When Your Daugh- um, Your Olive Oil Isn’t Like a Virgin

25 07 2010

Ruminations of Olive Oil by Favorite Daughter (when she was 16 going on 17) —

I never really understood the concept of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to begin with. Is it made from olives that aren’t allowed to touch other olives? Are they modestly shielded from life’s elements by tarps?

And Extra Extra Virgin Olives – what on earth does that entail?

Or does the “virgin” refer to the oil itself? Has it never been mixed with another oil, commingling and developing new, brassy flavors? I certainly hope not, one takes for granted when one buys olive oil that it is, in fact, olive oil, and not some other hybrid. But then it seems that they shouldn’t have to bellow about its virginity so explicitly.

. . .It’s not just olive oil – women, too, now, are expected to come with a label that reads Extra Extra Virgin.

Much of society appears to have decided – rather abruptly, if you ask me – that it is not enough to wait for a person, time, and place that connote “right” and “safe” before you have sex for the first time. . .

I could say a lot of things about the abstinence program. I could say that repression, sexual or otherwise, isn’t healthy. (See this movie to learn how it leads to broken families, insanity, and arguably the Great Depression.)

I could say that it makes people ashamed of what’s perfectly natural, and thus leads to self-loathing.

But I think I’m going to focus mainly on how creepy it is. . .

(She was indeed a devout Disney Princess disciple growing up.)

Now comes news in the year 2010, finding Favorite Daughter a senior in college, age 20 and a student of power of story religious and not, are you ready to face facts? Your actual, literal (not metaphorical) olive oil may be acting all coy and innocent, telling you what it thinks you want to hear. But it’s lying!

A new study from the University of California- Davis claims more than two-thirds of random samples of imported so-called extra-virgin olive oil don’t make the grade. . .

“It’s become a very sophisticated practice, the adulteration of olive oil throughout the world,” Shoemaker says. He says the lab can prove defects, degradation and dilution in olive oil beyond what human taste buds can figure out.

Suppose two-thirds of supposed teenaged virgins are lying to us, too. And some of those who AREN’T lying, don’t think it’s any of your business anyway. Now what? Nobody much listens to Favorite Daughter even when she tells the truth. Virginal or adult-erated.

The result of all this listening of people talking about sex in a positive, happy light, was that I began to feel like it was something that could be talked about. My mind opened up to the worlds of other people’s ‘kinks,’ as Dan [Savage] says, and began to see that, though I may not share most of them, responsibly sexually active adults all have something in common: a need to connect with another human in the most intimate and pleasurable way on earth.

Almost everything between consenting adults is A OK in Dan’s book, and, inch by inch, I became more accepting and less prudish, simply because I’d heard so many different forms of sexual expression discussed in a non-judgmental forum. I have become well-informed and damn near unshockable, and I strive to be that way about everything.

So maybe someone call Sarah Palin and her daughters, and ask what their projected dominionist pentecostalism has to offer American reality, apart from preaching abstinence despite all evidence to the contrary, for fun and profit.

The one solution I’m sure we don’t want, is what will be done to redress olive oil virginity lies:

. . .new American regulations will conform to international standards. Starting in October, olive oil from every olive oil-producing country, including America, will be subject to random sampling off retail shelves.

My daughter is not on a retail shelf so her right to privacy should be clear and absolute but if yours is, as the Palin girls increasingly seem to be, maybe you should worry.

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16 responses

27 07 2010
Crimson Wife

After my girls are legally adults and out from under my roof, their status is none of my business. They’ll know our values and I hope that they choose to wait like I did. Young adulthood is stressful enough without having to worry about the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy (even doubling up on contraception is no guarantee against that), catching a disease (ditto), or the heartbreak that comes with being intimate with someone who ultimately proves to be unworthy. I’ll point out that nobody I know who waited has regretted doing so, but I have a number of friends who regret NOT waiting. Ultimately, though, it’s their life and it’s up to them to make good decisions or deal with the consequences of making poor ones.

27 07 2010
JJ

But what about the OIL? Literally I mean. Don’t we have the need to regulate our own markets enough so that we’re not scammed by imports lying to us about THEIR virginity??

