Oct 03 2006

Swan Song of the Rubber Dong

If you haven’t read Feministing in the last day or two, you missed this capsule version of 2002 dongumentary The Dildo Diaries, a delightful confection documenting the lunacy that is the Texas anti-dildo law. Featuring homegirl Molly Ivins (and a cameo by pasty-white Panhandle godbag Rep. Warren Chisum, author of, among other useful bits of kindergarten-level legislation, the Gay Exclusion Act, and a bill that would proclaim June as Texas Picnic Month), this excerpt takes the viewer on an educational trip to an Austin sex toy shop.

Feministing features the video as a handy barf-aid to mark a recent US Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of my state’s hyper-asinine ban on ‘obscene devices’.

UPDATE: I have been informed that there was not, as I wrote above, an upholding of its constitutionality, but rather that the Supremes “refused to question” the dildophobic law. Sorry for the shoddy reporting, but then again, you get what you pay for at I Blame The Patriarchy.


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  1. That Molly Ivins is a treasure above compare.
    What a yarner!
    ~Illegal for pricks to touch arses.

  2. norbizness.com

    Still have an autographed Susan B. Anthony dinner program from Ms. Ivins; her recollections of the early 70s Texas legislature are priceless, especially the shake-up when the first black legislators (Mickey Leland, Craig Washington) showed up in dashikis.

    Chisum did have one good idea back in the day; I think it was to partition Texas into several parts, so that his hellhole of a section (Panhandle/West Texas) would become its own autonomous shithole.

  3. De-lurking for a technical point – the USSC didn’t “uphold the constitutionality” of this silly law. They refused to rule; see this AP article in the WP.

  4. Lawdgawdalmighty! I do love Molly! Thanks, Twisty.

  5. Don’t know much about this case other than the AP article linked above (can’t watch the clip from this computer), but my guess is that the USSC found the case not ripe for review. If the guy is ultimately convicted of violating this ludicrious law, then he might get it reviewed by the USSC, but it sounds like it’s at a pre-trial phase of the proceedings. Anyone know if this guy’s got a pro-bono attorney willing to fight this all the way?

  6. LOL. Homophobia is, of course, about one’s insecurity about being heterosexual. I guess there’s more than a few people in Texas that are very insecure about their hetero sexuality.

    But interesting. Men in general find male sexuality, in particular, the penis, threatening and dangerous. But only for other men. But somehow the penis and this threatening and dangerous sexuality isn’t threatening and dangerous for women. It’s “natural.”

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  7. feministlawprofs.law.sc.edu

    The Supreme Court just denied cert. on a petition to have the Texas law struck down. I’ve got links to the petition etc. at Feminist Law Professors but that blog seems to be down, possibly because two people tried to read it simultaneously. The case was Acosta v. Texas.

  8. Re: Luckynkl’s comment; I’ve always suspected that straight men fear male homosexuals because they realize that the very predatory sexual behavior they routinely engage in could, possibly, be directed at THEM instead of at women, who deserve (and, as we know, secretly LIKE) to be “taken” by some sweaty beast with a limited vocabulary and clogged arteries. How terrifying to be the target of that sort of behavior, and how important it must be, therefore, to work toward making such behavior illegal. Ridiculous suppositions lead to ridiculous lawmaking by ridiculous men (and those women who have a Stockholm Syndrome sort of realtionship to patriarchy).

  9. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    My mutterings on this subject:

    If the search strings leading men to my blog are any indication, men are obsessed with their weenies. Far be it that Teh Penis is “obsene!” IT’S A RELIGIOUS ICON.(lookup: Phallicism)

    Being relentlessly narcissistic, men think women ought to be equally obsessed with Teh Penis and are horrified to discover that we just AREN’T. Even us het chicks. We like them just fine, but are we anywhere near as obsessed with them as they are? NAH, so already men are threatened.

    Throw the plastic dong into the mix and – horrors! – it becomes conceivable that men might be COMPLETELY unnecessary to a woman’s pleasure. And we just can’t have that!

    Of course, the dong, real or plastic, is unnecessary in any case. Not to start another Hitachi Wand debate or anything.

  10. acunningplan.typepad.com

    Oh my. This is not helping my Canadian stereotypical ideas about Texas.

    Educational demonstrators…makes me giggle like a 15 year old buying a condom.

  11. For the love of dog, I don’t understand why any serious legislator would waste time and/or resources on a dildo fatwah, or on the behind-closed-doors activities of consenting adults in any configuration.

  12. I hope that Twisty can forgive me because this post isn’t exactly on topic (although I watched the video and the comment at the end had me rolling with laughter), but the comments on here about male homosexuality made me think of this.

    Twisty posted something awhile ago about how male homosexuals can be some of the most misogynistic people around. I was faced with this very thing recently on a message board that is almost totally made up of gay men and straight women. Now the thing that bonded all of these people together is the Sims2 game. I was amazed as I read post after post about how the men would make neighborhoods completely devoid of women and how if any women happened to stray into the neighborhood, or if even worse tried to flirt with one of the men there they were instantly killed. Now I know it is just a game, but something disturbs me about people whose dream world would be a world where women don’t exsist or are killed if they happen to stumble into it by accident.

  13. Back to Anti-Dong law: Don’t these people have anything better to worry about? Isn’t there a war going on somewhere? Aren’t there escaped loonies running about the White House that they should be keeping tabs on? (pardon the poor grammar – i’m another victim of public education)

  14. Educate me, baby.

  15. Equal parts hilarious and sad. My favorite line is “No, they’re just to put up the butt. The anus is not considered a sexual orifice under Texas law, so you can buy whatever you want to put up there.”

