Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Prurient Prudes and Voyeuristic Vilifiers

I was planning on writing this post last night but I got sidetracked by something shiny or whatever and didn't. And then I saw this totally right-on post on my friend Richard's blog and remembered. First of all, props David and Michelle Paterson for their candor AND for telling people it's not really any of their business. But I think it's fucking ludicrous that they even need to disclose any of this in the first place. It's like I said in my comment on Richard's blog:

"Word the fuck up. I am so sick of our prudish/perverted culture where we vilify people for sexual practices that are none of our business and then demand to know every lurid detail. It's like the entire United States is suffering from massive sexual dysfunction."


Everyone in their mother has their panties in 85 knots over Eliot Spitzer and Hookergate Ought Eight - It's immoral! It's wrong! It's exploitative! It's conduct unbecoming of a politician! But hey, guess what? It's actually none of our fucking business. I am always flabbergasted by Americans who tout these practically puritanical values about sex and sexuality but still want to savor every morsel of information about the sex lives of others. It's this vicarious, voyeuristic thrill that we all wallow in and then go wash off with a Lifetime Television Movie-esque shower afterwards. We (and by "we" I am talking about the culture at large, not certain individuals who don't buy into this bullshit) want to get our rocks off and cluck our tongues and pass judgment at the same time. But you can't have your scandalous thrills and eat piety pie too, folks.

Annalee Newitz also makes an excellent point about how all these people are criticizing him for obtaining the services of a prostitute and how exploitative and horrible that is. O RLY? But treating your waitress at Denny's like shit and not tipping her because it's not a "fancy restaurant" is just business as usual? People try to draw these really bold, thick, lines around sex work and exploitation but the truth is that it's not a cut and dried situation and never has been. But you don't see these same people wanting to, say, improve the lives and working conditions of sex workers do you? No, they just want them all to repent and be saved and then, what? Work alongside that aforementioned miserable waitress at Denny's? Everyone wants the "exploitation" to end but they don't want to actually enact any real change for women or for their labor or anything like that. It's like the anti-abortionists who don't want any fetuses aborted but would rather eat glass than see unwanted babies adopted by a gay couple or something. They want to spew their opinions and do nothing to change what they think is so wrong in the first place.

And, frankly, I'm never convinced that the people who bray the loudest about something they see as immoral (paying prostitutes for sex, being gay, watching porn, etc.) aren't doing the same damn thing in their shame-filled, secret, private lives. Yes, I'm thinking of you, Senator Craig.

2 Comments:

At 3/19/2008 3:08 PM , Blogger Ron said...

I think it's important to note, though, that breaking the law is not acceptable of a person elected to enforce the law. Take McGreevey and Spitzer. McGreevey (ostensibly) did not break the law: he (supposedly) just had an affair. Spitzer broke the law by soliciting a prostitute. McGreevey's affair should not be the public's business: Spitzer's lawbreaking should be.

But I know that people aren't condeming Spitzer for breaking the law: they're condemning him for being sexually deviant. And, of course, that's missing the point and being hypocritical.

 
At 3/19/2008 3:13 PM , Blogger ohnochriso said...

I guess I should've mentioned that I think the illegality of prostitution is basically ridiculous. And honestly, of all the laws broken by the multitude of politicians who have probably broken the law in the last century or two, I'm not too bothered by this particular situation.

 

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