I wanna go back to the future

I’m starting to feel like Marty McFly. I don’t have a nuclear-power DeLorean but I seemed to have entered a bizarre time warp into the past. How else do you explain comments like the ones in this thread at Legal Insurrection?:

I have daughters. And I hope my daughters have more sense than to do what Mz. Fluke did. Shamelessly flaunting promiscuity in front of the Congress and the nation is hardly the values I am trying to impart to my children. Certainly, no rational parent can have so low hopes for their children…


I remember when my brother was getting ready to leave home to enter boot camp (he had joined the Navy). My father was not a wealthy man by any stretch, yet he managed to support his family. I remember him telling my brother “I don’t have much to give you, except my good name. I hope you will respect it by your actions so that when you pass it on, it will be as good as when you were given it.”

That stuck with me that no matter our lot in life, we can always maintain our honor and dignity. Sandra Fluke took the name her father gave her and sullied it. And for that, shame on her.


The point is that people with good sense and good morals should refrain from extra- and pre-marital sex. To engage in such activities is to provide evidence of lacking in ones moral character. Further, to flaunt that, is to condemn oneself. It isn’t about using birth control. It is about promiscuous behavior, and who is going to pay for it.


Ms. Fluke, the SLUT in question, is being called a slut because she stated that she “is going broke paying for birth control.” People that are on the pill can get it from Target for nine bucks a month. Since the pill doesn’t prevent STD’s, maybe she’s supplementing the pill with condoms, but you can get 100 top-notch condoms from Amazon for forty bucks. Given that, it boggles the mind to imagine how much sex Ms. Fluke must be having to be going broke when she could be using 200 condoms and be on the pill too for under $100 a month.


I’m the mother of a thirty year old female attorney.

Ms. Fluke has intentionally damaged the reputations of the women of Georgetown Law school, for her own self-aggrandizement.

Women in the legal community have spent decades, proving to professors, law firms and clients that they are professionally competent, and that their gender should NEVER be a consideration in evaluating their abilities. With one stroke, Ms. Fluke has characterized the women of Georgetown Law school as mere sex objects, who engage in promiscuous sexual behavior, without taking responsibility for their actions.

It is not Ms. Fluke whose reputation has been sullied, it is every woman at Georgetown Law.

My personal favorite:

Obviously you seem to think that todays morals and standards are so much better, and make a better society, than in 1955.

1955, when young adults were expected to marry before they started having kids. 1955, when moms didn’t work and stayed home with their kids, being at the door when the kids got home from school. 1955, when men didn’t think it was honorable to have kids with numerous women they had no intention of supporting. 1955, when people didn’t expect the government to take care of them, but were willing to work for a better life for themselves and their kids, even if it meant having two jobs. 1955, when people still felt obligated to pay their bills and not run up massive debt. 1955, when veterans were given the honor they deserved, and it was cool to be patriotic and love this nation.

Yeah, things are so much better now, aren’t they?

I majored in history and one of my pet peeves is the idea that the past was superior to the present. Yeah, 1955 was a nice time for some people, unless you were a woman, or black, or (God forbid) a black woman. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness (and a crime) and even married couples could not legally purchase contraceptives.

But were people more moral back in those days?

The the rate of people in the United States infected with syphilis peaked in 1946 and teen pregnancy rate peaked in 1958. The murder rate peaked in 1933. Back then people had to get blood tested before marriage to check for syphilis and military members had to stand in regular “short-arm” inspections to check for STDs. We have hard data in this, it isn’t just anecdotal information.

If someone took the time to research the records I wonder how many births took place less than nine months before the parents’ wedding? If you go through the case reporters in the law library you’ll see cases describing all sorts of immorality. Back then adultery was one of the few acceptable justifications for a divorce and there are many colorful statements of facts in the cases discussing that topic. Some states recognized living together as a “common-law” marriage.

There are also legal cases discussing abortion. It was illegal back then, and if the mother died from complications the charge was murder. But we know there were lots of abortions performed during that era, and many unsolved “murders” because the women died. There are also cases dealing with prostitution and “public lewdness.” And let’s not forget the Kinsey Reports.

