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If you can’t beat em… don’t beat it

21 September 2019

I believe it was Molly Ivins who once described your average state legislator as having an IQ roughly equivalent to that of a parking garage.  She, of course, was speaking of state legislators in her own country, but we have our share of them here, too.  “Right to Life” activist and National Action (PAN) Party deputy in the  Queretaro state legislator Elsa Adané Méndez is best known for her opposition to any attempts to decriminalize abortion in her state, and for opposing a proposed amnesty for minor criminals and indigent prisoners that would liberate some women (mostly indigenous women who, not speaking Spanish, or not having the money to hire an adequate defense) have been imprisoned under various state laws sanctioning abortions. 

While abortion decriminalization (or rather, opposing decriminalization) remains a viable political issue, and PAN — which as the “Catholic party” finds some support for its “right to life” stance, it has largely lost any shred of legitimacy it ever had as the party of responsible governance.  Seeking issues on which it might offer alternatives, it has begun to focus on new and different (i.e., tried and failed) approaches to crime prevention.  Crimes against women, in particular. 

Ms. Méndéz has come up with a unique approach of rape prevention.  According to the legislator“self-pleasure” is a deformation of sexual behavior that could lead to rape.

“Masturbation is the beginning of the deformation of sexual behaviors in human beings, they st touching and stimulating themselves, increasing more and more until it leads to a psychological deformation that leads them to rape women to satisfy their sexual desires.”

So… going to the root of the problem, Méndéz proposes to criminalize masturbation. However, the state deputy’s initiative does not specify whether the proposed sanction (a fine of up to 3000 pesos) would be with the intention of prohibiting masturbation only in the case of men.   However, in the interest of justice, it does indicate that to assess the fine, audiovisual evidence of the act must be available, or the perpetrator must be caught in flagrante delicto by a police officer… i.e., caught with his pants down, so to speak.

One imagines a swelling opposition to beat back this proposal.  I hate to think of what form a civil disobedience campaign might take.


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