So I’m driving to work this morning when I came across one of those local morning radio shows of the Howard Stern-like variety, meaning full of hyper-masculine oversexed and racist bullshit sprinkled with a dusting of misogyny. To my delight they were up in arms about a story out of Texas that the state legislature passed a bill that would make male masturbation illegal–because every sperm is sacred, dontcha know! Further in the story it said that men could not buy or possess sex toys that aid in masturbation and that they couldn’t receive erectile dysfunction drugs unless they sign a statement saying they would only have sex with a woman while using them and then give that statement to the government. My first reaction was a gleeful “Welcome to my world, bitches!”
Most of the guys on the show were stunned but one of them, the lone religious man kept saying “there has to be a reason”. He was trying to find justification for why they would do such a thing as if men had been masturbating so much that birth rates were dropping dangerously in Texas or some such nonsense. Leaving aside the whole debate as to why a religious man would be on such a show, which is a whole nother post altogether, I was fascinated by his attempt to justify the supposed law and the others reactions to the story. The other men were just appalled and rightly so. It obviously violates their autonomy, inserts religion into their bedrooms and violates the privacy between a patient and their doctor.
Now you may, at this point, be doubting the veracity of said article. You are correct. It was a satirical news story put out by the Tribune Herald. If you go to the actual article online you will see that the lede states “Texas legislature fails on abortion, passes masturbation bill”. Technically speaking the abortion bill hasn’t completely failed since Gov. Perry and his minions will continue to push the law until the opposition is exhausted from maintaining near constant filibustering because in TX a person who is filibustering actually has to stand for the better part of a day and actually hold the floor of the legislature (unlike Congress which allows the member to not even be present to prevent a vote or fillibuster). The Texas GOP will force this law on the state the will and health of the women of Texas be damned.
Without getting too caught up in the abortion debate, what is most interesting to me was that even though the fake article that got our local shock jocks so upset was clearly set up within the context of the failed abortion bill not once during the whole discussion did any one of them draw a parallel between their situation and that of women. Not once did it occur to them that women might feel the same way because we already face laws that say we’re not allowed to buy or possess sex toys in some states. We already face laws that say we aren’t allowed to have sex without procreating. Make no mistake about it. Every single law that makes getting an abortion more difficult (e.g., by adding unreasonable wait times, by closing down every clinic in the state, by proscribing forced vaginal insertion of medical devices, by limiting the window in which one can get an abortion, etc) basically tells women that if they have sex and get pregnant the state will do everything in their power to force them to give birth. And if we allow abortion to be outlawed, we might as well write the laws that way. Women must give birth if they get pregnant. That’s what anti-choice laws are REALLY about. And let’s not get into the social stigma of women who actually like sex or who are openly sexual–you know the drill–men are studs and women are sluts, etc, etc. We’ve been over all that. NONE of that has changed.
So these radio hosts never once made the connection between the rights that they purportedly lost with the rights that women have actually lost. They completely missed the point of the satire and here’s why. These same radio hosts frequently have strippers and porn stars on their show doing interviews and contests that would make your grandmother turn a shade of red never before seen in the visible spectrum (I would link to some video of their contests but they are really pretty tacky like the one of a purported MILF in a bikini who gets into a midget’s pants…..nuff said). Suffice it to say, they have little to no respect for women. Oh, don’t get me wrong. They love women who are “nasty” and “slutty”. They love them like you love that hot fudge brownie sundae you can’t resist late at night. You know it will make you fat and hate yourself tomorrow but by God you’ll scarf it down anyway. They can’t stand women who don’t put out or who don’t tolerate men behaving badly around them. They’re buzz killers and uptight prudes. To them a woman can only be one extreme or the other–whore or madonna, but never both. They’ll claim that they really do love women and they treat women respectfully in their real life. And that may be true. They’ll claim to be real 3-D complicated people and it’s probably true. But they don’t realize they’re not letting women be real 3-D people.
See real 3-D women like sex in private but don’t want to be treated like a sex object in public. Real women believe masturbation is as natural and healthy for them as it is for men, but they don’t want either gender to be told they can’t. Real women don’t think anyone should be messing with her vagina and ovaries any more than they should be messing with a man’s testicles and sperm. Funny how these radio hosts can’t see that real women exist and that these laws that hurt real women, hurt real men too. If these laws against women persist you will see more and more women calling for similar restrictions on men. Let’s see how they like it when something like this does actually become law. Maybe that’s the only way that American men will wake up and understand the laws that seek to control and restrict female autonomy are laws against humanity in general. At the very least I will be able to honestly say, “Welcome to our world, bitches!” and mean it.