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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "Sex Is Politics" (1979) Summary & Analysis

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Sex, and its regulation through religion as a political tool, is the focus of this essay that remains relevant today. Vidal reflects that, directly and indirectly, sex has become a hot political issue in terms of the Equal Rights Amendment and women's rights, abortion, homosexuality [and, he might add, stem cell research]. He notes the close correlation between sexual attitudes and political decisions, as evidenced by the laws that favor marriage as an institution that keeps men working in the capitalistic consumer economy.

In the aftermath of Vietnam, Americans' hot buttons grew harder to push, Vidal says, so the "nation's ownership has now gone back to the tried-and-true hot buttons: save our children, our fetuses, our ladies' rooms from the godless enemy. As usual, the sex buttons have proved satisfyingly hot." Vidal notes that a...

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This section contains 459 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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