Favorite Daughter’s Extra Virginity Redux

20 11 2011
It’s not just olive oil -– women, too, now, are expected to come with a label that reads Extra Extra Virgin.

Remember Favorite Daughter’s Ruminations on Olive Oil and later — a seeming lifetime of growing up later — Let’s Talk About Sex?

Looks to me like these girls don’t know what the authority figures around them expect them to do –- or not do –- to remain “pure”. I’m eerily reminded of the 1950s, in which . . . people figured, I don’t know, if they didn’t mention it, the kids wouldn’t find out about it.

Now there’s a brand-new book all about the first. 😉

Sublime and Scandalous -- yep, that fits!

And in confluence sufficient to make ripening our conversation at this moment seem almost cosmically ordained, I opened this morning’s NYT to see their magazine cover story, “Good Sex” that illuminates her second sense in which we can understand extra virginity’s sublimity and scandal:

“Teaching Good Sex”
By LAURIE ABRAHAM

Introducing pleasure to the peril of sex education.

It starts with a whole other metaphor for how teens think and learn about sex — baseball — which it’s unlikely FavD will be writing about for you, because she’s not a big fan. So I guess we need homeschool-parent diehard Red Sox fans, like JJ (“what does it mean to girls, not just guys, to “throw like a girl?”) and Crimson Wife and Chris O’Donnell, to ahem, get this ball rolling Read the rest of this entry »





Tim Tebow: The Boy Who Lived

6 02 2010

. . .destined to grow up as an example to us all. Of — um —

Are you ready for some football?
(Olympic Excess coming up next!)

We homeschooling families like learning at home in our living rooms, especially for free. You could even say we celebrate it! But you’re a Thinking Parent as well, so think about this — is “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” a sports message best taught on tv as multi-million dollar ad wars? Or is it paid political speech we’ve learned from real-world experience celebrates division and shooting to kill, the kind of combative warfare all learned people know that neither Christ nor America was ever about, despite false advertising through the ages?

What lessons are being taught in our living rooms, not by individual homeschooling parents or great literary characters like the Boy Who Lived but by corporate-controlled televised sports as entertainment, and is it sacred business, serious business, or funny business (if business has any business teaching any of us any of it?)

Our best entertainers and artists in any era help us conjure our own Patronus against the universally human fear of the dark.

Who in this story capitalizes, controls, one might even say conjures, this unarguably public education for which corporate America is unelected and unaccountable?

What if Tim Tebow had been born gay instead of gridiron-gifted? Would his mom still have been chosen for her choice to teach SuperBowl fans everywhere her ethics and how to define “family and life” worth celebrating? What if her unaborted son once grown to be a sports star, openly credited magic rather than miracles? Would he still have been chosen by CBS to dramatically break the network’s policy against advocacy ads mixed with hero worship? Is ignoring your doctor’s advice as Pam Tebow (and Sarah Palin) chose for themselves and apparently preach as mom gospel to everyone including the Supreme Court, a lesson CBS will be held accountable for as both profit-seeking and public broadcast system?

Here’s something your children will NOT learn about celebrating family and life watching the CBS SuperBowl:

“Women take decisions about their health very seriously. They consider their doctors’ advice, they talk with their loved ones and people they trust, including religious leaders, and they carefully weigh all considerations before making the best decision for themselves and their families.”

“My daughter will always be my little girl,” [the sports star] says. “But I am proud everyday as I watch her grow up to be her own person, a smart, confident young woman. I trust her to take care of herself. We celebrate families by supporting our mothers, by supporting our daughters. By trusting women.”

Upon which [the evil schoolmarm as minister of education] retorted tartly that students couldn’t be trusted to know what was good for them and they were a bunch of negative whiners . . .

Ethical? Educational? Christ-like? Good enough for your child at any age or stage?

Preparing for SuperBowl Sunday as a secular Gator up on cultural controversy, I’m reflecting on my own education through many years of bleeding orange and blue and watching UF sports, especially Tim Tebow as our most famous student-athlete ever. Yes, the most famous ever.

The Boy Who Lived has clearly surpassed even Steve Spurrier’s renown although the reasons seem murky and not merely statistical — perhaps because not even the most fanatical fan nor the SEC, the Heisman Committee or The Old Ball Coach himself, ever confused Steve Spurrier with Christ-like beatitude? 😉

I think my best self-learning on this subject was laid out in biblical allegory style, in What Should We Call Christ as a Kick in the Head? Tim has had his last on-field performance as a Gator for God but his first as a bought-and-paid-for shill airs tomorrow. I’ll let you know if it teaches me anything new . . .

*********
What Should We Call Christ as a Kick in the Head?

Just drove Young Son to Irish dance and musical theatre. Their performing arts studio is in a neighborhood shopping center with a sandwich shop and pizza place, a chinese food restaurant, a small computer shop — and a huge, very busy martial arts place with big glass walls across the front so you can watch from the sidewalk or your car, called Karate for Christ Ministries.

I’ve waited for the kids and wondered about this incongruous pairing of east and west before. School football players in the South seem very well-educated if Christianity is the standard and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is the measure. My favorite quarterback Gator Tim Tebow is always blessing the tv announcers and thanking his lord Jesus Christ for his touchdowns. His whole family goes on mission trips and he even convinced his coach to join him on one last summer. But school football and school religion are compatibly American — at least so I was taught — especially in the Bible Belt.

Karate though? For Christ?

So today as Spunky started a new conversation about what it means for a child to be “well-educated” I noticed it afresh and thought I’d mention some of what it makes me wonder, about what’s being taught and learned and why to our kids out of school, not in.

