Some comments on random news stories related to sex:
- The new conception of “normality” in sex is that it is a normal part of life like anything else, watching TV or whatever, so it’s no big deal. Some such view seems inevitable in a society that accepts artificial birth control. Contraception decisively separates sex from its natural function and makes it a purely expressive act, like sending a greeting card. The only meaning it can have is the meaning the participants choose to give it, which is no one’s business but their own. Public standards regarding consensual sexual conduct thus become impossible. So it’s not especially surprising that in America pornography is going mainstream and in Norway they have a government program for providing sex toys to disabled people.
- If sex is “no big deal,” marriage doesn’t make much sense. So in spite of all the sentimentality about “gay marriage,” and the assertions that the institution would stablize the “gay lifestyle,” once it exists no one much wants it. Why should they? If marriage has no objective function, and exists only to serve the individual goals of the parties , it doesn’t make sense for it to bind them to anything. But if it doesn’t bind the parties to anything, why is it worth bothering with?
- The ultimate in making sex no big deal is making what sex you are a matter of your simple say-so. That ultimate seems to have been achieved in Britain, under a new law said to be required by the European Convention for Human Rights: Transsexuals win right to get their sex changed on their birth certificates. A “transsexual” will be defined as someone who has lived successfully in his acquired gender for at least two years. It’s unclear what the substance of “living successfully in a gender” will be, since there’s no evident reason a woman who has newly become a man can’t dress in a skirt and use makeup, or why a man who has newly become a woman can’t dress in a business suit and call herself “Bob.” Since the Government will not require surgery as proof that a person is transsexual, it’s unclear how more can be required to change sex than a simple announcement that one has done so and maybe a doctor’s note.