January 24, 2007

"So much for the right to marry; so much for sexual autonomy; so much for consenting adults deciding whom to love...."

Eugene Volokh has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about how bizarrely hard it is to get a date with a dental hygienist in the state of Washington.


R2K said...

Lol I am all for more sexual autonomy. That means sex with robots right?

Pogo said...

Expect more of this kind of control from the nanny-statists as they extend their reach into your lives.

I was always puzzled why the left was so worried about the right's interest in their bedrooms (a valid concern), yet ignore the pernicious exerting of control over personal decisions kudzuing daily into our federal, state, and local regulations.

Orwell wrote 1984 not about the Soviets, but about the West. And this is how he thought it'd occur: via the loss of liberty, bit by bit. Once national health care is installed, the State will completely own us. Through the IRS, they know all our finances. Through your doctor, they will know everything else. Whatever is not compulsory will be forbidden, and they will know everything.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

My grandfather practiced law for 66 years (1909 to 1975 !), 28 of 'em as a judge. He instilled in me two truisims that seem to bear on the situation described in Volokh's commentary.

"The problem with bad laws is that they soon engender disrespect for the law."

"When you abandon your absolute standard of right and wrong you lose the entire basis for justice ... and society devolves to a mere struggle for power."

Either the state has the right to regulate relationships, or it does not. If it has the power to control who can hit on a dental hygienist, it has the power to ban homosexual behavior, non obstante SCOTUS and Lawrence. Or it does not, in either case.

The problem has clearly become that absent widely accepted overarching principles from which decisions flow logically, we have descended to an ad hoc approach based on policy, not principle.

In short, the very power struggle my grandfather described and, in 1968, predicted. And, yes, I increasingly disrespect the law ... but most particularly the dithering, narrow minds who make that law.

Anonymous said...

"Whatever is not compulsory will be forbidden, and they will know everything."

How far we've come from the Constitution that said unless the power was specifically given to the feds it was reserved to the people. Wow, the Constitution must do its breathing while doing yoga because that's officially upside down.

Remember Hillycare made it a crime to pay a doctor. I think we are a few years away from back alley medical care because waiting on the list will get you killed. What will the Canadians do when we are no longer there as a safety valve for their screwed socialist system?

Jonah Goldberg has a column today about how much he hates "The Children' as a rhetorical device and notes the disastrous outcome of meddling in vaccinations to protect "The Children." Now the industry is dead and government wants to step in and treat all prescription drugs similarly. Lovely.

I guess Democrats have decided that we've reached the ultimate in medical care and thus it doesn't matter if we no longer advance.

gj said...

My former roommate married his dentist. Eight years and two kids later, they are still going strong.

I don't know whether she continued to be his dentist after they got married. Somehow I didn't want to know.

AllenS said...

What's next, a law preventing the President from having sex with an intern?

Dave said...

Well you and your ilk train the lawyers who come up with this shit.

Ricardo said...

I will leave it to the experts to debate the legal aspects of this whole thing, but from a writer's viewpoint this is just a delightful article. I love it when someone comes up with an original idea for an article, and then follows through with quality writing.

Anonymous said...

Boy, when I went to the dentist this morning, I didn't realize there were so many rules about what my hygienist could and could not do.

Of course, we don't live in Washington, we're both female and we're both happily married.

But, oh the restrictions!

HaloJonesFan said...

Ricardo: Well, it's technically an op-ed rather than an article. Think of it as a blog post...

As for the subject: This is the result of attempting to legislate morality. It's "command-media" thinking; you can't just depend on social conventions or indoctrinated standards of behavior to discourage appropriate action; no, you have to have documentation describing everything. And anyone who's dealt with ISO knows that it's impossible for documentation to describe everything...and it usually winds up describing nothing.

The Drill SGT said...

I ran afoul of this type of professional conduct law as a single officer.

I had to go to the emergency room for a sprained ankle and had an interaction with a female civilian contract Doc there. She was hardly my doctor, never saw me naked, just palpated my ankle and gave me an ace bandage but we had met in a medical setting. I subsequently asked her out. She accepted the dinner, but begged off additional offers claiming the code of conduct issue.

I subsequently fell in with a bad crowd and married an Army Lawyer.

Anonymous said...


Orwell wrote 1984 not about the Soviets, but about the West. And this is how he thought it'd occur: via the loss of liberty, bit by bit. Once national health care is installed, the State will completely own us. Through the IRS, they know all our finances. Through your doctor, they will know everything else.

Not true. You left out all the behavioral information Google collects. :)

Anonymous said...

No wonder Narcissus never trained as a dental hygienist.

All in all though it's a great way of managing the unwanted romantic advance at work:

"Sure Henry, I'd love to dip you in chocolate and feed you to the lesbians. But sadly there are 'code of conduct issues' here, so it has to be a no show."

C.J.Colucci said...

In junior high, I fell for a stunning, precociously developed (she had breasts) classmate who wanted to become a dental hygenist. I suppose it was lucky I didn't live in Washington. Not that it would have mattered, as things turned out.

hdhouse said...

R2K said...
Lol I am all for more sexual autonomy. That means sex with robots right?"

Stiff as Anne Coulter is...robot may be extreme although I'd love to get my hands in her mouth...then again ewwwweeee

Anonymous said...

On reflection this is getting seriously scary:

My sister-in-law is a consultant radiologist who was able to use her diagnostic skills to suggest, rightly, that I needed to see an oncologist about my suspicious lump.

As she'd also trained the requisite specialist she was able to phone him at home one evening and arrange a consultation for nine o'clock the next morning. (Handy that.)

So does this regulation mean that I must stop having sex with my wife and/or that I must start having sex with my sister-in-law?

(If it helps the decision making process - as far as I am aware neither my wife nor my sister-in-law has ever been or ever dated a dental hygienist.)

"Arrived Venice. Stop. Streets full of water. Stop. Please advise. Stop."

Anonymous said...

There's something the matter with Washington State. This is the same place where they had the dorky response to the Christmas tree, remember.

They had the country's only general strike in 1917.

It's a Soviet State.

Even the comedians apologise before they tell jokes there, and say, I know I know, you might be offended.

It's an awful place. But it's physically gorgeous.

It's like a big dumb communist girl.

downtownlad said...

How amusing, that people like publications like the Wall Street Journal, that are appalled when the Supreme Court finds a right to sexual privacy, fighting vociferously to enforce laws to STOP sexual privacy - well suddenly when it applies to them, they want the courts to protect them. The Wall Street Journal has been actively campaigning for the repeal of the Lawrence V. Texas for the last five years. The same Wall Street Journal whose publish, Daniel Henninger has said that all gay people are pedophiles.

And is this the same Eugene Volokh who said "I'm not sure the Constitution protects such a right [to sexual privacy]" who is suddenly up in arms when it applies to straight people???

What bullshit.

Can you say hypocrite Mr. Volokh????

And this is a minor inconvenience for straight people. If you can't date your dental hygenist, then go find another dental hygenist to date. It's not that hard. Telling gay people that they can NEVER have sex - with any possible person that they can ever be attracted to - is a much tougher constraint.

Straight people suck. I enjoy when they have to suffer the same inconviences I deal with on a daily basis. Screw them.

jaed said...

Thank you for sharing.

As for the law in question, wouldn't it simplify matters greatly if we simply required all medical personnel to take a vow of perpetual celibacy as a condition of being granted a license to practice? It would remove all these difficult etiquette problems at a single stroke.