Sunday, July 15, 2007

Only Women Bleed: The Convention

What a week in St. Paul! We were treated to the presence of the Leadership Conference of the Abstinence Clearinghouse right here in our fair city. The SUV's with South Dakota license plates and "Jesus Loves Me But Not You" and "God does not believe in atheists" were out in full force. I've written about the people my fair city welcomed this week here and here, but nothing like seeing the freak show up close and personal.

Jeff Fecke attended the press conference, and has a three part write-up on the convention that can be found here, here, and here. He has a well-written, balanced look at the absolute joke that is taxpayer-supported abstinence education in the Bush Theocracy.

But we here at the Cucking Stool aren't going to just attend the press conference, we're going to take you behind the scenes and show you a few photos taken by the Cucking Stool spy team. Now I learned just today that I wasn't the only one who snuck in to try to capture the forbidden images of people telling other people why they shouldn't have sex. It turns out that a undercover documentary crew managed to break through the security zone. They were caught and asked to leave. Being a polite, middle aged, slightly overweight lady dressing conservatively, I looked just like the participants and had free run of the joint.

But you, dear reader, are not here to learn the tricks of the Cucking Stool spy program, you want photos. So photos I give you.

The major theme that jumped out at you was how COOL and HIP everyone was trying to be. I half expected the creepy, Purity Ball soft-image stuff to be the majority of the vendors. No so. Most were doing their best to both keep graphic artists in business and to convince kids that it is so totally groovy to believe that sex=death. Virginity Rocks! was probably the "edgiest" display, if virginity can be defined as urban and "edgy."

That isn't to say that there weren't pretty pictures of white women in romantic poses extolling the virtues of sexual ignorance; there were plenty:

The one booth that was never empty at the show was the one run by Illusions: Uncovering the Truth About Pornography. I don't know if they were being shunned by the rest of the group, or if they were afraid that someone would look too closely at their fuzzy danger-filled images, but they were always present at the booth.

(And no, I won't make any crude comments about that one woman on her knees in front of the one sitting down. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

There was plenty of swag at the convention. Remember these were people trying to sell their abstinence learning tools to others who had taxpayer money burning a hole in their pockets. They know that there's gold in them thar hymens, and they're going to hand you more crap than at the State Fair so that when your school district's federal abstinence-only funding cash flows in, you think of them and their materials first. So buttons and temporary tattoos and posters and rubber band bracelets (white, of course) were in abundance. My personal favorite was the "I'm Worth Waiting For" flashing strobe light:

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