Lying Media Bastards

March 15, 2006

Dicks in Dixie (or, “Go Fuck Yourself, Go Directly to Jail”)

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.

Posted by Jake on March 15, 2006 10:34 am

7 Comments »

  1. Overthrow? Unlikely. These kinds of measures are verrrrrrry popular in the South. People like God in the South, or rather, people like people who talk like they like God (case in point: Roy Moore has a decent shot at stealing the Republican nomination for governor from incumbent Bob Riley).

    In time, I think we’ll look at these religious wackos with the same sense of befuddlement and frustration that we now regard the segreationists of the ’60s.

    Comment by Robby Simpson — March 15, 2006 @ 5:19 pm

  2. No, *you* can go fuck yourself. I’ve lived in the (upper) midwest most of my life, which has primarily been blue-state territory. Mississippi is nowhere near Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Illinois, the last I checked.

    This is a huge pet peeve of mine - coasters treating middle America as some sort of homogenous mass, i.e. “flyover country.” Kinda like the old saw, “all [insert racial identification here] people look the same to me.”

    Nothing personal, you caught me on a bad day. But still.

    Comment by John Anderson — March 16, 2006 @ 10:56 pm

  3. First off, John, I’m sad that you didn’t get my clever pun. While “go fuck yourself” is commonly an angry retort, here I’m using the more literal sense: “fucking yourself” could be called masturbating. And since this post is about a form of masturbation becoming illegal, I mix it with the Monopoly card command, “go directly to jail, do not collect $200″. I was not telling any midwestern or southern person to go fuck themselves.

    Secondly, Californians are geographically illiterate. Seriously, Californians can find California, New York, and Texas on a map, and that’s about it. Hence the lumping together.

    Third, the legal misogyn-o-fest isn’t limited to Mississippi, but the abortion ban in South Dakota, the end of state aid for contraception in Missouri, and assorted abortion-related creepiness in Kansas do tap dance awfully close to most parts of the region. Had you mental telepathy and could tell that I was thinking of more than just the Mississippi incident, maybe you wouldn’t have yelled. Or maybe you would’ve, I lack telepathy as well.

    Comment by Jake — March 16, 2006 @ 11:44 pm

  4. I got the pun, but didn’t swallow, is all.

    Here in the Midwest, we’ve even got something called the “Great Lakes Region,” which constitutes the aforementioned states plus Indiana, Michiagn, and Ohio. Indiana and Ohio have black marks, but methinks my initial point still stands.

    Now, let’s go out for a grilled cheese.

    Comment by John Anderson — March 17, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

  5. Mmmmmmmmm…cheese……….

    Comment by Robby Simpson — March 17, 2006 @ 8:22 pm

  6. Now I feel a bit arrogant calling my joke “clever”, so I’ll go overboard and call it “brilliant”, or “world class”.

    Yeah, your point largely stands. If you can recommend a substitute term for “states where terribly reactionary social policy is ascendant”, I’d appreciate it.

    So you going to the AMC conference this year? I think I’m gonna try to drag some RASD folks out there with me this time.

    Comment by Jake — March 17, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

  7. Paul and I talked about it but we’d kinda decided not to, at least not right now. Perhaps a month or two will change our minds….

    Comment by John Anderson — March 20, 2006 @ 5:01 pm

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