Don’t Give Us Too Much Credit


I have seen a lot of posts, not just the ones I mentioned yesterday, blaming the death of Christian Adamek on feminism. Why? Well, because the mistaken claims that he would have been charged with a sex crime were the result of “Chris was born with two strikes against him: (1) He was a boy, and (2) his battery was too big for his body. Too much energy, too much masculinity, the perfect feminist scapegoat”. OMFG, people. This is Alabama.

If you think that feminism is a prevalent thing here in this state, then you are sadly mistaken. If you think that we have any sort of liberalized views on sexuality or rape or anything, then you are again sadly mistaken. Don’t believe me on any of this? Let me introduce you to Section 13A-12-200.2, aka the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1998, which oddly enough was started by the State Senator for Madison County, where Christian was from.

Section 13A-12-200.2 – Distribution, possession with intent to distribute, production, etc., of obscene material prohibited; penalties; distribution of fines.

(a)(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value. Material not otherwise obscene may be obscene under this section if the distribution of the material, the offer to do so, or the possession with the intent to do so is a commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of prurient appeal. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than one year. A second or subsequent violation of this subdivision is a Class C felony if the second or subsequent violation occurs after a conviction has been obtained for a previous violation. Upon a second violation, a corporation or business entity shall be fined not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) nor more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person, being a wholesaler, to knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute, for the purpose of resale or commercial distribution at retail, any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value. Material not otherwise obscene may be obscene under this section if the distribution of the material, the offer to do so, or the possession with the intent to do so is a commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of their prurient appeal. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) and may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than one year. A second or subsequent violation of this subdivision is a Class C felony if the second or subsequent violation occurs after a conviction has been obtained for a previous violation. Upon a second violation, a corporation or business entity shall be fined not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) nor more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly produce, or offer or agree to produce, any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value. Material not otherwise obscene may be obscene under this section if the distribution of the material, the offer to do so, or the possession with the intent to do so is a commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of prurient appeal. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

(4) If a person is held under this section in the county jail, one-half of any fines collected and due to be deposited to the State General Fund for violations of this section shall be paid by the Comptroller to the general fund of the county where the person is held for the operation of the county jail.

(Acts 1989, No. 89-402, p. 791, §4; Act 98-467, p. 893, §6.)

This law is backed by Conservative Christians. It has been challenged by the ACLU and the owner of an “adult novelty” store called Pleasures. Adult clothing ends up being marketed as costumes. And you pretty much have to have a prescription in order to buy a toy legally in this tate. And guess what happens in strip clubs? Strippers have to keep their clothing on until they strip, and then they can only take them off if they have liquid latex covering their nipples.

If feminists really had the upper=hand in state politics here, it would probably be legal for the citizens in this state to have vibrators. The state also might not try to pass draconian abortion laws that force trans-vaginal ultrasounds. (The lawmaker who was behind that was from North Alabama, too.)

Feminism wouldn’t be to blame for this kid’s death anyway. I’ve never talked to a feminist who thought that a person who streaked at an athletic event needed to be charged with a sex crime. The only time I’ve heard indecent exposure referred to as a sex crime is when an adult man used to expose himself to small children as they would walk home from school. As far as I know, he did get charged with a sex crime.

And feminism isn’t about oppressing men. I know a lot of people like to say that it is, but it really isn’t. Feminism is about equality. And I know there are people who say, “If it were really about equality, we would call it humanism.” Humanism is already a thing. It’s not a political movement. It’s philosophical movement from the renaissance that continues to this day. Some humanists are politically and socially active, others aren’t. Feminism, on the other hand, is a social and political movement. And feminism is called feminism because it is devoted to expanding the rights of women so that they are equal to those of men. It is the same as LGBTQ advocates who are advocating for equality between the LGBTQ community and the heterosexual community. Feminism also helps to make sure that men are not forced into gender roles that they don’t feel fit them as an individual. Gender roles that we’re raised to believe don’t just hurt women. If a guys likes something that is considered to be a “girly” thing, he gets shamed. Feminism is against that. Feminism is a belief that we are all equal.

Are there people who claim to be feminists who male bash? Sure. There are also Christians who believe in oppressing non-Christians, whites who believe in oppressing blacks, etc. There are always bad apples within a group, but that doesn’t mean that we should always classify the group as being bad or wrong or anything like that.

Now, of course, with his death, there are things we should be focusing on.

  1. Like his father said, there needs to be a focus on mental illness. There are not enough resources for the mentally ill, especially in this area. The ones that do exist are often run by people who are over-worked, under-paid, and under-funded. That needs to change.
  2. His father also admitted that Christian had a history of depression. Maybe the streaking story being aired on the news inspired his suicide, but maybe it didn’t. Maybe he was just so depressed and wasn’t receiving the treatment he needed and it eventually led to his death. That does happen to a lot of people who go untreated.
  3. We should hold the school’s principal responsible for discussing the story with the media. All students have a right to privacy, even after such a public act. I’ve seen kids who committed actual crimes get less coverage than this case got.
  4. We should also hold the station responsible for running the story. What they did was sloppy. And, as an ardent news fan and a lifetime watcher of that particular station, I can honestly say that their stories have seemed more and more biased over the last few years. It seems like there are more stories on religion and that feature the most extreme right-wing politicians in the area than there have ever been. Admittedly, it’s always been difficult to get a left-wing perspective or non-Judeo Christian religion talked about on there. (I once had to send a feedback form in to ask them to clarify that a murderer who had books on Wicca wasn’t actually adhering to the religion’s belief system when he killed someone.) Their Facebook page seems to exist mainly to rile people against their own neighbors…and, if that is the true purpose of it, then it is definitely succeeding.

Place the blame where it belongs. But, for the love of everything good in this world, don’t blame people, groups, organizations, or movements who aren’t actually responsible. That helps no one. And definitely, don’t try to hold my state up as examples of liberals run amok. As a liberal, I can promise you that that is never the case here. You would have a better chance finding someone to openly admit to belonging to a group like the Klan than you would finding someone to openly admit to supporting any left-wing ideas. Besides, we already get blamed for everything that happens in this state, even though we have  exactly none of the power.


About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.