I'm probably putting it in my reader. I'm probably going to regret this.


  1. Okay, she writes about women a lot and about how beautiful and captivating she found them. She thinks sex is destructive, and she only means sex with men. I'm not sayin, I'm just sayin...

  2. Strangely enough, I got the same impression, BeamStalk.

  3. you know what?
    *THIS* is the worst thing about patriarchy.

    if i have sex with a guy, it's because we both WANT to. and i am NOT going to have sex with a guy who doesn't *RESPECT* me. that includes the morning after, period.

    it makes me so very fucking angry, whenever anyone starts spouting this BS. the problem is NOT that girls and women want to have sex, NOT that they do so "outside" of marriage - the PROBLEM is that our FUCKED UP RAPE CULTURE actively *TEACHES* boys that a girl who "puts out" is somehow "bad".

    wouldn't it be BETTER for EVERYONE if shit like that would STOP!?


  4. Yes, it would be better for everyone is shit like that would stop. Very yes.

    Women are so complicit in the demonization and devaluation of women it's just... on days when I'm upset about something, I just can't think about it.

  5. Also - and I'm speaking as a guy, here, but I could still be wrong about this - if someone doesn't respect you in the morning, it's a fair bet that they didn't respect you the night before, either.

    And sometimes that's okay. Sometimes respect isn't what we're looking for.

  6. I'm right there with you, Beamstalk and Big A.

    Also, PF, how do you find these people? I just read this lady's post on "Why We Must Discriminate":

    "First and foremost, we must restore customary economic discrimination in favor of men. America’s businesses and institutions must be free once again to favor men over women in hiring."

    What the who now?

  7. Two words: Serena Joy.

  8. @Hellboy:

    aka Phyllis Schlafly.

  9. Big A;

    i am saying that the PROBLEM is NOT that women have sex - the PROBLEM is that everyone is *taught* that a woman who has sex is a slut, and therefor doesn't deserve respect. and i, as a person who likes sex, A) finds the whole idea abhorrent and demeaning and B) think that the PROBLEM isn't the sex, but the attitude, and the ATTITUDE is what needs to be changed. because the OP is talking about "how to teach her daughters how to NOT have sex before marriage, even though she [the OP] *DID* have sex before marriage".
    because she sees the problem that girls who have sex, women who have sex, are still considered "sluts" and instead of FIGHTING THAT BULLSHIT, she instead wants to INSTILL it into her daughters.

  10. That makes more sense, but I don't see how you can call that a "rape culture"

  11. do you know what rape culture is?

    see, in the culture we have, despite feminism and strides forward, there's STILL this notion that the only thing a woman is worth is sex. and when it's a society that embraces that - that TEACHES it's sons and daughters that virginity is some sort of GREAT GIFT to give your husband... it continues to reinforce the standards and dichotomies of rape culture. a girl who's had sex is no longer WORTH marriage, in the eyes of many. a girl who's not a virgin CAN'T BE RAPED in the eyes of many.
    and if she's not a virgin, and she says she was raped - well, then, she's just trying to hurt the guy, morning remorse. SHE WAS RAPED - but she was a virgin, and gods know she smiled at the guy, and she was wearing a short skirt, and so it wasn't HIS fault he raped her - really, she had sex with him and then changed her mind.

    PEOPLE BELIEVE THIS. they do. you are either 100000% virginal and pure, or you're a dirty whore who DESERVES to be raped.

  12. I'm sorry, denelian, but while I understand the logic of the pyschology you're arguing, I don't see it particularly prevalent with the possible exception of extreme fundamentalist christianity.

    I wasn't raised to believe that and I don't know a single person personally who was.

    I guess maybe we should go back and analyze what your definition of "our" is. Are you saying America has a rape culture, or fundie christianity?

    I can't agree with the former, but I can see some merit in an argument for the latter.

