Friday, October 2, 2009
A Response to Smile
In response to my last post, a reader named Smile writes:
"A blanket condemnation of young female sexuality followed by a recommendation of repression kind of bugs me".
I find this comment unfair and irritating. It exaggerates and distorts my comments, and includes what seems to be unthinking assent to the idea that any form of "repression" - whatever exactly is meant by that - is somehow wrong.
So, first things first. I did not offer a "blanket condemnation of young female sexuality". I expressed concern about something specific: the pornogrification, to coin a word, of young female sexuality. That's a big difference, and I do think it will be obvious to 99% of the people who read my post. To repeat, it is not human, or "young female" sexuality I object to, but to a social situation in which, at a formative time of life, a girl's primary sense of identity, purpose, and status derives from how outrageously she puts out. It's like living in a world created by Larry Flynt or a pimp, and it's bad - psychologically, emotionally, and physically - for boys and girls both.
Now, about your comments on "repression"...I am not sure how much I can say, because I am not exactly sure what you mean. This is a big, broad word which you have tossed out, which could refer to all sorts of things, some perfectly acceptable, others foolish, others dangerous.
For example, if one has the inclination to sexually molest children, then I see repression (either through willpower alone or with the aid of castration) as the only acceptable solution. Don't you? If so, then you agree with me that in some circumstances, sexual repression is a good thing, and could hardly condemn me for selectively supporting it. And certainly, there are all sorts of other cases where you would support repression of some kind. If a man is provoked by his girlfriend and wants to hit her, I assume you would encourage him to repress those violent urges. Likewise with dozens of different, destructive urges.
In fact, it is not too much to say that what we mean by the word civilization is no more than the taming, diversion or flat-out repression of certain instincts and desires which, if acted upon, would make society impossible, cruel, or dangerous. So I don't really know why this word should be thought to refer inherently to something bad.
You say my comments bug you. I say that what should bug you is a significant percentage of boys today growing up thinking of girls primarily as sperm receptacles. I think what should bug you is girls running around school dressed like prostitutes and competing with each other in what amounts to a "putting out" contest for the boys. I think what should bug you is citizens paying millions of dollars to support a public school system whose administrators lack the will and the legal or practical ability to enforce order, challenge students and hold them accountable, hire inspiring and purposeful teachers, fire lousy teachers, replace their boring curriculum, and build, deepen, and broaden students's character by inculcating ideals and habits like self-respect, self-discipline, and self-direction.
I mean, on this last point, I gave a guest speech to a high school in Oregon ten years ago, and the whole administration was absolutely petrified that I was going to talk about ethics and morals. Mentioning anything connected to a deity was obviously out of the question. The principal nervously made me promise ahead of time to steer clear of these topics. It was bizarre and chilling - literally like being in the Soviet Union in 1972 or something. I think that should bug you, too.
What should bug you is the equivalent of a million Jodie Fosters in "Taxi Driver", and all the confusion, sorrow, pregnancies, abortions, and everything else, that go with that...
To be continued, I'm sure.