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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A weekly column for those who live and walk in Silicon Valley

by Barbara Dahlgren

Sex and the City
Column for the week of March 24-30, 2002

The cover of the March 4 edition of Newsweek shows a priest with the title, "Sex, Shame, and the Catholic Church." Over 80 priests in Boston alone have been accused of child molestation. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg nationwide. When Catholic officials would find out about such atrocities, they would just transfer priests to other parishes so they could get a fresh start and continue their cycle of abuse.

On Tuesday, March 19, the headline in the Valley section of the San Jose Mercury News is "7 in South Bay Caught in U.S. Child Porn Ring." Of the 40 in the ring arrested so far, (bear in mind this number just represents those arrested not those involved), some are such upstanding citizenry like clergy, priests, teachers, coaches, and police officers. How well do you know your next-door neighbor?

Cosmopolitan's lead story for April is "75 Sexy Ways to Thrill a Man." Other magazines follow suit with "The Biggest Sex News Since the Pill," "Flaunt it! Spring's Most Seductive Looks," and "Found: Marilyn Monroe Sex Tape." Of course, this is only what I read at the check out stand tonight. And how about that yearly Swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated? It shows as much skin as Playboy used to a few years ago.

One of the most popular shows on television is Sex in the City. At least it's on HBO, which you expect to be a bit risqué. But mainstream sitcoms that are not on "pay T.V." are full of sexual innuendos, too. Some comedy shows like 3rd Rock from the Sun which kids can watch reruns of dozens of times a week are one big sex joke after another. Is sex all that aliens are interested in?

A movie isn't a movie without a steamy sex scene. When Renee Russo and Pierce Brosnan made love on a marble floor and stairs in the remake of the Thomas Crown Affair, all I could think was, "Yeah, right!" She didn't even flinch when her naked body hit that cold marble and if you can do it on the stairs without having to go to a chiropractor, more power to you! One new movie, 40 Days and 40 Nights, is called, "a sex comedy for the Lenten season." How religious! A guy tries to abstain from sex for, you guessed it, 40 days and nights. Even a show like Pleasantville that was touted as the "next Wizard of Oz" gave the impression that a person's creativity could only be "brought to color" through some sort of sexual awareness. How they could even compare it to the Wizard of Oz is bizarre! It's like Dorothy doing the Tin Man, Dorothy doing the Scarecrow, if you know what I mean.

Kids admire women like Rosie O'Donnell. I admire her, too. I don't deny that she is likable and most philanthropic. However, now that her sexual orientations have come out of the closet, it gives our young people a sort of stamp of approval to explore sex with the same gender. Little girls try to emulate Britney Spears who shakes her "bon-bons," as Ricky Martin would say, all over the world. Teens and parents are in constant debate over the sexually graphic lyrics to songs. "But, Dad, I don't listen to the words!"

My friends, we are not in a sexual revolution, we are in a sexual convulsion. It surrounds us. It permeates our being. We live in a society where abstinence is a dirty word and no one knows that free love comes with a price. And sadly enough, we are teaching our young people that all this talk of sex is the norm and not media hype. I'll never forget when my preschooler was learning to read phonetically and a bus passed that had "use a condom" plastered on its side. "Mommy, what's a con-dom?"

It reminds me of when God asked Adam and Eve, "Who told you were naked?" (Genesis 3:11) The same culprit that's telling the world that sex is the most important thing in the universe. (Genesis 3:1-13) And the media is helping him.

Am I against sex? Oh, contraire! I enjoy a roll in the hay as well as the next guy. I just roll around with my husband, which I guess is a little avant-garde in this day and age. Even the Bible is not against sex. Just read Song of Solomon. But I am against sexual promiscuity, sexual irresponsibility, sexual disease, sexual misinformation, and the plethora of blatant sex and sexual innuendo that our children are exposed to minute by minute. Maybe Bette Midler had the right idea not to let her daughter Sophie watch T.V. She should know because she made a fortune touring with her bawdy show, the Divine Miss M, with back up singers called the Harlettes.

And where is God in all this sexual mayhem you might ask? He's just where people keep Him, as Bette would sing, at a distance. Like some good luck charm people call on in their time of need. That way people can have all the sex in the city they want, without a guilty conscience.

©March 2002

Be sure to visit this page every week to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at bydahlgren@aol.com.



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