I had to work backwards slightly on this one.
Yesterday, a federal appeals court upheld a Mississippi law which bans the sale of sex toys.
Apparently the law had been challenged as a violation of privacy and a violation of free speech. But the court says that advertising sex toys for sale is not protected by free speech laws, and that the right to privacy does not include the purchase of sexual devices (however, interestingly, if your doctor or psychologist prescribes a sex toy for you, you may purchase said sex toy from your doctor or psychologist. Does this happen often?).
Which left me baffled. If you can advertise for any other product, I didn’t see why you couldn’t advertise for sex toys (I’m pretty anti-advertising, but if you can legally market a car, I don’t see why you can’t also legally market a dildo. Okay, I could see people wanting to limit the advertising to places and publications that kids won’t see, fine). And the right to privacy angle just seemed like the wrong one to use, in my opinion.
But the bigger question remained: maybe your “right to privacy” doesn’t guarantee your freedom to buy vibrators, but what the hell right did the government have to outlaw them? I mean, I ‘m pretty sure that there are no laws on the books that guarantee my rights to buy lamps, running shoes, sourdough bread, or monster trucks, but people would certainly see it as a violation of freedom to ban them.
So I had to dig to find out the rationale for the Mississippi law, and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised: “protecting public physical and mental health and supporting public morality.”
Of course, public morality. I sometimes forget that Sex is Evil. Everyone knows that sex should be between a husband and his wife. Or a husband and his mistress. Or a man and a box of Kleenex. Or possibly between two single women on videotape. But never ever between single couples, men, or a woman and a vibrator. Lord only knows what might happen if a woman masturbated by herself and enjoyed it. It would lead straight to mass abortions, forced atheism, gay marriage! Rock music! Terrorism! Dancing!!!
Seems like life in The Sticks is getting downright unliveable. You Midwest and Southern folk might want to think about moving, or overthrowing your state governments.
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