An Immodest Proposal


Ohhhhhhh, I love satire on a Friday morning.

My perusal of The Frisky brought me to the day’s Quotable quote, posted by Jessica and referencing a column in The Guardian on Wednesday. The column was penned by writer Hadley Freeman who, when all is said and done, just wants to help those anti-abortion activists by stopping all “inappropriate” sexual activity (insert tongue firmly in cheek).

Her suggestions:

1. Chop off genitals at birth. They can have them reattached at their heterosexual wedding, in between the cake and the throwing of the bouquet.

2. Force all teenagers to watch their parents having sex. Effective, although there is a risk they will never have sex again and the human race will die out.

3. Rearrange human biology so that it’s men who get pregnant. It might not end verboten sexual relations, but it will probably put an end to old white guys trying to ban abortion and targeting the most vulnerable women, from rape victims to the needy poor, in the worst circumstances.

Below, some of my own suggestions:

  • Cease production of all contraceptives and birth control. Obviously if there’s no way to stay safe then nobody will have sex unless they want a kid.
  • Instead of contraceptive devices, mass produce and distribute chastity belts — the one-stop solution to completely avoid having to teach your children about responsible behavior.
  • Make sex illegal. For everyone. Then the old white guys who want to distinguish between “rape” and “forcible rape” can do so in a cell while they serve out their sentences for “voluntary rape”.

I’m glad that the tradition of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is continuing strong well into the 21st century. Sometimes, the only way to expose a ridiculous idea as truly ridiculous is to suggest equally ludicrous methods of implementing it. Sadly, as is often the case, I’m sure the only people who get it are the ones who got it from the very beginning.

So let’s play the game: what would you suggest to help these misguided souls on their goose chase to moral superiority?

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  1. One thing that could help a lot with preventing “unplanned” pregnancies would be allowing men and women who AREN’T pregnant or who don’t already have kids access to programs like Medicaid. I had a neighbor who kept having kids and kept getting more and more benefits for it, while I can’t get such help, because I’m not willing to do that kinda thing… ugh.

  2. Ah, Janelle, I love your misguided use of this “logic” thing I keep hearing about…but who would do such a thing? Wait, what’s that I hear? New healthcare laws will allow underprivileged people WITHOUT children to benefit from Medicaid coverage? Inconceivable!

    Hahaha, you’re totally right. I’m reminded of the end of my senior year of high school, when my AP English teacher told us without any sense of irony that the fastest way for us to have our entire education paid for was to have a child — of course, it was a negative reflection that she exhorted us to ignore, but it was a fact nonetheless. Maybe one day the people we elect will actually look for realistic solutions that are workable rather than eliminating options in an effort to get their way.

  3. Honestly, your first suggestion is truly right on. Contraceptives do not stop pregnancies, that’s why we have so many abortions. According to natural law, you are not supposed to have sex unless life is the primary purpose. Pleasure is a secondary result of sex. How do we know this? Animals don’t have sex for pleasure.
    It then follows…if you’re not having sex unless you expect to have children, chastity belts are not necessary because you are engaging in ‘responsible behavior’.
    And, for the record, God made sex outside of marriage illegal. Those who do will find out the consequences, but for now, just look at the increase of STDs since the ‘summer of love’, the number of abortions since the ‘summer of love’, and the increase of sex crimes since the ‘summer of love’.

    • Welcome to the blog. I seriously, seriously hope that you’re sitting back and chuckling at your satirical prowess, in which case I salute you for being a better master of irony than I.

      My concern, however, is that your comment is an earnest expression of your true feelings, and therefore an illustration of everything that is wrong with the public discourse on sex and sexual relations. If that is the case, the least I can say is don’t expect any agreement from me. As to the most I can say…well, stay tuned.

      • I wouldn’t waste my time on humor about a really serious topic. My comment is serious.
        I’m not telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. That’s between you and your creator. I am telling you what your creator decreed. Wrong is wrong regardless of how many think it’s right, and right is right no matter how many think it’s wrong.
        Sex has a purpose. It’s not just for pleasure. If you take away the purpose, you are using a gift incorrectly. It’s like if someone gives you a set of steak knives, and you use them to kill squirrels. Knives’ purpose is to cut steak, but you remove that purpose and it becomes a mis-ordered use of the gift.
        So are you disagreeing that since the dawn of the sexual revolution, there’s been a huge increase in sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV increase, abortion increase? Are you disagreeing that the best way to avoid having children is to not have sex?

      • While I firmly respect the fact that you have very strong religious beliefs, I must ask that you respect the fact that I do not and to not preach or proselytize to me.

        In going with your belief in an omniscient creator, however, it’s unrealistic to claim that pleasure is not a reasonable purpose in having sex. After all, if your god or any other didn’t intend for it to be so then why is it? If you’re thinking “well, the devil makes it pleasurable to tempt us all to sin” then clearly it’s always a sin to experience pleasure when having sex, regardless of whether or not one is married. I guarantee if that was the interpretation then there would be an entirely new element to confession…

        This line of reasoning extends to your analogy of the steak knife and the squirrel. What if I use my knives to cut chicken, or fish, or to slice an apple? What if I use the knife to kill a squirrel, as you said, but I killed it for food rather than the bloodsport you imply? These other uses may not qualify as the “primary” purpose of the steak knife, but they are equally reasonable purposes.

