Saturday, February 15, 2014

Should DOH give condoms to Romeos and Juliets this Valentine's Day?

A. Stupid Cupid

The standard symbol for St. Valentine's day is a heart skewered by Cupid's arrow.  Who is Cupid?
Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche
In classical mythology, Cupid (Latin Cupido, meaning "desire") is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus, and is known in Latin also as Amor ("Love"). His Greek counterpart is Eros. (Wikipedia)
Cupid is portrayed as a youth, because it is during the youth (teens) that men and women learned about the joys and pains of falling in love.  When a man or woman is in love, their hearts contracts in pain or gushes forth with pleasure.  And ancient Romans explains this as a result of a god's intervention: Cupid.  Cupid has two kinds of arrows:
Cupid carries two kinds of arrows, one with a sharp golden point, and the other with a blunt tip of lead. A person wounded by the golden arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire, but the one struck by the lead feels aversion and desires only to flee. (Wikipedia)
It is difficult to control the desires and aversions of young men and women, so in bygone ages, it is customary for the parents to arrange the marriages of their sons and daughters, because the hearts of the young are fickle, and the sharing of wealth and property that results from the marriage cannot be based on fickle feelings.

B. DOH won't distribute condoms this time

Modern society may laugh at arranged marriages among the young, but what does it promote in its stead?  If we ask the Department of Health last year, their brilliant idea is to distribute free condoms.  But this year, the CBCP requested the DOH not to distribute condoms again, and DOH relented.  Nevertheless, Sec. Ona said he supports both inhibition and condom use to avoid the spread of infection:
Condom Nation: The U.S. Government's Sex Education Campaign from World War I to the Internet
Condom Nation: The U.S. Government's Sex Education Campaign from World War I to the Internet
Health Secretary Enrique Ona on Monday said the DOH will not be distributing free condoms on Tuesday couples nationwide mark Valentine’s Day with dinner dates, lavish gifts and other gestures of affection. Ona also reminded lovers to practice responsible sex and to not engage in intimate activities if not married. “My advice for this day is that if you are not married, don’t engage in sex,” said Ona in an interview with reporters on Monday on the sidelines of a World Health Organization meeting in Manila. “Responsible sex means you engage in sexual practices that are acceptable to you and your religious beliefs,” he added. But still the use of condoms and other artificial contraceptives, which the Catholic Church rejects, was still upon the discretion among couples, said Ona. “If they want to use it, then they should buy it themselves,” he added.
I think prevention of infections is not the purpose of condoms: they only try to prevent pregnancy because the holes in condoms are smaller than the sperms, but viruses are much bigger than these holes.  That is, to viruses, condoms are hole-y:
In 1993 the University of Texas analyzed the results of 11 different studies that had tracked the effectiveness of condoms to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus. The average condom failure rate in the 11 studies for preventing transmission of the AIDS virus was 31%. One reason condoms fail in preventing the transfer of AIDS is that latex condoms have tiny intrinsic holes called "voids." Sperm is larger than the holes, but the AIDS virus is 50 times smaller than these tiny holes which makes it easy for the virus to pass through [Source: Dr. C. M. Roland, editor of Rubber Chemistry and Technology]. To give you an idea of how easy it would be for the virus to pass through these holes, just imagine a ping pong ball going through a basketball hoop.  (Pro-Life America)
 DOH gave in.  Since they can't fight Cupid's arrows among the youth, then DOH advocates the use of condoms so that the youth stay safe--not just from diseases, but also from pregnancy, as if pregnancy is a disease.

C. Courtship of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)
Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)

  The love among the youth is associated with Romeo and Juliet.  Romeo is a rash youth.  Stricken by Cupid's arrow, he climbed the walls to see Juliet in her room at night.  When she asked him how he found her, Romeo replied:
By love, who first did prompt me to inquire; He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes. (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 80-81)
But Juliet is more sober. Even though she loves Romeo, she would not just give her whole self to Romeo, because she understands the fickleness of erotic love. She said to him:
Swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable....Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, 117 I have no joy of this contract tonight: 118 It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden; 119 Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be 120 Ere one can say "It lightens." Sweet, good night! (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 116-120
And Juliet proposed that they get married first:
Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed. 143 If that thy bent of love be honourable, 144 Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow, 145 By one that I'll procure to come to thee, 146 Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite; 147 And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay 148 And follow thee my lord throughout the world. (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 116-120)
May these words by Juliet be repeated by all the young girls throughout the world stricken with Cupid's arrows.  Here's a modern translation: no sex before marriage.  As Beyonce Knowles said in her song, All the Single Ladies:
Don't treat me to the things of the world I'm not that kind of girl Your love is what I prefer, what I deserve Here's a man that makes me, then takes me And delivers me to a destiny, to infinity and beyond Pull me into your arms, say I'm the one you own If you don't, you'll be alone, and like a ghost, I'll be gone... If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.