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A Senator Whose Chief of Staff is an Idiot? You Don't Say! - Elf M. Sternberg
A Senator Whose Chief of Staff is an Idiot? You Don't Say!
Michael Schwartz, chief of staff for Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), this weekend said of boys ages nine through twelve:
But it is my observation that boys at that age have less tolerance for homosexuality than just about any other class of people. They speak badly about homosexuality. And that's because they don't want to be that way. They don't want to fall into it. And that's a good instinct. ... It's not genetic. Homosexuality is inflicted on people.
Dude, you were so not in my head at that age.

I guess I should be furious: Schwartz wasn't one of those kids terrified lest his peers find out that he didn't share their animosity, but instead had a deep fascination: people do that? For fun? Can I do that? Grief, if some of the people I went to school with at that age knew what was going through my head I would probably have never survived sixth grade.

I'm burned out, though. Schwartz is just an idiot who doesn't understand kids at all. I don't think he ever was one.

Schwartz also says that all pornography is gay pornography. Apparently, his logic is something like: boys have a natural inclination. If you show them porn, they'll discover masturbation, and once they've gotten used to holding one penis in their hands, well, you know where that leads...

Current Mood: nauseated nauseated
Current Music: Omaha playing Zuma's Revenge

16 comments or Leave a comment
dv_girl From: dv_girl Date: September 22nd, 2009 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I think he's trying to say that he hates heterosexual pornography because every time he tries to look at it, he gets squeemish about the girly bits and starts focusing on that young stud thrusting into it and then he gets the kind of wood he never gets from Viagra and he doesn't know how to cope with his desires. Poor bastard.

I'm not being mean. You know it's probably true. Forbidden fruit and all
that. He can't help help it and the more he condemns it, the more he
secretly wishes he knew for certain so he could be certain of his condemnation of it. It's that little niggling doubt that he's wrong chewing and chewing and chewing at him. If he just got drunk and could later pretend it was a mistake, if he could just _know_ for certain, he'd be a lot less wound up about gays. Religion is the same way with these guys. Deep inside, they doubt their 'faith' and that's why they're so crazy about it. If EVERYONE believed the same as them and no one ever made them think 'what if', they believe they could die without sin, without fear they'd go to Heaven but they don't and it poisons them.
icebluenothing From: icebluenothing Date: September 22nd, 2009 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Wait, so -- he's really suggesting that we should look to the opinions of 9-12-year-old boys as our arbiter of wisdom and insight into the natural order of things? Really?
valarltd From: valarltd Date: September 22nd, 2009 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)
If masturbation makes you gay, my second son came out of the womb flaming and fabulous. He was playing with himself on the ultrasounds and has never given it up.

And I'm sure news of his orientation will come as a complete shock to the (mumblety number) girls he has kissed since the age of three. He's almost 12.

Funnily enough, he has no problem with gay people. Going to gay pride for the last 3 years wearing a t-shirt that says "I [rainbow heart] my family" kinda kills that "natural homophobia."

autopope From: autopope Date: September 22nd, 2009 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, what odds are you offering on him being found in flagrante with a 12 year old boy within the next three months?
heofmanynames From: heofmanynames Date: September 22nd, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
you mean, outside the bounds of ordinary physical curiosity and sex play?
sirfox From: sirfox Date: September 22nd, 2009 11:09 am (UTC) (Link)
The first two words in my mind after running across that article was "Projecting much?"
heofmanynames From: heofmanynames Date: September 22nd, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
it's like our thoughts are connected...
fayanora From: fayanora Date: September 22nd, 2009 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL! What a closet case.
heofmanynames From: heofmanynames Date: September 22nd, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I confess I can see his point (in a way): the undisputed star of all the porn I've seen (and I've seen some) has been THE PENIS. Specifically the DISEMBODIED penis (talk about your sex objects.

As anyone who's ever tried to actually read RD Laing's "Politics of Experience" knows, exposure to a word - or an image - can 'denature' the initial associations were have with them, (it's not "desensitization", really, but it's often called that). Quixotically, this results in it becoming easier to have different reactions, new responses to what they see/hear/read.

Not inherently different than people who read a lot becoming fond of puns and word-play.

All neutral, so far, unless you have been deeply / deliberately damaged on this subject (and Mr Schwartz may well have been. It does happen). Will every man, freed from original imprinting by repeated exposure to a variety of penile graphics, suddenly covet the penis as their own special toy? Almost certainly not - but they probably lose their fear of it.