The phone number is painted on the glass, too: want your child well-educated in mind, body and spirit all at the same time? Who needs School OR Church? Just call 8-WE-KICK.

I called up wikipedia instead: Read the rest of this entry »





Unity Emerging: All Political Divides Boil Down to One Common Purpose

6 01 2010

Call it a pure syrup of 100% political sap?

No, hmmm, today’s power of story fits the “flying” analogy better than the “food” analogy.

Leonard Pitts Jr’s version of this fear-of-flying story:

So polarized has our leadership become that it is incapable of seeing in any dimension beyond the political. When attempted mass murder is seen as an “opportunity” on the one side and a signal to circle the wagons on the other, one can only conclude that for some, partisanship literally matters more than life itself.

I know what you’re thinking and for the record, yes: I did indeed make this same argument — repeatedly — when Democrats tried to use 9/11 to damage George W. Bush.

I renew it now with an urgency. Too often, our leaders cannot work for the greater good because they acknowledge no good greater than politics. But if that’s truly our prime directive and highest imperative, God help us all.

I’ve written analytically about the Logic of Failure in complex institutions and systems including air travel, after 9/11 but before the Christmas Day Underwear Terrorist:

This morning I see a right answer in the news, real analysis and insight for all those of us who puzzle over public school policy (and party politics, religious wars, et cetera) and just can’t understand why we keep doing all the wrong things wronger, regressing rather than progressing:

Schooling is like flying.

The whole story is about how aggressive and insulated data analysts crunch endless numbers to create operational models that are statistically attractive but unfit for human consumption, thereby infuriating regular, responsible people just trying to participate in the system in good faith.

I’ve also written to jolly folks into a little flexibility and imagination and resilience in public policy, including dress codes and even airplane underwear! — you know, the Daniel Pink whole new mind with drive but not driven kind, power of story from which unregulated, unlegislated true human progress can spring, the kind that demands partisan politics must loosen up, wise up and grow up all at the same time:

My practical proposal doesn’t force anyone to do anything nor deprive anyone of anything, nor does it discriminate in illegitimate fashion. (Fashion – that word keeps coming up!) It doesn’t depend on demonizing either common objects or innocent people, nor must it wait to develop new science and technology. In other words, no metal detectors; lie detectors; curbside inspections; civil liberty intrusions like body cavity searches, racial profiling and personal data mining; explosive-sniffing dogs, financial or spectrum analysis.

It is at once spontaneous, light-hearted and scientifically proven as a simple and effective way to separate Islamic terrorists from the tourists and business travelers of the free world. . . let those cheerfully wearing a pair of panties on their heads pass through without even slowing down.

But our nation’s leadership has taken the Logic of Failure so far in its own systems and institutions of governance, that they now seem unable to help themselves, much less any of us. So we the people have accommodated ourselves to mindless miseries as everything just gets worse and worse:

“In other words, we’re stuck with the current system, because it isn’t really in any[one’s] interest to try to change it.”

Happy New Year? Harumph!





Favorite Daughter Talks Sex and Rejects “The Wilding of Sarah Palin” Premise

26 11 2009

Favorite Daughter wrote a long essay on this piece* (see below) late last night, unbeknownst to her mother until the holiday yeast rolls were in the oven and we were relaxing together just now, and she mentioned it in an offhand way.

She is almost 20 now, and we’re leaving for her boyfriend’s parents’ multi-family dinner in an hour. Anyway, don’t miss this if you want a brutally honest young woman’s progressive perspective in response to this article about sex, politics and the real-world effects of the Politics of Sex:

. . .[The “recovering liberal” author of the article] posits that democrats purposely keep women afraid of rape so that they’ll vote democrat, like a sick stick to the carrot of equal pay and abortion rights. She goes on to insinuate that democrats put out some sort of subliminal messages about conservative men all being rapists. She makes this allegation with no evidence whatsoever, and, if the average conservative sex scandal is any indication, my 14-year-old brother has a lot more to fear from Mark Foley, Larry Craig, and Ted Haggarty than I do.

She goes on to hint that she might have been raped (“probably at a peace rally,” Calvin groaned), and called the perpetrators “minority,” “thug,” “hoodlums,” blaming liberal social programs for the circumstances that led directly to her violation. If I may interrupt: I have a hunch that not stoning rape victims was once considered a “liberal social program.”

She goes on to accuse everyone at Berkley of being a “sleazebag,” (really, everyone) and that because liberals subscribe to the concept of moral relativism, they sanction the stoning of women in the Middle East. Where, the last time I checked, women were being preyed upon by religiously and politically conservative men.

Then it gets really good (or bad, I guess, would be a better Read the rest of this entry »





Sarah Palin says 17-year-old daughter is pregnant

1 09 2008

I was watching FOX hurricane coverage when the announcer says McCain has just released a statement to this effect, and he knew about it, and it’s private family matters so shut up. Huh? After all that personal family stuff in her “why I am qualified” introduction of herself this weekend? I’m all for family matters being private and have been all along, but for the McCain-Palin campaign and their partisans, that sounds like just another shocking flipflop for political expediency.

15 minutes ago

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Sarah and Todd Palin say their 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant.

The couple said in a statement released by John McCain’s presidential campaign that Bristol will keep her baby.

Sarah Palin is McCain’s vice presidential running mate.

The Alaska governor says Bristol intends to marry the father of her child.

She and the campaign also are asking that the media respect the family’s privacy on this matter.