Some odd person, prompted by my criticism of Tony Abbott’s fifteen-century understanding of women and sex, has been going round to other blogs making comments in my name (and with a weird email address that looks like it could be mine but isn’t):
Jeremy (email@example.com)- If I had daughters I’d tell them to shag at will.
Apparently, according to Julie Bishop and George Brandis, parents “understand” Tony Abbott’s views because they don’t think their daughters should be having sex either. They are incapable of reconciling the idea of them as independent adults with the same rights as their parents had, with the fact that it’s disturbing to think of a relative having sex.
If Julie had added the word “some” in front of the word “parents”, she might be right. I’m sure there are plenty of self-satisfied sanctimonious bossy people out there with daughters they’d like to make abide by medieval standards of female behaviour, at least so far as it comes to sex. But it’s a big call to assume that that’s all, or even a majority of parents. Even though almost every organisation with the word “family” in the name is a far-right socially-conservative front, not all families are far-right social conservatives.
My anonymous stalker is actually, despite his bad-faith attempt to attack me where he didn’t think I’d see it, right – if I had adult daughters, I would tell them to “shag” when they “will”, as in, when they want to. They should be aware of the risks, and take precautions, and be sensible, but sexuality is a gift – unlike “virginity”, one that keeps on giving throughout a person’s life – and they would be as entitled as every one of their ancestors to enjoy it. They should never be pressured into it; they should feel as confident and comfortable saying “no” as they would saying “yes” – but the critical issue is that it would be up to them. It has nothing to do with me. Parents who think they should have a say in their children’s sex lives are WEIRD. If my daughter asked me my opinion about whether she should “save herself for marriage” then I’d offer an opinion – um, why? – and if I saw that they were being pressured by a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a church, whatever, then I’d make sure they knew they had an alternative – but my kids won’t be a pushover for any such bullies, anyway. The point would be, it always should be their decision, not anybody else’s. And they would know that.
The thing is, Tony isn’t suggesting that unmarried women not have sex when they’re uncomfortable with it – he’s telling them to say “no” even if they want to have sex, because he thinks he and society should have a say in what people do in their own bedrooms. In what their daughters do in their own bedrooms.
And that is creepy.