Sunday, July 17, 2011

No Vaginal Thievery Please, We’re Alaskans

As you may or may not know, depending on how much you follow the entertainment news, Bristol Palin in recent interviews (one of which can be seen here) in association with her new book claims that her virginity was stolen by Levi Johnson, the father of her child. Yet she states that she is not accusing Johnson of date rape (or presumably any other form of rape). There are only two possibilities when a young women (or man) has sex for the first time: either she does so willingly or not. If not, it is rape. Someone who decides to consent to sex cannot therefore claim that she did not willingly give up her virginity. Someone who is drugged against her will for the purposes of sex (against her will) is a victim of rape. The grey area may be a situation in which someone is drugged with their consent (in the case of alcohol use for example) and then it is unclear whether a subsequent sexual encounter was consensual. If it was not, then again it is rape.

However, what is not rape is a person having consensual sex, even under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and then subsequently regretting doing so. This is clearly the scenario that applies to Ms. Palin. She states that Mr. Johnson stole her virginity because “that’s what it felt like” (presumably after the fact). Yes, understandable that a young person might regret having sex for the first time. Happens all the time. But, regret for one’s consensual actions do not imply guilt to the other party. Lest anyone get the wrong idea, Ms. Palin confesses that she continued to have a sexual relationship with Mr. Johnson for some time following the first encounter. This does not sound the actions of someone who had either significant regret. I believe the regret came much later, either when she realized she was pregnant, or more likely when she realized that her pregnancy made it impossible for her to publicly claim virginity.

How stupid do the Palins really think Americans are? How stupid are some Americans for buying their story? How can claim to be a “family values” oriented political personality, to fall on the conservative side of all social issues, to hold the view that young men and women should remain virgins until they marry, and yet repeatedly fail to do so yourself. Lest anyone forget, Sarah Palin herself went through much the same as her daughter did. She was pregnant with her first child, Track, by the time she married her husband Todd. I wonder, did Todd steal Sarah’s virginity too?

Imagine for a moment if you will how the Palin family would be judged if they did not claim to be Christians. Imagine for a moment that their actions were exactly the same, but that Sarah Palin had been an openly atheistic vice-presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. Just imagine. You can easily picture the vitriol that would be hurled their way by all sorts of “family values” groups in the United States. You can imagine the calloused “you play you pay” attitude that would be aimed at Bristol Palin as she tried to deal with her teenage pregnancy in the spotlight of a national political campaign. Imagine what would be said about the family values of the older Ms. Palin and her husband.

One of the very strange things about society, and politics specifically, is how blindly loyal people are to the actions of others who hold the same religious or political viewpoint. The Palins get a free pass from every Republican Christian in America just for claiming Christianity themselves. Why can people not see the hypocrisy here? The simply fact is that both Sarah and Bristol Palin wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They wanted to have sex but still be able to pretend they were good young virgins when they married. Physically, of course, that is impossible, but socially it can be done with this neat trick of accusing your sexual partner of theft. Oh well, if Levi stole your virginity then it’s not your fault.

I am not an American so I ask this question of my American readers. How is it that anyone in the United States fails to recognize the insanity of this family? How is it that anyone believes they have anything positive to offer? Whether you share their political leanings or not, please come to your senses and recognize trash when you see it. The Palins offer none of the qualities that we should be seeking in our political and social leaders: honesty, character, humility, integrity, responsibility, maturity. The only way the Palins will ever go away is if people stop reading about them. Perhaps on that note I should end this entry.

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