Most of us here were either very young or not yet born in 1955 so we have no personal experience of the 1950’s. Our parents and grandparents who were alive back then are likely to be reluctant to be totally honest, just as we keep things from our children. But the records and recollections of others tell us that the rates of sexual monogamy, abstinence, infidelity and promiscuity were all about the same as they are now, we’re just more open about it than they were.

I prefer to live in the present.

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55 Responses to I wanna go back to the future

  1. votermom says:

    OMG, I think hubby has some Van Heusen shirts. I may burn them. Ack!

    I majored in history and one of my pet peeves is the idea that the past was superior to the present.

    I agree that the present in general has a lot of cool advantages over the past BUT I don’t think it’s an across the board thing. There are always reversals – just look at the dark ages, favorite example, coming after the Byzantium empire. Or W & B0 eras coming after the Clinton years.

    What we are seeing, I think, is pushback against real issues being used as political cards.

  2. crawdad says:

    Ms. Fluke, the SLUT in question, is being called a slut because she stated that she “is going broke paying for birth control.” People that are on the pill can get it from Target for nine bucks a month. Since the pill doesn’t prevent STD’s, maybe she’s supplementing the pill with condoms, but you can get 100 top-notch condoms from Amazon for forty bucks. Given that, it boggles the mind to imagine how much sex Ms. Fluke must be having to be going broke when she could be using 200 condoms and be on the pill too for under $100 a month.

    Someone needs to switch to decaf. This person is WAAAAAY too obsessed about that young lady’s sex life.

  3. DandyTiger says:

    And of course all of those comments miss the main point of her testimony, the other uses of birth control pills. And the exampe of her friend losing an ovary because she couldn’t afford them.

    But even without that, it feels like bizarro world lately. WTF? We’re actually talking about frick’ing birth control. Seriously.

    • votermom says:

      And the exampe of her friend losing an ovary because she couldn’t afford them.

      I admit I find it strange that one cannot use a “I know a friend who” in a blog argument without being laughed at as “anecdotal does not equal data” and “made-up” but it’s good enough for Congressional hearings.

      Issa is probably pulling his hair out because he tried to frame it as religious freedom and then Limbaugh came along and blew that to heck.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      Agree, it is weird to watch this thing erupt and for the dominoes to fall as they have. One of the unintended consequences of this is that BC pills are being pushed even more, and we’re only in the third generation of women to use them long-term. We really don’t know what the long-term effects of excess estrogen consumption will be ultimately. Some women, like myself, do not use them because they create other health problems, and we don’t trust the medical establishment to have tested them well enough to know the long term effects.

      • votermom says:

        I don’t use them either even though my dr says “oh, even if both your parents and all your siblings have high blood pressure and several died of heart attacks & strokes doesn’t mean the pill will cause *you* HBP” because seriously, as much as I love my dr, I don’t think she is the subject matter expert on my body. I have a feeling the only reason I don’t have HBP is that my low-iron anemia keeps it at bay. (The few times I’ve been normal iron I have been borderline on the BP)

      • Jadzia says:

        I’m with you–have never been on board with the long-term hormone intake that you get with the Pill. After I had little A-WOWW last fall the nurses pushed me HARD to get on it, to the point that I skipped my 6 week postpartum because I just couldn’t deal with another sales presentation on the subject.

  4. HELENK says:

    sex and drugs have always been around. The difference between today and the 1950s is that sex before marriage was not accepted. drugs were not accepted.
    I lived in that era. On my 18th birthday I was out of foster homes and on my own. I had to get a job and a place to live. Having my own apartment in 1956 was considered wrong by some people, but they could not tell where I was supposed to live other than an apartment.
    Anyone who took drugs was considered weird and you really did not want to be around them.
    I am glad that today if a girl has a baby out of wedlock, she can finish her education,because nobody needs it more than a single mother.
    it is easier to go to college today and that is a good thing

