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Who Is Your Daddy And What Does He Do?

By Jesse Taylor
Friday, September 19, 2008 15:22 EDT
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imageLinda Chavez goes back to the allegation that Barack Obama wanted your five year olds to learn about double-ended dildos and plumbs it for all that it’s worth. You’ll remember the first time this popped up, our intrepid Man-Boy Detective discovered a very sordid underbelly: a bill primarily about changing sex-ed practices for sixth to twelfth graders was talked about in a way as if its purpose was primarily to change sex-ed practices for sixth to twelfth graders. There were, however, provisions that allowed for age-appropriate sex education focused on bad touching and abuse for kindergarteners. You learn this through reading the bill. Linda, on the other hand, read Byron York’s halfassed reading of the bill, and she’s angry:

The McCain ad on Obama and sex ed, despite hysteria from the likes of Joy Behar on “The View,” turns out to be factually correct. Byron York, White House correspondent for National Review, reports that Illinois Senate Bill 99, which Obama supported in 2003, mandated that “(e)ach class or course in comprehensive sex education in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.”

Now, this is in service of the idea that this provision mandated comprehensive sex ed. Let’s take a closer look at the language, shall we?

There is a separate “age-appropriate” clause in the bill, which makes perfect sense – after all, even if you’re teaching, say, “comprehensive” math skills to kids from K-12, you aren’t teaching geometry to first graders or counting to 12th graders (er, hopefully). So, taking that as an overarching guide for what gets taught at what grade level, how do we look at this section?

We’re asked to believe that comprehensive sex ed is being mandated for kindergarteners. In order to believe this, you’d have to read the bill as mandating comprehensive sex education for all grades K-12, which no school does and very few schools anywhere in the country have the resources to do. The much more logical interpretation of the bill is that if comprehensive sex ed is taught in any grade K-12, then the comprehensive sex ed for that grade must include things A through D (or whatever body of things are going to be required).

That’s why it says “any” instead of “all” – the bill is not setting down hard and fast standards for which grades must get any form of sex ed, but saying that when a certain type of sex ed (hence the qualifier “comprehensive”) is taught, it then must include those things. Suppose I were to write a parallel law with parallel language for math:

Each class or course in comprehensive algebra education in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the nature and existence of variables, the use of variables in equations and the discovery of solutions to equations using algebraic variables.

I don’t know that anyone with a basic understanding of English would take that to mean that every child must have 13 years of algebra, or even that five and six year olds should be able to solve X +3Y = 50 where X equals 2Y.

Of course, the problem here is that it involves sex, which immediately seems to shut down the critical thinking parts of many conservatives’ minds and instead force them into a mode where everything looks like a giant penis piercing the brain-hymen of our nation’s precious children. Squeeze your mind-legs together, kiddies. Bacock Orammer is coming for you! Of course, we can’t teach you that, because it’s about sex and touching, so really, just get in his big windowless van and make sure you make your bed before we never see you again.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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