Saturday, March 04, 2006

Going Backwards in Ruby Slippers

Already we've seen South Dakota vote to ban abortion and last I heard Mississippi was considering the same thing. Then there's Kansas.

Ah, Kansas. Home of intelligent design, and other colorful ideas. Columnist Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe (I'd link ya but it costs $$) recently reminded me how stupidity still reigns in Dorothy's home state.

Along with 11 other foolhardy states, Kansas law deems it illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to have sex, even if both 15-year-olds are into it. (Ironically, 13-year-olds can legally marry in Kansas, just as long as they don't enjoy the wedding night too much.)

As a rabid pro-lifer and all-around meddlesome asshole, state Attorney General Phill Kline decided to go literal with this and announced that all doctors, educators, counselors and healthcare workers must report all underage sexual activity to the state.

As Goodman explained:

"The Kline Theory goes something like this: If sexual activity between teens is illegal, there's no such thing as consensual sex, and thus every act is harmful. These acts, by the way, include 'any lewd fondling or touching of the person . . . with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires.' In short, healthcare workers have to rat on 15-year-old sexual criminals who are lustily and mutually 'abusing' each other in the back seat of a Toyota."

Because this is America, the healthcare workers sued. Finally, a case I can get excited about! When lawyer Bonnie Scott Jones of the Center for Reporductive Rights put Kline on the stand, some pretty strange exchanges occurred:

"Is anything beyond kissing acceptable? For example, is oral sex performed by a boy a reportable crime?"
PK: "Yes."
BSJ: "What about oral sex performed by a girl?"
PK: "I'm not certain."

For Kline, blow jobs are more of a grey area, apparently.

Oh, yeah. It gets better. Next up, Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian, major proponent of the abortion-gives-you-breast-cancer campaign. On the stand, she stated her belief that teenage girls are always the victim because there's "a power differential between a boy and a girl. When girls have sex, they aren't doing, they have been done to."

As Goodman writes, "Frankly, I hadn't heard this argument since the late Andrea Dworkin maintained that all intercourse was rape. Radical feminism meets the
radical right in the Puritan revival."

This hits on a point that I've wrangled with modern-day feminists about, the knee-jerk jump to victimization. This should be the last resort used only when one is truly the victim of rape or assualt. Anything else, it's just plain whining. It is unproductive and unbecoming. There is a tiresome puritanical streak running through our gender's best and brightest and in the most extreme case, it looks like . . . well, it looks like Kansas.

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