    the downside of today is
    less respect for yourself and others
    less is expected from today’s young
    working with your hands (blue collar) is looked down upon
    expectations of others paying your way,

    the downside of yesterday
    less help when needed
    condemnation instead understanding
    fewer opportunities for women

    there is no perfect time.
    I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, a woman came up to me on the street and told me what a terrible time to have a baby. this was 1959.
    I asked her when was a good time?
    1700s revolutionary war and the expanding of America
    1800s civil war and people dying in factories from unsafe labor practice the westward migration
    1900s WW1 – the roaring twenties prohibition – the 30s depression – the 40s WW2 – the housing shortages when the men came home – then the Korean war
    I do not think she ever said it was not a good time to have a baby to another pregnant woman

  5. ralphb says:

    The whole argument around Ms Fluke’s testimony had devolved into a rather ridiculous falsehood. She wants the university insurance policy to cover contraceptives. She pays for that policy herself. Her testimony was primarily about a friend who had lost an ovary because she couldn’t afford the hormonal birth control pills which would have also provided treatment for an ovarian cyst.

    Claiming that taxpayers are paying for her sex life is like saying that taxpayers are paying to allow people to eat cheeseburgers because insurance pays for cholesterol meds.

  6. HELENK says:

    just to put things in prespective

  7. driguana says:

    I think much of who you are at any time depends a great deal on when you turned 13….becoming part of the teenage tribe….where that was and what music you listened to. I turned 13 in 1959 in Pittsburgh and was totally consumed by rhythm and blues (called doo wop now). In that time and in that setting and listening to that music, I was made intensley aware of the ethnicity surrounding me and the need to understand it and embrace it. In retrospect, it was a time that seemed very racist to many but to some of us, it was a time to understand what ethnicity really meant. I gained immensely from that and view the present as a comletely different ethnic experience.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      Interesting perspective, and I quite agree it is about coming of age and what is going on. It’s not just culture, or even mostly culture, though. It’s really the economy. That’s why boomers and millennials have so much in common (they came of age in a boom) and why depression era folks and gen-xers have so much in common (they came of age in a bust).

      • Jadzia says:

        That is so depressing and so true. (Gen Xer here, how did you guess?)

        OTOH, I have Depression-era grandparents (we’ve got some good genes, too bad nobody in my family is actually genetically related to anybody else) who spend like drunken sailors.

    • JeanLouise says:

      Are you black? If not, I have to tell you that implying that the ’50’s, when black people still couldn’t ride in the front of the bus in much of the country, were better for black people, you’re beyond insensitive.

  8. Lola-at-Large says:

    I’m going to have to once again split the baby with you, Myiq. Yes, we have made progress, but it is denial to ignore that we have also lost lots in our zeal for that progress. Walter Russell Mead lays it out quite nicely in this installment of his continuing series on the Blue Social Model: http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/02/28/beyond-blue-6-the-great-divorce/

    I don’t prefer to live in the present or the past; I prefer to plan for the future, where that future includes an honest discussion of the past, present, and our plans for the future. Today ain’t as great as we like to think it is, either. You tagged this with misogyny & sexism, which is still a real problem. IMHO, the biggest problem.

    • votermom says:

      Interesting read, thanks for the link.

    • Jadzia says:

      I think Elizabeth Warren makes a pretty good case for what we’ve lost (economically, not so much culturally) in The Two-Income Trap, and does it from a place of not trying to send the ladies back to the kitchen.

      For those who haven’t read it, basically what she says is that one unintended consequence of women’s increased participation in the workforce is that the cost of living (primarily housing) became ridiculously high due to competition between 2-income families for houses in the declining number of neighborhoods with decent schools. Problem is, when you need 100% of two incomes to keep a roof over your head, a job loss, injury, or illness can devastate your family fast, because you don’t have the “buffer” of a second adult who can enter the workforce to replace income lost by the primary earner.

    • votermom says:

      this controversy was “not one person who went crazy…[but at] segment of political commentators who think this is acceptable.

      She’s right about that. It should never be acceptable,whether it’s Fluke, or Hillary, or Palin, etc.

