My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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Bush appoints guy to destroy the program he heads

You have got to be kidding me. “The Bush administration has appointed a new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who worked at a Christian pregnancy-counseling organization that regards the distribution of contraceptives as ‘demeaning to women.'” — Washington Post

How can this be legal? Unfortunately, there’s no recourse because Congress doesn’t have any power to do anything. How can something like this be fixed? Gahhhh!

Keroack’s outfit deceives women about other issues as well. It uses a combination of dubious statistics and scripture to attack the efficacy of condoms and the very idea of safe sex. “God requires those who know Him to remain pure until marriage – no sex, in fact, not even a hint of sexual immorality,” it says. “Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman to reflect Christ and His bride, the church.” — Michelle Goldberg

God this breaks my heart. So much for thinking that Bush would play nice with the Democrats.

(Tx Randy)

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9 comments to Bush appoints guy to destroy the program he heads

  • Isn’t this a standard Bush tactic? I remember watching an episode of the Daily Show where they called out a number of industry lobbyist types that ended up running the organizations they were lobbying against.

  • nix

    More of the same from those who feel they are the moral majority. Sadly many countries in the world are moving towards this same senario.

  • Truly, contraceptives are demeaning towards women. In a recent study with a panel of doctors, one person asked about the need for condoms and other contraceptives. The doctors responded by saying that we “can’t control our desires” and that it’s better to have the contraceptives available when we can’t control these animalistic desires.

    In fact, contraceptives are also demeaning towards men. The very act of sex is a giving, in full, of one person to the other. When you introduce contraceptives into the mix, you are saying something like, “I want to love you fully, but I don’t love you enough to accept responsibility for my actions.”

    Personally, as a young adult, I’m pretty offended that the industry as a whole considers my sexual urges to be on par with those of an animal. I know, as humans, we are better than that and we do have control of our impulses.

    It makes me sad to see people accusing those who speak out against contraception as “decieving women.” It’s not just the women who are deceived by contraception, but men as well.

  • Dear what-the-fuck-are-you-talking-about,

    Once you’ve had some sex, you can start telling the rest of us what it means.

    Sincerely,
    Citizens Against Unnecessary Guilt

  • If you are able to move beyond bumper-sticker cliches, strawman arguments and knee jerk ad-hominem attacks, reflect on WHY some of us have come to understand how a universal contraceptive mindset hurts men and women:

    1. It fosters a general lowering of morality.
    2. It fosters a general disregard for the physical and psychological well-being of females by males.
    3. Governments use family planning programs for coercive purposes.
    4. We treat our bodies as though they are machines.

    If your pursuit is merely sex, this won’t make an ounce of sense. If your pursuit is love, of which sexual expression is a part, explore with an open heart and mind.

  • Dear Janet Smith,

    Our pursuit is good public policy. You think contraception hurts people; we think religion hurts people. Surely we can each practice our beliefs without interfering with the other.

    1. You define morality one way, we define it another. Our morality doesn’t involve forcing my views or restrictive lifestyle choices on other people through laws or policies. This, by the way, is what danah is upset about in her post.

    2. To attribute the disregard of female well-being by males to this one issue is myopic and incorrect. We believe that female control over the reproductive cycle allows women to assert control over their own destiny, and that this is generally empowering. Clearly there is much work to do in female/male relations. Taking options away from women isn’t helpful.

    3. Yes, and the CIA imports crack cocaine. We object to corruption in general. This doesn’t make encouraging unprotected sex wise or righteous.

    4. The body is not a machine. Neither, however, should we disregard the advances of modern science. I like being able to take antibiotics when I get sick. I like being able to get a hip replacement when I’m old.

    The real point here is that the Department of Health and Human Services is no place for a person who is so biased in their religious views that they want to take options away from other people who don’t share those views.

    Love,
    Citizens For Common Sense

  • Truth and Love

    @ False Profit,

    1. The problem with relativism is it leaves room for conflicting ‘truths’. Ideally, we should strive for universal truths together in the spirit of peace for everyone. Lots of bullies on both side of the fence.
    2. At least we agree this problem exists. I didn’t say a contraceptive mentality is the ONLY reason (it is not), but I do believe it fosters an environment where sex is a commodity and the procreative/unitive purposes are lost.
    3. Agree 100%. I’d never encourage “unprotected sex” either. I also I think protecting sex goes way beyond the crotch. See item #2.
    4. Again, I agree. Your position can be held by anyone that respects life. I would only add that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.

    PS – I’m not Janet Smith, she just articulates the other side quite well. I recently discovered this blog and one never knows when alternative viewpoints are tolerated. Thank you for the platform and your civil reply.

  • reality check

    The government is the managing entity for this country. That’s IT! Aside from insuring that men and women behave in with mutual civility and respect towards each other and everyone else, they have no further responsability to determine the issues among men and women. Why have we forgotten that?

    If we as a country are trying to determine the meaning of sex and love and procreation, that’s very admirable, but seeing as it’s totally stumped most every other civilization going til now, how and WHY, would we try to do it by government decree? It’s crazy behavior.

    This issue is infinitely individual, because every person’s connection to God and spirituality and sex is absolutlely personal. If we as a country are looking for a large format social structure in which to discuss and determine, for ourselves, how to make the right decisions regarding our own personal situation and then share that with others in an effort to be as conscious and respectful and responsible to life as possible, then we are doing that right now, on the internet. Putting it in to practice in our daily relationships is our own responsibility.

    No man has the right to tell a woman what to do with her own body, or her life. Women, as the primary creators, have the right to determine when and what they choose to present to the world. Every artist has this right. If people are uncomfortable with the concept of trusting that much power, than they need to deepen and perhaps broaden their personal spiritual practice and their own concepts of integrity to love.

    No man has the right to legalize or patent any element of nature. Nature is itself. Bullying it into submission is not what those who practice Love condone or promote. If your connection to God defines boundaries that you know to enhance your spiritual connection, then fabulous, but we have no right to force that on others. Obviously people do it all the time but we are asking them nicely to Stop It. And if they refuse then we simply stop playing with them and go and find new friends who can accept us for who we are. As that applies to the US government, I would say that there is a reason this country is built upon a democratic process.

    We are dealing with what we have today because so many people who have strong feelings of what’s fair and true have in the past, inexplicably refused to participate in the government.

    Freedom is the divine right of every human and every life form because that is what’s best. We need laws to educate those who don’t understand this, the present US Government included. And, as I was reminded by Moore’s film, 9/11, all government’s will get out of hand if not closely watched and kept in check by the people. This is the very definition of DEMOCRACY.
    Live and let live. Tolerance. Compassion. Respect Diversity and belief’s that are not your own if they are not endangering you or others. Retain your personal space and do not allow the government or disrespectful beleifs to govern You. Create peace and freedom in America and the world by speaking up, educating your self and respectfully engaging in discussion in order to learn what your situation calls for. And for God’s sake, VOTE.

  • don’t forget, god also hates shrimp: godhatesshrimp.com