In my last post, I wrote that I am angry at the pervasive culture of fear, particularly surrounding sexuality. Like any culture, this one is no accident. It began in Victorian social strictures, has been engendered by the public schools, sustained by mass-market media, and is furthered by judgmental people enthralled to their fears. And this fear-culture’s perpetrators are sophisticated benefactors of complacency. Nina Hartley described them at her Desiree Alliance 2010 conference keynote:
Those who oppose our most basic rights are not, as many would have the public believe, just well-meaning, ordinary citizens. They are calculating opportunists who operate at the highest levels of academia and government, influencing policy and opinion to the advancement of their personal and political agendas—at our expense.
The cost of inaction is your sexual freedom, the ability to exercise your rights to love whom and how you choose, to control not only your own life but how you make life. That freedom is stolen by a threat used against anyone who dares say something that opposes or exposes sex-negative interests for the shame they are, as former US Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders and countless others can testify. That threat, in the hands of the sex-negative and the hateful, goes something like this: “If you question us, then you’re a child molester, a sexual predator, a rapist, and/or an enabler of those horrors.”
These people have two primary weapons, fear and obfuscation, which they use to pass unjust laws and attack political opponents. And they wield these weapons masterfully. As Melissa Ditmore, Ph.D., wrote (in 2008!) of the worrisome increase in panic-driven legislation, in this case legislation addressing sex work:
Sex law is often a front for ideology that constrains rather than liberates women. What most appalls me about the recent conflation of trafficking and sex work in law and policy is that some feminists support the confusion. These women would normally never dream of telling other women how to behave, because they have fought against imposed constraints in their own lives. Yet they seem to think it is acceptable to tell sex workers what is best for them, and they are prepared to use dubious political alliances to advance their moral agenda.
Only when the whole truth and nothing but the truth is laid bare, evidence reveals these “concerned citizens” as the hypocritical ideologues they are. Even the recent ruling overturning “Proposition Hate” explicitly recognizes this:
The Protect Marriage campaign advertisements ensured California voters had these previous fear-inducing messages in mind. The evidence at trial shows those fears to be completely unfounded. (Emphasis mine.)
So watch the media closely, and critically. Your freedoms and your future need you now. As Driftglass said on Kink On Tap 52,
First of all, a robust and powerful investigative media is necessary to a democracy. And secondly, citizens have to take responsibility for knowing shit and getting angry about shit and then taking action about it.
That’s why I’ve been reading FBI complaints, government press releases, news archives, and a host of other documents in order to learn all I can about how hateful people with political influence operate. And if I don’t share what I know, fewer people will be equipped to take action. So, very soon, I will share, because as Jacob Applebaum said,
People in the United States of America have the ability to democratically change this situation if they are unhappy with the truth; they now have information that will assist them in having a clearer picture. Perhaps they will demand more transparency and more accountability.