    • votermom says:

      OT – MyIQ, as disgusting as Limbaugh’s words were, you have to admit that at least he apologized when he was called on it.

      Don’t you think that’s better behavior than of some people who trash blogs & bloggers elsewhere when it is fashionable to do so and then sidled back to the very blog they trashed.

      A sincere “I was wrong” would go a long way…

      • Melissa says:

        I spent the other afternoon driving to a job interview and listening to Rush. I heard a lot of what he said about Fluke and I understood his point regarding the absurdity of making everyone pay for private choices, but I got annoyed as soon as he started insinuating about the amount of sex she must be having. Way to miss the point, El Rushbo! Religious liberty is probably a winning issue, but acting as the self-appointed sex police is probably not. None of these candidates except for Ron Paul are interested in freedom(and he makes me nervous for other reasons), but come November I think I’m going to have to vote for Gary Johnson.

        • T says:

          We all pay for private choices in our insurance premiums. Eat potato chips? We pay for your lipitor…like to ski? we pay for your broken leg. Like to attend crowded events? We pay for your flu.

          I have no love for the “affordable” care act. However, singling out birth control as something not to cover is misogynistic (IMHO).

        • Three Wickets says:

          Honk. And there’s the utter hypocrisy of the Rushbot mindset on this question.

        • gxm17 says:

          Double honk!

          Thanks T. I’ve had it with this idea that somehow birth control involves a “private choice” that other lifestyle activities do not. And, really? Sex is pretty basic. It’s a helluva lot more basic to human existence than, say, potato chips or skiing which we can pretty much survive without.

      • T says:

        He didn’t apologize to the target of his comments. He only apologized for the wording. You have to admit that’s not a real apology ;-).

      • JeanLouise says:

        It was not a sincere apology, being couched in statements that reiterated his opinion, and just apologizing for using the particular epithets that he used.

        On this one, I agree with Ron Paul. Rush’s only reason for making the “apology” was the desire to stop the flight of his sponsors.

  9. HELENK says:

    years ago when Conrail had to get out of the passenger business, I attended a union meeting about the subject.
    A woman walked up to the platform talking about how much the union had done for her. She was dressed like the church lady.
    I looked at her and took a fit of laughing.
    I had met her at my old job. She was a temp worker. When she worked there they had a St Patrick’s day party. I was working while the party was going on downstairs. She worked that day and was going to the party. She had on a dress with no sides and no underwear. She goes down stairs to the party. I get a phone call from the police. Her daughter was picked up for shoplifting. Now I have go downstairs to the party and get her. She is in the middle of the dancefloor with her dress above her head propositioning the guys for $25 a throw. I go and tell her the cops are on the phone. She then goes to the factory part of the building , gets up on the conveyor belt and propositions the workers for $25 a throw. The guard brings her upstairs and she goes into the computer room and propositions the computer operator.
    The guard told me later he had never seen a persons face turn so red as mine.
    he escorted her out of the building and the computer operator and I agreed never to discuss what happened.

    now years later she is being used as an example for the unions.
    Sandra Fluke performed the same function for the democrats at the congressional hearing. She allowed her self to be used to change a subject

    • driguana says:

      excellent point….it’s all about “diversion” at this point….

    • JeanLouise says:

      Do you seriously want to equate one woman’s inappropriate behavior with another woman’s statement that she thinks that the health insurance policy that she and other students are forced to buy should cover basic health care for women? Do you really want to go there?

      • HELENK says:

        the point was that both women were used for a false purpose and they let themselves be used

        • gxm17 says:

          Actually, HELENK, your story seemed to have no point except that you seem to have propositioning sex and women speaking at policy hearings confused.

        • HELENK says:

          at the union meeting the lady come on like this old fashioned church lady saying just how much the union did for her. this was not a true picture.

          at the phony hearing the lady was pictured as an average college student wanting birth control paid for by insurance companies. When in reality she had an agenda that she had gone to that college to change them to her rules. She also wants the college to pay for transgender operations. Please remember this is a Catholic college with centuries old belief system.

