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Short Skirts, and How Fatherhood Is Changing My Politics

| February 18, 2013

Not his daughter. (Independent Expression)

Not his daughter. (Independent Expression)

By Peter Schorsch

As far as the issues go, I’ve been pro-short skirt for as long as I can remember. In fact, before I understood the differences between Democrats and Republicans, I was generally in favor of short skirts. That is, until Beyoncé’s performance at the Super Bowl.

There she was, Esquire Magazine’s “Sexiest Woman Alive,” dressed in a skirt so short it had no beginning, just an end. Sashaying her way through a halftime show performance that literally turned out the lights in the Big Easy, Beyoncé was as fierce as ever.

And that’s when I realized I was no longer in favor of short skirts. Because, for the first time while watching a Super Bowl, I was a father. I’m also 13 months into being a husband. So life has certainly changed — no less noticeably than in my politics.

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It’s not that I am more Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative. It’s just that every decision I make is now framed by how it may impact my daughter, now and in the future.

So when Beyoncé wears a skirt just a wee bit short for my liking, I wonder, what if Ella were 7 years old and watching this? What would I do if she asked if she could wear an outfit like the one Beyoncé wore? Would I say “No” and, inadvertently, push her toward wearing provocative clothing? Would I say “Yes” while celebrating her freedom to express herself?

These are the dilemmas of every parent.

As it relates to politics, my worldview is completely changing. They say everyone is a Democrat until they are mugged. Well, imagine how significant the change is when you have a daughter. There are even times when I find myself embracing fascism, or at least the part about curfews.

Then again, it’s sometimes the conservatives who frighten me the most. Like the parents who refuse to allow their children to be immunized, mostly because of what ex-Playboy model Jenny McCarthy wrote in her book on parenthood — about how the shots lead to autism. My wife and I met parents like this at a prenatal class. There, the doctor — the guy who went to a decade of school to learn about such things rather than pose nude — told the parents-to-be that there was no dumber decision than refusing to get your child their shots.

Yet this one set of parents kept arguing with the doctor. That was, in fact, their right. However, not only do I not want my child going to school with a child who has not been immunized, I don’t want her going to school with a child whose parents think it is OK not to be immunized. Those are just two totally different worldviews that will never be reconciled. At least not until their child catches measles.

It’s because of parents like that that my wife and I start to think about home-schooling (not really) and charter schools (absolutely). This coming from two parents who value highly the benefits of public education.

There’s really no issue of which my opinion has not changed since Ella came into the world. I’ve even found sympathy for someone like Rick Santorum.

In 1996, the Santorums’ son Gabriel was born prematurely after 20 weeks of pregnancy and died in the hospital two hours after birth. Karen Santorum wrote that she and Rick slept with the dead infant between them in the hospital that night, then brought his body home the following day and introduced it to their children as “your brother Gabriel.” The handling of their infant son’s death attracted scrutiny in January 2012 following Santorum’s success in the Iowa caucuses.

I, myself, was highly skeptical of the Santorums’ actions. That is, until we had Ella. Since then, the meaning of life has changed for me. I believe that Ella has been with us for almost as long as she was in her mother’s womb. I saw her in 3-D moving and waving months before she was “born.” Certainly she was impacting our lives from almost the moment she was conceived.

Of course, I am not ready to force my view on this issue or any other issue on others.

It’s just that, since having a baby, I find myself agreeing more with Rick Santorum and less with Beyoncé.

Peter Schorsch, a political consultant based in St. Petersburg, publishes and edits the Florida political blog Reach him by email here.

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10 Responses for “Short Skirts, and How Fatherhood Is Changing My Politics”

  1. Liana G says:

    And just think, in a few months there will be a ‘Blue Ivy’ line of clothes and everything else so that every little girl can have a exact replica of that skirt, along with the skin lightener, hair straightener, hair lightener, and padded underwear for the butt bump – there are already kiddy padded bras. The president did say she is a great role model ensuring this billion dollar industry thrives and expand to target every demographic ….

    Book suggestion – The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

    “The last thing the consumer index wants men and women to do is to figure out how to love one another: The $1.5 trillion retail-sales industry depends on sexual estrangement between men and women, and is fueled by sexual dissatisfaction. Ads do not sell sex–that would be counterproductive, if it meant that heterosexual women and men turned to one another and were gratified. What they sell is sexual discontent.”

    “The surgeons’ market is imaginary, since there is nothing wrong with women’s faces or bodies that social change won’t cure; so the surgeons depend for their income on warping female self-perception and multiplying female self-hatred.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why are you concerned about other people’s kids have been vaccinated? If your kid has been vaccinated, then you’re covered.

    • Anonymous says:

      Furthermore, you talk as though the vaccine-autism link has been disproven. No offense, but that’s just not the case.

      A recent study out of the University of Pittsburgh asked the question, if vaccines play absolutely no role in the development of childhood autism, then why are some of the most popular vaccines being administered to children demonstrably causing autism in lab primates?

      And that is why some parents refuse to have their kids take the shots, because there is no conclusive evidence that they are safe. You can plug your ears and ignore the research all you want, but like I said, if your kids are vaccinated, then why worry?

    • Nancy N. says:

      “Why are you concerned about other people’s kids have been vaccinated? If your kid has been vaccinated, then you’re covered.”

      And this is why a little science “knowledge” is a dangerous thing.

