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Friday, February 6, 2015

Uncertain Paradigms

Economic debacle aside, one of the most asinine statements I’ve ever heard was recently given by Magdymar Leon, “a coordinator at the Venezuelan Association for an Alternative Sexual Education”.

In response to the volatile Venezuelan economy and specific price gouging shortage of condoms he had this to say,
 "What are the implications? One is that the individual doesn't have the means to control a decision to have children or not. That right is lost. On the other hand, the ability to protect oneself from sexually transmitted diseases is also lost,"[i]
This isn’t just an outlandish statement regarding sexual health; it’s a completely ludicrous statement for all humanity.  When was the last time you didn’t have volitional “control” of an act, let alone a decision to have sexual relations or not (alternative contraceptive means, like “pulling out” for unwanted pregnancies, none withstanding, and rape aside – that’s not the issue here)?

This inference that we have no choice but to have unprotected sex like “Oh well, there’s no condoms, I guess we have no choice but to have unprotected sex,” is the most defeatist, destructive mentality there is.

And Leon is not alone.  Many folks seemingly believe that because they have natural sexual inhibitions, that they have to satisfy them – as if humanity is but purely an instinctual animal, unable to choose their path.

Of course we all know absolutely this isn’t true; we of course very much so have a choice.  And as contrary to our natural sexual nature it may be, one can choose not to have sex (or other aforementioned alternative means) – especially when it literally becomes a dangerous situation like in Venezuela.

This is why the notion of abstinence, and more specifically the Christian ideal of sexual purity, is both the most lock-tight argument ever and single-most frustration to humans throughout history.  We know we have a choice, but we’re so weak (myself included) we’ll do anything to justify our ill-advised, or morally impure, sexual decisions.  We’ll go as far as to contradict our own truthful understand of man and will and infer we don’t actually have a choice when it comes to sexual feelings.  We have to engage in it.

I remember during a “sexual health” seminar at my high school during my senior year, the presenter opened up the talk with the question, “Can anyone tell me how to practice safe sex?”

A few of the students said “condoms” or “birth control”.  I raised my hand and said, “Don’t have it.”

I’ve never seen a more perplexed look of incredulity from a individual when I said that.  It wasn't that the speaker was surprised in a positive re-affirming way that a high school student would mention abstinence – no, they were incredulous because they themselves could hardly comprehend that as a legitimate option in reality.

They half-heartedly acknowledged that yes that’s one way to do it (because if they hadn’t they knew they’d be a self-proclaimed crazy person) but quickly followed up with some mockery (not to mention the use of a fallacious “straw man” argument) of that option by saying,

“Well who here would never want to have sex their whole life?”

Being a rhetorical question (and unfairly extrapolated from my statement), some laughs and snickers followed.

What a sad paradigm that relegates humans and us as individuals to the lowest of the lows; the base of existence where choice (or at least the "instant gratification blocking" kind) and sound reason is harshly revoked in the name of convenience, temporal pleasure, and responsibility shirking.  What a low paradigm.  What a delusional paradigm.

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