Alabama -- fwd article

MScoleman at MScoleman at
Tue Feb 23 19:43:58 PST 1999

A friend of mine sent me this. The really frightening thing about this is that the law is being sponsored by those who want government out of people's lives. I keep remembering that the National Socialists, er Nazis sent homosexuals to the concentration camps. IMHO, it's not a real big step from banning sex toys to making different forms of sexual activity illegal. Control of women's sexual activities and reproduction is clearly a way to force women into relationships they don't care for and jobs they don't really want.

o.k., so the subject BEGS for one bad joke -- I hear they are making hand transplants illegal too, they're afraid the new member will stimulate the genitalia. maggie coleman mscoleman at

>>> from


>>> Yes, if you live in Alabama, buying a vibrator is now illegal.

>>> A section of the obscenity statute of Alabama (Ala. Code. 

>>> 13A-12-200.1) now "makes it unlawful to produce, distribute or otherwise

>>> sell sexual devices that are marketed primarily for the stimulation of

>>> human genital organs." Alabama puts forth that these products are

>>> obscene, and also states that there is "no fundamental right to purchase

>>> a product to use in pursuit of having an orgasm." Violation of the law

>>> is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. Because this addition

>>> intrudes on lawful sexual practices of those purchasing or owning such

>>> devices, thus going against the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and

>>> Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, four Alabamian

>>> women and the ACLU are challenging this addition.


>>> To make the tenuous grounds of the statute most clear, according to the

>>> code of the state of Alabama, obscenity is defined as something which:


>>> 1. Applying contemporary local community standards, on the whole,

>>> appeals to the prurient interest; and

>>> 2. Is patently offensive; and

>>> 3. On the whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or

>>> scientific value.

>>> The "prurient interest," however, does not find items such as vibrators

>>> and other sexual items -- intended not only for orgasm, but for overall

>>> sexual and physical health -- as obscene. The boys in charge at the

>>> moment do. However, they may be in charge, but they do not the prurient

>>> interest make. Insofar as having "scientific or other value", consider

>>> the following:


>>> - It is and has been shown, in many medical and sociological studies,

>>> that sexual health and fulfillment has a large effect on mental and

>>> emotional health.

>>> - To many sufferers of HIV and STD's, especially female ones, some sex

>>> toys are a godsend which protect both personal and public health. They

>>> often are used with and without partners to avoid direct genital

>>> contact.

>>> - Many sex therapists advise both singles and couples to utilize sexual

>>> items such as vibrators, anal stimulators and dildos to enhance their

>>> partnerships and sexual health, and enhance orgasm for both parties.

>>> As far as the fundamental right to purchase something to have an orgasm,

>>> one has to wonder how then, Viagra is legal in that state. Why are

>>> condoms (which wouldn't be as necessary if it weren't for orgasms), or a

>>> variety of 7-11 publications available, lawful? Clearly, the statement

>>> from the state of Alabama wasn't made as clear as it could have been --

>>> for what they are clearly saying is that, in fact, women do not have the

>>> fundamental right to purchase anything for the purpose of orgasm. They

>>> can't actually say that because that sexist statement would keep it from

>>> becoming law. The intention, however, did not stand in their way.


>>> This is an attack on several groups, namely on women, bisexuals and

>>> homosexuals, non-fundamentalists and distributors and manufacturers of

>>> sexual aides who are outside -- though many are condoned and supported

>>> by -- the mainstream medical community. The state of Alabama is

>>> "morally" and emotionally threatened by sexuality, and moreover, by a

>>> sexuality which may exist independently from heterosexual men, or

>>> marriage. Take a moment to think about who uses such items as vibrators

>>> and dildos most. Here's a hint: it isn't straight men.


>>> What if I suggested that panty hose, high heels, and breast implants

>>> should be unlawful to sell or distribute, because they are marketed

>>> primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs? I know that

>>> unless I've had a mastectomy or have some serious self-image issues,

>>> implants aren't really benefitting me, as a woman, at all. They endanger

>>> my health, both physical and emotional, and set me back from developing

>>> a positive body image. Don't even get me started on panty hose. I can

>>> point to yeast infection studies to prove they're harmful to my health,

>>> and that's but the tip of that iceberg. Who are these items largely for,

>>> and what are they for? Think about it for less than a half-second.

