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July 2010 Volume 12 , Issue 7 submit to us!
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Dildon't
by Brendan Bourque-Sheil -- Contributing Author [Email This Story]

For the record, the law against owning more than six "obscene devices" (namely dildoes and artificial vaginas) in Texas is not one of those absurd state laws like outlawing the tying of giraffes to telephone poles in New Jersey. This law was lobbied, drafted as a bill, and passed in the state senate with the given motive of protecting people. Dildoes are, by the standards of most citizens of the state, graphic and inappropriate. What makes this law unfounded and unjust is the fact that it was not actually made in the interest of its specified motive to protect. If so, the law would be enforced, but it isn't in any capacity. If an investigator asked to obtain a warrant on the grounds of suspicion of owning more than six dildoes, most judges would have to confirm that the law actually existed before rolling their eyes and sighing. A local adult toy store owner who wished to remain nameless said "I've sold as many as eight at one time and never heard of such a law." This law wasn't made to protect anyone. It was made as a moral statement of the people who passed it. The law is unjust because it adheres to an arbitrary standard of morality that isn't the government's job to enforce.

Try to conceive a situation in which owning seven dildoes would be dangerous. Promoting and encouraging the use of such devices amongst friends is a possible threat. Though the number of dildoes a person can use at any given time is unclear, surely it must be less than seven, which illuminates a potential concern of the congressmen who passed this law. What if other people were put in a position in which they felt obligated to participate in dildo use? For any healthy person such an event could be traumatic on both a physical and a mental level. This potential concern highlights a pathetically pessimistic view of the common man's decision making ability. It suggests that people are incapable of declining suggestions that they find reprehensible. If a consenting adult desires to use an obscene device, it is not within the rights of the state government to stop them. If a legal minor (whose right to consent is not recognized) is offered the chance, it falls under the clause of statutory rape or molestation, both already established as crimes.

Another conceivable concern is that if dildoes were owned in mass quantity, they would be more likely to make their way into the public. Public dildo use is, and for that matter, should be illegal in the interest of public safety; although most public dildo use would require public exposure which is also an established crime. If the law was made to cut down on the number of potential public dildo users it is undermining basic legal equality. The government has an obligation to hold every free citizen to the same legal standards, regardless of what they do in the privacy of their own homes. To anticipate that people who own an excessive number of dildoes will inevitably take them into a public setting is to negate the national precedent of "innocent until proven guilty" and label these people as deviant which again suggests the moral superiority of the mainstream school of thought on morality. It has never been the U.S. government's job to assert the moral superiority of one domestic set of values over another unless they do so in the direct interest of protecting the people, not merely in the interest of promotion.

These issues aside, the real problem here is the legal precedent of drafting obscenity laws like this in general. Illegal immigration is a huge problem in Texas and has been for quite some time. Every congressman to run for office in the Texas state legislature is expected to have convictions and even plans concerning border patrol. The drafting of laws against dildoes and artificial vaginas detracts from valuable legislative time. It merely takes up space on an agenda to pass a law that will ultimately become nothing more than a moral buffer. A congress that sidesteps immigration to tell people what decorum dictates is nothing short of unnecessary. But what if the senators who set out to approve this as a law had bigger plans for it initially? What if they had every intention of enforcing it and their plans were simply not carried out in the proper manner? It would lead to an uncontrollable war against obscenity in which tax dollars, law enforcement officials, and Texas courts were tied up in dildo raids. It would be a much more awkward version of the war on drugs that would ultimately just spread dildo awareness, forcing people to formulate opinions on the subject and making people much more dildo conscious which seems to be the opposite of the intended effect.

There are reasons why laws like this have no place in democratic society. They represent the problems of a parental government that asserts what is right. They prevent the government from performing its stated function. They hinder progress. Martin Luther King once said people have "a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." Don't worry; there is no intention here to make the argument that Martin Luther King would've thought we were morally obligated to buy seven dildoes (in a recession to boot). The intention is to merely point out, if the government is preoccupied with something as ridiculous as a dildo ban, what hope is there for the real problems like the one Dr. King faced?

 
 
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Features -- July 2010 -- Mid Month Issue
 








Brendan Bourque-Sheil
-- Additional Work --