An Immodest Proposal

Recently, a fundamental unfairness has been getting to me. Why should females have to wade through rows of anti-Roe v. Wade picket lines at family planning clinics, while men who visit urologists for vasectomies basically slip in and out, with no one screaming in their faces about having nipped themselves in the bud? As Monty Python knows too well, sperms are people too! Since men and boys have as much technical responsibility in the area of human sexuality as women and girls do, it’s about time they bear an equal amount of the brunt from the right-wing radical-Christian morality police.

Doubt my assertion that sperms make babies? Unless you’re the Virgin Mary, you just try getting pregnant without it.

Therefore, I propose we take the heat off women for awhile and “sic” the radical fringe on men, just to give the pro-choice clinics a break.

Of course, any remaining anti-abortion folks would have an advantage over the pro-sperm demonstrators because of the graphic (and often faux) signs they carry outside of clinics. You know, the ones that have aborted fetuses with tiny smiles. In contrast, the pro-sperm placards would look like a gooey mess. But that could work to their advantage. “Yes, this may look like spilled seed but it’s LIFE!” they can scream at the potential vasectomy patients. “While you just wantonly waste gallons of ‘life,’ in your lifetime you could have populated the earth!”

Oh yes, the pro-fertilization-fluid movement would have all sorts of new ground to cover. It is, after all, a sin to masturbate. And apparently, it’s a sin to talk about masturbation. Just ask former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, the top U.S. physician who dared–dared!–suggest that masturbation was a safe release for teens, instead of unprotected sex and unplanned parenthood. That got her Jezebel butt fired.-

Why there’s never been any public focus on the sinful aspect of self-love by fundamentalists is mysterious. Hands-down, masturbation is the most popular form of sex ever invented. No stress, no complicated relationship or courtship rituals, a fella can have a very cheap date, no dinner and still get some action. And you thought “joy stick” was a harmless video game accessory.

Nope, for strict fundamentalists, masturbation is a serious waste of precious “life” so important that there’s even a name for it! Onanism. Masturbation is named for Onan, one of Judah’s sons. Take a look at Genesis 38:9. The “family values” of the time dictated a brother should marry his brother’s widow. Onan was so upstanding that he did not sow his seed, he spilled it. Of course, Onanism, literally speaking–as fundamentalists are often prone to–also includes recreational, as opposed to “creational” sex. Right now Onanism is rampant and unpoliced. But that can change when this country is officially taken over by the people who stand guard outside of clinics and hospices. So, folks, when this country is a theocracy, you can look forward to having illegal sex practically all the time: sex with birth control, sex with yourself, sex during infertile times, all is Onanism, and very, very naughty.

Oh, no, it’s not fair that only abortion and female-oriented birth control has drawn the ire of fundies. After all what is good for the goose is just as good for the gander: and face it, we cannot have more geese without the gandering and the goosing.

This too brings up the other area that fundamentalists let the ganders get away with! Masturbation by its very nature is–gasp–a same sex relationship! Where’s the outrage? Where are the pickets?!

That’s right boys; you are loosey-goosey queer if you’ve ever had a date with yourself. I wonder if your sweethearts know. It’s time to come out of the water closet and take your rightful lumps from the religious. I’m now looking for enrollees in Manic Onanists Reach Out Now (MORON) to help whip up indignant passion among the pious. Brothers committed to sexual liberty, step up, and take your places, join hands–or rather, hmm, link arms–with your sisters. Stand tall, you Onan the Masturbarian types. We need some decoys.

It wouldn’t hurt to have the urologists get a little taste of what it’s like to be an OB-GYN physician in these times either. MORON will provide bullet-proof vests to those who can show proof of a urology practice.

Quick! Forward this before the ultra-religious try to ban humor too.

Ellen Snortland is the author of “Beauty Bites Beast: Awakening the Warrior Within Women and Girls,” and has a weekly column in the Pasadena Weekly. Contact her at

Reprinted from The Pasadena Weekly with author’s permission.

Photo from the Open Clip Art Library.


Ellen Snortland has her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School and is a writing and first-time author coach. Her 2 newest books, “Abby Bites Back,” co-authored with Lisa Gaeta, and “Author Bite By Bite” will be available sometime in 2010. Her work as an author, self-defense advocate and instructor has been featured on Dateline NBC with her book, “Beauty Bites Beast.” Ms. Snortland believes that “Think Globally, Act Locally,” is vital for women and girls. Females of all species know how to protect themselves and it’s a birthright for human females too. She says, “There’s nothing more local than one’s own body.” Ms. Magazine saved her life as an “uppity” young woman. She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the National Women's History Project. Her acclaimed one woman show, “Now That She’s Gone” is a comic memoir about growing up Norwegian American in Colorado and South Dakota. Snortland has attended United Nations world conferences and annual UN meetings as an NGO delegate and journalist. She is currently focused on having “Now That She’s Gone” produced in a regular theater venue and touring it, as well as raising funds for and directing, “Beauty Bites Beast,” a documentary based on her self-defense advocacy.