Because Sexually, You Aren’t a “Black Box”


This is Joe Six-Pack here. I haven’t received much hate mail in a while so I must be doing something wrong. Therefore, I will explain sex to everyone who stumbles in here today. What with all the hoopla going on with the HHS mandate, you might think that that development is all about birth-control and such.  But it isn’t.

After all, for some strange reason, the modern world believes the wacky idea that sex is a “black box” that simply cannot be understood.

What do I mean by a “black box?” I mean “it is so complex that it can’t be fathomed, much less controlled, by a mere human person.” Here is what my trusty Merriam-Webster Dictionary says,

black box, noun
Definition of BLACK BOX

 

1: a usually complicated electronic device whose internal mechanism is usually hidden from or mysterious to the user; broadly : anything that has mysterious or unknown internal functions or mechanisms

I reckon they mean like your cell-phone, for instance. I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and assert that the only thing you know about how your cell-phone works is that when you push the “power on” button to the “on” position, it works. And when you don’t, it doesn’t.

As far as you’re concerned, all the electrons whizzing around inside the “black-box” of your cell phone, are a mystery. Hell, it might as well be magic, for crying out loud. Let’s move on to another “black box” that I’m more familiar with and many of you are not: the engine in your car. Here’s what most of us know about the engine in our car: we have one.

Sometimes, scary lights pop up on our dash boards with ominous warnings like “check engine!,” in which we say “damn!, what’s wrong with this thing, it seems to be running fine.” But since you don’t know the first thing about engines, because you’re not interested in them, or you don’t have time to learn about them, or you never learned about them in school (auto shop got tossed to the wayside long ago, and anyway, only dummies took that class), or whatever the reason, you panic and park the car. Or you immediately take it to the shop, shell out $300 and they make that scary light turn off. Or you just keep driving and say “the hell with it;” at least until the next smog inspection comes due.

This brings me to sexual education and the modern world. Despite knowing more about how babies are made than we as a species have ever known before, collectively the modern world has thrown in the towel on the idea that each of us can know how our bodies, sex, and the resultant baby making, works. If I were a visitor from another planet, that would be my conclusion.

Because with the help of modern science, it is pretty easy to understand that a) the male of the species is a “live wire,” who is “always on” and whose “seeds” may be planted at any time. So much for demystifying the male “black box.” In electricity, this is represented by a “plus sign,” a symbol meaning “a positive current.” It is the 21st Century, and I’m sure I haven’t lost any of you yet, right?

Next, we have to discuss the miraculous “black box” known as the female of our species. I’ll be calling the female, “her” and “she” throughout this short explanation. You have my permission to call me “sexist.”

Unlike the male, she is on a cycle, see? And thanks to modern science, we know this cycle is b) predictable. I don’t want to get all technical on you but, it being the 21st Century and all, the fact that this cycle is regular and predictable pretty much demystifies the female “black box.” Because she can be educated to determine what her particular, individual, and unique cycle is. For the sake of simplicity, this trait, again using symbols from electricity, is represented by a “negative sign.”

Are we having fun yet class? So far we’ve learned about a) the “always on,” positively charged “live wire” male and the b) the cyclical, and negatively charged female. But hold on, you’re thinking, who says the female side is predictable? Modern science does. Come on out of the Dark Ages, OK? It’s pretty simple and completely verifiable. You don’t need Mr. Spock’s, or Dr. McCoy’s, tricorder readings to verify this, Star Trek fans. Because for thousands of years, thanks to modern science, this is what we know to be true,

During each menstrual cycle, one of a woman’s ovaries releases an egg. This process is called ovulation. The egg moves toward the uterus through the fallopian tubes, where fertilization may take place. An unfertilized egg may live for up to 12 hours. The egg will be shed later during the menstrual period if it isn’t fertilized. A woman is most likely to become pregnant if sexual intercourse takes place just before or just after ovulation.

So, you see? You can put your tricorder and multimeter away, and just leave your thinking cap on. Or you can continue to believe what the modern “medicate you to infertility” folks are teaching via Madison Avenue, and the public school classrooms. Frankly, what those sources teach is even worse than “you are a black box that can’t be understood.”

