Friday, May 24, 2013

The perfect storm of sexualizing children--choice/consent devours itself

(I know, a long period of neglecting the blog and then two posts close together. That's pretty much par for the course in blogging.)

Scott W. at Romish Graffiti has a story up about the so-called "Free Kate" movement. The short story goes like this: 18-year-old lesbian girl had a so-called "girlfriend" who was only fourteen. Parents of "girlfriend" were not happy and secretly recorded telephone conversations, which are now being mulled over by the local prosecutor for the possibility of a trial for adult-child lewd actions, given that the older girl was an adult and the younger girl was under the age of consent. The state (Florida) does have a so-called Romeo and Juliet law which puts the crime at the edge. According to that law the penalty after conviction is less if the age gap was no more than four years. It looks like the age gap in this case was right at four years.

But the perpetrator's parents and tons of activist friends are defending her actions by trying to play the victim card, claiming that "everybody does it" and that the state's law against sexual activity between an 18-year-old and a 14-year-old wouldn't be enforced if the relationship were heterosexual. Her parents would be willing for her to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, but not to a felony. The latter is the plea deal that was offered by the prosecutor. (If she agreed to that plea deal, she wouldn't have to register as a sex offender.)

Here's an aspect of this that is very important: Increasingly the "everybody does it" line is going to be used to excuse adult-child sex. I predict it. It's as sure as the night follows the day. And the reason this is so obvious is because Planned Parenthood and other organizations are aggressively sexualizing our children at younger and younger ages in the school.

This incredible story, which I don't actually recommend people read but which I link to for purposes of verification, is an eyewitness account of a Planned Parenthood-sponsored teen "sexuality conference" that involved young teens discussing pornography with adults and a lewd table display depicting a little girl in pigtails riding a tricycle (!) with the name of a female body part in large letters over her head. Arguably a great deal of illegal activity was going on at this conference given the existence of laws against lewd discussions with and presenting lewd materials to minors.

This conference was not at a school, but the young people involved were (let's just say) obviously not home schooled. Planned Parenthood has sex education programs all over the nation and is trying to run even more, and this conference tells us what they think it is appropriate to present to young teens. You simply cannot have a society where the publicly funded schools are teaching all of your children about all manner of sex acts from middle school up while maintaining a strong social and legal opposition to sex with children. It can't be done. When officially approved organizations are coming into the schools and teaching them that they are sexual beings and can consent to sex from a young age, plus giving them all sorts of how-to lessons, how in the world is that compatible with laws against children's having sex? It just isn't.

Sure, sure, the lefties, if they even begin to admit the lewdness of Planned Parenthood's materials at all, will try to tell us that, hey, they're just encouraging pan-sexual exploration between minors, not between minors and adults. Not only is that far from comforting, it also rings hollow. If one of these minor girls whose innocence was ruined when she was twelve by GLSEN or PP in her school happens at the age of fifteen to have a "consensual" relationship with a young man (or a young woman) of twenty-two, it's really difficult to say why the perverted educators who taught her all this stuff in the first place have any solid grounds on which to object, or on which to uphold laws against the relationship.

In the "Free Kate" case, the lesbian card provides a good opportunity, because this involves an alleged victim group and is therefore especially effective. But since the argument is that heterosexual couples are already doing this and not being prosecuted (which by the way does not appear to be true), there is really no stopping this argument. It's not as though Kate's supporters and her family are arguing that the law should be applied more rigorously to heterosexual adult offenders! Far from it.

I do not see how the current trend in school sex education and the left's aggressive sexualization of minors can end short of at a minimum a push for lowering age-of-consent laws at least to something like thirteen years of age. Probably, it won't end there.

We're suffering the old curse: May you live in interesting times.

Be sure to home school your kids now, y'hear?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The relative fragility of masculine identity

I have a theory. Readers can see what they think of it. Let it be known that this is just conjecture.

My theory is developed partly in response to the fact that blowhard feminist types, including male egalitarians, will sometimes bring up the fact that some girls are tomboys and nonetheless turn out just fine and use this to defend raising boys "gender-neutral," encouraging them to play with dolls and imitate Mommy, and the like.

