The BillDo is up in arms again. This time, he’s unhappy about a piece that aired on The Daily Show a few days ago about the right’s War on Women, contrasting it to the War on Christmas™. And specifically at a bit where Jon Stewart suggested that, to prevent unwanted government intrusion into their sex life, women could protect their vaginas by placing mangers in front of them:
It’s hard to tell what exactly it is about that image that has given poor Billy the vapors. He’s called it “obscene” and “vulgar“, “Stewart not only made a vulgar attack on Christians, he objectified women“; an “unprecedented assault on Christian sensibilities“, “anti-Christian and grossly misogynist“, even “What Jon Stewart did ranks with the most vulgar expression of hate speech ever aired on television“; “so indefensible—putting a nativity scene ornament in between the legs of a naked woman—that no one save the maliciously sick would even try to defend it“.
So he’s clearly in a tizzy, but doesn’t say exactly what the problem is, or why this comedy bit should warrant such over-his-usual-over-the-top rhetoric, which means that I need to guess.
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt has been working on a theory of morals, studying what people find to be moral or immoral. This is from a psychological standpoint, not a philosophical or ethical one. That is, he’s not interested so much about figuring out what’s right or wrong, as much as he is in finding out how people think about right and wrong.
One of his categories is “sanctity/degradation”, which concerns purity and contamination: an action is immoral if it contaminates the purity of the person or community. Thus, for instance, I’m guessing that most people would object if someone brought a dog turd in a clear Ziploc bag onto a subway train, because (in people’s minds, at least) dog turds are filthy and disgusting, and the subway car and its passengers would be in a sense contaminated by its presence.
As far as I can make out, this is the explanation that best fits BillDo’s reaction: he feels that manger scenes are pure and holy, and photoshopping one in proximity to a set of ladyparts contaminates it with, I don’t know, cooter cooties or something. Which leads inexorably to the conclusion that Bill thinks vaginas are filthy. I wonder how Mrs. Catholic League feels about that. Or maybe Bill feels this way because he’s gay. Dunno.
At any rate, this seems like his personal hangup. And maybe, until such time as he can get over it, and realize that a vagina is no more dirty than any other body part, especially once it’s been thoroughly washed, ideally by a willing showermate, that he should just fuck off.
(Psychological analysis brought to you by the Institute for Advanced Psychological Research and Bajingo Jokes.)