You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Memo to the Howard Center: STILL THE DUMB.
Ah, nemeses. The Black Bart to my Sheriff Goodly. The Sinestro to my Green Lantern. The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society to my You Are Dumb Dot Net. Wait, that's not an analogy. But it's true.
Ever since they started promoting the highly unnatural Natural Family Manifesto, I've decided that the Howard Center (whose name I truncate because, well, I'm not fond of religion, I'm not fond of society, and I'm certainly not fond of the word "family" when it appears in an organization's name) is my official nemesis, whether they know it or not.
This is because, just as I am single-mindedly devoted to the pursuit and elimination of all things stupid, the Howard Center is single-mindedly devoted to the pursuit and CREATION of all things stupid. Specifically in the areas of deviancy from one man married to one woman who produce as many children as possible so that those children can marry other children, again in strictly one-to-one, plumbing-based pairings. Anything other than that is bad. Anything that might interfere with that is bad. Anything that achieves a goal they otherwise find admirable while possibly being interpreted as potentially interfering with that is, you guessed it, bad.
Which, in a whiplash-inducing segue, brings us to women's high school and collegiate sports.
Believe me, I know. The only thing keeping me from being as surprised as you are is that I'm writing this. And I've already read the latest e-mail the Howards have unwittingly sent me bemoaning the evils of young women playing with balls.
The underlying, never-mentioned bugaboo is, of course, Title IX, which right-wingers tend to hate because it conflates two of their most hated concepts - equality and government regulation. By requiring universities to offer women opportunities to play sports, a lot more women play sports now. Thus the women encroach on man-territory, thus making men nervous, thus making them freak out and start peeing all over the medicine balls in the hopes of marking them as theirs. And speaking of spraying, ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"In a hyper-sexualized culture, parents of daughters quite understandably pay attention when advocates of women's sports promise that participation will translate into a lessened risk of sexual activity and pregnancy. And solid data do back up that promise. Nonetheless, when sociologists at the State University of New York investigated the reasons that participation in sports reduces sexual activity, they reached conclusions that might give parents second thoughts. For what the researchers discovered was that participation in high-school sports significantly decreases sexual activity among young women precisely because it weakens their attachment to traditional gender roles." - The Howard Center, quoting Bryce Christensen, in his oh-so-evenhandedly titled "Making Women Warriors: The Anti-family Agenda at Work in Women's Athletics"
So, thanks to women's athletics, your daughter might not have premarital sex. But AT WHAT COST? At the cost of not turning eighteen, getting married, and lying back and taking it between babies, that's what cost.
Only pro-family nuts like the Howards and Christensen could find the downside to a drop in teen extramarital pregnancy. Fucking geniuses. It's almost as if all these straight white males were less interested in public policy that fostered the health of our young women, and more interested in public policy that fosters their fucking dinner being on the table and warm once they got home from a long, hard day of writing papers to ensure that their fucking dinner is on the table and warm once they get home.
And in case you were wondering if these mental Lilliputians could go two paragraphs without a completely misguided stab at the nature of sexual orientation, have no fear. They can't.
" "'Sport resources...,' explain the researchers, 'allow girls to discard aspects of the traditional gender script that prioritize heterosexual appeal.' They further remark that the "exposure to a nontraditional, androgynous gender script" that sports give female athletes 'might lead one to predict same-sex sexual activity among female athletes.'" "
Those quotes are so nested you'd think they'd been indoctrinated since inception to pair up and hide away together. I'm reproducing the single and double quotes exactly as presented to me, ao I have absolutely no fucking clue who's saying what. All I have to go on is what the Howard Family wants me to think Bryce Christensen wants me to think some researchers may or may not have concluded. Which is that SPORTS TURNS PRETTY GIRLS INTO DYKES.
And while we're at it, "Women Warriors"? Who the fuck is so hidebound and retrograde that they still cling like lichen to the idea of sports as peace-time pig-lagoons for pent-up male aggression? Oh, right. MY NEMESIS.