Seriously, could they be any more obvious about it?

14 Feb 2012 12:29 am
Posted by: Donna

State Senator Lori Klein, who likes to brandish her pink pistol at the Capitol at unsuspecting reporters, is deeply concerned about today’s public school teachers. Many of whom are apparently frustrated standup comics busting out “The Aristocrats” on the tender ears of grade schoolers on such a regular basis nowadays that it has become necessary to rein them in via SB1467, which would treat teachers as if they were TV and radio stations operating on the public airwaves, except without the 8 second delay.


Teachers will get a one week (or longer) unpaid suspension for the first offense, two weeks (or longer) for the second, and fired on the third. I don’t expect too many teachers will be so incapable of restraining themselves from dropping f-bombs in the classroom that they’ll be subject to it but this idiotic legislation illustrates how increasingly desperate social conservatives are to stop the inexorable march of modernity. My good friend Diane sent me a link to an interview with Nancy Cohen, historian and author of “Delirium: How The Sexual Counterrevolution Is Polarizing America”. Cohen describes succinctly (and with a lot of research to bolster it) how anxiety about women’s rights and the sexual revolution has really driven conservative politics the past 4 decades.

Consider what America was like exactly 50 years before Obama took office. Birth control was illegal in some states. Gay sex was a criminal offense in every state. Most of cable TV would have been run off the air for violating anti-obscenity laws.

In the space of 15 years, the Supreme Court ruled that laws against birth control, pornography, and abortion were unconstitutional. At the same time, the women’s and gay rights movements revolutionized popular culture, the family, and the workplace. Almost half the states repealed their anti-sodomy laws.

It didn’t take long for a majority of the nation to embrace these changes and take this new world of sex, family, and gender for granted. But a small minority became unhinged by all the change.

I can tell you from personal experience, having had numerous conversations with social conservatives – at work, at social gatherings, when talking to voters at their doors while canvassing, even in a Facebook exchange with a current Arizona state legislator who railed on Facebook against young girls being “so easy” nowadays – that Cohen has it exactly right. Conservative writers who don’t bother with the “religious liberty” canard about contraception lay their cards right out on the table.

The Church teaches that love, marriage, sex, and procreation are all things that belong together. That’s it. But it’s pretty important. And though the Church has been teaching this for 2,000 years, it’s probably never been as salient as today.

Today’s injunctions against birth control were re-affirmed in a 1968 document by Pope Paul VI called Humanae Vitae. He warned of four results if the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:

General lowering of moral standards

A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy

The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men.

Government coercion in reproductive matters.

Does that sound familiar?

Because it sure sounds like what’s been happening for the past 40 years.

Wow, that’s sure a lot of blame to lay on women getting birth control. The first two items are debatable and the third is just flat wrong. The fourth is total projection, since disallowing contraception is nothing if not government coercion in reproductive matters. But anyway, right wing harping on birth control may seem new and shocking to political observers who haven’t been terribly observant until now. It’s not. Social conservatives have been bunched up about it all along, even though statistics would seem to indicate that many of them use birth control themselves, hypocritically.

A lot of right wingers use profanity too, in their private conversations. But they tend to dislike profanity in public spaces. I sat on a panel with a prominent right wing Arizona blogger a couple years ago, where he expressed great pride in the fact that he watched his language on his blog. His mother and pastor read it, after all. I wondered what his mom and pastor thought of statements he’d made on his blog about how Arizona’s Medicaid program for children should be ended. I guess they were okay with them, since his language was pristine. Swearing is a strong form of self-expression, which is often used by oppressed persons toward their social superiors, in or out of their presence. There’s certainly a lot of swearing on cable TV shows, which often feature characters struggling against powerful forces. Or powerful characters who use graphic language to let the audience know in no uncertain terms the disdain they have for those beneath them.

So yeah, I can see why social conservatives in the Arizona Legislature are grasping onto the last vestige of morality-based government censorship of speech, FCC regulations, to both intimidate public school teachers and assert their resentment toward cultural changes that threaten their position in society.


  1. Comment by Timmys Cat on February 14, 2012 12:46 pm

    You lie-burr-al, FOX has already got Kleins back!

    The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could loosen regulation on the amount of vulgar language and nudity that is broadcast on public television between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., a time when many children are tuned in.
    Television stations ABC and Fox asked the Supreme Court to drop a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy that punishes stations for broadcasting spontaneous vulgar language and nudity

    See! You should have thought this out like Lori Kl…wait ….WHAT?

  2. Comment by Timmys Cat on February 14, 2012 4:18 pm

    Soooooooooo, the church that hid, transferred, and protected pedophile priests for years and years now sets the high bar for sexual morality?

    Again, you call us crazy?

  3. Comment by Seth on February 15, 2012 10:57 am

    Funny, as I was reading I was thinking about how anxiety about women’s rights and the sexual revolution has really driven liberal politics the past 4 decades.

  4. Comment by Timmys Cat on February 15, 2012 11:41 am

    Saw a familiar name in the paper today. Who should it be?
    Rep. Katie Hobbs (D-MOSS-COW) !!!111

    What the heck is she doing introducing legislation that actually might help someone??? !! Pffft, if she wantss to succeed at getting something passed she should introduce a bill arming pharmacists in case someone wants to buy birth control. Or something.


  5. Comment by Donna on February 15, 2012 12:40 pm

    Yeah, Seth, the main problem with liberals is that we’re bitter about women having freedom.

    Nice try, though.

  6. Comment by Timmys Cat on February 15, 2012 1:16 pm

    I know a lot of guys who have free dumb.

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