by Justin Rosario
Recently, Teen Vogue continued its tradition of not treating America's youth like fragile spun glass and published the following article:
Anal Sex: What You Need to Know - How to do it the RIGHT way.
This followed other, similar articles by author Gigi Engle like How to Masturbate If You Have a Penis and THIS Is How to Masturbate if You Have a Vagina. Combine this with what has become widely acclaimed political writing and you can see why Teen Vogue is not popular in certain conservative circles.
The anal sex article in particular, however, seemed to really strike a nerve and it sent one woman, Elizabeth Johnston (aka "Activist Mommy") into a frothing rage, demanding that people burn the magazine and boycott stores that sell it:
This is to be expected from the lunatics on the right since sex has horrified them for decades, especially sex outside of marriage. Remember, these are the same people that, long before they waged jihad on abortion, objected to birth control in any form because it allows women to have sex without consequences. They oppose comprehensive sexual education because they prefer teens be punished with STDs and unwanted pregnancies they can't terminate. In the name of Jesus, of course.
It was with this creepy aversion to a healthy sexual vocabulary in mind when I posted the article on my Facebook page and said, only slightly tongue in cheek, that I would be getting my daughter Anastasia a subscription to Teen Vogue for her 13th birthday (my son Jordan is autistic and that presents a whole different set of challenges when it comes to the Birds and the Bees talk). Not for nothing, I knew about sex by the time I was 10 and I knew a lot about it by the time I was 13. It turns out that a lot of that information was wrong but this was long before the internet which is teeming with porn and even more misleading "facts" about sex and intimacy. These days, it's almost guaranteed kids will know even less about sex even as they're inundated with it. So either I make sure my daughter is well-informed and teach her how to vet her information sources or risk her growing up thinking porn is what real sex is supposed to be like.
Still, it was a lighthearted post to a group of fellow liberals so they could chuckle at the madwoman in the article. So imagine my surprise when I got this as a response:
Tracy Miller Cohen Wow... and you are a member of the PTA and help to interview potential principals? I would guess that no one from the school district reads you posts or articles! You got a Jekyll/Hyde thing going on there. Anal sex and a 13 year old... that out of you... totally believable.
You might be tempted to think that Tracy is a conservative with the usual hangups about sex but she purports to be a "real" progressive; more so than me, a Wall Street loving neoliberal. You can probably guess by now that Tracy is a huge fan of Bernie Sanders and that's where this outburst of illiberal nonsense came from; not from her love of Bernie or anything Bernie has ever said (he fully supports comprehensive sex ed) but her loathing of me for supporting Hillary.
The conversation is still ongoing but Tracy's hostility towards me is unabated and she has yet to clearly articulate why anal sex is, as she calls it, an "adult sexual position" (What? Gay kids can't have sex until they're 18?) This is not to say that I'm automatically right and she's completely wrong. There's definitely a coherent argument to be made on both sides, but I didn't really expect any coherence because the initial outburst had nothing to do with thoughtful discourse. It was simply a way to vent her anger at me for not being a Bernie fan.
This is an ongoing problem among the left.
Almost an entire year after losing the primary, the hard left is still raging against everyone who supported Hillary. They hate the DNC. They hate Hillary. They hate Cory Booker. They hate they hate they hate. I still take potshots at Bernie and some of his followers like Shaun King, but only in answer to an unnecessary broadside against the rest of us not in Bernie's camp. If they stopped with the negativity, I wouldn't need to write a single word against them. If Bernie spent most of his time slamming Republicans and promoting Medicare for all instead of splitting his acrimony between the two parties, I'd be happily cheering him on. To be fair, the California Dems shelving single payer deserved a tongue lashing but much of the other criticism leveled at the party is masturbatory twaddle meant to make the purists feel better as opposed to being constructive.
So instead of useful critiques, we get a dishonest, but constant, drumbeat of how terrible and wicked the Democratic Party is, ensuring that Bernie voters will sit out the midterms while others, like the Young Turks, actively work to make sure Republicans stay in power. Yes, it sets back every progressive cause by decades but as Tracy's comment above shows, progress is not the point, revenge is.
It's important to keep in mind that it is a tenet of faith among Bernie supporters that the DNC "cheated" so Hillary would win the primary. They "know" for a fact that the proof is in the emails the Russians stole and Wikileaks released (although many on the hard left refuse to acknowledge Russia's role). It's also important to keep in mind that no one has ever been able to properly explain what illicit activity the emails show other than people griping about Sanders. Last I checked, bitching and moaning in private doesn't affect the outcome of elections, particularly when that bitching and moaning occurs well after the point where one candidate is already too far behind to win (Check the dates of the emails. I did). That doesn't seem to matter since, much like the Tea Party, the hard left have begun to eschew pesky things like "facts" and "evidence" in favor of "being right no matter what."
In that mindset, it naturally follows that we can't trust a liberal who thinks his teen daughter should have comprehensive sex ed so she doesn't end up a sexual neurotic or pregnant or infected with an STD (or a combination of all three). He might just be a danger around children:
Tracy Miller Cohen Like I said on my original post... it's hard to fathom you being involved in any way at a school... if the parents there would read your facebook page they would have serious reservations about you being around their kids. Take that how ever you need to... I was a member of a school board... there is such a thing as professional appropriateness, something you have little concept of.
And that leads us to the bigger issue of the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Tracy is so angry at me for not agreeing with her love of Bernie that I am now The Enemy. I saw this during the primaries and general election dozens of times directed at me personally and hundreds of times directed at others; progressives who followed Bernie could not accept that people were just as progressive but still backed Hillary. We were othered. We had to be a neoliberal or a Wall Street sellout or a secret conservative. There was simply no way for us to be liberals and not be in Bernie's camp so we were voted off of Purity Island. Elizabeth Warren was demonized for backing Hillary. Cory Booker is now the epitome of all evil. Obama was the Worst President Ever.
These are all people (myself not included) with decades of progressive work under their belts yet they are the bad guys. The attacks on Warren are particularly galling considering she's as progressive as Sanders but, unlike Sanders, actually has a track record of legislative accomplishments to her name, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau being chief among them.
When the time comes for Warren to run against Trump in 2020 and tear him to shreds, will the hard left come out and vote for her or will they deem her insufficiently pure and give Trump (or Pence) another 4 years of inflicting massive damage on everything the left cares about? Will we even be able to vote in 2020 or will the hard left deliberately sink our chances in 2018, giving the GOP the time it needs to consolidate its hold on power by making voting essentially illegal? Tracy's unbalanced behavior is not atypical of the hard left; they will happily throw progressive ideals under the bus if it means proving the Democratic Party and its supporters are wicked.
This is the exact kind of blind rage that led to the rise of the Tea Party, Trump and the savage assault on democracy in America. Adding more fuel to that fire won't magically pull a progressive future appear from a hat but it will make it do a vanishing act we won't recover from.