You’d think that Sherman Frederick, disgraced Review Journal publisher extraordinaire, would have learned his lesson last week, after writing that Silver State girls are easy. You know, the op-ed in which he posits that if the Hispanic community has such a problem with teen pregnancy, then it’s just their own damn fault? Those slutty sluts.
You’d think after the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health wrote a brilliant take-down of the intersectionality of race, poverty, education, and culture, that Sherm would know when to just shut up already. Or, how about after the Nevada Hispanic Legislative Caucus broke it down in a letter to the editor in Sunday’s paper:
Girls are not easy or hard, except in the nomenclature of misogynists. Despite what columnist Sherman Frederick might tell you, pregnant teenage girls are not “easy” (“Silver State girls are easy,” May 12 Review-Journal). Many of these girls and the boys who impregnate them, however, do find themselves facing the harsh consequences of decisions they made oftentimes without having critical information. These young people probably would have made different choices had they been empowered with better knowledge.
In his distorted view of women, Mr. Frederick attributes Nevada’s high teen pregnancy rate and related problems to girls being easy. The actual cause of such problems, as posited by bill proponents such as Assemblywoman Lucy Flores and Sen. Ruben Kihuen, is that Silver State girls, as well as boys, too often lack proper sexual education.
Mr. Frederick’s interpretation is illogical. Pregnancy and STDs have virtually nothing to do with being “easy,” and a lot to do with the use, misuse or lack of protection. …
It is incredible how someone can criticize a bill without touching upon its substance; can criticize an argument by misconstruing it through the lens of his own ignorance, sexism and racism; and can criticize people without listening to what they are actually saying. We find it disappointing that this opinion piece appeared in such a respectable and reputable publication as the Review-Journal. It is our position that pieces lacking cultural sensitivity, sound reasoning and literary merit should find no home in quality journalism.
They were a lot nicer than I was. But, you know, these things happen. Pundits blow hard in all directions. I’m sure Sherm and his cronies have shared some choice words about my blog from time to time.
So, I was a bit surprised that Sherm would go back to the AB230 (comprehensive sex education bill) well again today. What else could he say, after all? He already talked about Ziploc bags on cucumbers (whatever that is supposed to do) and denigrated not only a whole gender but a whole culture of people. I mean, for any blowhard, that’s got to be a full day’s work. Amiright?
Nope. He was back on Sunday with, um,
fresh(?) new(?) more incites. Oops, I mean insights, as well as some “Shakespearean asides.” (PS: Take it from a woman with a degree in English Literature, who has had to read nary every important work of Shakespeare… Sherm, that’s not how you do a Shakespearean aside.)
Of course, he made sure to do a fair amount of head-scratching about that tricky word “comprehensive.” Seriously, what is the heartburn, people? You willfully want your child’s education to be incomplete? (PS: Amendments have been added to AB230 to provide a, well, comprehensive definition as to what “comprehensive” means, as well as some other words and phrases that are just so tricky to Shermy.)
Or, as Shermy writes:
Well, in this case, “comprehensive” is a loaded word. It’s a dishonest word. It’s a word used to create a smoke screen to shield Nevadans from seeing what AB230 actually is.
Yes, please do cut through all this smoke for us, Sherm. What, pray tell, is AB230 really doing?
AB230 actually says that sex education in Nevada must without limitation “promote the inclusion and acceptance of pupils regardless of … gender identity or expression (or) sexual orientation.” …
Now look, as I said in my Shakespearean aside earlier, I’m not flat-out opposed to updating the current sex education law. Teach sexual health, abstinence and contraceptives. Make it voluntary (which AB230 does, to its credit). But if we’re going to get into Kama Sutra instruction with charts and slides for all creatures great and small, please count me out.
And that’s where it looks like AB230 is headed. When most progressive advocates use the word “comprehensive,” it appears to be code for teaching homosexual and transgender sex. Not that there’s anything wrong with gay and transgender sex.
But it raises a most troubling question no Nevada politician wants to publicly answer: In what grade, exactly, shall we “promote” the inclusiveness described in AB230 and teach children about gay and transgender sex?
Oh right, the gays and the transgender sexy sex. (By the way, I didn’t know there were types of sex. I thought sex was sex. I mean, you do know that heteros have butt sex and oral sex and all kinds of kinky sexy sex, right, Sherm? But just in case, I’d like to learn more about this “transgender sex” that Sherm is talking about. Sounds like fun.)
