Too Much Vinegar?

Joe Cool writes

As much fun as it is to read the fuming and thunder, I really can’t imagine these last couple of posts actually convincing anyone who doesn’t already agree with the premise. What was the tone of the argument that, as an atheist, convinced you of the merits of virtue and chastity? Was it the thundering denouncements of the evil of fornication? Or was it something a bit calmer and more heartfelt? I wonder, if you were stranded on a desert island with a cad or a harlot, and as such must put up with this person for the foreseeable future, how you would convince him of the merits of your position, without convincing him that you’re also a judgmental blow hard? (Not that I’m saying you are; merely that you might come off like that to someone not predisposed to agree with you.)

Yes, I have read your Apologia Pro Opere Sui, and would swear by it, were that not blasphemous. I just have a hard time recommending it to the unenlightened, because it’s so difficult to make it through the dense legalese.

So I wonder what the purpose of your last two posts has been. Is it just to let out some steam, and entertain us all with the rhetoric in the process? If so, mission accomplished.

My comment: Your comment is well said and well taken. It is hard for a man to judge his own words, so I cannot tell when I am coming across with too much vinegar and when not.

However, as you divine, neither of the last two posts were written with the intent of converting the heathen nor chiding the sexual libertarians among us. In this particular case, I thought that Susan Walsh gave a perfectly temperate and calm and rational explanation of why the behavior under examination was not in one’s self interest.

And I also thought it was inadequate. When you see the generation of vipers heading straight into the hellfire, and the only roadblock erected is a rather mild appeal to their self-interest, when what they are doing is deliberately self-destructive, that appeal, which might move a Vulcan or a Houyhnhnm like yours truly, I do not think will stir a Satyr.

However, I freely admit my knowledge is limited, and my ire excessive, so perhaps in this case you are in the right.

On the other hand, and this is not meant to excuse the intemperate excesses of my choice in words, please contemplate the following article on the same website:

The article explores when members of a “sex positive” school of feminism find a woman’s freedoms must be curtailed, if the woman is to be called a true feminist, not to chose abstinence, chastity, or modesty.

Here is a quote from the midst of the article:

Rachel Kramer Bussel, a sex writer and leader in the sex-positive movement, believes that casual sex is “under attack”:

“There’s a world of difference between being branded a sex object and choosing to be one…I may like to get spanked until I scream, but I still deserve to be treated as an intelligent human being… Feminists are just like any other women, and it’d be a shame for us to hold back in a misguided attempt to live up to the legacies of Susan B. Anthony and Gloria Steinem.”

The irony, if not the logical paradox, of a young lady of good upbringing being spanked until she screams, infantilized in heady sexual humiliation and total submission to the brutal passions of her lover, at the same time asking, nay, demanding to be treated with the honor and respect granted to chaste, pure, and non-revolting women who who display some self control and common sense in the area of the sexual appetite — this is not a paradox that I for one, believe is suitable for being addressed in detached and temperate language.

It is an abomination and should be denounced as such. To say less it not perfectly honest. To speak of it with polite courtesy is to give it an honor beyond its merit.

Naturally, opinions differ. Susan Walsh, I note, does a fine job, nay, an admirable job, and exemplary job, of addressing this madness and malign evil as if it is merely an alternative lifestyle, and one which must be judged and weighed carefully in the balance scales of one’s own self interest rightly understood. She speaks courteously and calmly.

Let me quote one more time from this article:

Here are a few of the choices wholeheartedly embraced by sex-positive feminists:

Rape fantasies

BDSM (sadomasochism)


Polyamory, including triads, vees, double vees, etc.


Bukkake (usually involves a group of standing men ejaculating on a seated woman)

Careers in prostitution and stripping

Careers in porn, both acting and creating

In other words, the liberated modern woman is sexually omnivorous. While these practices are portrayed as “normal”, abstinence is considered a freak show.

My question: In the case given above, where Bukkake and BDSM and prostitution are portrayed as normal — what is the correct tone to set? That of Socrates, honest, detached, ironic, polite? or that of John the Baptist, who warned of the wrath to come?

I am not sure any tone, temperate or not, will convince the servants of the Dark Lord to eschew his service.

Oh, and I also have a very attractive 14 year old daughter whom I love more than I love the apple of my eye, and into this cult and culture being established by this generation she is going to enter into her young womanhood. I have a duty to protect her and to raise her properly, but the generation around me is avowed to hinder and harm that upbringing, using many arts both blatant and subtle. This is not an abstract matter for me: I have a stake in this fight.

But I am open to suggestion, and I know myself to be a choleric man, so perhaps you are correct.

Any one else have an opinion?