Sex: a discussion about accountability


This cartoon illustrates the illogical way people in our society think about sex and accountability.

I deplore the terms “pro choice” and “pro life.” In fact, the entire debate angers me. Why do we have to debate the rights of women to do anything with their bodies? And why is it always the woman who has to be the one to make those choices? I would prefer to see a world where women and men are held accountable for their actions, but only if they were on an even playing field. In this instance, there is no even playing field. And everybody knows it.

The United States is unique among Western, industrialized nations, in that a stream of old Puritanical sentiment runs rampant through it like a river overflowing its banks. We, as a nation, have paranoia about sex; on one hand, we uphold rigid standards in our media and our public lives, disallowing certain words and acts from being talked about or portrayed on screen or over the airwaves. We police our public schools to excess, preventing children from taking part in any meaningful discussion (led by an adult in the classroom) concerning sexual behavior and responsibility. We pass public ordinances against strip bars, triple X venues, and gambling, and yet there are certain regions where these establishments are legion.

Women are held to a higher standard, still. We are expected to police the actions of men and hold them at bay, and hold out for marriage before “giving in.” And yet, everybody knows that this is an unrealistic view. Sex is as much a part of real life as eating, sleeping, and elimination. We put going to the bathroom and sex in the same category – hidden and shameful – even though both are perfectly natural behaviors. So it is no surprise that in this climate, the results of both are seen as undesirable among “decent” people. Think about it: a woman is forced to take a man to court to collect child support when he decides to run. Unless she is on public assistance, she can expect no help in that regard. And public assistance is doled out in a miserly fashion to women who have children out of wedlock. Our public policies are built around forcing a woman to have accountability, but not the man. And we are big into preventing that woman from terminating her pregnancy before it culminates in a child who is left on the public’s doorstep to support.

Certain people, to get what they want, also use sex as a weapon. Because of our puritanical society, men often prey upon their victims by lying and coercion. Our laws have evolved to protect the underage person from sexual conduct by an older person. And date rape, including the use of drugs, is considered a felony. But what about the person who is in a diminished capacity for other reasons, perhaps temporarily, and falls under the spell of a Casanova or a temptress, and engages in sex willingly, only later to realize they were used? There are no truly good laws to protect that person from the consequences of such acts. However, I do believe that this will change in the future. With the advent of Internet dating and the preponderance of people who lie about their true identities, I expect to see some test cases come up in the future regarding these acts. People should be protected, legally, from such predators.

With all this in mind, how can we truly support laws that prohibit women from having the right to abort an unwanted child? And how can we continue to not hold people accountable for their actions? In a truly advanced society, such issues should not exist.

5 thoughts on “Sex: a discussion about accountability

  1. This writing hits home for me also. My mother had an affair and I was the result. She and I had a discussion when I was 18 – about five minutes worth. A half-sister ( we share the same father) pushed her into this discussion by telling me. Sandra’s mother convinced my mother that I had the right to know. Mother said, ” his name is John Jones. He lives in this town. This is the only time I will discuss this. Do you have any questions?” From the look on her face and her body language, as well as the shock I felt at finally being faced with the truth, I shook my head no. That was the end of it.

    My point here is this: Can you imagine the pain she felt every day, having to look at me and be reminded of him? He was older than her and died when I was age 23. After that, she seemed to relax a little and we had a “sort of” relationship. This was not a nice man!!!! My half-sister is 6 months difference in age, so we know there was at least two women in his life at that time. THEN, after professing his love to my mother (learned this from others) he married a third woman because she had money and he wanted to buy a store in that small town.

    There hasn’t been a man in my life who hasn’t used me in one way or another. In my current relationship, I have often felt like number twenty-nine on a list of twenty-eight. The answer to this problem? I’m not sure there is one, but years ago I read a book whose story told of a group of people whose women lived on one side of a big, high fence and the men, warriors, lived on the other. The warrior’s job was to protect the women in time of need and to provide fresh meat and other trade-able items. The women provided clothing and other goods in return. Once per year, they came together at a (drunken) festival to have sex and this is when the women “supposedly” conceived their children. Raised by the women, at a predetermined age, the children had to chose which side they wished to live on. Yes, some women became warriors. And some women were faithful to one warrior while still living on the women’s side. The leaders of the women’s side were careful that not all the women (traitors are everywhere) knew what was going on, but the children were carefully “groomed” toward staying or going. Those male children whose temperaments were “suitable” were encouraged to stay. The others were encouraged to go to their “fathers” on the other side of the wall.

    The final two chapters explain the story: Indeed the women did bed the men at the joining festival, but immediately came home, removed the contraception product (forget what it was now) and then conceived a child with the mate who lived with her, but masqueraded as a servant. The warrior was left to think the child was his. The men who lived as servants to the women were so looked down upon, and treated as such in public, that no one considered them capable, nor the women willing, to conceiving a child. The women who didn’t want a child, used another type of contraceptive and their warrior was just disappointed that no pregnancy was forthcoming. Thus the women controlled their world. Wish I could remember the name of the book as I would now like to read it again.

    Recently in the news, a 14-year-old Muslim girl was raped. To avoid the shame of it, the “judge” suggested the parents take advantage of an existing law. No harm/no foul if the rapist married his victim. The parents forced the girl to marry. The girl endured for over a year while begging her mother to do something to stop the beatings. Eventually the girl ate rat poison to end it all. Comments of readers thought both sets of parents as well as the rapist should be punished. They are NOW trying to change that law.

    Women are thought to be vulnerable and need protection. So the men became protectors and therefore ones who made laws to protect us. Actually, the only thing we need protecting FROM are men. The Chinese are killing the girl babies and keeping the male so they will have someone to support them in their old age. Little do they know . . .

  2. I do believe all of the ideas you have introduced in your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very brief for novices. May just you please extend them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

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