In the early nineties, a disgruntled group of anti-abortion activists in Oregon decided to shift gears, and the Oregon Citizens’ Alliance rose to influence trying to compel the state to exclude homosexuals from societal participation; the ballot measure was so broadly worded that a “gay panic defense” would succeed in any question of murdering a homosexual or suspected homosexual, because prosecutors would be forbidden from not condemning homosexuality as “abnormal, perverse, and wrong”. While some of us frequently joke that marriage equality owes much to such merry bands of stooges insofar as they moved the question of gay rights to the fore as no gay rights activist possibly could, it was a grave time that even saw homophobes resort to terrorism.
Which is telling. But the aspect we might consider today is a persistent one: Why is the idea of consent as relates to sexual intercourse so irrelevant to the conservative political outlook?
I’m sorry, is that a harsh question?
Deal with it. We’ve been hearing this sort of talk for decades.
The latest manifestation comes from Rep. Don Young (R-AK):
At a Wasilla High School assembly Tuesday morning, U.S. Rep. Don Young didn’t temper his notoriously abrasive personality for his young audience.
Numerous witnesses say Young, 81, acted in a disrespectful and sometimes offensive manner to some students, used profanity and started talking about bull sex when confronted with a question about same-sex marriage.
Then again, this is Don Young. The octagenarian congressman has a penchant for bigoted gaffes.
Which, in turn, says something about the virtues and values along the Last Frontier.
But here is the functional problem: This is part of a long-running rhetorical bit whereby social conservatives aim for comedic style points. The problem here is that in winning the debate on style points, conservatives are (A) dehumanizing their opponents, and (B) erasing sexual consent.