Salvo Issue #22 – Fall 2012

It may have seemed quiet on our website and the Facebook page, but know that we’ve been hard at work on the next issue of Salvo. But that’s behind us as the issue is at the printer right now! There will be plenty of new material online soon, including FOUR new fake ads. One of which is circulating on Facebook. Join our Facebook page to see it!

Here’s what you’ll see in the next issue, set to mail on September 20th. Click on the cover (the design of which our business manager so encouragingly described as “dated”) to see the table of contents.

Salvo Fall 2012

Salvo issue 22 – Fall 2012

Gloria Steinem advises Dems to ‘behave as if babies exist’

This can’t be serious. As reported in the Charlotte Observer, the Democratic Convention will be making it difficult for women with babies to attend.

Now National Organization for Women chapters in Southern California – with an assist from feminist Gloria Steinem – are denouncing the convention for “discrimination against moms.”

“Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women,” Steinem said in a statement. “It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist.”

Of course, the radical pro-abortion Democratic Party Platform itself makes it very difficult if not impossible for some babies to exist.

Girls and Guys, Getting [It] Together; Some Observations on Double Standards

(Surprise, surprise, Intern 2 has a bone to pick with cultural attitudes on sexuality and the sexes)

Recently my friend Barnabas mentioned that another (male) acquaintance of ours had once written a story whose implausible content “revealed his virginity.” The tone was not complimentary.

Due to the setting we were in, I chose not to mention that I too was wrestling with a scene in my own work-in-progress, one key to the characters’ emotional trajectory, that suffered from my lack of firsthand experience. But if I had, I know my friend would have vocally distinguished my situation from our classmate’s. There were other reasons (my actual presence, for one) that my lack of experience could be denoted the more respectable, but I’ve long suspected that chief among them would be the fact that I was a girl.

Say what we will about the pervasively decadent quality of popular and academic culture, but the secular world is still remarkably kind to female virgins. We have our detractors, (Jessica Valenti comes first to my mind), but they are generally not disdainers. It is frequently argued that women are harmed or restricted by abstinence, but not that there’s something innately wrong with a woman who abstains. The prevailing mindset does not suggest that a woman who has not engaged in sexual conduct is any less of a woman for it. (If your evidence or experience says otherwise, by all means post a link/tell us your story, and join the conversation.)

This is not the case for abstinent men, and men and women alike bear the responsibility to face the injustice.

Surely it is a point of agreement for all reasonable people that men’s promiscuity ought not to be excused and even praised while the same behavior is denigrated in women. I do not believe that this, which many feminists hold as the capital-D-S Double Standard (see also; “Stud/Slut Dichotomy”), is nearly so prevalent now as it was many decades ago, but this new double standard that excuses women’s virginity while denigrating men’s (we can call it the “Nice Girl/Nice Guy Dichotomy”) seems to have sprouted from the same root. The difference might have come with the shift of mainstream sexual mores. As pre-marital abstinence, rather than sexual activity, becomes the frowned-upon behavior, so do men, rather than women, become the chiefly frowned-upon participants.

This is not progressive thinking. This merely inverts our old thinking. The new double standard operates from the same false premises as the old. It still presupposes that men are passive victims to their all-consuming sexual desires (so, if a man has not had sex by a certain age, he must be either completely undesirable to women or otherwise suspect in his manliness). It still presupposes that women do not struggle with sexual desire at all, or only to a degree that is easily controlled (so, if a woman has not had sex by a certain age, that is an understandable decision on her part.) Just like the old double standard, this discredits both men’s and women’s capacity for strength in virtue.

It may be easier in this cultural climate for me, as a woman, to openly discuss my moral choices than it is for my male friends and counterparts. But I propose that even so, in such contexts that are appropriate and in such terms that are constructive, we all put these choices into open discussion. We, men and women together, bolstering the required courage, should calmly explain ourselves and defend each other.

Had it come to that, I could have reminded Barnabas, who does know better, that being male or female was not really a relevant factor in the conversation about twenty-something virgins trying to write what they don’t know. He would have listened. So would many others.

As we strive together toward the same fixed and unchanging standards, let us be confident, assured, and transparent* in our striving. Let us strive together so that others may see and understand, and may begin to strive alongside us.

I remain, sincerely yours,
Intern 2

*But tactful, and not obnoxious or boastful. Discretion, valor, better part, etc.

“When defending marriage is called “hate speech”, the very future of western culture is placed at risk

Thankfully, Leo Johnson, a victim of the shooting this past week at Family Research Council in Washington D.C. seems to be making a full recovery. His heroism prevented what might have been an even more frightening act of violence at FRC.

The shooter Floyd Lee Corkins II had the “evil intent to kill people who worked for this public interest organization precisely because they believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and have dedicated their lives to defending the family”( Catholic Online). While certainly Corkins is to blame for this serious criminal act, many commentators have noted that this act of extremism and others like it may have been spurred on by a certain public interest group’s inclusion of FRC on a list of “hate groups.” FRC it is committed to the defense of marriage as only between one man and one woman; thus because it specifically opposes gay marriage, it has been labeled a hate group.

