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Friday, January 19, 2007

The Myth of Free Speech

This morning, I went to one of my newer social networking groups. I should have not been surprised, but I found that a number of groups had been eliminated from that website. Too....shall we say....salacious.
Another group on Yahoo! is grousing about witch-hunts targeting people of certain lifestyles and preferences. Entire websites have disappeared. There are close friends on places such as Yahoo 360, MySpace, Multiply, and even supposedly sex-friendly networks like SmutVibes who I fear could disappear because they are a bit too honest about sex and sexuality......among other things.
Since the last time we spoke online about this, not much has changed for the positive. So-called anti-smut crusaders are out and about, upfront and in stealth, with the goal of making this country as neutered sexually as possible. They are convinced that if we make this country sexually bleached, that the children would be protected from all this horrible smut.
Yes, the same kids that are currently engaged in such behavior with no help or encouragement from media.
They also feel that by de-sexing this country, they can save marriage. And they cite figures that purport to show that the more people stayed in traditional, neutered marriages, the more they stayed together.
None of these surveys showed how happy these people are.
More and more those who choose a less traditional route to relationships and sexuality are being told that they are miserable, unhappy, bound-for-hell heathens. Conform or else. And that "or-else" can be anything ranging from a mild-finger wagging, banishment, loss of job and status, jail, maybe even death (In Dallas, for instance, they are tracking the murders of men who do not act like traditional men, aka "gender queers."
The hypocrisy overflows. A very well-known talk show host parades a teenage kid on her show and questions him about being sexually abused, but seems ashamed of her own pregnancy at 14. A man is forced into community service because he had sex with his wife, simply because the wife was 15 (he was 22). Everyday teachers and students are having mutually-agreed upon sexual liaisons, and no one endorses those pairing, either real or fictional...unless you are Cate Blanchette.
And it goes and goes. If this sounds disjointed, it's because this crap goes on and on every day, and frankly I am getting tire of dealing with it. Tired of waiting for the ax to fall on good friends. Tired of being afraid to comment on things I know are true because the Stepford contingent of the web would not like to hear it. Tired of watching the retched scene knowing the the only true action of family-friendliness is the truth.
I'm tired of teens not being able to get important sexual information, let alone enjoy it, but they CAN be allowed to play the most violent games I've ever seen. I'm tired of sexuality being vilified instead of exalted. I'm tired of being told that I CAN talk about certain things, or feel certain things, as long as I preface it by saying "I know that this really is wrong......" even though I believe that is a bunch of bull.
But mostly, I am tired of watching what I say, walking on egg shells, keeping my mouth shut, because if I let the truth out, I might be the Prude Patrol's next victim.
My friend, Candee, continually refers to this Rodgers and Hammerstein song from South Pacific that fits so well with this....
You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught
before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people
your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!
We need new teachings.

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