Superman Indeed

Via Pam comes the story of the new superman’s super package.

Producers are reportedly worried about the size of Brandon Routh's bulge which would make his profile in the superhero's skintight costume distracting, reports the Sun.

Hollywood executives have ordered the makers of Superman Returns to cover it up with digital effects.

The Sun's source said: "It's a major issue for the studio. Brandon is extremely well endowed and they don't want it up on the big screen.

“We may be forced to erase his package with digital effects.”
Lucky guy. It’s every man’s dream to don tights onscreen and be digitally reduced to the appearance of a smooth-fronted Ken doll.

Now I’ve no idea whether this will actually happen, although Disney reportedly gave Lindsay Lohan a digital breast reduction for Herbie: Fully Loaded, since they thought family audiences might be offended by a fully loaded actress. That the veracity of this ridiculous maneuver could even be considered possible, however, is indicative of the influence of a particular brand of thought about sexuality that is, in reality, more perverse than the views of sex it asserts to combat. Purveyors of this dubious chastity love to assert the idea that there is a “normal” sexuality—one man, one woman, and two gold bands that bind them—with any other sexual expression deemed “abnormal” or “unnatural.” Homosexuality? Unnatural. Bisexuality? Unnatural. Premarital sex? Oral sex? Anal sex? All unnatural. Deviations from the norm. Their practitioners? Deviants. A wholesale rejection of the spectrum of (legal and consenting) sexuality recognized by sex experts, the psychological community, and most people.

And yet, how “natural” or “normal” is it to pretend Superman doesn’t have a penis? (Isn’t having one what makes him Superman, as opposed to Super Gender-Indeterminate Individual?) How about pretending Adam didn’t have one? From Charles Pierce’s November Esquire piece, “Greetings From Idiot America,” his description of the Creation Museum in Hebron, Kentucky:

Today, for example, one young artist is working on a scale model of the moment when Adam names all the creatures. Adam is in the delicate process of naming the saber-toothed tiger while, behind him, already named, a woolly mammoth seems to be on the verge of taking a nap. Elsewhere in the museum, another Adam figure is full-size, if unpainted, and waiting to be installed. This Adam is reclining peacefully; eventually, if the plans stay true, he will be placed in a pool under a waterfall. As the figure depicts a prelapsarian Adam, he is completely naked. He also has no penis. This would seem to be a departure from Scripture inconsistent with the biblical literalism of the rest of the museum. … After all, Genesis 2:25 clearly says that at this point in their lives, "And the man and his wife were both naked, and they were not ashamed." If Adam courageously sat there unencumbered while he was naming saber-toothed tigers, then why, six thousand years later, should he be depicted as a eunuch in some family-values Eden?
Good question.

The insistence on pretending that certain parts of the human body don’t exist, that they’re somehow intrinsically dirty, has its genesis (no pun intended) in the same thinking which has determined abstinence-only sex education is better for young people than a proper sex education course, which includes information on the mechanics of sex, its possible consequences (including both pregnancy and STDs), and how to avoid them, i.e. safe sex and the myriad of birth control and prophylactic options available. Abstinence-only sex programs don’t work and are generally rife with errors that serve an anti-choice and anti-equality political agenda, editing out the truth about sex and sexuality like so much Supermanhood.

In spite of the claims to the contrary, detecting the vague outline of a penis in a red spandex codpiece, or seeing breasts moving along with the rest of a woman’s body, or even having access to condoms, doesn’t suddenly create a desire to have sex where none before existed. Humans are sexual creatures by nature. It’s pretending otherwise that’s unnatural. It’s the dogged assertion that only one specific sexuality is normal that is unnatural. Nature, as it happens, loves deviation.

And I’ll wager Superman is fairly fond of his package. I say we let him keep it—and while we’re at it, we could all keep a modicum of perspective on human sexuality, too.

(Crossposted at Political Animal.)

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