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Rantz: Seattle Public Health pitches condom earrings gift for New Year’s Eve

Condom earrings. (Public Health of Seattle and King County)

Looking for an end of the year gift for a promiscuous friend? Public Health of Seattle and King County recommends “stylish” do-it-yourself condom earrings.

Writing for the Public Health Insider newsletter, risk communications specialist Meredith Li-Vollmer pitched “DIY ideas that will express ‘I care’ and also announce ‘I am really, really craftsy!’ None of the gift recommendations relay a message of craftiness, per se. The ideas are all rather lazy, uninventive and ugly, like the bedazzled hand sanitizer bottles. Aren’t you glad we’re using tax dollars to pay for this drivel?

One idea that is especially bizarre is the handmade condom earrings set. The gift isn’t thoughtful — it suggests her coworkers are constantly cruising for men to have sex with and now they’re sure to be prepared with condoms they’re wearing on their ears. Li-Vollmer writes:

With syphilis and gonorrhea cases on the rise, these earrings can be both stylish and functional on a date night. And they couldn’t be simpler to make! Just put a pin prick in the packaging (make sure to put it in the outer edge so you don’t break the seal) and attach an earring wire using needle nose pliers.

Be sure not to pin-prick the condom though. It might lead to the opposite intended effect of this ridiculous gift.

This dopey idea isn’t objectionable because it promotes sex (“Ready for NYE! And STD!”). Go ahead and have it and be responsible about it.

It’s objectionable because it’s solely being promoted for the political agenda of normalizing sexual promiscuity. It’s done purely as a way to push back against a conservative view of sexual repression.

For so long, American society hid and shamed sexual impulses. Progressives want to take sex back. They want you to be free with your sexual appetite, especially if you’re female. Men are pigs for being overtly sexual in 2019 (and 2020). Women are heroes, fighting back against a patriarchal society.

This position is fine if you have it. I don’t think repressing all things sexual served society well, especially after the internet made access to pornography so easy. Pretending sex doesn’t exist and doesn’t feel good was a failed argument of many conservative groups. You have misguided groups like the Parents Television Council still treating any mention of sex as apocalyptic.

But the opposite is also harmful. Public Health literally links to a post about an uptick on syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea cases. Do they stop for a second and think a frivolous view of sex — where one wears literal condoms on the earrings — might be partly to blame?

Public Health doesn’t want to be seen as holding conservative, repressive views of sex. So they go overboard in promoting a frivolous view of it. Progressive ideology dictates you never judge anyone’s sexual behaviors. That seems like the wrong tactic in combating STD upticks.

Perhaps there is a more effective middle ground between conservative repression and progressive frivolity. Perhaps a less tacky one, at least?

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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