Take, for example, the divide about what to teach children regarding sex. It’s easy to condemn the puritanical religious types (some of them my New England ancestors, as I’ll explain in greater detail in about one week when my Book Selection of the Month will be Victorian Norwich), those who want to fill the kids with taboos and ignorance and tales of hellfire. On the other hand, I hope I’m not the only non-religious-fanatic who’s noticed that there really does seem to be some countervailing mania on the part of some educators out there — be they hippies, perverts, or just religion-bashers — to impose as much sex-info on kids as early as possible, despite most of us turning out just fine with a large dose of mystery on these topics until adolescence or so.
Take this story about efforts to acquaint grade-schoolers with the fine points of anal sex and the like. Is this necessary? Surely there’s a happy medium somewhere between that and nuns forcing people to take cold showers. The kids will piece it together from movies eventually anyway.
The most generous interpretation of the push to teach the young everything immediately may just be that it’s a case of hyper-egalitarianism, treating all potentially useful info about everything under the sun equally, as if it’d be suspicious to suggest that genitalia be treated in a more circumspect fashion than, say, computer programming. I’m sure many people keen on creating a gender-neutral culture would see that sort of egalitarianism as a natural corollary of their position. I only hope society never becomes so gender-neutral that it ceases to produce songs — and excellent videos — like “Girl U Want” by Devo.
That song was used to good effect in Tank Girl, which reminds me that perhaps we’ll hear some interesting (and thoroughly gendered) reactions next year as Watchmen director Zack Snyder once more mines comic books, this time to create an homage not to Charlton Comics heroes (or zombies) but to crazy chicks: Sucker Punch. Again, as something of a conservative, I don’t think the culture needs a wave of crazy-chick chic. But the movie will probably be better than Tank Girl. Someday, perhaps classes on film and gender (which I’m sure Brown is still teaching 24/7) will present compare-and-contrast screenings of Snyder’s films Sucker Punch and 300. Will either truly be feminine, though? And is 300 kinda gay?