          When women make choices, please treat them as adults and let them take the consequences.or the rewards

          Was rush right NO. but I have never listened to him as he is not someone I admire.
          Is bill mayer right NO but I do not watch him as he is not funny and just an ass
          Is tweety tingles right NO but I stopped watching him when he became backtrack’s lap dog

    • myiq2xu says:

      That is almost as offensive as what Rush said:

      Sandra doesn’t even speak for all skanks! She only speaks for the skanks who don’t want to take responsibility for their choices. That’s a tiny group of people. Hey Sandra! How about next Saturday night, you come hang out with me and my gay boyfriends! Your hair will look fabulous and you’ll get to see great musical theatre! Oh, and odds of you getting pregnant? Zero percent.

      Even the oh-so-left HuffPo called Sandra out on her media sluttery: ”Fluke got the stage all to herself and was hailed as a hero by the crowd and Democratic lawmakers on the panel, all of whom rushed to appear on camera with her at the end. “Excuse me. I’d love to get a picture with our star,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said as she pushed her way through the packed room to Fluke.” Star of what? Star of the bedroom sex tape? When did Georgetown Law start admitting Kardashians?

      • JeanLouise says:

        Females like her are the reason why women haven’t achieved parity with men in this society.

        I bet she describes herself as a committed Christian, too.

    • gxm17 says:

      Gawd, that was some of the worst tripe I almost read but couldn’t finish because it was so bad, so illogical, and so ill-informed.

      It’s amazing to me that all these so-called conservatives have been so rash, immoderate even, to blather forth about testimony they apparently didn’t even bother to skim over, much less read.

  10. Three Wickets says:

    Average age of Limbaugh listener is 67 and O’Reilly viewer is 71. That’s as much great generation as boomer. I see more Progressives driving that point today. For all the different rationalizations, this dust-up to me is basically about old-fashioned or conservative or religious attitudes and perceptions about sex. Even the term “pre-marital sex” sounds like a phrase from another time. Before I got married, I had long healthy relationships with two different partners. Yes we had sex, yes my partners were sometimes on the pill. No we didn’t worry that we were living in sin, lol.

    • Three Wickets says:

      The incredible thing to me is how obvious it is this was a political trap set by Progressives, and how willingly Republican pundits have walked right into it. OFA was fueled in 2008 by over-excited Millenials. OFA is finding its momentum in 2012 running against the Great Generation.

      • JeanLouise says:

        Do you really think that Obama’s camp set this up? I don’t think they’re that smart. Imo, this one is strictly on the right.

        • Three Wickets says:

          Dunno. This HHS news release on January 20th was what set things off. The thing is there was nothing really new in the announcement. It affirmed the status quo. But both left and right media jumped on it. Similarly, Planned Parenthood and Komen were on the rocks since last September, but the funding controversy blew up in the mainstream media last month.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          Have you read Alinsky? Followed the political news in the last few months? Dems basically announced two months ago they were making a serious play to restore their hold on women, and this is the only playbook they have considering the fact that they won’t appoint women or legislate fair pay, or fight for equal justice, or run enough women to have an impact on parity in politics. When you don’t have anything you’re willing to give, you go for fear-based marketing. Komen v Parenthood and this debacle were both prompted to invoke the shock doctrine for women.

          That said, Republicans don’t get off Scott-free. The provocation wouldn’t have worked if there weren’t a number of already existing misogynists in positions of power in the GOP, and they really are tone deaf when it comes to certain women’s issues.

          But the point here for me is that I am not allowing myself to be manipulated by either one of these neanderthal front-groups. They both hate my gender and they both refuse to do anything to help my group do anything but become more dependent upon them. Fuck that and fuck them both.

    • votermom says:

      Good point. I remember once while I was in social group with some active senior ladies, they were talking about how embarrassing tv commercials are nowadays. Back in their day they never talked about their periods in public and now they have to watch pads & tampons discussed and illustrated on the telly.

    • Three Wickets says:

      “two different partners” – not at the same time. 🙂

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