Jonathon van Maren

From the front lines of the culture wars

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The right to bare bottoms: the bizarre battles of the cultural left

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Having fallen down the cultural Rabbit Hole, today’s revolutionaries are such parodies that their battles involve taking selfies on toilets and fighting to expose their private parts in public.

I deal with a lot of awful things in my line of work—stomach-twisting stories of rape and sexual assault, gruesome abortion stories, and story after soul-sucking story of people plunging into the porn abyss. I deal with the dark side so often, that sometimes I forget to notice just how fundamentally ridiculous our opposition is—how the Sexual Revolution has led to a culture of people with delusions of grandeur, fighting battles that involve the right to bare bottoms rather than the right to, say, bear arms.

For example, strident abortion advocate Amanda Marcotte in Slate recently stood up for North America’s “nipple warriors” (you can’t make this stuff up) after, as she wrote, comedian “Chelsea Handler pushed Americans forward in our struggle to get over hang-ups about exposed female nipples on Thursday night. On Instagram, Handler posted a photo of herself parodying Russian president Vladimir Putin's famous topless horse-riding photo.”

Our “struggle”? Is she serious? Throughout history, people have fought to protect the honor of others, not discard it. It’s depressing, in a tiresome sort of way, when you think of all those great movements that went before us, those brave men and women who fought to elevate human dignity—only to have our culture devolve into men and women fighting for the right to abandon dignity and fornicate in the gutters while demanding that the rest of us approve of their actions.

Our culture has forgotten that things divine and transcendent even exist, and thus even our battles for so-called justice have become childish and ridiculous.

This, however, is our culture’s new version of “brave” and “edgy.” Just scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I saw The Daily Beast announcing Ben Affleck’s decision to shoot a “full frontal” nude scene in his new film as “one more reason to see the movie.” Then there is the nudist complaining that he was discriminated against because a restaurant barred him from entering to order food in his birthday suit. And these are just a couple examples of various news stories highlighting the rights of various other naked special interest groups.

How very brave. Violate basic standards of decency, and claim that your rights are being violated. With so much of what is fundamental to our society being threatened by forces within and without, the Left is busy acting like naked court jesters at the fall of the Roman Empire. Their “battles” are more than frivolous, they are meaningless—and yet they have control of the loudest microphones and deepest reservoirs of righteous outrage.

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Last week, one ludicrous example stood out above the others:

As students walked through the main thoroughfare at San Diego State University on Tuesday they were greeted by students with their pants down sitting atop a row of toilets.

Such an appearance in the middle of a college quad is sure to raise questions, and that was the hope of the Transgender Action Advocacy Student Coalition with their “Sh*t In” protest.

Five toilets – sometimes adorned with students – set along Campanille Walkway had newspapers with the words “Gender Neutral Bathrooms Now” written in bold letters. Students were encouraged to sit on a toilet and take selfies with the hashtag #SDSUSh*tIn.

The protest aimed to raise awareness about what some deem is the limited number of gender neutral bathrooms on campus.

There are only six specifically gender-neutral bathrooms at SDSU, the protesters told passersby, and one of the six is in a faculty area, so transgender students who are not comfortable in traditional men’s or ladies’ restrooms only have a few options when going to the bathroom.

Yes, you read that correctly. The feminist set has gone from saying that universities are an inherently hostile place for women, to insisting that people with penises should be allowed to enter women’s bathrooms should they happen to feel like a girl that day. The same ideologues who see potential rapists lurking behind every corner somehow also think that their claim that gender is both fluid and ultimately subjective will never be abused by those with more nefarious inclinations.

It’s good to remember sometimes that our cultural insanity encompasses both the dark and morbid as well as the delusional and ridiculous. Having fallen down the cultural Rabbit Hole, today’s revolutionaries are such parodies that their battles involve taking selfies on toilets and fighting to expose their private parts in public, while their grasp on reality is so tenuous that they are willing to openly claim that one’s genitals are incidental to their gender. Our culture has forgotten that things divine and transcendent even exist, and thus even our battles for so-called justice have become childish and ridiculous.

As CS Lewis wisely noted, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

I differ with him on only one point: no one seems pleased. We have everything, but we aren’t happy. Because we ignore the obvious reality—that our culture is without God—we pretend that it has something to do with toilets, like court jesters who just haven’t seen the bathroom mirror.

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Jonathon van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.