A one-car-hideaway show, as Matt Walsh calls it
By: D’Anne Witkowski*/Special to TRT—
It should be obvious by now that the Creep of the Week every week is Donald Trump. He is a cancerous tumor on the U.S, and as a nation we desperately need a Trumpectomy.
But, let’s not forget about all of the others who were creepy long before Trump became the false idol of the so-called religious right. While the right-wing adoration of Trump might seem hypocritical, it’s really a match made in heaven. Because the right-wing agenda has always been about power and oppression, never about morality. If having Trump as president allows the right-wingers to wrest the right to marry from lesbians and gays or drive transgender men and women out of public life then Trump can screw and pay off all the porn stars in the world. Mission accomplished. So conservatives can spare me the moral outrage act over anything related to sexuality.
And yet on April 23 conservatives want parents to keep their kids out of school in order to protest sex education for fear that the kids might learn that gay people exist and that gender can be expressed in various ways.
“Parents across the country will be keeping their children home from school to protest the insane, pornographic, morally debased propaganda that passes for ‘sex ed’ these days,” wrote Matt Walsh for The Daily Wire. “It’s about time that parents took a stand against this madness.”
Walsh, a conservative writer and self-described “extremist,” presents a novel approach to sex-ed that will work perfectly once robots take over the world.
“Sex should be a subject covered in science class, and it should go no further than simply explaining how human reproduction works,” he writes. “All of the rest of this—the lessons on ‘gender identity,’ the free condoms, the discussion of masturbation and oral sex—is ideological.”
Never mind the fact that knowing how human reproduction works is not the same thing as having an understanding of human sexuality nor does it acknowledge the complex and often fraught relationships between people that result in and are a result of that sexuality. Especially for teenagers who are literally being yanked through the stratosphere by their hormones and do not yet have the maturity to deal with these feelings, let alone the self-control to not act on them. So age-appropriate discussions about condoms and masturbation are literally f#@king useful, not ideological.
“The schools want our kids to be the sort of people who indulge their sexual urges freely and openly, without regard to oppressive notions of morality and human dignity,” Walsh writes, apparently under the impression that public schools are veritable orgies from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. “The deviants who develop these courses believe that hedonism is the path to fulfillment.”
This is a pretty standard conservative take on sex ed: that sex should be divorced from pleasure and should only be used to make babies. Of course, we also don’t want teenagers having babies, which is kinda why sex ed is important. Because teenagers are having sex. Whether they know how to protect themselves or not.
Sex is not a product of Satan, as Walsh implies. It’s a healthy, normal part of human life that way too many people have hang-ups about because of the kind of senseless shame promoted by folks like Walsh.
“My only problem with the [April 23] sit-out is that it’s too short,” Walsh writes. “It should be permanent. But this is a good first step.”
This idea that public education is a finishing school for sexual deviance is damaging not only to children but also to their parents and their communities as conservatives with the backing of Betsy DeVos work to tear down this pillar of American life and democracy. So yes, parents should be aware that mythical sex-ed horror tales are being used to promote the destruction of their kids’ schools. And they should absolutely take a stand against this madness.
*D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer, and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.