Obviously in the process of public discourse, disagreements between political parties, activist groups, and individuals spark heated dialogue. We discredit opponents and ourselves when any organization jumps to label another as a hate group. One of our basic American liberties is the right to free speech; but with this right comes the responsibility to use this liberty wisely.

Dana Milbank’s of the Washington Post writes this of the FRC shooting: “… this shooting should remind us all of an important truth… there are unbalanced and potentially violent people of all political persuasions. The rest of us need to be careful about hurling accusations that can stir up the crazies.”

Read A.W.R. Hawkins’ article on hate speech  from Summer 2012 Salvo here.

To read more on the events this past week at FRC, see Dana Milbank’s article in the Washington Post  and Deacon Keith Fournier’s article on Catholic Online.

Findings on Research–Two Articles on Margaret Mead

From Salvo:

Anthropological Tourists

Mead & the Young Sex Mavens by Judith Reisman

Back in the Roaring Twenties, Columbia University’s Franz Boas (1858–1942), the “father of American anthropology,” was maneuvering to break what he called the “shackles that tradition has laid upon us.” To that end, Boas supported the “field work” of young anthropology students, including Margaret Mead, who set out to prove what Boas wanted her to prove: that happy primitive people had better sex, younger, than uptight Westerners.

In 1925, the 23-year-old Mead, recently married to the first of her three husbands, went to Samoa, stayed for less than a year, and returned to the U.S. claiming that Samoan society was an “uninhibited,” free-sex society with no jealousy, no rape, and great sex. On the basis of this exploit, she got her Ph.D. and eventually became one of the most celebrated of all anthropologists.

Mead described her sexual paradise in Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), a book that caught the attention of a young New Zealand-born anthropologist, Derek Freeman. Expecting to find the sexual utopia Mead had depicted, he went to Samoa in 1940 and lived there for three years, studying and working as a schoolteacher.

To his considerable disappointment, Freeman (later a professor at the Australian National University) found that Mead was wrong. . . .

Read the entire article.


From Touchstone

Fantasy Islands

David Mills on Margaret Mead’s False Paradise

. . . .

The Margaret Mead Method, in either its original or modified form, is a very useful method . . . if you’re a creep. It proves—to the standard of the man with his pants halfway off and the woman who has gotten a better offer than her husband the couch potato will make, anyway—that sexual libertinism is natural and sexual restraint unnatural, and since being natural is always good, you ought to let go and have fun, just like the jolly party girls of the South American tribes.

This is why Coming of Age in Samoa made Mead famous. You want to have an affair with the babe next door? Well, those darling little Samoans living in a state of nature are doing it all the time, and look how happy and fulfilled and innocent they are. Margaret Mead said so. It’s scientific. You feel guilty? You’re a modern man afflicted with Judeo-Christian guilt, but just ignore it—socially constructed and unnatural as it is—and enjoy the pleasures nature and evolution have provided for you.

I am afraid this is the idea these stories almost always promote, whatever insights into the nature of a fallen creation they provide. They begin with reports of young Samoans having free and joyful sex among the palm trees, and end with middle-aged Barney desperately betraying his wife at the Hampton Inn.

Bo Charted

Bo the dog (yes, the President’s dog) recently posted on his Facebook page (yes, the dog has his own Facebook page) this shining example of civility, tolerance, and respect for those who have differing opinions.

Actually, it’s a mess. It goes off the rails right from the get-go. I guess I’ll give Bo a break though. He is just a dog, and this sort of behavior goes along with his doggish nature. File this under “Why it’s important to be able to argue cultural issues without necessarily bringing God into it” and also “How NOT to win votes or sway public opinion.” And yes I do have those files in my drawer.

Framing the discussion in such a way doesn’t allow for logical arguments like this one from Jennifer Morse:

You’ve become a go-to person on the topic of same-sex marriage. People often argue that we should just let same-sex couples do what they want, since they’re not hurting anyone. What do you say to them?

We actually are allowing them to do whatever they want. What we’re not allowing them to do is redefine the institution of marriage to be a genderless institution. We’re not allowing them to take over the primary institution of society, which defines parenthood and defines the relationships between the generations.

Many arguments around this issue are confused between the personal, private purposes of marriage and the public purpose of the institution of marriage. The public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. It’s an issue of justice that everybody in society recognizes, that these two people are the parents of the child and nobody else is. Not grandma or the babysitter or a previous boyfriend, or all the people who might possibly show up wanting to be the parent. No. These two people are the parents of the child. That’s what marriage is designed to do: to attach to the biological mother the man who is the father of her child. And the marriage institution has social and legal norms of sexual exclusivity and permanence attached to it. Those are key features of marriage.

If you look at same-sex couples, both at what they say and their behavior, neither permanence nor sexual exclusivity plays the same significant role. In other words, if you’re in a union that’s intrinsically not procreative, sexual exclusivity is not as important. Once you start thinking like that, you’ll see that everything people offer as reasons why same-sex couples should be “allowed” to get married—all of the reasons are private purposes. Sometimes it’s nothing more than how it will make them feel. It’s not the business of law to make people feel a certain way. When you see that redefining marriage is going to, in fact, redefine the meaning of parenthood, removing biology as the basis for parenthood and replacing it with legal constructions—then you see that there is quite a lot at stake in getting the definition of marriage right.