28 07 2010
JJ

If we even know the difference between imports and American products anymore. Is BP an American company because it operates off our shores, in our Gulf, hiring our citizens and profiting from our natural resources? I heard the newly tapped CEO on NPR this morning and he has an unmistakably American accent, said he grew up in Mississippi. Does that make British Petroleum ours?

And does it make what they do to our oil, pure?

Does it make them understand and accept our values and priorities and plans for the future, much less our leadership or discipline or authority? Most of which also seem impure and unhealthy (for young girls we want to protect as well as the rest of us) — seduced and adulterated and corrupted. Corporations are just amoral, not-human at all, but what’s OUR excuse?

I’d say there was a two-thirds chance he was lying to me, or perhaps lying about two-thirds of what he wanted me to believe.

28 07 2010
JJ

What about homegrown freedom/ family value politicians? Pure and wholesome, or two-thirds lying about being 100% adulterated? Does anyone actually believe and rely on their lies about their purity?

I got an ad for a conscience-based corporate service in my email today, that opened thus:

Here is how AT&T describes its political giving: “Contributions are made to candidates who demonstrate integrity and character, support a strong private sector and show a free-enterprise philosophy.”1

How does AT&T define integrity and character? Well, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana must have passed the test since AT&T threw him a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser in March.

This party comes after Sen. Vitter admitted to being a client of the “DC Madam,” employed an aide who had pleaded guilty to attacking his ex-girlfriend with a knife and put that aide in charge of “women’s issues”—including domestic violence. . .

Btw, here’s proof that sex in marriage is no purity guarantee!

Is it even possible for sexual expression to be regulated and graded extra extra “pure” by truly moral humanist society, or is that all lying, too? (Babies take pleasure in self-stimulation e.g. and some consider that less than pure. Sorry baby, you’ve been sullied for life?!)

Whether one argues our sex parts and drive were created or evolved, surely it’s not sex itself that is inherently impure and unhealthy but the lying about it, the corruption of it, poisoning it with head and power games, its literal “adulteration.” Senator Vitter reportedly enjoyed and/or suffered from a “diaper fetish” — was there perhaps some socially corrupted urge for baby-innocence in his adultery? Could he have been judged extra extra pure if only sex had not been his sin?

. . . several news outlets reported that in May 1999, Vitter replaced Congressman Bob Livingston after Livingston resigned due to an adultery scandal.

Vitter said . . . “Livingston’s stepping down makes a very powerful argument that Clinton should resign as well and move beyond this mess”, referring to Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal.

28 07 2010
COD

If we didn’t allow these damn foreigners, people or oils, into the country…

28 07 2010
JJ

Exactly. That’s an American value these days, if you listen to politicians.

It’s like Princess Leia: “If treasure is what you love, then that’s what you’ll receive!”

What does America actually love: pure motives, compassion, diversity, freedom, intelligent problem-solving, community service, collaboration? Hope, faith, charity and children? Humanity and progress and leadership?

Or do we love power, authority, war and wealth above all?

28 07 2010
JJ

I’m not Howard Zinn and don’t even play him on the ‘tubes but was our American authority ever extra extra pure, or were we lying for effect all along?

Records show that over forty percent of the population can trace their ancestry back to that “wretched refuse.”

. . .Tragically, “wretched refuse” is a label that continues to describe many in society – people struggling to overcome their status as second-class citizens. They are second-class because of their ethnicity, economic standing, physical disability, diminished mental capacity, etc. These are people who need our help and our love.

UPDATE : Howard Zinn’s FBI files

1 08 2010
Lynn

What brilliant ideas to ponder… and I thought this post was going to be about Popeye. 😦

1 08 2010
JJ

Spinach must be brain food too. 😉

Are you “back” from your light summer bloggery? We could get into some trouble with so much to play with . . .

2 08 2010
Lynn

re: “olive oil virginity lies”

You don’t suppose that Olive Oyl was lying to us, too. Pretending to be all extra, extra virginal while she’s off engaging in 3-way with Popeye and Bluto? The little hussy.

Am I back? Yes, I yam.

