Virginity or death!
by wayward, Fri May 13, 2005 at 08:15:40 PM EDT
Imagine a vaccine that would protect women from a serious gynecological cancer. Wouldn't that be great? Well, both Merck and GlaxoSmithKline recently announced that they have conducted successful trials of vaccines that protect against the human papilloma virus. HPV is not only an incredibly widespread sexually transmitted infection but is responsible for at least 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer, which is diagnosed in 10,000 American women a year and kills 4,000. Wonderful, you are probably thinking, all we need to do is vaccinate girls (and boys too for good measure) before they become sexually active, around puberty, and HPV--and, in thirty or forty years, seven in ten cases of cervical cancer--goes poof. Not so fast: We're living in God's country now. The Christian right doesn't like the sound of this vaccine at all. "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful," Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council told the British magazine New Scientist, "because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex."
You can read the rest at http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050530&s=pollitt
Continued in the extended entry...
Condoms, birth control, HPV vaccines, and other ways to take the negative consequences away from sexual activity threaten this narrative of control. This is why common sense ideas are constantly opposed by the right. Programs to actually reduce abortion are opposed while they chip away at Roe. (While there are some good, sincere, people out there who disagree with most of this site on the abortion issue, my theory is that there are some people who just want Roe overturned so that they no longer have to be nice to young pregnant girls. Back to the old "kick 'em out" and "ship 'em off".)
It is only in a narrative of control that it makes sense. What else winds these threads together? The moralistic minority has people who denounce homosexuality, but sodomize their wives. It includes bishops who denounce "sexual immorality", then shelter child molesting priests. It has advocates of "family values" who are on marriage number 2,3,4... To these people, sex means power and is a way to control people.
This is not to say that being sexually conservative means that you are anti-sex or that you believe in controlling other's sex lives. Quite the contrary. Many promenent liberals have very dull sex lives. Jimmy Carter only committed adultery "in his heart". Nancy Pelosi has been married to the same man for over 40 years and has 5 kids. Very blue Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation. In fact, if you look at these facts in light of the control narrative, this too makes perfect sense, because people who do not see sex as a means of control would probably have more stable relationships.
What this means is that attacking the moralistic minority as "anti-sex" or "prudes" or anything else that strictly refers to the sexual realm is missing the point. Without addressing the underlying control narrative, this is ineffective at best and probably counter-productive.
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