Mixed morals

snarlI puzzle that accepting money to have sex with someone is illegal in some situations, but not in others. For example, people who appear in pornographic videos are having sex in exchange for money, and they are not punished for it.

But a call to an escort service requires that payment not be mentioned, and the required cash is deemed a gift that is left in plain sight for the escort to gather up without comment.

I see danger in this kind of inconsistency. It sets a bad example for young people who do not have a way of determining our position on basic matters. We confuse and confound them. I’m old, and I’m confused and confounded. To use a slightly stronger word, we are hypocrites.

This statue, which resides in the Getty Museum in California, symbolizes my view of the moral climate in the United States. Men want to have things their way, whatever that might mean. The feminine spirit, which I consider much more evolved, looks on the male confusion with a mix of amusement and pity. Men are willing to live as pitied creatures. It’s all we know.

The inability of men to devise a basically coherent value system is, I believe, the primary cause of the growth of bullying. We create tremendous confusion in the minds of boys, and we are incapable of discussing that confusion with them.

We don't really know what pornography is, but we know we are against it.

We don’t really know what pornography is, but we know we are against it.

Part of the problem is that there is little agreement on words such as decency. A current debate is about the distinction that male nipples, as useless as they are, are decent, while the productive and useful female nipple is not. This is one of the mind-bending examples of logical incoherence that I believe fuel many social problems. We force this broken logic on millions of young people.

Men lack the courage to face the issue of broken and contradictory moral standards that they offer to young people as examples of how to live. Some take refuge in religious beliefs, whatever that might mean. Others strive to protect the allegedly weak and vulnerable from being led astray by the sight of passionate, and possibly enjoyable, sex.

I dislike most pornography that I’ve seen because the men are hasty and greedy. They play their scene like they most likely lives their lives: obsessed with grabbing what they can, while they can.

I do not expect men to deal with these matters candidly. I don’t think many of us know how.

My warning to young people is to think for yourselves. You are not going to get much assistance from the social security crowd.

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