Wednesday, October 04, 2006
That's "stupid", as in, ess tee double-o pee I tee, "*stoopit*."
You have to say it in a properly scornful South Philly accent for full effect. Not the spelling part, just the "stoopit".
Let me explain, okay?
Yes, that's right, we liberal folks don't care about gay folks. We don't even care if they (gasp) have sex. Nope, not even if one man fucks another man up the ass. Not even if they don't use a condom.
See, it's none of our business. We don't care, as long as everyone involved is giving fully informed consent. That includes being an adult, since we assume minors are incapable of giving informed consent.
Now, I do worry about folks having sex. If our hypothetical men, where one is fucking the other up the ass, are not using a condom, I'm worried about possible disease infection vectors if they're not in a strictly monogamous relationship. But, they're consenting adults, and if they are both willing to take those risks, well, I can't forbid them. What right do I have?
Remember, this is America, where the government exists because the people have rights, and the government's only purpose is to secure those rights. What possible government interest could there be in regulating what consenting adults do in the privacy of their homes?
The way I figure it, sex carries three dangers: pregnancy, disease, and mental/emotional dangers (be it a broken heart, a regretful morning after, a painful relationship that lasts too long because the sex is so great, or whatever). Two of them can be brought down to acceptable levels by people who are aware of them through birth control and barrier methods, and the third, well, it's every adult's right to screw up his or her own head and heart by making bad decisions.
So, if all participants are able to give informed consent, then everything's fine. It might be icky, or weird, or crazy, or, immoral according to certain belief systems... but if everyone involved is consenting, and able to give informed consent, then there just isn't a problem.
So, yes, we liberal folks are okay with things some people like Cal Thomas find gross. And, hey, that's okay... there are things Cal Thomas finds just fine - like the sight of his own face in the mirror - that I find gross. The man once said, without a hint of irony, that he felt he had to fight against acceptance for gay folks, because slavery, which is now unthinkable, was considered acceptable. If he doesn't help hold the line, someday heterosexism will seem equally unthinkable!
I wish I was kidding. I wouldn't make something like that up. Hell, I couldn't... I know the limits of my imagination.
Okay... but the key for us is consent.
There are some questions about jurisdiction and age of consent in Foley's case... but the bigger issue is that, even if it turns out that all of the boys were over the age of consent, some of them did not consent.
If people have made an informed choice to have sex, then it's their own business, and while I could conceivably be happy, or sad, or maybe worried, or freaked out, or scared to death about what's going on, however I feel, it's still not my business.
But if there's a lack of consent, then it is.
So, for example: if Foley talked dirty to old-enough young men who consented to talk dirty with him, that's fine.
If Foley talked dirty to young men who didn't consent to it, that's not fine.
It's a funny thing... I've come to discover that there are two views about what makes a sex crime a criminal act.
One side - and it tends to be conservatives who feel this way - think that it's the nature of the act itself. If it grosses them out, they think it's a crime, or should be.
The other side - that's us liberal folks, generally speaking - are concerned about whether or not someone is getting hurt by another (which almost always comes down to some lack of informed consent).
Well, pick your side, whichever side pleases you, but please remember, the folks who care about informed consent are the folks who are on the side of individual freedom.