Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Life of Sex

Anti-abortion activists in Portland, OR have managed to complicate the construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility by pressuring the contractor to drop the project.

[W]hen Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette signed on as the anchor tenant, Walsh said, he called other builders who had dealt with aggressive anti-abortion activists. He was told that protesters had gone as far as staking out contractors’ homes.

“It’s disruptive and very threatening,” he told The Oregonian. “I just didn’t want to put my family through that.”
One of the protest organizers is a man named Bill Diss, who has some interesting theories about human sexuality:
He called Planned Parenthood a “killing center” that targets young girls, teaching them about sex and masturbation, which he called “the gateway drug to lust.”
Young girls, mind you. Not children, and not teens. Girls.
“They’re up in North Portland targeting young black girls to get them into a life of sex,” said Diss, who is a science teacher at Portland’s Benson High.
I wasn't aware that lust required a "gateway," nor did I know that it would simply wither away in the absence of targeted vocational training. Consider the experiences of Saint Jerome in the Syrian desert:
There was I, who from fear of hell had condemned myself to such a prison, with only scorpions and wild beasts as companions. Yet I was often surrounded by dancing girls. My face was pale from fasting, and my mind was hot with desire in a body cold as ice.
Some might suggest that the intensity of these daydreams intensified Jerome's desire to control women's sex lives. Some might even claim that he lashed out at real women for the behavior of the imaginary dancing girls who disturbed his desert peace, and in doing so found a way to dwell persistently on female sexuality without having to feel guilty about it.

As for me, I've always seen adult obsessions with the sex lives of children and teens as...well, let's just say "problematic." Mr. Diss has the right to protest this clinic if he likes, of course. But if I had a kid in his class, I'd be very tempted to switch schools (and not just because I don't think a science teacher should be quite so horrified by the idea of "a life of sex").

(Illustration: "The Temptation of Saint Anthony" by Felicien Rops, 1878.)

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