Since it's my observation & theory is that we are all bisexual below the programming, I think it could be true that the porn explosion that began in the US in the early 70s is a prime mover in the ongoing development of sexual tolerance. I suspect it has caused people to consider their own bisexuality for the first time; by extension I must consider that there have been men who were strongly hetero-identified who have undergone a radical reconsideration after sufficient porn exposure.

That said, Mr. Schwartz seems to be one of the damaged ones: the sight of an erect penis apparently rips Mr. Schwartz from his moorings...and so I can have sympathy for his point of view. And I doubt that non-phallic porn would have much effect on him at all.

Sorry, early-morning rambling!
From: qtplatypus Date: September 22nd, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to dispute your assertion that the penis is the undisputed star of porn. It may be because we have different tastes though. I tend to read erotica and hentai. At least in hentai due to a mixture of censorship laws and artistic conventions the penis is often invisible. Mostly so one may see the girl and I suspect it helps the viewer 'insert' themselves into the story.
heofmanynames From: heofmanynames Date: September 22nd, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
True enough re: hentai - I confess, I have seen very little of that

I was thinking of hardcore video porn (nude photos and most erotica never struck me as 'porn'), as it's so ubiquitous online, and marked such a dramatic break with the soft-core "girly-mags" that were available prior).

I imagine for no solid reason that Mr. Schwartz was not referring specifically to Playboy, despite actually mentioning Playboy. I chalk this up to the chronic conflation that afflicts those in his bailiwick, since there is no reason to assume that the sight of naked women would turn a man's sexuality inward, as he put it. Quite the opposite, in fact - mail energy moves outward pretty famously; and after generations, centuries of visual porn, we'd certainly know by now if exposure to porn changed it.

I'm not trying to argue this guy's position, and I highly doubt he's thought about it in the terms I've used. I just thought it was interesting that I *could* make a case for him having noticed something - at least about himself. I think anything that helps us safely and sanely overcome the sexual beliefs and behaviours and body-images that get beaten into us when we're too you to recognise a clue; it is possible, after reflection, that availability of porn has loosened up those rigid restraints. If true in fact, I'd say it's a good thing.

(That said, there is certainly very much to dislike about most porn in whatever format...but that leads down a different garden path)
elfs From: elfs Date: September 22nd, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
And I'm going to disagree with your characterization of hentai. Between futanari porn and HCG's (hard-core dating sims), the "disembodied penis," or worse, the "penis at the end a tentacle" is the sine qua non of reader satisfaction. The idea of women as easily penetrated by dick, any dick, is inherent in the harder stuff which, sadly, is also very popular. The dick may be seen only in consequence, or at most in outline, but it's still a stand-in for the reader's assumption that hey, if this dick has a chance, so does his.
amythis From: amythis Date: September 22nd, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Fixed it

Obvious typo here, as anyone who's talked to a nine-to-twelve-year-old boy knows:
But it is my observation that boys at that age have less tolerance for heterosexuality than just about any other class of people. They speak badly about heterosexuality. And that's because they don't want to be that way. They don't want to fall into it.
aprivatefox From: aprivatefox Date: September 22nd, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Fixed it

Has anyone done a study of nine-to-twelve year old boys, and whether one can get "the cooties" from another boy? Because this could be groundbreaking sexuality research here...
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 22nd, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very true. Kids of that age make fun of sex, any sex. They also make fun of anything even slightly perceived as different from the "norm".

I have to admit I'm regularly shocked, as someone from outside the US, how much people tolerate this kind of crap from officials. There are parts of the world where this would make an unholy shitstorm of bad PR. There would be shouts for resignation from everywhere you look.
pieforeveryone From: pieforeveryone Date: September 23rd, 2009 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Is that what he meant?

Actually when I read the linked article a couple of days ago, the impression I got was that this was more of an attempt to conflate, er, how do I put this, "sodomy" and "onanism" as being in the same category of sin. That is, when he says all porn is gay porn, what he's trying to get at is that any porn will make a man less intimate with his wife, just like being gay will.

...obviously not an argument I agree with, but one perhaps slightly less WTF than it sounds at first read? I mean, if that was what he meant then at least there's SOME basis for discussion on the subject...
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