A national conversation about crotch grabbing, pelvic thrusting and pole dancing makes me happy. Really happy. How could a conversation about sexuality and nakedness make a crusader for the sex war against children happy? Because folks are engaged and thinking—even those who insist that butt thrusts and boob bobbles are empowering and emancipating are thinking. And they are saying what they earnestly believe out loud.
“I don’t care what she calls it—patriotic, enlightening, empowering. It was nothing more than a pole dance advertising her latest movie,” my friend opined in our exercise class the day after. A young Latino friend mourned the scanty clad butt swinging adventures of the two women, “The songs are so old. Wow. Dr. Burns, that’s how J Lo made it. She dances without her clothes on, see what I mean?” He’s eighteen years old now but was twelve when we met. I’ve watched him grow into a young man and am so proud of the way he absorbed the performance. “Geez, that stuff is over. No one likes watching that.”
But someone must want to watch because later that week, I went to a basketball game and the dancing girls at the local university were doing the same moves—pelvic thrusts, boob bobbles and pole dancing imitations without the poles. My alma mater claims to fight discrimination in all forms regardless of gender, race or sexuality and recently published a study that revealed that the likelihood of being sexually assaulted during an undergraduate’s four years was 37.5%. Turning to my friend, I said, “Do you think these girls understand that the moves they rehearse so diligently and perform with such gusto are taken from strippers?” The two young men we were with thought so and watched in confused disgust and interest.
Someone asked, “So watching grown men in skin tight uniforms head butting and beating each other to the ground is better than pole dancing?” “No,” I would answer, “but when did the bar drop so low?” The bar dropped low when our society began to allow pornography to be displayed on grocery store checkout shelves and nightly television, calling it art and freedom of speech. The bar dropped lower when 25% of children are sexually molested in childhood (my clinical work claims much higher numbers) mostly by people they know and people either don’t believe this statistic or don’t care.
Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, Kevin Spacey, Jeffrey Epstein and Roman Polanski keep dropping the bar because the more confused we are about morality and sex the more it justifies their decades of rape and assault. Netflix regularly exhibits 5-10 minute segments of oral sex during its dramas. Google it and you can learn which scenes in which movies are the steamiest “porn.” At least they are calling it porn. There is no ability to rate these shows because they are streamed. And viewing is available to all with a Netflix account and access to the password, anytime. Watching Mark Zuckerberg testify to Congress about the need for Facebook to trade in its own cryptocurrency, I applauded as one congress woman challenged him about the fact that 16 million images of child pornography are viewed on Facebook daily. Sixteen million. Mark Zuckerberg swore under oath that the reason Facebook is the largest vendor of child pornography is that “we are the only ones who monitor and attempt to police it.” Sadly, I believe him. The fastest growing area of child pornography is infant sex. Let me say that again since you may have trouble absorbing that. The fastest growing area of child pornography is infant sex. After all, how do you even have sex with an infant, I’m asked? The same way you have sex with a child, teen or adult except sex with infants results in fractures and tears that no plastic surgeon can repair.
When my book, Do You Feel Safe Today? comes out this year, do you think I’ll get 16 million hits in one day? People ask, “how do you think about that, I’d rather be happy, I’m too concerned for my health to ponder such evil, thank God those numbers are inflated, uggg, that gives me nightmares and day visions I’d rather not have.” Harvey Weinstein is reaping what he sowed, looking haggard and claiming to be too sick to stand trial and listen to his victims’ testimonies. But even if they incarcerate him for life there are ten, twenty, hundreds or thousands waiting to take his place. Woody Allen and Polanski are at large and still making movies. Prince Andrew, an accused pedophile is getting a royal makeover. Sexual depravity is as old as humans and displayed in great detail in the Bible but when children are victimized and exploited, I draw the line. And there were children on the stage, surrounding the stage and viewing with their families at home. We have to police ourselves. No one else is going to do this. I could hypothesize about the childhood traumas in these two women’s lives that created a show without clothes that showcased stripper movements but that wouldn’t be fair. That’s their story to tell.