Well, it did Minnie Joycelyn Elders, who was forced to resign as US surgeon general on 9 December 1994 when she suggested that masturbation might be included in sex education classes. Replying to a question at a UN conference on Aids, she said: ‘I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.’
This was too much for the newly-emboldened ‘moral majority’ in the US, who had just won control of Congress, and Bill Clinton as president succumbed to their pressure and demanded her resignation. If only someone had taught him about masturbation he might have enjoyed as less troubled second term in office.
‘We know that more than 70 to 80 per cent of women masturbate, and 90 per cent of men masturbate, and the rest lie’ – Joycelyn Elders
#229 No Return to ‘Normal’ ● Sir David King blasts the government ● State power, policing and civil rights under Covid-19 ● Hope and determination in grassroots resistance ● Black liberation and Palestine ● The future of ‘live’ ● Pubs, patriotism and precarity ● Latest book reviews ● And much more!
And you choose how much to pay for your subscription...
Public spaces became increasingly valued during lockdown – and increasingly policed. We must continue to reclaim and celebrate it for everyone, says Morag Rose
Without active protection from the state, the rejected Project Big Picture is a taste of things to come for English football, argues Alex Maguire
Anti-racist movements in France are challenging both the state and the traditional left, writes Selma Oumari
As education becomes increasingly authoritarian, the battle against racist educational enclosure policies is one the left cannot afford to lose, argues Jessica Perera
Alethea Warrington describes how the fossil fuels industry hopes to change its image but not its practice
Ndella Diouf Paye writes about her experiences working as a carer for a private company