2 08 2010
JJ

To CW’s point about individuals freely choosing and then deserving whatever individual consequences ensue — whether the topic du jour is sex or race, the economy or education, the Catholic Church or Communist China or the Taliban, that’s only one chapter of a complicated story. What about institutional (im)morality, the bad barrels into which good individuals are thrown by forces beyond all individual human scale?

I see individual and institutional morality as inseparable. CW seems to focus almost exclusively on the individual’s moral responsibility, while institutionalized wickedness in communities, churches, corporations, congresses or even conjugal relations, seldom makes her short list of concerns, not even as she teaches her own children to go out into the world’s merciless vinegar barrels?

CW, it’s only fair to invite your response and I would welcome it, but I am very serious about this, not jerking your chain.

New Orleans-based professor Melissa Lace-Hartwell offers perfect-pitch power of story about race as both individual and institutional, with the institutionalized being far more persistent and pernicious. During the Shirley Sherrod and Cambridge cop chapters, she was compassionate and largely uncritical of each individual involved, returning always to the deep-water oil well of our society’s race legacy still affecting all our institutions: slavery and southern Jim Crow laws.

Back to the oil metaphor — institutional corruptions and inhumanities that overwhelm individual innocence and good intentions, their purity even, are not annoying little blobs that wash up on the beach here and there, not merely what pollute visible marshland we individuals can then choose to mourn together, resolve to clean and rebuild together.

Such systemic immorality breeds orchestrated ignorance and monstrous lies about those immoralities that together adulterate our shared reality, spewing toxic hundreds of millions of gallons that few institutions and no individual can reach to control or cap or even SEE, five miles down.

Doesn’t mean it’s not there or doesn’t matter and isn’t poisoning us, and that the innocent won’t suffer for it and then be blamed. Be made to blame themselves even, AS they suffer.

The magnitude of such immoralities goes so far beyond human scale that individuals are not merely devalued but literally made irrelevant, ironically what pugilistic purists claim (perhaps actually believe themselves) to be most against.

Which makes it more perverted than 100% of teen virginity lies.

2 08 2010
JJ

(Cock of the snook to COD)

. . .I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is “structural,” a permanent part of the economic landscape — and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they’ll turn that excuse into dismal reality.

. . .Here’s what I consider all too likely: . . . instead of taking responsibility for fixing the situation, politicians and Fed officials alike will declare that high unemployment is structural, beyond their control. And as I said, over time these excuses may turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the long-term unemployed lose their skills and their connections with the work force, and become unemployable.

Not a new story. Just another old lie.

2 08 2010
JJ

More on the importance of institutional and social justice, not just “personal responsibility” —

Participants get much more out of the work they do, Professor Niemi said, if there is a forum to talk about and question the larger issues involved.

Otherwise, he said, students may believe that all problems are solved through individual efforts and government doesn’t have a role. “They’ll see that the homeless don’t have food and that individuals help, but they won’t understand the connection between public policy and the homeless,” he said.

Professor Kahne also found this to be true in his research, noting that “most service programs do not examine causes of social problems or possible solutions” and, therefore, play down the need for political engagement.

In looking at what volunteering offers, Professor Kahne distinguishes among three types of citizens: “personally responsible” — that is they help people they know and donate blood; participatory citizens, who are active in community projects; and justice-oriented citizens, who examine causes and possible solutions for society’s ills.

“We believe that all three dimensions of citizenship are important, but found that most programs do not address all three and generally pay least attention to the last,” Professor Kahne said.

. . .volunteering may involve mundane or repetitive work, but those participating need to understand the connection between their work and the overall issue, Professor Youniss [of Catholic University of America] said.

2 08 2010
JJ

Btw, just remembered my essay from Culture Kitchen, “We the Clockkeepers: Our Tyranny of Time”:

If love of money is the root of all evil, the taming of time must surely be its minion. . .

2 08 2010
Lynn

The latest from my inbox on the topic of: “choosing freely,” after being set up to fail:

“…a teen gets pregnant or gives birth every ten minutes in Texas — a state with one of the nation’s highest teen birthrates even as more than 9 in 10 school districts teach no medically accurate information on contraception and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases” because “medically accurate, evidence-based sex education would ‘promote recreational and gay sex.'”

2 08 2010
JJ

Yep. We’re on the same wave-length.

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