Friday, October 05, 2007

Manny State?

So, it is now illegal to sell sex toys in Alabama. Sex toys don't appeal to me but that doesn't mean that I think that people shouldn't be able to buy one. Furthermore, this is the kind of bullshit that is poisoning American political discourse. Some jackass decides that they should keep strip clubs away from areas that children frequent1 to protect children from the harmful influence. Anyone that speaks out against this is going to be savaged in the press as being pro-pedophilia or something similar, as opposed to being called pro-business and small government.

I can almost see the reasoning for this law except that this is clearly government attempting to do my job as a parent. They toss in porn stores with the bill. Most people can agree that you want to keep kids out of porn stores and sex shops. Was this a problem before the law? Were strippers hanging out near elementary schools offering lapdances for milk money? Were porn stores using cartoon characters to advertise their new selection of Drag-On-Balls Dildos? Were 9 year olds playing with mommy's neck massager? I can envision some parent saying, "Well, I sleep a lot easier knowing that my children's only access to pornography is the family computer and the bottom of my sock drawer." Heaven forbid if they had some sort of mechanical assistance.2

If I get lucky enough to have kids, I have to teach them about stuff. Stuff like hiking, camping, brushing their teeth, morals, ethics, behavior and, shockingly enough, interactions with other human beings that may include sex. That is part of your job as a parent. The idea in this law that porn stores and sex shops are somehow instantly corrupting and corrosive to communities is bullshit. If you don't want to talk to your kids about sex, that is your prerogative. Don't come crying to me when your daughter has an ectopic pregnancy or your son has some STI or STD because you never told them to use condoms and use them correctly.3

More resources:
Michael Dorf at FindLaw from 2004
February 14, 2007 Ruling against the plaintiffs (PDF!)
July 28, 2004 Dissent or something, I'm not a lawyer. (PDF!)
Infamous Ann Bartow wrote a post about the February judgement or decision.
And again last Wednesday.

1 Like children hang out at truck stops. Whatever, for the sake of argument, I am going to allow the basis of this part of the law as a given, even if it is really flimsy.
2 I wonder what the people that wrote this bill would do if they caught their daughter stroking a hairbrush handle or caught their son pegging himself with a carrot?
3 I won't even begin to start on the HPV shot bullshit. That is just outrageous.


billy pilgrim said...

Molly Ivins has already covered this brilliantly snarky when they did it in Texas.

Check ou the vid:

(it's a bit disconcerting to type 'Molly Ivins dildo' into the search window)

They are now "educational models"

some people get WAAAY more education than others.

Productive use of lawmaking time there, dilholes.

Kathleen said...

for you: birds and batteries on NPR

my rule of thumb is always beware the "protect the children" justification. It never leads to anything good.

porterhouse said...

I love the way the forget the "protect the children" mantra when it comes to letting military recruiters on high school campuses.

dontEATnachos said...

I thought this post was going to be about Manny Ramirez. Too bad it wasn't. Instead it's all 'blah blah blah.'

Aren't you aware it's the playoffs? THE PLAYOFFS (on TBS).

teh l4m3 said...

I think parents who take their kids to Folsom Street Fair where men are giving each other blow jobs in broad daylight are the best parents in the world.

Jennifer said...

Nicely done, Chuckles. I was once told that some of my art work was not child-friendly. My response? It was not meant for children. I seem to have moved to an area where everything must be suitable for the child therefore the adults dumb themselves down wearing Disney clothes, watching Disney movies and only taking trips to Disney parks. Why go to London or Paris when you can go to Epcot. Don't get me wrong, my kids have plenty of Disney stuff and I love some of their movies, but I know there is a world out there beyond Disney. I also recall being a child and my parents having an adult life and somehow, by them slowly teaching me about the adult world, I became one myself. There is a time for everything. I try to expand my children's views slowly with what my be appropriate. My job is to direct or avert their attention depending on what the situation might be. It is not my job to sanitize the world and dictate the world's behavior in order to protect my children, it is my job to help my children slowly learn how to navigate within the adult world.

Ok- I'm rambling and am not even sure I made my point... Again, nice post.

Saffyre said...

Yikes - I can't believe such a law got passed! That just seems plainly ridiculous. I thought we Brits were meant to be the prudish ones?

Adorable said...

I personally think the problem with our kids is that they are not exposed to sex often and early enough. Teenage pregnancy and risky sexual behaviors have been clearly linked to America's culture of chastity and don't ask, don't tell.

I personally don't care if kids get lap dances. I really don't. My policy is pretty simple as that on abortion: don't want your kid to get a lap dance: don't give him or her the allowance money for it!

What I care about is getting folks educated in this country and teaching effective messages about health and sexuality.

Feck Alabama.

Chuckles said...

AG, since I know you (biblically! HAYOOOH!), I know what you mean. However, anyone else reading that comment could easily think that you want kids to have sex or have sex with children and that you are only in favor of abortions if your kids can pay for it themselves, (perhaps by hooking?).

Snag said...

I once saw a movie made by some Disney animators after hours that involved Mickey Mouse and some sex toys, but I don't think that's exactly what Jennifer's getting at here.

As a parent, I want to keep my kids away from things I don't think are appropriate for them. For example, I'd prefer my 9-year-old not watch hard core pornography. So, I don't buy him any.

Last I checked there's not any being broadcast on PBS during the dinner hour or tacked on the grocery store bulletin board. Ergo, problem solved!

Adorable said...

Sorry Chuckles. It was early, I was typing fast before a day long meeting.

And the person who wins the RoD bake-off this year is getting a sex toy. AG just decided.

Sex toy!!

No lie: word verification below: behaze!

Snag said...

We're baking sex toys this year?

Adorable said...

Snag, you aren't baking anything. AG is not eating a moose cookies.

Jennifer said...

AG- Cornman, also part of the winner's gift bag, looks rather like a dildo in disguise. I think he'll compliment the addition gifting of a sex toy.

Chuckles said...

Saffyre, have you seen the wonderful show Coupling? That show is pretty unprudish and awesome, as is Teachers. Both of these are shows that were on BBC. I have been looking for Teachers to come out on DVD in the states, but haven't found it yet.

Adorable said...

Corn man should go to the loser, J-cake.

i.e. Save it for Dinko.