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Planned Parenthood, have you no shame?

Our Friend Duffy  has a terrific post up at Patheos today in response to Pope Francis’ recent comments on the healing power of shame.

There were no particularly Christian reasons to feel shame at that time in my upbringing. We slept in on most Sunday mornings of my early childhood, and no one had inferred to me in any way that sex was bad. But looking through the magazines was something Marcy and I definitely did under cover of darkness, regardless of how boldly they had been left in our path. We both knew that there was something inherently wrong with two little girls looking at grown-up naked women.

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, American Life League attempted to take out a full-page ad in the New York Times and the Washington Post that displays images used by Planned Parenthood in public school sex education courses. The ad was rejected because the images were considered “too graphic” for the newspapers’ readership.

I can understand the newspapers’ reasoning, honestly – I assume they would say the same about an image of the human reproductive system from, say, a ninth grade biology textbook. Right? I’m a little confused about this detail from the story:

Likewise, the New York Times offered to run the ad only if ALL would agree to blur the pictures. Its staff suggested that they could run a disclaimer saying, “Image too shocking for the New York Times audience. To see actual image and for more information, please visit:

That actually seems like a good compromise – I’m unclear as to who suggested it; the NYT or ALL? As a parent, I’m not crazy about the idea of a newspaper that my child might read including these graphic images in a full-page advertisement.

Because the images themselves are so explicit – I don’t understand how something like this even gets designed. I don’t understand how you have a staff meeting to look over the mockups, share feedback around the table, decide to go with the image of the young girl bent double with a mirror, exposing her genitals to the viewer so that they can be properly labeled. That’s the one. That’s what we want to send to the printers, distribute to the students, talk about with the kids, emphasizing there’s nothing to be embarrassed about and we just want you to be comfortable with your bodies so we can all be sex-positive. And let’s couple that with the image of the young boy masturbating.

Aren’t you ashamed?


  1. Pete Campbell's Righteous Indignation says

    ‘I don’t understand how something like this even gets designed.’

    Hell’s bells!

  2. The Duffer says

    The design of the program is part of the message, I think, as in: “Look what a group of knowledgeable adults drew for you. See how we know what it’s like to be you? We drew these pictures from memory of our own adolescence. It’s all so normal!” Let’s promote shame resilience!

    The thing that’s mind boggling to me is that someone thought an illustration of masturbation would be at all necessary to a teenage boy. Is it supposed to tell them something they don’t already know?

    It all just looks so passe. I’m noticing a similarity in these images with the illustrations on the cover of my Free to be You and Me album from the 70s. This is not cutting edge activism. It’s a group of baby boomers promoting a dated 1970s feminism. Like you need to feed kids their equality vegetables with comic strips.

    By the time sex educators meet these kids, I would wager that about 95% of them have seen hardcore porn. Do they need permission to break down the barriers of shame? The kids have been filing away at that wall for a long time. They need someone to show them some dignity, a little austerity even. There’s nothing wrong with a black and white sketch of just the anatomy, if some child needs to learn that the proper name for a c*nt, is actually “vagina.”

    What’s shameful is being an adolescent and feeling like some middle-aged turd has their arm around you in the brotherhood of sexual discovery. Gross.

    • Matthew Lickona says

      Oh, man, I’m seeing an awesome comedy sketch where the kids head to their sex ed class, and it’s situated in an unused corner of the janitor’s supply station in the school basement, and the guy leading it is a creepy, leering uncle type, and he’s using ’70s porn as teaching aids. You know, because who wouldn’t want to watch a sketch like that?

      • Matthew Lickona says

        “Your mom and dad probably won’t talk to you about this stuff, because they were squares even back in high school, man, but your old Uncle Steve is here to help, heh heh.”

      • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

        ‘Sketch’, indeed.

        How about a different kind of ‘sketch’? This scenario might lend itself to a short story in the style of underground ‘comix’, with little flecks of sweat trickling down and/or flying off Uncle Steve’s face in every panel.

  3. Why is it that we can look at Nazi propaganda and shudder – but when it comes to this crap we shrug our shoulders and chalk it up to “progressive” culture?

    Furthermore, is it an accident that the first sexual revolution – fomented using many of the same methods employed by PP – took place in Russia not long after Lenin’s rise to power in 1920?

    For those with the stomach, it’s all been documented:

    Folks, this is a cultural revolution and a political power play. Expect more of the same and worse…


    • “If you think of liberals as well-meaning bumblers, guilty of nothing worse than ‘unintended consequences,’ you need to read Jones.” – Joseph Sobran.

    • Brian Warner's Alliterative Stage-Name says

      See also James Poulos on the ‘Pink Police State’:

      What gives me fear is the idea, which large numbers of people seem to be buying into, that a growing sphere of libertinistic freedoms compensates (or more than compensates!) for our shrinking spheres of political liberty and the practice of citizenship. […]

      That’s the background brief on the Pink Police State, a vision which came to me courtesy of one of the most visionary videos of the 1990s. I’m talking about Marilyn Manson’s “The Dope Show,” off 1998’s Mechanical Animals. [‘Dope Show’s’] incredible ‘live performance’ sequence [2:15-3:00], in which an all-male body of riot police wearing head-to-toe pink uniforms are inspired to make out, was deeply prophetic, in an as-yet symbolic way, about the manner in which our manufactured contradictions and desires are apt to show forth in contemporary life.


      [C]itizens of a Pink Police State (I should say subjects) are apt to surrender more and more political liberty in exchange for more and more cultural or ‘personal’ license. And the government of a Pink Police State tends to monopolize and totalize administrative control while carving out a permissive playpen for the people. This tradeoff has a creepy economic component. Already, in places like Russia, China, the Gulf states, and Singapore, we see the machinations of a new ‘laboratory of autocracy’, as oppressive regimes grant wealthy residents de facto privileges to all the sin money can buy. […] The secret depths of perversity and abuse at the ‘frontiers of the West’ — pent-up porn, sex slavery, the whole network reaching from the Baltics through the Balkans, down into the Gulf, and out to Indochina — really needs to be told. […]

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