Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Vox's Report on Herpes Wasn't About Herpes

Vox has been a pretty awful news source. It is easy to envision Jeff Bezos listening to Ezra Klein's Powerpoint pitch, doodling and grimacing as he formulates his no thanks. They recently had a post on why more people have herpes than ever, many don't even know it, and it's A-OK! ESQUIRE jumped on this for Vox's manipulation of data to include simplex 1 (common cold sores) with simplex 2 (the sex sores) in order to boost numbers while crafting the post to imply it's all sex sores, so don't bother testing or worrying. Some others jumped on Vox for discussing STDs as if they are risk free and consequence free, when in reality there are a host of physical side effects and possible pathogen mind and behavioral alterations. Missing from this valid criticism is the awareness that this is part of a wider campaign to diminish the negatives of STDs, push STD acceptance and if it relates to s3x, it must be good.

Herpes has only been made to seem decent and livable because the world was introduced to HIV-AIDS. Before HIV-AIDS, herpes was the crushing news your doctor would give you. There was no cure, and you lived with it forever and ever. In Vox's view, herpes is no big whoop. First they mash numbers up to say almost everyone has it. Then they say do not worry about it. Forget about simplex 1 vs. 2, looking at the graph, not everyone has it, especially non-blacks who have much lower rates of herpes infection. Does it seem like the media has been pushing STDs, because it has. Slate argued that Canada's new law requiring HIV+ people to inform potential lovers they are HIV+ is bad. This is a death sentence. Not three years like the '80s and early '90s, but still dead after twenty. Slate thinks that is bad. There have been articles on HIV+ being a turn on for gays (bugchasing). Gay men looking at HIV like it is a creation outside of conception that heteros do. We read in these outlets that we should not discriminate with our choices of partners versus those with STDs. This is once again dragging people down to the level of those who spread, infect, et cetera whom we might say are easy, loose or oh no, I'm slut shaming. Trans* is not the only new frontier in pushing sex boundaries.

Once again, this is the steady drumbeat of pushing an angle or new frontier in one direction. Cosmo does not warn women that a #39 might come with physiological risks, but that a #39 will totally torch their sex life! Ask Prudence might as well be renamed "I'm a degenerate screw up, help me force this on my partner" with a special focus on married people in condoned cheating polyamorous situations. This happens in incredibly small numbers, but is selected for promotion steadily by the media to discuss. Kind of like the steady positive portrayal of the porn industry the last few years with profiles on James Deen, Miriam Weeks/Belle Knox and just in time since those other two are played out, Asa Akira. Prep school to porn star is the pitch. She saves money! She is a feminist! She is a millionaire! Her book is titled "Insatiable - Porn A Love Story", which is wonderful because it encapsulates how women are portrayed in porn: insatiable. The men watching need to think at any moment any woman in any situation will sleep with them. Other performers in porn are wondering just how much garbage, lies and white washing is in the book. Akira is a Prius driver who does not talk dirty in Japanese in movies to not denigrate her ancestors but will do anything on camera with anyone. Like Weeks/Knox the idea of an upper middle class girl getting nasty in porn is too much for the media to resist when the common path is lower class girl transitions from stripping or nude modeling into porn and moves her boundaries further each time calls for shoots stop. Akira is the level headed exception for now (she could go nuts anytime) that the media will use to say these folks are normal just like you and me. My retort would be, "Out of the thousands of performers, how many have been happily married for over 5 years?" >crickets<

The slant to these stories is always the same, as the sex positive side is pushed. Some girls are running into stripping to pay for college because of Weeks/Knox. It's not genetic, and it's definitely due to Knox's exposure since there was no rush of girls out to strip when the book "Ivy League Stripper" was published in 1995. I doubt the media could find more than five married couples in porn who have been married for over five years (forget US average length of marriage), but we can easily find over five who have caught HIV-AIDS, committed suicide or gone through addiction issues just in the last few years. In coverage of Deen, Weeks/Knox, Akira or whomever, does the media ever portray someone who pushes back as just a regular Joe concerned about the effects of wanton sexuality on our society? No. They are called Santorum extremists or whatever slap at Christians the media wants to use at the moment. That is not the point of the media's stories though. Unrestrained sexuality, voluntary motherhood, everyone belongs to everyone else... am I missing any communist-socialist slogans with regards to sex? Vox telling SWPLs not to worry about herpes because everybody has herpes is just another bucket of water to add to the sea of sex we float in. The point is to push sex at every turn and in every platform and never once ask the question, "Of course you can do that, but should you"?


Toddy Cat said...

"We should not discriminate with our choices of partners versus those with STDs."

This is astonishing, and hust flat-out evil. The whole "Anti-discrimination" mindset has now actually reached the point of insanity. There's not much that can shock me any more, but this does. Sometimes you feel that the quicker this damnedable society collapses, the better.

Steve Johnson said...

I think a part of the push for STD* acceptance comes from the fact that blacks and especially gays have much higher rates of all STDs. Progressives want to talk about antibiotic resistance because it's amazingly important but the ugly reality is that all the major antibiotic resistant diseases are incubated in the gay community and any mainstream emergence will be in the black community. That's a hard pill for a progressive to swallow.

* Don't you know they're STIs now - apparently STD had a stigma. Somehow that same stigma got attached to "VD" previously so the new name "STD" got created. Oh well, I'm sure STI won't end up with a stigma attached.

Foolish Pride said...

At times I dismiss what I read in Slate and Salon. Oftem seems like pretty much anyone with a vaguely left-wing agenda can write for them. However, what was once confined to Slate or Salon has expanded to become the new orthodoxy of mainstream liberal thought. Of course what is mainstream liberal thought is always forced as the standard that everyone better follow or they are a dangerous -ist.

Barring an impossible right-wing turn in the Overton window, this will probably be the next frontier.

What's interesting is that Europe might slowly be moving to the right (or rather slowing it's move to the left), while the USA is accelerating towards the leftist singularity.

Toddy Cat said...

"the USA is accelerating towards the leftist singularity."

And then some. I'd be willing to bet that if you told your average liberal even fifteen years ago that the left of 2014 would be objectively in favor of VD, they would have thought that you were nuts. But here we are.