We're not here right now. But if you leave a message with your name, number and time you called...
God we fuck up teenagers’ heads. We tell them that biological conditions are moral punishments and then we get all shocked when they don’t practice rational risk management of biological conditions. We teach them “sex is super desirable and all the cool kids do it, and it’s hideously shameful and will destroy your life” and we wonder why they act an eensy bit neurotic about it. If you tried to design a system for making sexually active kids confused and unsafe, you couldn’t do much better than the American media and school system.
And for once, the answer is relatively simple. Just talk about sex like it’s a part of life. Some people have sex and some people don’t, because people are different. STIs aren’t bad because they’re Dirty Crotch Rot; they’re bad because they’re contagious illnesses like strep throat or whooping cough, and you can ask a doctor to check for and treat them just like you would with strep throat. Unwanted pregnancy isn’t a scarlet A; it’s a mostly-preventable accident that sometimes occurs when people are going about their normal business of having sex. You can ask the school counselor about a variety of topics, including career planning, problems at home, questions about sex, or conflicts with teachers.
If we could just get the goddamn stick out of our collective ass and accept that sex is a human activity and teenagers are humans, maybe there wouldn’t be quite so many plaintive “I don’t understand my body and I’m confused and scared and I don’t know anyone I can ask in person” messages flying out into the world.
The Pervocracy - “Teenage Panic.”
It amazes me, after three decades of HIV/AIDS, we are STILL afraid to talk openly about sex. Meanwhile, the instances of new infections are growing because most people still don’t understand the proper way to protect themselves from STDs and pregnancy.
I hear a lot of GOP members talk of Ronald Reagan as if he was the second coming of the deity. They call themselves Reagan Conservatives as if it was something of which to be proud.
But I remember Reaganomics: The idea that you give tax breaks to the very wealthy and subsidies to corporations in order that they will create employment. They called it “Trickle-Down Economics”. It sounds like a reasonable concept, until reality sets in, and you see that the only jobs created are low-wage positions with little or no benefits.
Many families, including my own, had to rely on both parents earning an income in order to survive.
Whoopi Goldberg compared Trickle Down economics to the wealthy relieving themselves on the working class. (I’m paraphrasing, of course.)
The thing that confuses me most though, is this idea that Reagan somehow fixed our economy. If Ronald Reagan did such wonderful things for our economy, why were we chanting, “It’s the economy, Stupid” by the end of George Bush Sr’s first term? Theoretically, if Ronald Reagan set the United States of America on the path to economic recovery, Bush Sr. should have enjoyed a second term in office. Bush Sr. would have been able to shrug off any question about the economy.
But he didn’t.
America was still feeling economic pains. “It’s The Economy, Stupid” was Bush Sr’s downfall. Then after William Jefferson Clinton became the 42nd President, the United States had a surplus economy, for the first time in over two decades.
So please don’t lie to me and the rest of America with fantasies of how great Ronald Reagan was for this country’s economy. It’s not the reality that I lived.
President Barack Obama must be doing a good job.