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30. August 2010

Sex and cruelty

Filed under: philosophy — admin @ 13:25

Most Americans don’t consider themselves to be sexually cruel people, preferring to describe themselves both sexually liberated and sexually non-discriminatory.  But this highly-esteemed self-assessment falls short when we consider that we would otherwise ban many sexual behaviors, if not for their association with sexuality.  For instance, consider that in each pair of the following equally-offensive scenarios, one behavior is legally permitted and the other prohibited.

1) Breaching a business contract you made with a neighbor, or 2) leaving a woman to whom you legally promised eternal fidelity

1) Accepting money in exchange for a car, taking parts out of it, and then holding the other person to the agreement; or 2) promising sexual faithfulness to a man, and then sleeping with a hundred men around the town

1) Collecting thousands of dollars to start your corporation, and then immediately dissolving the corporation and keeping the money; or 2) taking thousands of dollars in wedding gifts, and then getting divorced within a year

1) Chopping a person into pieces and throwing them into a garbage can, or 2) dismembering your baby so that you can continue having sex with multiple partners

In the first example, breaching a legally-binding contract can land you in a serious trouble, but only if the contract involves business, money, or a piece of property.  But if you publicly promised your wife that you would love her until death, in poverty or in wealth, in sickness or in health, we invalidate our concept of contract rights, with all states refusing to hold anyone responsible for their oaths.  Almost as if to say that while you cannot lie to your business partners, upholding a contract is unnecessary when the violation involves a more highly-esteemed sexual satisfaction*.

But in certain cases, we should have seen the divorce coming: adultery is also legal in most states, allowing any man to leave his loving wife at home and go prowling the streets in search of an ejaculation, as though we find the protection of fidelity too archaic a concept for such a “civilized” people.  Again, in a situation which would otherwise be obviously immoral and prohibitable, the pursuit of sexuality trumps both contract rights and families simply because we find it more important than both.

Outside the harmed family, others are impacted by both marriage and divorce as well.   Few people consider that thousands of dollars in gifts are exchanged in a wedding celebration, and for one purpose: guests believe the word of the bride and groom, that the newlyweds will take care of each other until death.  But consider what becomes of the gifts if the marriage dissolves.  Assuming that contributions would be kept for unfulfilled promises in any other circumstance, we could expect public outrage and possibly prosecution for fraud.  But when we consider love and marriage, supposedly the sweetest of human feelings and institutions, we as a society could care less about people accepting money and goods under false pretenses.

And this leads us to the most heinous of romantic “liberties.”  Anyone who has taken a sober look at abortion videos, seeing the tiny dismembered arms, legs, hands, and little smashed heads of children, knows that an abortion isn’t just about a woman’s choice to create a baby, but rather a woman’s choice to end a living baby.  But while the dismemberment of a living person would otherwise be strictly prohibited, the concern becomes secondary when it threatens a woman’s sexual liberty, because Americans believe that a woman’s need to feel sexually stimulated trumps a baby’s protection from a most violent end.  But since one can most certainly be guaranteed that dismemberment is more painful than chastity, we must ask ourselves what kind of civilization allows murder in the name of sex, since it certainly cannot be morally advanced.  While Americans enjoy believing that we have advanced beyond the Old Testament days of kings and nomadic tribes, little has changed: this “civilization” we’ve achieved is simply dismembering our babies for the god of sexual pleasure instead of sacrificing them in fire to the god of fertility.

I find it funny that Americans take the mere perception of sexual discrimination to be a serious issue in America, punishable by massive fines and public protest, but are unwilling to keep a man from actually cheating on his wife, a woman from killing her own baby, or to keep a woman from breaking her public promises because she’s not feeling “fulfilled.”  I also find it funny that some Americans are willing to prohibit discrimination of sexually-unpopular behaviors, but for some reason won’t stop a man from pursuing someone else’s wife.  Does it seem backward to any of you, that we would legally restrict others from making sexual judgments, but grant the sexually liberal a license to do whatever they want, at almost whatever expense?

A man who had license to do whatever he wanted, without fear or regard for the feelings of others, would be known as a tyrant.  Yet Americans seem to believe that this flagrant disregard for other bedrock social concepts is acceptable, so long as sexual partners originally consent and are of age.  But perhaps it’s time to hold sexuality to the same standards as every other human interaction.  After all, this isn’t the Wild West in every other category of behavior, so why should it be with sex?

Now, there are those who would say that conservatives are cold-hearted for taking a strong stance against sexual liberty; and to many, the initial appearance of conservative intolerance breeds our stereotype of prudish totalitarianism.  But what we as Americans–as human beings–need to ask ourselves today, is whether or not we believe sexual liberty is more important than contract rights, than protection from fraud, than happy families, and than the right to a person’s life.  If we do in fact believe that the pursuit of sex trumps all these other rights, then we have no right to consider ourselves civilized.  Simply put, we are a nation of sexual monsters.

Of course, prohibiting these behaviors would only make superficial gains when society’s concept of love is thoroughly marred.  Is love something we feel?  Something which comes and goes?  Is love an eternal pursuit of stimulation, of disposable partners, of perpetual consumption?  A great man once said that love is none of these.  Rather, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  This is love, nothing more, nothing less; and marriage is the institution which molds an initially-fleeting romantic pursuit into a life-long commitment to the welfare of the other.  And if marriage is a public commitment to this value called love, the only barrier between the consumptive sexual nightmare’s war on harmonious familial relationships, then our very humanity demands that it must be protected at all costs.   The only question we face today is whether or not we will remain slaves to our own libidos, or reach to the potential for which humanity was originally intended.

So what will it be?

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*When children are involved, the stakes get higher: not only is the child likely to suffer emotional and educational damage and potentially grow up without economic stability and supervision, but men are more likely to have their children pried from their arms.  Discovery Health reports that in the United States, two-thirds of all divorce papers are filed by women, showing that our women are not only more cold-hearted than men, but also more emotionally fickle and likely to break their promises.  The numbers are worse in Canada: 75% of all divorces are filed by women.  Case studies also show that men are also far more likely to suffer emotional heartbreak from divorces, yet a woman’s choice to trample her husband’s well-being is still viewed as an essential right, despite legally-binding contracts which demand otherwise.

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