These days people are willing to stand up for every subset of sexual identities -- except for one group.
What about prudes? Our rights are trampled on every day.
Several times a week, something shocking comes on TV and my children shout "Not suitable for Dad!" and I have to race out of the room before kissing, pillow talk or worse appears on screen.
I was at a school drama once at which two performers on stage fell on each other passionately, causing everyone below the age of 12 in the audience, plus this columnist, to make a disgusted "Eewwwwww" sound. Children have taste. They know that some things are great in public, others aren't.
Prudish adults exist too. This writer took his family to a poetry slam once which opened with a poem so pornographically detailed that half the adults in the audience boo-ed out loud -- although I have to admit the teens present grinned and took notes.
Prudes get a bad rap because we only make the news when one of us says something stupid. In Japan recently, a professor named Shigeaki Iijima explained why women could never be allowed to join the country's army: "In actual combat, if they are under attack from artillery shells or bombs, there is a chance their clothes could be blown off."
Clearly Mr Shigeaki does not understand the physics of bombs. But in his defence, weapons which seem to do nothing except damage female clothing pop up regularly in video games and anime cartoons, not to mention every action film ever made.
One of my colleagues claimed that someone had once actually developed a bomb that blew off clothes, leaving humans naked, but Google revealed he was remembering a 1980 Maxwell Smart comedy movie called The Nude Bomb.
Life as a prude is hard enough in Asia, but it would be intolerable in pro-pornography places such as Japan, North America or Europe, my colleague said.
Earlier this month the Canadian government praised pornography as it "allowed young people to learn about the different spectrum of sexual expression". This colleague, who is a Japanophile, said this implied that lucky Canadian children will be able to learn about things such as "tentacle sex" (do NOT write and tell me what that is).
Will prudishness die out completely? "No," said one of my science correspondents. "Porn-loving societies see an increase in erectile dysfunction, a loss of interest in sex, and negative birthrates. In contrast, prudish communities grow."
He showed me evidence. "Sex is going out of fashion" was the headline of a US report summarising an academic study in August last year. A huge survey by The Lancet said that people in the UK were having steadily less sex, and Swedish researchers found the same in their country.
He also had figures indicating that people in conservative, prudish, family-minded regions (Africa, South Asia) have a positive birth rate. This is somewhat ironic, since prudes are assumed to hate sex. In fact, we don't dislike it. We just would rather it was more hygienic, less visible and completely silent.
In fact, we don't even like talking about it, so I'll shut up here. Frankly, the whole subject makes me go ewwwwww.
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