It’s difficult keeping up.
One day, not so long ago, we were informed that, having overthrown traditional sexuality morality, we would all be bound by a single moral principle: everything goes if you wear a condom.
You see, sex was no longer about reproduction; it was about the potential for transmitting infections.
And you thought that you understood sex….
Now, the moral compass has shifted. The most pressing moral issue today is: who is going to pay for young women’s contraceptive pills?
Here’s another feminist paradox. Remember in the early days of second-wave feminism when women set out to develop their careers so that they would no longer have to depend on a man for anything. Liberated women could pay their way. They would not have to engage in a relationship with a man in order to receive monetary support.
It’s a choice like another. It did not quite work out that way for many women, but such is life.
Today's feminists still refuse to depend on a man for financial support, but they insist on having their employers pay for their contraceptive pills. In fact, if someone is not paying for their conceptive pills, it counts as an outrage against their feminist autonomy.
'Tis a puzzlement.
Ironically, if everyone were using a condom, the question of who pays for birth control pills would be moot. Worse yet, when the culture shifts the focus of moral outrage to the pill, isn’t it suggesting that couples can dispense with condoms?
Surely, this would not be a good thing.
If you think that who-pays-for-the-pill is the greatest moral crisis confronting young people today, you would be wrong.
No less than the New York Times reports that today’s adolescents, along with the millennials, are suffering from sloth. In the greatest part, it’s a moral issue. But it is also, the Times suggests, a health crisis in the making.
Gretchen Reynolds writes:
America’s young people, as a group, are becoming more out of shape with every passing year, regardless of their family’s economic situation, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The finding raises troubling questions about the future health and longevity of our children and suggests that parents and other authority figures need to find better ways to get our youth moving.
For the past few decades, accumulating data and anecdotal evidence have shown that children in the United States are becoming more sedentary. Less than a third of young people ages 12 to 18 are said to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity for their age group, which would be about an hour a day of exercise.
Instead, epidemiological studies suggest, physical activity among American youngsters peaks before age 10, and perhaps as early as 2, and begins a steady and accelerating decline after that. By some reports, children typically spend eight to 10 hours a day in front of a television or computer screen, with their screen time rising in summer, when school doesn’t interfere.
This comes as a shock. Clearly, one of the most important discoveries in medical research in recent years has been the importance of exercise. I have, on this blog, reported on many of them. The information is clear and persuasive. It is neither politically correct nor politically incorrect. It applies well to progressive and conservative teenagers.
And yet, perhaps because they have been seduced by hand-held gadgets, today’s young people are suffering from what seems to be a terminal case of sloth.
As you know, sloth belongs to the category of deadly sins. So maybe the fact that young people have overcome morality has led them to indulge behavior that had previously been considered sinful.
If your only moral principle is to do what feels good, you will quickly become prey to some very bad habits.
Strangely enough, teenage girls, budding feminists, are less fit than teenage boys:
Over all, only 42 percent [of the 12 to 15 year-olds] were as fit as they should have been, given their age, and that percentage fell precipitously among girls. Less than 34 percent of the female participants had fitness levels that would set them within the healthy fitness zone, the testing showed, compared with about 50 percent of boys.
Ethnicity and family income played no discernible role in the volunteers’ fitness, according to the data. Those from affluent families were as likely to be out of shape as those from families below the poverty line.
The findings grew bleaker when researchers compared the fitness of the group in 2012 to that of similarly aged volunteers from 1999 to 2004. The average fitness of the boys and girls, they found, had declined by about 10 percent since 2004.
“Really, this is not good news,” said Janet Fulton, a lead epidemiologist with the C.D.C’s Physical Activity and Health Branch, who oversaw the new study. “We’re talking about a better than 1 percent per year drop in cardiorespiratory fitness” among a group for whom, she said, “physical activity should come naturally.”
The potential long-term health implications for the country’s young people are disquieting, she continued. “There’s strong evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness is one of the best indicators” of lifelong health, reduced disease risk and greater longevity, she said. “So kids who are less fit when they’re young are likely to be less healthy when they’re adults.”
That message is hardly new but is worth repeating, said Gordon Blackburn, the director of cardiac rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not part of the new study but says he witnesses its implications every day. “Thirty years ago, we would not have expected to see 12-year-olds with symptoms of cardiac disease,” he said. “Now we’ve had to start a pediatric preventive cardiology clinic.”
Today’s young people, from the time they are adolescents, enjoy the freedom to sext, the freedom to watch as much porn as they want, and, in more and more states the freedom to get stoned.
Some of us have cast aspersions on what appears to be a decadent culture. We have been denounced as killjoys and enemies of the orgasm. In fact, we were worrying about the health hazards of a perfectly sedentary life, dedicated to playing with the gadget in your hand.
Think about this. When second-wave feminism hit our shores, it was insisting that women be recognized for their minds, not their sexuality.
And yet, under the banner of feminism today’s women define themselves more and more by their bodies, in particular their sexuality. They are constantly writing about the potential for women to be raped and abused. They are constantly writing about female sexuality, about sexual behaviors and practices and about sexual secretions.
Does that present women as competent, self-respecting professionals? I think not.
Obviously, the matriarchs believes that the more we talk about rape and sexual abuse, the less rape and sexual abuse there will be. If such were clearly the case, we would all support the effort.
It is well enough known, thanks to Ethan Watters’ book, Crazy Like Us, that the more the media talks about eating disorders, the more young girls suffer from eating disorders.
Unfortunately, describing women as actual or potential rape victims defines women in sexual terms and invites everyone to imagine college girls being assaulted. Does this tell men to respect women? Does this help men to recognize women for their minds, not their bodies?
How to you think that this discourse effects pubescent females? Does it make them happy to become women or does it tell them to dread it?
And does it not also tell them that the only way to escape victimization is to become a ward of the federal government. After all, no self-respecting feminist would want to be protected by her father or her brother.