>>> You'll get it. The main difference between these three items and a

>>> vibrator is that they've been marketed with enormous savvy. All in all,

>>> high heels are not advertised in storefront windows as "%#@*-Me Pumps."

>>> Savvy marketing, but we still know that's what they're for.


>>> Bear in mind, vibrators long were called "massagers," and some still

>>> are, but we always knew better. Is it less obscene to call something by

>>> an ambiguous name, or to mask its purpose? Hard to say. However, calling

>>> bigotry "racial pride" never made it anything else. Can't we better deal

>>> with things honestly, in a straightforward nature, without masking

>>> purpose or intention? Not if you work for the state of Alabama,

>>> apparently.


>>> This law isn't about a 7-year-old being able to purchase a vibrator, or

>>> seeing one, and it isn't about sexual items being physically harmful,

>>> either by use or sale. It isn't about items which would break down the

>>> moral fiber of Christian values. What it is about is a machismo fear on

>>> the part of the male-dominated Alabama government that, armed with a

>>> vibrator, a woman will stand by her Duracell before she stands by her

>>> man. It is about the government there wishing to eradicate all sexually

>>> oriented businesses from their very fundamentalist state, and it is

>>> about keeping the Big Man in charge: physically, sexually and "morally."


>>> As many couples in sex therapy (and those who never needed it) will tell

>>> you, sex toys do not disrupt the almighty "sanctity of marriage." They

>>> in fact often do the opposite -- they help to preserve it.


>>> Just as male sexual function exists independently of female sexual

>>> function, it goes the other way as well. While our sexualities can be

>>> linked, and operate cooperatively when we partner in male-female

>>> relationships, we are sexual without a penis -- or a vibrator for that

>>> matter -- in walking distance. You can take away toys, and you could

>>> even keep a woman from masturbating, having sexual partners (male or

>>> female), or having an orgasm, but that doesn't net you an asexual woman.

>>> Removing what a woman desires -- sexually or otherwise -- does not make

>>> her quiet or more cooperative, or more apt to be chaste. It makes her

>>> emotionally and physically imbalanced and upset.


>>> All of this should sound familiar to the Big Boys in Charge. These are

>>> the same arguments they used to push and legalize Viagra, which can now

>>> be legally distributed. State Senator Tom Butler, who sponsored the

>>> statute, should know that. He's listed on his Senate page, when not

>>> wasting tax dollars with laws like this one, as being a pharmacist.


>>> In the meantime, I'd suggest the following for the women of Alabama:

>>> tell your grocer the only reason you ever REALLY buy a cucumber. Vote to

>>> have them outlawed. Go to the Farm and Fleet (which most BDSM

>>> enthusiasts know is a sex shop masquerading as otherwise) and purchase

>>> your ropes and chains and let them know how very many times they bring

>>> you to orgasm. Above all else, tell the hospital to cease brain

>>> transplants immediately and lobby strongly to have them declared

>>> unlawful, as we all know the greatest device used to further orgasm and

>>> stimulation is not made of rubber, nor does it come with attachments,

>>> though it can be patently obscene. It's the human brain.


>>> Just make sure they donate one to the senator before they get that law

>>> on the books.


>>> Pertinent Links and Addresses:

>>> Alabama State Senate

>>> Statehouse Suite 733

>>> 11 S. Union St.

>>> Montgomery AL 36130

>>> (334) 242-7898


>>> (should we send him an anal plug?:)


>>> Section 13 of the Code of Alabama (without the new statute):



>>> The motion filed by the ACLU:


>>> ***

>>> Heather Corinna is the Editrix in Chief of Scarlet Letters, and an

>>> insomniac writer, musician, artist, exotic model and sex activist in the

>>> United States (though not in Alabama, thank the gods).


>>> ______________________________________________________

>>> Get Your Private, Free Email at




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Belinda Filippelli

Research and Fact Checking

POZ Magazine

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Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 13:17:35 -0500

To: Alison Zack <az_flscpa at>,

Sarah Madigan Kell <falcorfrog at>,

Karen Pantelides <kpantelides at>,

My Favorite Girl <andrealansing at>,

Louise Yelin <LYelin305 at>, Ronnilyn Pustil <RonniLynP at>,

Tricky Dick Tillman <tetsuo9 at>,

Kim Christensen <kchrist52 at>

From: Belinda Filippelli <BelindaF at>

Subject: assault with a deadly weapon


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