        I disagree with your interpretation of statistics, because a rise in statistics does not necessarily mean a rise in occurrence — correlation does not equal causation. Statistics also rise because of increased reporting, in the case of abortions due to Roe v. Wade and in the case of various STIs because of their identification in the medical field. Were people also irresponsible and promiscuous? Yes, but this is no different and no larger a phenomenon than at any other point in history. The only assertion with which I will agree is that abstinence is the most effective contraceptive, but I’m going to stray from your normative view and state from a positive perspective that it is impossible to prevent anyone from having sex if they want to. Sooner or later, it’s going to happen; as for me, I’d rather people be equipped with the resources to protect themselves and make their own decisions.

      • Did I say that pleasure wasn’t involved in human sexuality? I just said it wasn’t the primary part. If sex wasn’t pleasurable, why bother (at least, for humans)? No, God made it pleasureable because he wants us to be fruitful and multiply. It’s an incentive, it’s not the end goal.. Squirrels may not be a good analogy, for there are legitimate reasons to kill squirrels with steak knives. The point is that the primary use for steak knives is to cut steak at the dinner table, not to kill squirrels. So killing squirrels with a steak knife is a misordered use of the tool, regardless of the legitimacy of killing a squirrel (for food). Let’s change it, though. Instead of steak knives, let’s make it screw drivers. The normal use of a screwdriver is to turn screws. But if used to kill squirrels, which you could use a screwdriver to do, is not the normal use. Get it now? In the same way, pleasure is not the primary goal of sex, though it’s been turned into that. Pleasure is certainly a result of having sex, but the primary goals of sex are for bonding and procreation.
        Regarding STDs, there are many, many more STDs now than there were 40 years ago, and it’s a direct cause of promiscuity. It is also a direct cause of promiscuity that there are many more cases of STDs (Is).

        Apart from all that, if someone wants to have sex, you’re right, they will. The same way Eve was swayed by Satan, though she had seen the glory of her creator. But humans have a will, and have the ability to abstain. (Part of all religion is denying some of our natural instincts in the quest to find the one who made us.) If they know it’s right not to have sex, they won’t. The Christian world always thought that sex outside of marriage was wrong. It still is, though people love their sins more than they love their God.

      • Let it go. Even if I was inclined to consider your point of view seriously, which I’m not because I don’t typically take those who cling to their religion very seriously, your condescending attitude just leads to me tuning out everything you say – get it now? For the record, it’s people like you who made me turn away from religion — so if you’re hoping to “turn people to god” with that attitude then you are failing miserably. Thanks for visiting, but it’s time for you to move on.

  4. When will people stop insisting on using their chosen religion as a viable stance in an argument?

    Your religion is yours and yours alone, regardless of how many other people prescribe to the same inane notions, the way you practice or believe in your faith is unique to you. That being the case, trying to use your religion as a weapon is selfish, misguided, and honestly stupid. Your god gave his “rules” to you, he didn’t “make sex before marriage illegal” as he doesn’t make the laws, the government does. If your god wanted sex to actually be illegal before marriage, would he not have made his little human puppets make it an actual law? How about make my dick fall off for sticking it into someone before the ring is on my finger? Give me crippling syphylis and make me blind for ever considering pre-marital fornication? What’s that, he can’t ACTUALLY do any of that? Well there’s a shocker.

    As for your squirrel analogy…you clearly went to the Glen Beck school of analogies. What I mean by this, in-case the sarcasm was too much for you, is that it sucks. Steak knives, screwdrivers, hammers, a fucking my little pony…any of these things can be used in a perfectly legitimate manner to kill a squirrel for food. If you’re starving to death, and all you happen to have is a Furby and a surplus of woodland rodents, does your god want you to die? If so, fuck him. If not, then that means he wants you to smash those little bastards and “fry ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew”!

    However, as for the blog, nobody can or will EVER stop people from having sex whenever they want and with whomever they want (that includes people of the same sex, say it ain’t so!). Even if it’s illegal people will do it, if it’s immoral they’ll do it, if it always ends with you vomitting and sobbing in a corner people will do it. Why? Because it’s natural for us to want it – that feeling of ecstasy is so exquisite so that we’ll come back for more. And yes, it does feel good partly so that we will procreate, but that’s because genetics and evolution made it that way not any god, and that doesn’t make the pleasure portion of the event “secondary” in any way. I do not, and will never, have children…therefore when I have sex with my wife (and there was lots and LOTS of it before she was my wife, and your god still didn’t smite me) it’s purely for pleasure. Pleasure is the primary, secondary, tertiary, and everyotherary goal.

    • I award you 1,000,000,000,000 internetz…but then I’m taking 50% away for you making me think about you having sex.

      However, it may be worth it since I think I just lost 3 pounds from abdominal spasms after the hysterical laughing that commenced. You are my hero.

  5. Oh…and about how people, “love their sins more than their god”. What you’re really saying is that they love what YOU perceive as sins more than YOUR god. Basically, you’re selfish and narrow-minded…but it’s not your fault, that’s how god made you right?

  6. […] if you will the tongue-in-cheek discussion from 11 February (An Immodest Proposal) in response to the ludicrous attacks on women’s rights going on around the nation. I engaged […]

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