LOS ANGELES—I do not know if their Lysistrata moment will work or not—though I have my doubts—but what's up with the Liberal Ladies Who Lunch designating a man's left hand as the masturbating hand? All things being fair, is that very personal decision any of their business?
Of course, the world is less interested in the designated masturbating hand than it is in the April 28-May 5 sex strike that's been called by the Austin-Texas-based group in reaction to the movement by right-wingers to deny women paid insurance coverage for contraception.
According to the group's founder, Annette Maxberry-Carrara, the national battle over contraceptive coverage is not about religious liberty, which is what the right is saying, but about a much broader definition of liberty.
"This also an important issue for men," she said. "American men enjoy the benefits of women making their own choices about when to get pregnant. Men get the advantage of free, easy access sex with young women of child-bearing age. It wasn’t like that sixty years ago. If women can’t get reliable birth control, they will just have to keep their legs crossed to prevent pregnancy–even married women. I don’t think anyone wants that.”
We're about to find out, assuming the call to deny men sex for one week is taken up by enough women to send the requisite message. In Aristophanes' famous play, Lysistrata, a similar denial of sex by wives trying to get their husbands to end the Peloponnesian war was successful, but they did not have the internet to contend with.
In fact, this modern version of the ancient play may actually back-fire on the Liberal Ladies, who already tend to complain grievously about the amount of online porn viewed by the male population, and the many ways in which it is impacting the normal male's ability to get it up and keep it up. In cutting off all potential contact with the real thing, do they not risk killing off the golden goose altogether?
Oddly, none of this has apparently occurred to the Liberal Ladies who Lunch, who seem to be very optimistic about the outcome of the sex boycott. "This will help people understand that contraception is for women and men, because men enjoy the benefit of women making their own choices about when and if they want to get pregnant. Once congress and insurance agencies agree to cover contraception, we will then resume having sex. Until then men will have to be content with their left hand."
See, they clearly state that the left hand is the designated masturbator! In focusing so completely on what they want, I surely hope the Ladies are not unwittingly shutting out the percentage of the male population who use their right hand, or no hand at all! I mean, is no man consulting for these women?!
And what about female conservative legislators who support the right-wing position on this? I presume their husbands are being encouraged to follow suit, as it were?
It just seems to this male supporter of the Ladies' cause that they should not have avoided going to the masturbation place. The world has become too large, too interconnected and fat too complex for sex denial to have the same impact it may have had a few millennia ago. The idea presumes that left-leaning men have only one place to go to get the sexual satisfaction they need to make it through the day, and I am simply afraid that the good women of Austin, Texas are fatally wrong in that regard on that may have seriously bitten off more than they can chew.
And even if the "left hand" comment was meant to be a joke, it isn't funny and not one man who I know is taking it lightly. What's good for the goose is also good for the gander, don't forget... or something like that.