      Vaccines only truly work to eradicate a disease when everyone is vaccinated. Have you ever heard the term “herd immunity”? When some members of the herd don’t get the vaccine, it lets the disease start reappearing and spreading in the unvaccinated members of the population. This also lets it start MUTATING – making the vaccine become less effective, and eventually totally ineffective. This is why we never have eradicated the flu despite having a vaccine for it – it constantly is spreading and mutating in unvaccinated populations.

      Also, there are elements of the populations that either can’t get vaccines or in which they are not as effective. Certain vaccines aren’t given to very small babies – they rely on the herd immunity, the absence of the disease in their community, to prevent them from getting sick until they are old enough to vaccinate. Anyone with a suppressed immune system (elderly, cancer patients, etc) can receive a vaccine but won’t get full immunity from it. They also rely on the herd immunity to an extent to prevent them from getting sick. This is the case with my daughter – she takes medications for her arthritis that suppress her immune system. Any vaccination she receives while on those medications will be only partially effective.

      The whole community needs to be vaccinated to protect not only the individual being vaccinated but the weakest members of the community, and to protect against the loss of protection from the vaccine for all of its members. When you decide not to vaccinate yourself, you are putting not just yourself but the whole community at risk.

      And as for the risk of autism from vaccines – my 9 year old daughter is autistic. She’s been different from the day she was born. I’ve never had any question that she was born the way she was, and I’ve never hesitated to have her vaccinated. Your so-called proof in the monkey study was a tiny experiment conducted by a doctor with an agenda and using vaccines that are no longer on the market. Many many many large-scale studies have proven no statistical correlation between autism and vaccination. So go find another conspiracy theory to obsess over and stop diverting attention and resources away from finding the real cause of my daughter’s issues.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m very sorry to hear about your daughter’s autism and that she was born with it. However, realize that not all children are born autistic. In many cases, it develops over time as a result of environmental factors. Many scientists suspect that there might be a correlation. There is a mountain of evidence behind my position, not just the one recent study.

        I’m sure that you’ll also tell us how psych drugs are medicine and that fluoride is nutritious. It’s not my job to educate you if you choose to close your mind and believe everything the presstitutes tell you. The Internet is at your fingertips.

        Personally, I’d rather have a flu epidemic than an autism epidemic.

        • Nancy N. says:

          “I’m sure that you’ll also tell us how psych drugs are medicine and that fluoride is nutritious.”

          Total red herring argument but a favored “debate” tactic of people who believe in crackpot theories. Those items are completely unrelated to the autism/vaccines debate.

          Where there is money to be made selling “cures” to desperate parents, you can find “scientists” who will say about anything. But bottom line…There are no credible, mainstream doctors or scientists who believe autism is caused by anything other than genetics. There are no peer-reviewed large scale studies that show any other causes. There’s even been progress in isolating the genes responsible for the disorder.

          You’d rather have a flu epidemic? How about a measles epidemic? Or a polio epidemic? Or a mumps epidemic? Childhood diseases KILL. As a genealogist, I’ve spent countless hours reading thousands of records of my ancestors’ deaths. Too many of them were of children dying of diseases that we have now erased because of vaccines – or HAD, until the fear mongers started raising vaccines as a boogieman. Andrew Wakefield only started the hysteria about the MMR vaccine because he held the patent on a replacement vaccine for it! He was trying to get the one in use banned so he could get rich selling a replacement! And since then, the whole thing has completely snowballed out of control despite the fact that the “study” that started it was declared a complete fraud by the publication that published it, and Wakefield lost his medical license. Too many people are making money from the hysteria for it to stop….

          I don’t want to go back to the days when women entered their childbearing years knowing that it was unlikely all their children would survive to adulthood. Why do you?

          I am educated and that is why I don’t believe the autism vaccine hysteria. The internet is at my fingertips but it doesn’t mean I have to believe every piece of idiocy I read on it. Apparently you do.

  3. Blue6 says:

    “As it relates to politics, my worldview is completely changing. They say everyone is a Democrat until they are mugged. Well, imagine how significant the change is when you have a daughter. There are even times when I find myself embracing fascism, or at least the part about curfews. ”

    And so it must follow: I, a father of sons, have to fear both you and your daughters. And relay those fears.

  4. Stevie says:

    Wait until she is in college, or even in high school and gets invited to one these public school events.

    Make sure to check it all out. Remember some public school teachers go to these things and can’t help but let the children know all about the show. In fact they talk about how to convey this to children.

  5. Karma says:

    Wow, What a great article. It am truly amazed it was put on FL.

  6. songbird says:

    My child is NOT your science experiment. The ingredients in vaccines that we are injecting into babies just days old are awful. Studies may not have shown a connection but they haven’t completely showed no connection either. Our own government has rewarded millions of dollars to families who have vaccine injured children. Plus, studies have not been done on the combinations of vaccines given together. When my son was just 2 months old he was given 4 shots containing 7 vaccines: Hepatitis B, diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, h. influenzae type b, polio, and pneumococcal conjugate. All of those were repeated at 4 months and 6 months. I repeat, there are NO long term studies about the interactions of these vaccines and their ingredients when all given together. My son has autism. Is it partially genetic? Possibly. Was this genetic problem triggered due to vaccine toxins and/or other toxins in his environment? Possibly. Regardless, it’s MY choice what goes into my child’s body. I am his mother and responsible for his well-being. I’ve done my research and am confident in my choice to discontinue vaccines until there are more studies on vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations and on these cocktails that are increasingly being given without knowing their full effects.

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