It’s worse because what they teach is “you are an animal and you can’t be tamed. You can’t control your will, or your appetites. You are a slave, and with these tools, you can embrace your slavery and pleasure yourself into not understanding you are a human being.” Seriously, what would Nietzsche think about your lack of will power? The males then, Nietzsche might say, with their “always on” will-to-power, are taught that they must always be satisfied. Concomitantly, the females are taught that they must always be receptive to the sexual urges of the male. When “positive” wants to electrify the circuit, “negative” must be receptive. Isn’t that how it works for Carrie and her pals?

Which brings us to the end of this short class. Something else I learned in basic electricity class (your tax dollars were at work, thank you very much!) is that in order for a circuit to work, and so far that is what I have been describing here, there needs to be what is called a “ground.” Just ask the person who works at Radio Shack. You can’t complete a circuit without a “ground.” I’ll let the folks at wiseGEEK explain,

An electrical ground is a reference point built into the electrical circuit, used as a baseline when measuring other electrical currents. It also serves as the return path for an electric circuit. The purpose of an electrical ground is to allow any spikes in electricity to be directed away from the electric circuit and into the ground where it is harmlessly absorbed.

As a Catholic, it shouldn’t surprise you that I personally believe that the “ground” is the teachings of the Church. There is even a scary sounding Catholic word that dovetails with this idea:  mortification. This is just a spooky sounding way of saying self-denial, or self-discipline. It is a trait that animals do not have. If you don’t believe in God, the “ground” doesn’t have to be the teachings of the Church. It can just be the reasonable, if uncommon nowadays, application of scientific knowledge. The kind that would make Mr. Spock proud.

Teaching our girls the cycle should be a priority. As enlightened, 21st century, standing upon the shoulders of giants people, we should insure that this cycle,  how to plot it, and how to know their body, and know where they are in their cycle, is taught to every one of our daughters. And our boys should be taught about this cycle as well, and both taught to curb their appetites in appreciation for this scientific fact.

But wait, you scream in abject horror, this idea assumes that we are training our children to be in committed, monogamous relationships, sanctified by marriage. That, and you believe these innocents can be trusted to understand these lofty, and frighteningly complex scientific facts. You, my sad, poor, little man, are an insufferable optimist and a fool.

To which I say “I’d rather be that, then just another slave to my senses.” And, I would add, “a humanism that treats us like animals is nuts!” On that note, I think I have to go change the oil in my car’s “black box”, er, engine. See you fellas around the garage.

  • http://mystagogy.tumblr.com/ Janet

    I love the way you write! Your too-true comment about men being “always on” and women being “always receptive” is incredibly sad. There was a time when we weren’t that way, and we managed to survive quite well. I wish people would use a little common sense again.

  • Mary Kathryn

    Great essay!

    @Janet, you said, “Your too-true comment about men being “always on” and women being “always receptive” is incredibly sad. There was a time when we weren’t that way, and we managed to survive quite well. I wish people would use a little common sense again.”

    There was never a time when men weren’t “always on” — why do you think nuns used to teach young girls that if a girl had to sit on a boy’s lap in a crowded car, she should put a phone book on his lap first? Why do you think sisters chaperoning dances used to be equipped with handkerchiefs and safety pins to attach to girls’ evening gowns if they were too low cut in front or back? Why do you think priests were always lecturing boys about masturbation? Such things used to be a feature of Catholic education when the teachers were all religious or priests, and boys and girls were often separated in school.

    Men and boys are “always on” but they can control it, they can ground it, with self-discipline and self-denial. Girls and women can help them control it by saying “no” to sex before marriage. They can do this because they are not “always on.” But, as the sisters used to warn girls, going parking or otherwise being alone with a boy can lead them to do things they didn’t intend to do.

    Also, he didn’t say women were “always receptive”; he said they’d been taught that because men are “always on” they should always be receptive.

    What he said about women is that they have a cycle that is regular and predictable. (I’m sure he knows this is not true for all women, but it’s true for the vast majority of women.) He then said this should be explained to our daughters and sons, preparing them for marriage. They need to be taught that
    they are human beings, capable of moral decisions. One of the most important moral decisions they need to make as young people is to abstain from sex before marriage.

  • enness

    Nooo, not that light. It is all to familiar of late. And it IS a mystery. :)

    • Frank Weathers

      That light…we hates it!


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