  13. have you ever been to a Frat House party? ever been to a club that's for college students?
    have you read newspaper articles about rape reports? how EVERY SINGLE PAPER will give you *ALL* the details about the victim - what she was wearing, where she was, what she ate/drank, who she was with, *when* she was out, what she did [danced, flirted, smiled,etc]. some articles are nothing *BUT* that.

    know what's missing from most of those articles?

    the RAPIST.

    ya know, the person who perpetrated the crime. often unnamed, we are led [by newspapers] to a specific narrative: Guy meets Girl, Girl is "dazzled" by Guy, Guy and Girl get on, Guy takes Girl home, Guy and Girl "have sex", Girl wakes up next morning and Guy is leaving and *isn't* promising to marry her so Girl calls cops and "cries rape"

    *MOST* rape cases that make the papers? FOLLOW THIS ASSUMPTION.
    now, this is assuming that the victim? can get ANYONE to believe her. no matter how she fought or struggled or said "NO!" - if, at ANY point, she every interacted with the Guy, she is treated like a lying whore who is just trying to "hurt" a guy who didn't do what *SHE* wanted. most rape cases are never reported to police because of this, and then once they ARE reported, most cops? don't really *DO* anything. unless is a girl has really been beat down, or unless the girl went immediately to the ER and procured a rape kit that INCLUDES either blood proof that she was SPECIFICALLY given something she didn't mean to take* or specific evidence that she fought [blood under fingernails and etc], cops WILL NOT DO ANYTHING. even thought the "false report" of rape is LOWER than the rates of false reports of other crimes, like grand theft auto, assult, mugging, breaking and entering, etc - cops always take *THOSE* crimes [which have a false report rate of about 8%] much more seriously than they take rape reports [which has a false report rate of about 5%]

    ONE IN 4 WOMEN IN THE US WILL BE SEXUALLY ASSULTED *EACH YEAR*. now, that's just sheer numbers, and some women are repeat victims and some women are rarely harrassed, BUT.
    BUT. do you have ANY fucking idea how hard it is to get a sexual harrassment suit going? i was, 3 years ago, sexually assulted AT SCHOOL ON CAMPUS IN THE MAIN CAMPUS LIBRARY [at a COLLEGE, and i was THIRTY at the time].

  14. (continued)
    it SHOWED UP on the security tapes. i had been at the library to pick up books for a research paper. ran into a guy who was in that class with me, with whom i'd never spoken, and whom i didn't recognize until he told me he was in the class [there were about 100 students in the class] and he asked if i wouldn't mind helping him find the books he needed for *his* paper, as it was similar to mine. i said "sure" and went to the computer area [it's easier to find things that way] and started to sit down. he grabbed me before i could and started trying to kiss me. i pushed him off me, yelled "what the hell do you think you're doing?" and went to the closest librarian. who had seen it all.
    and campus police listened to me and the librarian, listened to the guy, pulled the video - and TOLD ME that it was MY FAULT for "leading the guy on". i called the regular city cops, who refused to be involved because it happened on campus in a campus building. i filed about a dozen complaints with various people - including the Dean and the University President. and i was told "why would you want to destroy a young a man's career over a misunderstanding?" with some pointed comments about how i was a decade older than he, and should have "known better" and not "acted recklessly" and that a suit for defamation of character could be brought if i didn't shut up.

    i eventually gave up. no one listened, except those who believe it was *MY* fault for being out and in public as a woman and have the termitity to talk to the guy at ALL. *MY* fault for "being so attractive to that poor boy that he couldn't help himself".

    i'm not some sort of drop-dead gorgeous supermodel. i was wearing baggy jeans and an even baggier sweater. my hair was in a bun. no make-up at all.

    and the *BAD* horrible thing? is that not only is that not even in the top 10 worst sexual assults that have happened to *me*, but that SO MANY women go through them ALL every day. from cat-calls to random dudes coping a feel on public transportation. it've seen 60-year-old grandmothers being sexually harrassed - and 12-year-old school-girls. and NO ONE STOPS IT.

    especially not the people who are SUPPOSED to stop it.

    READ. not me - read all the hundreds of thousands of accounts that posted everywhere.

  15. Big A;

    i have no clue if you're still getting notifications of this thread, or will re-visit, or whatever. but, here's a very good place to start that reading, if you're interested:

  16. (Got here from your link on FJ.)

    "I used to know a woman who was very beautiful. In fact, she was the most beautiful woman I have ever known, perfect in every way, like a goddess. She had high cheekbones and doe-like eyes and a voice that was unusually deep for a woman but which added to her overall mystery and remarkable beauty."

    Yeah, no, even as a giant gay I wouldn't be able to write that description without getting self-conscious about how ridiculous it sounds. I think the closest I've come is writing in my diary when I was 15 and infatuated with an older girl -- which is pretty much exactly what happened to Laura, n'est-ce pas?

    Obviously I frown on analysing people's sexuality via the internet, but...seriously. Something's going on there.


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