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Monday, May 07, 2012  

Toward a 'Slow Sex' Movement

My latest column for The Daily is online:

The connection between how we eat and how we love is evident in different religious traditions, but our politics has made it unnecessarily obscure. Concern about nutritious food for children, local systems of agriculture and consumption and “sustainable” methods is considered “liberal.” When Michelle Obama settled on obesity, a seemingly-apolitical area for a first lady to do some high-minded advocacy, Rush Limbaugh said she was trying to “tell everyone to eat twigs and berries and gravel,” promoting a right-wing backlash. By the same token, any hand-wringing about the prevalence of pornography, the culture of hooking up and the impact that both may have for the viability of long-term domestic relationships, is interpreted by lifestyle libertarians as prudish or patriarchal.

In terms of political tribalism, this distinction between concern for food and concern for sex is useful. American politics has always had a heavy cultural element, and a quick and easy way to galvanize your own side is to scorn the personal habits of people on the other — to mock their cars, their food, their domestic arrangements. Inasmuch as anxieties about food or sex are really stand-ins for our views about environmental laws or gender politics, they’re likely to be voiced by one electoral coalition more than another. But does it really make sense to pay attention to the integrity of our food while ignoring that of our intimate relationships, or vice versa?

Read the whole thing.

posted by Benjamin Dueholm | 2:10 PM
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