Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The majesty of the human form...

...will not be the topic of today's post. Instead, I've been thinking lately about the use of the human body as a political tool. Specifically, I've been thinking about depictions of nudity as a way of enacting political change.

This strategy has been around for a while, let's just be honest about that. I'm not even sure I could pick the first time that nudity has been used for politics. Perhaps it began with Lady Godiva, although I find that somewhat unlikely. Regardless, it has since blossomed into an active, if somewhat unconventional, mode of political expression.

It is also a mode of expression that has, typically, been dominated by the left wing of the political spectrum. At least in the United States, anyway. I imagine the flower children had their experiences with nude politics, although that's a smidge before my time. My own earliest recollections are of those infamous PETA advertisements that depict a variety of "celebrities" saying that they'd rather go nude than wear fur. For the rest of us, I suspect the cheap stimulation was worth more than the message. More recently, nudity has certainly been used as a political weapon. I refer primarily to the folks at Breasts not Bombs who describe themselves (on their blog) as:

Breasts Not Bombs is a grassroots movement originating from Mendocino County, CA. We are dedicated to empowering women to speak out for a world that remembers what is sacred and honors the mother. Using political street theater and the act of baring our breasts in public serves as an excellant forum to speak about the vulnerability of humanity and the earth.

Right. Okay. Well, I do agree with their objectives, even if in many cases (though certainly not all) I'd rather have the bombs.* This group has also apparently inspired a companion group that, for reasons I will leave unsaid, has been receiving less media attention. So, nudity is definitely retaining it's role as a part of the American political scene.

But wait, there's more! It appears that the right wing, our Republican brothers and sisters, are finally starting to experiment with the power of nudity. It's been halting, however, but I think the signs are definitely there. Take, for example, the regular attendance of porn star Mary Carey at Republican fundraisers. Granted I've mentioned this before but I think it bears repeating. In any case, this isn't nudity per se, but it does seem to be a way for the Republics to cozy up to the idea in a relatively gentle fashion. Hell, even utter Republican freakazoid Katherine Harris has been experimenting with the use of sexuality as a part of her senatorial campaign. So, the Republicans are clearly flirting coyly with the power of sex in politics.

Which is why it comes as such a shock to see them dive right into the deep end with the recent pro-life statue featuring shrill harpy snake handler heroin addict pop star Britney Spears. This statue is a masterpiece of political art, elegantly depicting the plight of the unborn. I mean, just look at it:

Okay, seriously, I'm bullshitting you. This is a statue of a naked pregnant woman on a bearskin rug. I'm not really sure what the hell this has to do with the pro-life position. Some sources do indicate that from the proper position the statue does appear to be giving birth but, last time I checked, "doggy style" is not one of those positions approved by the AMA for the birthing of offspring. I can only assume that bearskin rugs have not, similarly, entered common obstetrical practice. Frankly I can only agree with Jane Hamsher, who remarks:

I think it [the statue] signals a crisis point in American sex education, the inevitable result of teaching "abstinence only" in our schools. The sculptor does not seem to realize this is the position you assume to give a blow job, not birth.

Someone had to say it.

Either that, or to engage in other activities that have been receiving an unusual amount of attention on this blog lately. So, this latest effort at sexing up the Republican position seems to be a mixed-bag but, don't worry, I'm sure in time they'll get the hang of it.

I just hope it takes them a loooong time, because you can't buy this kind of entertainment.

* Yes, I'm aware that this makes me sound like a bit of a male pig. I'm comfortable with that. For the record: I like women, I think breasts are purdy. I am aware that this is cultural conditioning, and had I been born in the nineteenth century I would totally think that elbows are hot, but I was born in the twentieth century and, as a consequence, I think breasts are purdy. This does not, however, mean that I think all people or, indeed, breasts are equally purdy. I expect you feel the same way. So, in closing: Bite me.


Blogger Jeff said...

I'm happy to see two of my passions -politics and sexuality - coming together, and in such extensive fashion in this post. Thanks for your dedicated research, Drek. Protest should be fun!

A couple other sites for the interested politico:

Naked for Peace
Baring Witness


Thursday, April 06, 2006 3:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Here we go again:

Naked for Peace

Thursday, April 06, 2006 3:13:00 PM  

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