Copyright 2001, Michael Ra Bouchard, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Celebrating Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness
July 4, 2001
Today, on this 225th anniversary of the founding of our great country, let us be sure to take a moment and give thanks to the Founding Fathers for their courage and wisdom in declaring our nation independent. Their proclamation came at great personal cost for many of them, and for some, even death. Blessedly, this “Noble Experiment” has indeed endured the test of time, and as imperfect as democracy may be, it remains inarguably the best governing system as yet devised.
Let us remember today to honor and extend gratitude to all our fellow country men and women who’ve contributed to the creation of this magnificent country since its founding. Let us especially remember and thank the brave military men and women of our armed forces who have served and protected our country seamlessly for over two centuries. Whenever you meet a person in uniform make an effort to acknowledge and thank them for their service and sacrifice. And let us salute and pay respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the values, morals, and principles for which our nation stands. Take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.
Our predecessors established and built this mighty nation with their vision, sacrifices, hard work, defense of and dedication to the ideals, values and way of life that we as Americans have held dear since its inception. Each generation has continued to make the American Dream possible for millions more, creating opportunity and hope for a better life for themselves and their families, through a dedicated commitment to hard work, self determination, and democratic principles.
Perhaps chief amongst these priceless principles is freedom of speech—which includes the right to freedom of sexual speech—a right which only just recently was reaffirmed through the Supreme Court’s refusal to regulate sexual content over the Internet. Even still, this important right must never be taken for granted. On the contrary, it and all our basic rights must be vigilantly safeguarded if we are to continue to have freedom of thought, expression, and self-determination, sexual or otherwise.
As insidious as external sexual repression is, with equally determined vigor we must also confront internal sexual oppression which strikes stealthily from within. It’s not always easy to recognize and identify as such, since it attacks through internalized sexual self-judgment, self-repression, guilt, and self-punishment. These are just a few of the “Trojan horse programs” running in many of us that need to be quarantined and deleted whenever they’re found. To dump these sexual self-tyrannies and reboot our sexuality demands of us to first recognize, confront, and then ruthlessly rout them out.
Towards such worthy ends as these and more, we present the “Sexual Bill of Rights” below, which includes the 10 Basic Sexual Rights as stated by the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, California, and several more of our own as now follows. We do not moralize, criticize or judge.
However—sexual abuse, constraint, coercion, exploitation, violence, fraud, and all nonconsensual actions imposed upon others are incompatible with our values and are therefore always unacceptable.
1. The freedom of any sexual thought, fantasy or desire.
2. The right to sexual entertainment, freely available in the market place, including sexually explicit materials dealing with the full range of sexual behavior.
3. The right not to be exposed to sexual material or behavior.
4. The right to sexual self-determination.
5. The right to seek out and engage in consensual sexual activity.
6. The right to engage in sexual acts or activities of any kind whatsoever, providing they do not involve nonconsensual acts, violence, constraint, coercion or fraud.
7. The right to be free of persecution, condemnation, discrimination, or societal intervention in private sexual behavior.
8. The recognition by society that every person, partnered or unpartnered, has the right to the pursuit of a satisfying consensual socio-sexual life free from political, legal or religious interference and that there need to be mechanisms in society where the opportunities of socio-sexual activities are available to the following: disabled persons; chronically ill persons; those incarcerated in prisons, hospitals or institutions; those disadvantaged because of age, lack of physical attractiveness, or lack of social skills; the poor and the lonely.
9. The basic right of all persons who are sexually dysfunctional to have available nonjudgmental sexual health care.
10. The right to sexual pleasure.
11. The right to control conception.
12. The right to comprehensive sexuality education.
13. The right to access accurate and informed sexual information.
"Sexual rights are human rights"
I encourage you to respect and uphold these Basic Sexual Rights in how you personally live your life, and urge that you not moralize, criticize or judge yourself or others. It’s vitally important you remember that sexual abuse, violence, and non-consensual actions are always incompatible with the values of sexual self-determination, and therefore are unacceptable under any and every circumstance.
Beginning today and henceforth, choose to affirm your sexual independence and freedom of speech by continuing to exercise your right to access and share sexuality-affirming, easily procurable, informed and accurate sex information with consenting others. Do so online and in your community, and wherever else it can make a difference. You must understand—only choice that is individually made from informed and accurate information, and which respects our personal beliefs and value system, is ever truly choice derived through the expression of free will.
This 4th of July holiday, celebrate your freedom by responsibly asserting your sexual independence, beginning by making a personal commitment to do whatever it takes to break free from the ties and “tyrannies of the shoulds” that continue to hold you bound. Once you do you’ll ignite a cavalcade of fireworks in honor of your personal sexual emancipation and happiness. The Founding Fathers were unequivocally emphatic about the self-evident truths they boldly proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, including that the citizens of our nation...
“…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Take notice that, in their great wisdom, the Founding Fathers included the right to the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence—note that they didn’t include the right to happiness itself—just its pursuit. For you see, they knew full well the thing is we each have to catch up with it ourselves!
Godspeed to you in your pursuit, and God bless America,
Aloha and A Hui Hou!