Saturday, August 17, 2013

the language of politics part three

Yesterday I said that the social purity movement had opened Pandora's box with it's crusade to repress sex and sexuality through legislation. But they also found a way to open Pandora's ''trunk,'' too!
    With the huge influx of people moving into cities at the turn of the century looking for work, American urban culture was growing and developing. It's true that much of that culture included drinking, gambling, prostitution, drugs and violence, and the social purist did address those issues. But they were also obsessed with sex, sexuality and masturbation. What they did was publish ''moral'' and ''marriage guides.'' These booklets and books were aimed at youths and young couples to help them avoid the pitfalls of city life. The problem, what I call Pandora's trunk, was that these publications allowed people to read and think about sex, sexuality and masturbation and were not only explicit but were seen as quite erotic! They sold like hotcakes because they encouraged the very thing[s] they were suppose to be curtailing! We must also remember that the social purity movement backed the Comstock act/law that was passed in 1873 to stop ''lewd and obscene'' materials from being sent through the U.S. mail. Well, these moral and marriage ''guides'' were not considered lewd or obscene but people were reading, talking and thinking about sex, sexuality and masturbation more than ever because of them!
    These guides, for example, would go into great detail about ''what makes a women desire another women''. According to them she was ''idle, bored, lonely and under or oversexed...''! Dr. Joseph Collins MD, in his ''medical'' marriage guide entitled The Doctor Looks at Love and Life, devoted forty pages to discussing Homosexuality alone! I think these guides achieved two things. One, they unintentionally helped to further identify the existence of an oppressed or ''repressed'' class or minority and, two, they got people off!
    The social purity movement, in my opinion, is a perfect example of what happens when you try to make change outside of yourself. You have start with yourself and be the change you want to see in the world. You have to effect others with your energyor vibration without saying a word.

No comments:

Post a Comment