Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why We Blog, Part One: Sex

Anyone reading the last dozen or so posts might conclude that Delenda is a blog obsessed with two topics:

1) Race

2) Sex

That was never the plan. Actually, the plan was never to blog at all, but only link to other stories and posts that I found compelling for one reason or another. Then I really only wanted to blog about the evolution / creation debate. Yet here I am, wrapped around these two topics.

I will address the issue of race another day. Today, I would like to try to explain what motivates the postings on sex. It's easier to start with what doesn't motivate it.

1. You're lonely and bitter.

Nope, sorry. I'm happily married with two children. I've had a reasonably successful career that's paying for a PhD. I have a church and friends and all that.

2. You're a misogynist.

As near as I can tell, for many of its users, "misogynist" = "non-feminist". And I am not a feminist. I do not resent women for their greater freedom, but I have little vested interest in it. I am opposed, in general, to the growth of the central state at the expense of individual and local liberty. I am concerned about the social costs to families and children that the legal and social changes on behalf of a certain kind of careerist woman have wrought. But I do not hate women as a class, nor do I seek to "put them in their place," whatever that means.

3. You're ungrateful.

Over on Bobvis, Kirk poignantly commented:

To me, most of your complaints sound almost like bragging. For example, from your posts about your husband's shoes, I'm made aware of the fact that not only do you have a husband (which many single women pine for), but that he can afford expensive things. Ditto your "I have too much booze," post. Ditto, your "Newsroom outsourcing forced me to become a successful lawyer" posts.

Here, you're obviously bragging about how much better things turned out for you than for Beemus. Although you seem to understand that much, you still manage to turn it into some bizarre complaint.

And maybe it's just because it's getting near Valentine's Day, but the one thing that really stuck with me about this particular post (and it stuck with me all day) is that you're compaining that someone (Beemus) found you desirable.

Me, I don't know what that feels like. I've never felt wanted, or desired, at any point of my life. And I'm 41.

I can't imagine ever complaining about it.

So, to reiterate. You were hot enough in college that you could take your pick of men. You picked one who makes a decent living. After a career in journalism, you're now a successful lawyer.

Maybe you're just unappreciative. Maybe we just come from different worlds. I don't know. But to me your complaints read like a veiled form of bragging.

Even though this comment wasn't directed at me, it made me think. Wow, sometimes I probably DO come across as exceedingly ungrateful for how my life turned out. Especially to someone like Kirk who hasn't had it so good. And especially for someone who, however imperfectly, strives to lead a Christian life, to which gratitude is fairly integral.

But the problem is, gratitude is tough to blog. Rehashing the pain of 13 years ago, that's easy to blog. And the fact is, there was a fair amount of pain along the way to married bliss. But the pain isn't really the point either.

Here is the point:

The truth.

The fact is, I was fed a lot of bull coming along. Much of it well meaning. Much of it by people who honestly didn't know how the world really worked. Stuff like:

Don't worry, God will put someone in your life.

. . . or not.

The right girl will come along.

. . . and in the meantime, nobody really wants you around.

Be nice to people, and people will be nice to you.

. . . and maybe pat you on the head on her way out to sleep with this guy.

Girls want commitment.

. . . but they don't choose commitment.

And so on.

So if you wonder why a blogger like me links to someone like this, the reason is that he manages to capture more truth of the way the world works than all the well meaning pablum listed above. Sure, the knowledge is deployed for dishonorable ends. And fossil fuels can pollute the atmosphere. But they get you out of the dark. And I'm tired of the dark.

And maybe, just maybe . . . if we're honest about all of this, instead of dishonest, we might be able to find a way to bring meaningful ethical principles to bear on how we treat each other. We might be able to answer questions like, what kind of courtesy do we owe each other? How can we spread happiness instead of misery? Even to people that are single. And even if we don't want to date them.


bobvis said...

There are always people worse off. Kirk, whatever his issues, lives in a developed nation and therefore is thereby blessed in a way most of the world is not. That puts him in the top half of the human population just like that. And since we are on the Internet, a global view even makes sense. I am not trying to be silly.

I think it's silly to give those who are not well off a free pass to complain, and it is silly to prevent those of us who have met some measures of success from complaining. The purpose of bobvis is to be interesting and facilitate learning by distributing insightful nuggets of thought. Sometimes that can be accomplished through unjustified whining. :)

Φ said...

Bobvis: well said.