Wednesday, April 02, 2008


In the most recent New York Times Magazine, there is an article about modern, college-level abstinence proponents. To them, abstinence is philosophical, research-based, an outgrowth of feminism, sexy and fun, and all of the above.

I agree with none of those statements.

  • It is not philosophical, it's ideological and theological, but I guess it could be argued.
  • Research-based is comical; more on that later.
  • Abstinence as feminism is just dumb. The virginal female, the group to whom these people used to market exclusively, is a classic male-constructed ideal. Feminism has nothing to do with holding back, it has everything to do with letting go and not being ostracized for it. Saying that abstinence is feminist is insulting.
  • Sexy and fun is also dumb. There is no such thing as sexy and fun without sex and fun. This is them trying to market their position and failing.

The first part, philosophy. The fact that the bulk of these people are Catholics gives you an idea of how much philosophy plays a part in this. True philosophical inquiry would see them questioning their own views and actively trying to bash their way to enlightenment and truth. This is dogma. Saying this has anything to do with philosophy degrades the pursuit.

You cannot form logical arguments from this. Go ahead, try. Write out a formal logic equation to support no sex before marriage. Try to discover a contradiction that makes abstinence the only choice. Metaphysics? Anything there? Maybe epistemology. We can break down the argument to degrees of justification. But, no, that's all just the analysis of semantics. This isn't philosophy. The arguments fall apart without theological or cynical axioms.

The second part, feminism. I guess you could call me a feminist. I'm apparently more a feminist than these wack-jobs. I want to see women able to fuck whoever they damn well please with absolute abandon and receive no negative response from society. Saying that holding back your precious virginity from the evil and vile males until they plop a ring on your finger is cynical, close-minded, and self-centered.

And when I say evil and vile, you can tell from even the short text in the magazine that that is how the main subject, Janie Fredell, feels. They focused on females, marketed with cards that said "Why wait? Because you're worth it." Again, precious virginity, but also that men are evil! We're here to steal your virginity!

Freddel had said that "She had awakened to the wage gap, to forced sterilization and female genital mutilation — to the different ways that men have, she said, of controlling women." You found out about these things in college? Don't you, like, read newspapers? This shit is common knowledge. Now, how did you get into Harvard?

Her "men are evil" theme continued;

One of these was sexual. Fredell had seen it often in her own life — men pushing for sex, she said, just to “have something to say in the locker room,” women feeling pressured to have sex in order to maintain a relationship. The more she studied and learned, the more Fredell came to realize that women suffer from having premarital sex, “due to a cultural double standard,” she said, “which devalues women for their sexual pasts and glorifies men for theirs.”

Yes, we have a double standard, but it's fading fast. And you know how all men are just waiting to talk about the pussy they just plowed to the guys at the bar? Yeah, the guys that do that are scumbags, anyhow. How they treat women is the least of our problems with them. If you're dating him, you're the moron for staying, not for sleeping with him. Smart women, here's a tip, DON'T DATE ASSHOLES! Now, I know it's hard, them all hot on their motorcycles, with their leather jackets and dance numbers, or whatever the hell bad boys do, but you know them. You can pick them out. Not all men are evil.

Even the guys hate guys!

Keliher was an earnest man in dark clothes, unwrinkled and untouched, with the face of a subdued boy. Quite openly, he explained that his father was sent to prison for child molestation and that Keliher’s mother later married an electrician who eventually left her for a woman 20 years younger. So it was not hard to understand Keliher’s point of view. “I just have a huge amount of frustration with guys,” he told me. “They need to know that so much hurt can come from the lack of respect for women.”

Man, it's just one big hate-fest. No, dude, you have frustration with assholes. Not guys. None of my friends are assholes. I'm a rather big asshole, but none of my friends are. Also, like everyone else involved, this guy is a raging Catholic. Apparently, his mother enrolled him into some Christian thing and he suddenly became a model student. He learned "how to love women out of strength and not out of need.'" What? I don't love my partner out of strength, I love her out of love. That's the dumbest freaking thing I've ever heard. I hate aphorisms.

I'd like to point out, here, that from an evolutionary standpoint, abstinence is great for guys since he knows with a high degree of certainty that the child for which he is providing is his genetic offspring.

