May 09, 2006

The Rise of the Retrosexual

"First they came for the gays"

First they came for the gays
and I did not speak out
because I was not gay.
Then they came for the leatherfolk
and I did not speak out
because leather chaffs me.
Then they came for the unmarried swingers
and I did not speak out
because I was not a swinger.
Then I tried to buy the morning after pill
and I was refused
because God hates sluts.

What is a retrosexual? I didn't come up with the term but I wish I did...whenever it rolls off my tongue I can't help but picture my friend Mike wearing a chastity belt under his Banana chinos. Hot.

A retrosexual is the authority figure who told you masturbation makes your knuckles hairy. A retrosexual protests outside the abortion clinic. Michelle Bachman is a retrosexual. So is Rick Santorum. So are the organizations Concerned Women for America and Family Research Council. A retrosexual is anyone who spreads lies in order to suppress sexual expression, anyone who foists their moldy morals on the rest of us. Anyone who wants the government to legislate private sexual pleasures.

This DailyKos diary is worth reading as it brings to light what the gays have been saying for quite some time. Do you really think these homegrown American Taliban (fundamentalist) organizations such as Concerned Women for American will stop once they've banned gay marriage? That's just the start, marriage is just the kind of knee-jerk issue that gets your foot in the door.

If you take a step back you'll see its part of a broader vendetta against sex in aids, sex education, representations of sex, and sex itself...both gay and straight sex. Trust me, they're not going to stop with banning gay marriage. Their main target is any form of sexual expression outside of a married, heterosexual procreative unit.

Consider the following...

  • This New York Times article on how the anti-abortion movement has evolved into a broader movement against contraception...
  • The proposal this spring to ban sex toys in South Carolina
  • The ways in which anti-gay marriage bans in Ohio and Missouri are being used to discriminate against unmarried heterosexual couples...
  • "'Culture-of-life' assfucks" (to use Dan Savage's term) who are against a vaccine that would prevent the HPV virus (genital warts) and save many women from dieing of cervical cancer because an HPV vaccine would encourage sex...
  • Legislation currently introduce in Minnesota that would force pharmacies to allow individual pharmacists to refuse to dispense emergency contraception...

Despite these developments, the DailyKos diarist thinks that these extreme, anachronistic views actually hurt their overall cause:

Basically, Concerned Women for America and similar organizations seek to codify into law (and in some cases, restore) some pretty extreme sexual teachings. Let's recap: They believe that sex acts that do not include the possibility of procreation are sinful. They want to outlaw all abortion, outlaw all contraception, and enforce sodomy laws even for sex between married couples. They believe in the familial subservience of females--first to the authority of their fathers and then to the authority of their husbands. These are not mainstream positions in the US anymore. CWA and their allies would say that's the trouble with America--and that the change in attitude is liberalism's fault rather than liberalism's accomplishment. Either way they are giving us the credit for the prevailing social view and making themselves look dangerously radical by comparison.

Bottom line: it probably helps us to have the more extreme positions of their agenda exposed since I suspect that ultimately these are winning wedge issues for our side rather than for their side. Just watch and see how these retrosexual organizations, and more important, Repubilcan candidates, run away from and minimize (and hide) these positions during the 2006 elections. It's almost to our advantage to keep publicizing their true agenda, since the majority of the electorate is almost certainly with us.

I disagree. They're playing a shell game, shuffling shame around and stacking it on this group, and then that one, dividing and reconfiguring identifications. And I think that as long as gay sex is weighed and afforded a different value than, say, heterosexual oral sex or anal sex or extramarital sex, the debates will allow to take advantage of people's natural tendencies to sit back and not give a shit while another group's private, consensual pleasures are criminalized (again).

I think what we need to do is rescue broader terms like 'sodomy' from its contemporary meaning as something that the gays do and resuscitate its historical, puritanical roots to our advantage...something to celebrate...sexual acts of defiance that both straights and gays, married couples and unmarried couples, old folks and teenagers can take part in. Couldn't it be a term of solidarity between reasonable adults who believe that sexual freedom belongs to everyone?

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Posted by jason at May 9, 2006 02:22 PM

You'd better be talking about some other Mike. I certainly wouldn't wear a pair of chinos. Chastity belt? Maybe. But just for the way it feels against my balls.

Posted by: mike at May 10, 2006 11:11 AM

I am working on a theory that fundamentalists are actually practicing a low form of paganism. Instead of human or animal offerings, they are sacrificing civil liberties in attempt to appease the angry god of Israel.

Posted by: john at May 10, 2006 05:14 PM
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