For those keeping track at home, this is the “deviant lifestyle” part that folks like Janine Hansen like to get all red-faced about on the teevees. Well, you caught us, Sherm. We are trying to turn kids gay! And transgender! Just for kicks. Because that’s how human sexuality works, according to Sherm and his ilk. Any sexual orientation other than “normal” heterosexuality is just wackadoodle! And a choice. Totally a choice.
Yeesh, Sherm. I’m really hoping we can work in an adult remedial sex education bill sometime soon. Because after all the Ziploc bag talk and promoting homosexuality talk, the evidence is mounting that you need a serious time-out in the dunce corner when it comes to sex education.
But let’s get serious for a moment. When public “leaders” like Sherm Frederick take to their bully pulpit (on Sundays no less) to condemn LGBTQ people and non-conforming gender identities, it is not just hateful, it is reckless. LGBTQ people are facing hate crimes and violence all over the world because of ignorance and willful hatred of human beings who are just trying to live their lives and pursue equal freedoms. Nothing more. Nothing less. In America, we are told we are all born free, with certain inalienable rights. But then people like Sherm come stomping through the square and wave their banners of hate and fear-mongering — sex ed will turn your kids gay! — and it is not only damaging for the education of entire generations, it is damaging to the lives and welfare of countless people. (PS: Sex ed does not turn anyone gay. You can’t turn people gay! Duh!)
In the space of two columns in as many weeks, Sherm Frederick has demonstrated a wanton disregard for the safety and welfare of whole classes of people — women, Hispanics, LGBT individuals. Who is next? Honestly! Who is next? What other ways can Sherm pervert a simple sex education bill?!
What on God’s earth — and I absolutely believe in God, Sherman — could possibly be so disastrous, so horrifying about teaching kids medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education? And don’t give me that tired line about the Kama Sutra for Kindergarteners. Even you don’t actually believe that is what is going to happen. We’re way passed that now, Sherm. You’ve called out people by name in your columns. You’ve branded every girl in Nevada a slut (while letting every boy off scot-free). And you’ve announced yourself as a bigot who lives in fear of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals.
You claim you are trying to talk about AB230 in the “nicest” way possible. But that is so much bullshit. You’ve rung the hate-bell so many times lately, it’s hard to hear for all the noise and bile you are spouting.
You are no better than my toddler, who lays on the floor in a tantrum, flailing her arms and legs as she screams and cries. I love my toddler. And I understand that she can’t help it, because she’s only two years old. But I know you are a great deal older than two. And you have a great deal more power. So get up and start acting like it!
It is time for you, Sherman Frederick, to get up off the floor and stop pitching this fit. You are making an ass out of yourself. And worse, you are spreading the same hateful, ignorant concepts that lead to homophobia, transphobia, slut-shaming, rape culture, racism, and more.
This is not hard! And the more you spout off these hateful rants, the more we all see what a hate-filled, intolerant, bigoted person you really are.
There is no room for bigotry and hatred in the classroom, which is why AB230 expressly seeks to create a safe space for kids to be who they are — who they are born as — without shame and without bullying. For some kids, it may be the only safe space they have. When we make the classroom a safe space for kids to be who they are, then true learning can happen whether it’s about human anatomy or algebra. Period.
Shermy, I know you’d rather stick with the old model, in which hetero–normative information is given and thus anyone outside of a heterosexual paradigm is shamed (or worse, singled out and later bullied).
I know you’d rather stick to the old way of brutally shaming girls about any form of sexuality — going as far as to label teen mothers as sluts and their offspring as a kind of life-sentence for their shameful behavior. (I’m sure you applauded Rush Limbaugh calling law school student Sandra Fluke a slut, too.)
But that’s why we progressives are here, lobbying for change. Because the fact is, your slut-shaming and bigotry are only making things worse. Teens have been having sex at the same rates since data was first collected about the Baby Boomers by the Kinsey Institute. (Hey, I bet Sherm is a Baby Boomer…) All your hate-ranting is doing is fanning the flames of other haters, who may take matters a lot further than just penning sloppy op-eds.
And now, I’m going to treat you like I treat my toddler when she tries to pitch a fit on the floor to get her way. I’m going to make sure that you can’t hurt yourself and then I’m going to walk away. Because the more attention I give you, the more you’re just going to
lay lie there and tantrum.
Enough, Sherm. Enough.