Thursday, January 12, 2006

KINSEY ... and the Court

I finally got to see Kinsey tonight. In it, he wonders what this country would be like if the Puritans had stayed in England. Someone recently told me that the first white people were “the only ones here” so this has to be a Christian country. In fact, there were millions of people already here. There were thriving cultures older than anything that existed in Europe, with democratic governments, no prisons, no debt, no sexual guilt, no sexual repression and almost no spousal or child abuse. Then the Puritans arrived.

The Puritans brought disease, repression, slavery, hatred and violence. They persecuted “Witches” and were the first wave of what turned out to be systematic genocide and theft. America’s first fascists. Church attendance mandatory, and heaven help you if you ran afoul of the local clergy. The Patriots resisted, ushering in an age of enlightenment and drawing upon Native American democracies they created a free nation. Freedom took a little longer than they’d hoped, but the cycle had begun. American culture formed a spiral, moving forward, curving back around to an earlier, more repressive attitude, which creates the resistance needed to swing around and move the culture forward. Kinsey was the antidote to the last wave of fascism, when J. Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy were imposing their respective repression and suspicion on the creative (and therefore subversive) elements of the country.

Kinsey showed people that most of them weren’t as weird as they thought. He pulled back the curtain and saw the sex that went on everywhere but was never mentioned. His research was the beginning of homosexuality being viewed as a natural variation instead of an illness. It was the death of Freud’s mythical “vaginal orgasm” that had been used against women for a century. He looked at the reality of the human animal and stripped away the false structure of 5,000 year-old tribal mores that have nothing to do with our lives today.

The spiral continues. We had a push forward in the 60’s and 70’s, had our predictable conservative backlash in the 80’s and we’re smack in the middle of a current manifestation of the same old fascist forces that live in constant fear that somebody is having a good time. Always under the mantle of “morality,” these forces have a financial interest in keeping people repressed. It takes real repression to fuel persecution, and it takes persecution to control a population and to wage a war. War is a money-making machine for the wealthy. Guilt keeps church coffers full. Great power measures itself against those it holds powerless. Happy people won’t kill for your cause. Liberated women dare expect orgasms, equal pay, and won’t tolerate abuse or neglect. If a rich white man is to maintain his fortune, he believes he has to exploit the weakness of minorities, women and the poor so he can build his empire on their backs. It’s time for empires of wealth and oppression to fall. The myth of scarcity and the expedience of greed and corruption are un-American, racist, sexist, hateful hurtful lies that have lived too long.

America is at a crucial juncture. The confirmation of Sam Alito will give dangerous leverage to the Republican War on Sex. The demagogues of the Radical Right say our culture is sex obsessed when it is actually sexually repressed. They’re doing everything they can to destroy the social and sexual progress we’ve made in the last 40 years. We’re looking at a return of sodomy laws, the loss of access to birth control as well as abortion, prison sentences for normal adult sexuality, complete loss of privacy, and strip searches without warrants if they succeed. Women will be out of the work force and under the thumbs of their husbands.

Kinsey was the first to tell us that Sex is Good. It’s a normal adult activity in all its glorious variety. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going back into the closet or under the sheets. In a free country, no one should be afraid to be a healthy, sexual adult. Do you want the government in bed with you? Deciding when you can have sex, how you can do it, and with whom. Do you want the state deciding you must have a child that is unplanned and unwanted – after they’ve taken away the contraceptives you relied on to prevent that unwanted pregnancy?

Do you want George Bush making your most intimate decisions for you?
When you can have sex?
How you can live?
When you can die?

Kinsey isn’t here. It’s up to us to make sure we stay as free as we are, and that the social progress that’s dawning for the LGBT community isn’t stopped before it has really begun. Stopping Alito’s nomination is just step one, but it’s crucial. Europe laughs at us for our prudishness – don’t let them pity us our oppression.

Strip Search Sammy cannot sit on the Supreme Court!
Demand an appropriate, moderate Justice instead of a Right Wing extremist.

No Alito, No Way!


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