Culture Warriors vs. Sex for Pleasure: Why the Right Wing is Wrong When it Comes to Sex
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This is just a drip of change’s color into nostalgia’s black-and-white bucket of yearning for the way we never were, starring the fifties’ Father Knows Best and Sandra Dee’s virginity. No matter that beneath Dee’s “good girl” gloss was an incest survivor, divorced at 22, and a lonely life of anorexia, alcoholism and depression. Times were simpler back in the good ol’ days of sexual purity when guys were predators, girls were gatekeepers, and anyone in between stayed in the closet.
The more things change, the more the fearful need to make things stay the same, to harness humanity’s most unpredictable, transformative force, sex—seemingly the only reachable target on modernity’s super highway. So as the speed of technological breakthroughs, globalization and pornification of America escalates, traditionalists pick their fight with envelope-pushing Cher’s kid, and campaign to kick earnest Chaz off of Dancing with the Stars. Because what do we tell our children?
Just as corporations market sexual fear and insecurity to sell products, religious and political alliances package moral panics to fundraise and secure alliances, and traditional media plays off of both for ratings. Smut and Sanctimony pushes out all other sexual stories in the land of unfettered capitalism, Citizen United, tabloid media and celebrity fetish.
Pop culture competes by pumping out ever more shocking sleaze to even younger demos until you’re looking at toy stripper poles and pimp squad tees for the toddler set. The reactionary right points to commodified sexual sludge that oozes from their sacred free market and wails how liberals, feminists and homosexuals are the source of our toxic culture. And our infotainment media, driven by the fortune formula of conflict-generating cable news and character-assassinating talk radio, ramps up the binary between Republican righteousness and Democratic deviance.
No wonder Fox News, hatched by Nixon propagandist turned GOP kingmaker Roger Ailes, shot to multibillion-dollar stardom as America’s number one cable news network for the past ten years. It perfected a smut and sanctimony narrative as the soul of a team-building, policy-changing culture war. No news network played more slo-mo shots of Janet Jackson’s nipple shield ripped bare at the 2004 Super Bowl to expose how scary the liberal threat to real America, though an appeals court overturned the FCC indecency fine in Fall 2011. Or looped more outraged close-ups of Madonna kissing Britney Spears at MTV’s 2003 Video Music Awards to decry Hollywood’s assault on American values.
One needs only to view the NSFW FoxNewPorn.com of actual Fox News footage featuring young, pulsating female flesh—including a split screen shot of Spring Break tits and ass next to a Florida policeman talking about a serial rapist—to see how scary sex is today. Just what do we tell our children?
Well, Fox News’ biggest star and scandalous b-roller, Bill O’Reilly—who published a children’s book at the same time he settled a multimillion-dollar sexual harassment suit—is “looking out for you.” The self-promoted Culture Warrior makes mega millions through his bloviating show and bestselling books pitting traditionalists against secular progressives out to destroy America by squashing Judeo-Christian values. Amplifying the terroristic climate of “pro-life” radicals stalking abortion providers, a rabid O’Reilly repeatedly called Dr. George Tiller a baby killer until the beloved grandfather—whose credo was “trust women”—was gunned down when serving as an usher in his church.
During several earlier shows O’Bully attacked as pervert and pedophile Kansas University professor Dennis Daily—a highly respected, award winning sex educator, who developed the foundational Circles of Sexuality model used by educators to teach sex beyond the genitals—until Daily was exonerated of the politically motivated charges by a “family values” state senator.