Dr. Bill Hastings, the Progressive Party candidate for Congress in Missouri’s 9th District, sat in for half an hour. He’s a charming, intelligent gentleman who makes sense, at least on the few issues we were able to discuss in so short a time. The Progressive Party in Missouri is affiliated with the Green Party nationally, and its website is here.
Then I ranted a bit. Unbeknownst to most of Red State America, Fox News is, at its website, encouraging young women who are just starting in college to take on multiple sex partners. The only limits suggested by the relationship expert interviewed for the piece were “practicing safe sex” and avoiding hookups when “sloppy drunk”.
This is the news network that’s built its audience by pandering to the “God, family, and country” attitude that is the backbone of America’s heartland. This lifestyle piece, available at FoxNews.com (look for the iMag link near the bottom of the right-hand column), is 180 degrees opposed to the beliefs of the predominantly conservative viewership of Fox News.
For one thing, “safe sex” is a misnomer. One can engage in safer sex, but the statistics are clear: Using latex condoms does not guarantee protection against STDs. There is an 85% reduction in the spread of HIV when latex condoms are used properly (which is not a sure thing when youth and alcohol are involved), but studies have shown that latex condoms don’t appear to offer any protection at all against the transmission of HPV, which can cause genital warts and cervical cancer.
You know what? A 15% chance of catching HIV from an infected partner is still too high a risk for me. And for the sexpert consulted by Fox News to breezily recommend that young college women should sleep around as long as they’re “comfortable with [their] sexuality” (and not “sloppy drunk”) is irresponsible and stupid.
The message of the lifestyle piece isn’t unique. We’re bombarded by “if it feels good, do it” from all corners of the media, but conservative Fox News viewers need to be aware that the news network they’ve made #1 doesn’t share their values.
Meanwhile, the University of Missouri here in Our Fair City has announced that it will distribute free condoms in all 220 residence hall bathrooms. The condoms will be set out in baskets along with wallet-size pamphlets on sexual health, all courtesy of the Columbia/Boone County Health Department. The story in the local paper announced that MU is the first school in the Big 12 to offer such a program.
That’s just swell.
A few questions to ponder:
- When a condom fails, as one inevitably will, can the student suffering with the unwanted pregnancy or STD sue the university or the Health Department? Or are Mizzou students signing condom liability waivers?
- The condoms in the baskets are most probably purchased by the Health Department from the low bidder. Would you trust your life to that kind of protection?
- What steps will Mizzou take to safeguard the condoms from pranksters? Think of all the trauma somebody could cause with a single straight pin…
- Why do parents send their kids to college, to study or to have sex?
- If sex really is an essential part of college life, then why not go all the way and stock all the residence halls with cold beer, too?
- How many of these condoms will be used as water balloons?
What a world, what a world…