It seems to me that the problem with this reasoning is that there is a major asymmetry between the situation of little girls who do or want to do stereotypically masculine things and little boys who are encouraged to be effeminate. The bottom line is that it seems that tomboyishness in a girl is less likely under natural circumstances (an important caveat) to translate into gender confusion in an adult woman than effeminacy (by which I don't mean simply not being athletic) in a boy.

Now, I hasten to emphasize that "under natural circumstances." If a tomboyish girl is surrounded by perverts and their enablers who teach her that many people just "are" lesbians and who encourage her to think that this is what her tomboyishness means, then that may be what happens. But absent this, she may just run around like a little hoyden in her youth, maybe get into swimming or become a triathlete when she's older, and nonetheless get married and be quite feminine. Ideologically she might or might not be a feminist. That's not so much what I'm getting at. I'm rather trying to say that tomboyishness in a girl doesn't have much of a natural tendency to turn into actual lesbianism, transgenderism, or general psychological gender confusion.

If, on the other hand, a little boy doesn't bond with an older man who is a mentor or father-figure, if he's raised too much in the company of women, if his mother stifles him, and especially if he's encouraged to think of himself in distinctively feminine ways--e.g., to imitate mothering behavior in his play or to wear female clothing--this can spell big trouble for his gender identity as he gets older.

These are all, of course, outrageously anecdotal generalizations, but they seem to me to have truth in them.

Why this apparent asymmetry?

Here's where my theory really gets wild: My theory is that this asymmetry arises in part from the fact that what we think of as distinctively masculine activities are in many cases the epitome of human activities. For example, training one's body and being in good shape, keeping animals or training animals, having dominion over nature, being sharp and analytical with one's mind, or even engaging in intelligent and trained fighting against evildoers. These are all things that are done or, in the case of fighting, can be done in an especially human way that represents mankind. Therefore, it is to some extent understandable that girls want to engage in them, to make up stories in which they are a boyish hero riding a horse and smiting bad guys, for example, or to construct a beautiful argument or win a glorious chess game.

The truly distinctively feminine activities are, by contrast, more narrow in scope and in a sense more characteristic of what mankind shares with the animals. Here I'm thinking especially of bearing and nurturing children.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with a man's being a good father, helping his wife with the baby, and spending time with his children. In fact, that is all extremely important. Mankind has been designed by God to have one of the most long-term father relationships of any creature in nature. But fathering is not mothering, and the instinct to mother-love is to a very large extent shared across the spectrum of mammals and even birds. Of course this isn't in any way to deny that human mothers have anything distinctively human about them. It's just that, on my theory, for a man to try to behave like a woman and a mother and especially for a boy to try to behave like a girl is for him to mess himself up in some fundamental way, whereas the same does not seem to be always true for a woman who tries to "argue like a man" or a girl who tries to "play with the boys." It seems that the female is more resilient to that kind of role-playing than the male, and this might have something to do with the fact that in many ways a girl role-playing at being masculine can be doing something uplifting and something that reflects admiration of distinctively human characteristics whereas a boy role-playing at being feminine is doing something that degrades his identity.

This also seems related to the fact that a girl can wear pants without necessarily being masculinized while a boy cannot wear a dress (and no, I don't mean a Scottish kilt) without being feminized. No doubt I have traditionalist friends who will disagree with me about the first conjunct of the previous sentence, but by observation I think it is obviously true.

I don't have this all very well-worked-out, as you can see. There will be lots of counterexamples to anything of this kind that is overgeneralized. For example, a woman trying to act like a man (or like her concept of a man) in a management position is going to end up inevitably being an odious bully, which is degrading to all concerned.

I will be interested to see what thoughtful ("thoughtful" here means among other things "not known or obvious members of the manosphere") readers think about these odd thoughts.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Blessed Sunday after the Ascension

Yes, I know, I should have posted on Ascension Day. All my purist Catholic friends on Facebook have been posting quips about people who think Ascension is celebrated on the following Sunday. Ascension is on a Thursday. I get that. However, I'm just now getting around to a post, and the way I look at it is that giving Ascension a full octave is a way of honoring the feast and acknowledging its importance. This way there is not simply Ascension Day but also Ascensiontide.