    Makes all kinds of sense – to Texas legislators.

  16. “Dildo fatwah” oh dear lord, I nearly peed myself. Twisty, thanks for posting that video, I knew a bit about the banning but not about the assinine verbal acrobatics innocent shopkeepers are being forced to execute to skirt the law. I guess these guys want to push us back to the dark ages of ordering personal massagers from the back pages of dirty magazines. But they probably have worse fates in mind regarding what I’m allowed to do with my own girlie bits, so the dildo fatwah seems almost stupid and benign compared with their fevered uterus coveting distopic visions.

  17. I have always felt a mix of amazement and amusement when confronted with the antics of the wingnut faction of America. Their completely total paranoia, their obsession with sexual behavior and reproductive functions and their inability to grasp the fundamental concepts of the constitution and bill of rights amaze me.

    Do they have the same brain matter as the rest of us? Did something happen to them invitro? Did mamma withdraw the teat too soon? Did daddy deny them love and attention? Is there some poison in farmland that we don’t know about?

    What is clear is that their obsessions make no sense whatsoever when attempt is made to lay them out in the light of logic and reason. I think they seem to border on some kind of personality disorder. Possibly something needs to be added when the DSM is revised. Converse Normative Projection Personality Disorder? Narcisstic Orifice Obsession Disorder? Projected Self-Hatred with Mysoginst Tendency?

    It does though, come as no surprise to me that these very same people have an ironclad record of withholding funding for research and treatment of mental disorders.

  18. Some Tennessee state legislator (female, in this case, if it matters) recently proposed and later withdrew a bill to have dildos and vibrators banned — but not by name. The bill referred to “any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.”

    Two-dimensional objects (read: porn) would have been just hunky-dory, one assumes. Why? My opinion: because women use vibrators, wheras men are the primary consumers of porn.

  19. Has anyone actually done time for overstepping the just “a hobbyist” (haaaa) quantity? Those boys are spooky in Texas. Whoowee.

    Ms. Ivans is a national treasure.

  20. Hilarious! I just wanted to let you know, though, that only the sound works on that clip on my computer.

  21. See now – all anybody in Texas really needs to do is (drum roll) get themselves a Hitachi Magic Wand (TM)!!!

    No penile resemblance whatsoever!

  22. The fact that “penile” and “penal” (as in “penal code”) are homonyms is a wonderful thing in this story.

  23. CafeSiren wrote: “Two-dimensional objects (read: porn) would have been just hunky-dory, one assumes.”

    But not Braille erotica. That would be right out.

  24. HA! I loooove the part abou the buttplugs. They just go in your butt no problem, but you cant say the word dildo!
    At least Lawrence v Texas wiped the sodomy crap off the books.

  25. Also are fake vaginas illegal in TX? What about those more complicated 3-d replicas of female pelvises?
    I presume fake butthole are A-OK.

  26. buttercupia.blogspot.com

    I love how there is a giant penis on the shopping bag.

    I used to live in Snyder, Texas. West Texas is, indeed, like another world, and my understanding is that it’s even worse in the Panhandle.

  27. dream_operator23 – If I could create just such a world of separatist women, I surely would. To see it reflected back at me in a male version surely makes me squeamish but I would recommend stay away, stay very far away, and don’t ever forget how much they hate you.

  28. CafeSiren’s comment reminded me of a friend I had who was very vocal about his interest in internet porn, both as a consumer and as a guy who wanted to make money off of mirror sites, whatever that is. I mentioned vibrators once for some reason or other, and he said, “Please don’t talk about that. That makes us guys very uncomfortable, you know.” It was the only time I ever heard him use a fully sincere tone of voice.

    Don’t ask me why I was friends with this guy, looking back I can only call it ‘research.’ I knew he was from Texas, but he was 2nd-generation Japanese & had erased the accent, so I somehow thought growing up there had not made a true Texan out of him, but it did. Dallas, no less.

  29. The punchline alone was worth the price of admission. Thanks for the video! Great stuff!

  30. The video clip was very funny, but the legislation made no sense whatsoever, even on its own terms. Why do you have to be circumspect about vaginal dildos while anal penetration is just fine, when the original purpose was supposedly to outlaw gay sex? I agree though that compared to the attack on female sexual freedom this is a piece of cake; no one is firebombing Forbidden Fruit, it’s all just a bit of a chortle.

  31. faultline.org/place/toad

    But not Braille erotica. That would be right out.

    (Ron rolls her rockingchair back on its heels and crosses her feet on the porch railing.)

    Many many years ago I was sitting in an overpriced ophthamologist’s overcrowded waiting room and noticed an odd object in the magazine rack. It was brown paper, at least twice the width and length of any other magazine there, and looked pretty thick too. I squinted till I could see the plain black printed banner on the front, pucked up with little raised dots, and realized I was looking at a Braille edition of Playboy.

    I was much more inhibited years ago (I’m still one of the more inhibited people I know, really) and so I still have it to regret: I didn’t get up and wade through the mob and pick the thing up to see if it had pictures. Or something like pictures. Pat the Bunny?

    “Honest, I only feel it for the interviews!”

  32. lussigagas

    300 is a great movie full of visual effects and graphics which made it different and much better.
    Acting was great, director did a wonderful job and chose great actors, full of action, and it is based on a true story.

  1. Chaos is Normal » Tied in Knots

    […] Random Funny Links Dildos are illegal in Texas Look at some boobies and donate to breast cancer Filed under: GrinNFerret, Computing, Teaching, BabyLust, Life — fuzzit @ 9:07 pm […]

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