And for poor Janie, someone so self-righteous, cynical, and close-minded is doomed. Unless she changes her views, she's never going to find a nice guy and will be miserable her whole life through. I guess that works. Everyone in her home town sounds that way, considering they called Harvard "Godless liberal Harvard." Oh yeah. The preeminent educational institution on the continent. Yep. You definitely know better, you twat.

She quotes John Stewart Mill, "She said she read in Mill that women are subordinated in relationships as a result of “socially constructed norms.”" John Stewart Mill died in Eighteen Seventy Three. Society has changed a little bit since then, but it gives you an idea of in what century her morals are stuck. You can quote philosophy from 1873, but social commentary has an expiration date.

Third part, research based. "If men are commonly more promiscuous than women, it is only because the culture allows it, she said." I've got a few evolutionary biologists who would seriously love to argue that point.

Murray and his girlfriend, Sarah Kinsella, decided that their club would focus on the issue “most immediately relevant” to people on campus — premarital sexual abstinence — and would try to persuade people toward it with arguments less philosophical than scientific. “Many people on our campus were deprived of information,” Murray told me, and so he says he went looking through peer-reviewed journals and government sources for research that supported the abstinence view.

That is the reason they're not scientists. Selectively plucking out data to support your statement is what Republicans do, not scientists. I've read all the same articles they've read, and that means they ignored the near-countless articles that do not support their ideals. I wonder if they saved all the work by the Camerons about how gay parents destroy children?

“We found a huge body of scholarship that suggested conclusions that nobody on our campus was making,” he says. They posted the conclusions on their Web site — the belief that “ ‘safe sex’ is not safe”; that even the most effective methods of birth control can fail; that early sexual activity is strongly associated with all manner of terrible outcomes, from increased risk of depression to greater likelihood of marital infidelity, divorce and maternal poverty. Premarital abstinence, on the other hand, is held up by True Love Revolution as improving health, promoting better relationships and, best of all, enabling “better sex in your future marriage.”

CORRELATION DOES NOT INDICATE CAUSATION! This basic, easy-to-remember premise from scientific research seems lost on the public. You can link lots of nasty stuff with other nasty stuff. It's really easy. I can probably link STD's to bank robbery. it doesn't mean that STD's cause banks to be robbed. And yes, the only form of birth control that is 100% effective is abstinence, but since you're Catholics, even that's not true. If 106 billion people have ever lived, half are female, that means any given female has a 1 in 53 billion chance of spontaneously producing a child. Bummer.

And if you use a condom correctly, combined with the pill, or even contraceptive foam, chances of pregnancy are so low as to be statistically insignificant. You will not get pregnant. And if, in some bizarre confluence of coincidence, you do get pregnant, abortions are easy to get. But, oh right, that's evil. I wonder if Lil' Janie came across the historical info about how the modern abortion wars are a direct result of religious oppression of women in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Anthony Comstock, and all that rot. You can literally trace, through the first and secondary sources, almost down to the month, when they changed from marketing abortion as something evil because it allowed women to be promiscuous to KILLING BABIES. They didn't see babies as anything more than property. It was a battle over contraception; specifically insofar as it had to do with women's freedom.

(And on the subject of Comstock, why do all these moral crusaders say they're defending the children? And if the previously mentioned guy, Keliher, and his discussion how amazingly horny he is is any indication, Comstock was against all this stuff because he wanted pussy but was too bleeding ugly to get any.)

Fourth part, it's sexy and fun. I think the sentence mocks itself. The quotes from Keliher imply that he's having no fun at all. He describes his sexuality as an "untamed beast." He talks about being unable to keep it under control. Oh yeah. Sounds like a blast. And sexy isn't sexy without sex. It's in the fucking word. Haha. Fucking word. I kill myself.

Ok, that's enough. Almost everything is wrong about this article. Lil' Janie talked about feeling that her lifestyle was being attacked in the school newspaper. Well, I have a tip for you, don't have such a ridiculous lifestyle. And if you do, admit what it is, religious, and go to where you won't be mocked. If you want to hang around with other religious types, head south, and leave the smart thoughts to us edge-oo-mucated folks. You're in college. Having an ice cream social filled with people pretending to be asexual overgrown kids is going to get ridiculed. Go home and leave us to our Godless liberalism. We don't want you.

Fact or Fiction?: Living People Outnumber the Dead (Scientific American)
Students of Virginity (The New York Times)

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