I am a big supporter of people’s right to do as they please in their private lives, as long as it does not hurt other people and is otherwise legal. Not everyone shares this view. Some believe that the government has an interest in ruling over our sex lives and that somehow this aspect of our personal lives have an impact on the larger society, for better or worse. Other than overall birth rates, I completely disagree.
Between the two major political parties, Republicans time and time again seem compelled by their connection with religion to make a case for government intervention in everyone’s sex life. Here are the issues as I understand them:
1) abortion. Republicans have always differentiated themselves from Democrats by claiming the ‘pro-life’ side of this issue. The belief on the surface seems to stem from a ‘sanctity of human life’ philosophy. This is the idea that even at the most early stages, life is precious and should be preserved at all cost. Republicans, however, do not seem to maintain this philosophy once a baby is born and grows up. They support a dog-eat-dog domestic policy where only the strong survive. They reject social safety nets, more leave for families, and a living wage. Ultimately, their pro-life stance seems to be rooted more in a pro-alpha-male stance that forces women to bear children regardless of the circumstances.
2) sex education. Republicans seem to favor the idea that children should learn about sex only when they marry one another. Prior to this, they see no need for anyone to understand even basic facts about human reproduction, much less acknowledging that sexual curiosity and feelings occur at a much earlier age than the age most people would be ready to marry. Again, this is a pro-alpha-male stance which is action-oriented. The overall idea is that this type of activity is a waste of money. Basically, for everyone, their ‘abstinence’ message boils down to ‘sink or swim’ and ‘just figure it out’.
3) straight heterosexuality. Republicans view any sexual preference, orientation, or taste other than missionary position sex as deviant and contrary to God’s will. They view the enjoyment of sex as a perversion of God’s purpose for sex, which they believe is purely reproductive. Otherwise, sex is dirty and to be enjoyed secretly, furtively, and as something not to be discussed (lest their pure, wholesome wives find out).
4) sexuality in art. Consistent with their stance on these other issues, Republicans work to suppress depictions of explicit sexuality in art and culture. They view sex in this context as shameful, embarrassing, and lacking in artistic merit. In fact, they tend to discount any form of art they do not understand. Art and culture is not big on Republican’s agenda. After all, the only legitimate form of art, for them, is that which either supports their party, their politics, or their religion.
I believe that taking the stances above, on a basic level, have some merit, as personal choices. However, nobody wants someone else dictating what type of sex they are supposed to have or what kinds of entertainment they are supposed to enjoy. Most importantly, the Republicans core ideals that are consistently paternally focused fuel bigger public policy principles that take women out of a decision-making role in their own health and pursuit of happiness.
This is reckless and I would even go so far to say insane politics that focuses domestic policy on issues that should be ironed out in families, churches, or other more private social forums. What I have always found to be hypocritical is that Republicans constantly preach that government is the problem and that government should be limited. Yet they use government as a bully pulpit to enact their fascist views regarding sex. It literally makes no sense and serves only to take away energy from real issues that should garner more attention such as subsidies for large corporations, unfair tax policies, living wage policies, anti-trust issues in media, and other government regulation issues (for example, who is preventing further inflation of housing prices by the completely diabolical real estate industry? Answer: no one.)
The major difference that I see between the parties is that Republicans on domestic and social issues govern by ideals and Democrats tend to govern by realities. Indeed, life happens. Let’s plan for it.