Herewith a couple of great hymns. If you don't know 'em, look 'em up:

The Head that Once Was Crowned With Thorns

The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty victor’s brow.

The highest place that Heav’n affords
Belongs to Him by right;
The King of kings and Lord of lords,
And Heaven’s eternal Light.

The joy of all who dwell above,
The joy of all below,
To whom He manifests His love,
And grants His Name to know.

To them the cross with all its shame,
With all its grace, is given;
Their name an everlasting name,
Their joy the joy of Heaven.

They suffer with their Lord below;
They reign with Him above;
Their profit and their joy to know
The mystery of His love.

The cross He bore is life and health,
Though shame and death to Him,
His people’s hope, His people’s wealth,
Their everlasting theme.

Great tune, too. Sing that one when you really need to cheer yourself up.

Now for some excellent Ascension theology:

See the Conqueror Mounts

See, the Conqu'ror mounts in triumph;
See the King in royal state,
Riding on the clouds, his chariot,
To his heav'nly palace gate:
Hark! the choirs of angel voices
Joyful Alleluias sing
And the portals high are lifted
To receive their heav'nly King.

He who on the cross did suffer,
He who from the grave arose,
He has vanquished sin and Satan;
He by death has spoiled his foes.
While he lifts his hands in blessing
He is parted from his friends;
While their eager eyes behold him,
He upon the clouds ascends.

Thou hast raised our human nature
In the clouds to God's right hand;
There we sit in heav'nly places,
There with thee in glory stand:
Jesus reigns, adored by angels,
Man with God is on the throne;
Mighty Lord, in thine ascension
We by faith behold our own.

And here I'm going to quote without shame from a past post of my own on the subject of the Ascension: One of the things I like about Ascension as an Anglican feast is that it's the kind of thing a person with a Baptist upbringing and sympathies can be enriched by without changing one whit of doctrine. It's just a set of ideas that simply never occurred to you before: Jesus took our human nature back to the Father's right hand. Jesus reigns with God, so God and man are on the throne together. We sit with Him in heavenly places. He intercedes for us with the Father. If you are familiar with Scripture, all of that comes back. But if you don't have a liturgical background, you usually didn't think of associating it with Jesus' ascension. But that's when that all started. And of course, as Jesus' words to the disciples just before ascending refer to the promise of "the Gift," the Holy Ghost, so the Feast of the Ascension looks forward to next week, Whitsunday, Pentecost.

I was also thinking this morning about the High Priestly prayer in John 17. If we wonder what Jesus says when He intercedes for us, perhaps that would be a place to start. It is the longest prayer of Jesus to His Father that we have recorded for us. I was much struck by his saying, "I pray not that you would take them out of the world but that you would keep them from the evil." And, "Sanctify them through thy truth." And then, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." Jesus is now praying for us all the time like this at the Father's right hand.

Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall  come in!

Blessed Ascension Sunday!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Yet more on misleading voices in the culture wars

I wanted to bring this to the top of the page. A reader has posted a comment in this older thread in response to a...ahem...kerfuffle at another blog. The topic of the original post at that other blog was the work of Rosaria Butterfield, a former Queer Theory professor who is now a married, Christian mother and has become a kind of "star" in the Christian community. She has a book and has speaking gigs in which she tells people how we can (and should) minister to homosexuals. Frankly, I have heard enough about her at second hand not to be interested in reading her book or getting into discussing her. I got involved in the other thread through a sub-issue--namely, whether feminist literary theory and "Queer Theory" and similar post-modern -isms in English departments are something better than trash, academically speaking. (Hint: No, really, they're just trash.)

Anyway, someone who read that thread came and left some thoughtful comments, considerately finding a fairly relevant thread and expressing some hesitations about Rosaria Butterfield. Apparently finding anyone who expresses hesitations about anything this new heroine says is exceedingly difficult. Certainly, the information I have thus far indicates that she's sincere but, on some issues misguided. And the problem is that, as I said in the comments below, Christians get a kind of affirmative action complex: This is one of our token celibate homosexuals or, in Butterfield's case, ex-homosexuals, so we mustn't criticize. I think that is a very dangerous position to be in, especially if they are going to be treated as advisers. More information relevant to that issue and to Butterfield can be posted here.