Medicare provides penis pumps at a cost of $360 a piece, which has never been debated once. Not once. Never.
A volatile mixture of arousal and shame, attraction and disgust may partially explain why the Duke University undergraduate who was recently outed as a porn actress has become the target of vicious verbal abuse online. With 70 percent of men aged 18 to 24 admitting to watching porn, I find it hard to believe that all of those threatening her with violence unambiguously disapprove of her choice of career. More likely, they find it simultaneously alluring and repulsive to think of one of their peers acting in a porn movie — and react by turning their self-loathing outward toward the external source of their discomfort.
One hopes young women paying attention to Knox will choose not to campaign for ambiguous increases in freedom, but rather in targeted betterments in the arenas of life you can take to the bank: good and fair wages, health, and safety in the workplace. In the world of porn, none of those goods are on offer.
Bill O’Reilly’s segment from last Wednesday — the one in which he asks Kirsten Powers and Kate Obenshain to expound on some mysterious quality that makes women somehow less qualified than men to be president — has to be the most awkward moment of television.
I sympathize with the urge to respond to the clip with mockery. But sometimes a glimmer of truth can be found even in the tawdriest of settings — and it’s Powers who deserves credit for uttering it here. Wracking her brain for something to say in response to O’Reilly’s flippantly sexist provocation, Powers volunteers that a female president might be more easily goaded than a male president into military muscle-flexing as a way of demonstrating her toughness.
I like this comment not only because it undercuts O’Reilly’s smarmy insinuation that a woman would be too weak to stand toe-t-toe with macho tough guys like Vladimir Putin. I also like it because it may well be true.
I have a real issue when people talk about porn as if it was one big, homogenous mass. It’s like talking about literature as just one type.
The fact is — however unfair, however much it pains us to admit it — in some areas, men and women are not equal. Is it worth checking a box marked “Equality” at the expense of the operational effectiveness of combat units? Is it worth putting young men at risk so that we, the enlightened Western liberals, might have a new accomplishment to discuss over gougères at cocktail parties? This week, the Obama administration says, yes, that’s perfectly okay. Accordingly, a platoon can and will be less combat effective in the name of equality.