Being from the Midwest, I haven't been able to escape a certain minimal knowledge of practical agriculture. Being male, one aspect of this has always carried a morbid fascination - castration.
Yeah, I know. Critters bound for the table will be better tasting and more tender if they're cut first. Those undesirable for future breeding can be taken out of the gene pool. And work animals are easier to control if they aren't constantly thinking about getting laid.
And if you're a boy with a particularly good singing voice, it can be preserved forever through castration. That's not hypothetical - although it was frowned on and commonly blamed on wild boars or disease, any number of poor boys with good voices used to be castrated. It was a good career path, lifting them out of poverty. Read more about them here.
I'm starting to think that castration ought to be a prerequisite for certain other career paths too. For instance, politics. If, say, you are living off heiresses and still can't keep your hands off the help or other women, perhaps you should be forced to choose between castration or quitting politics.
And if we judge by their views on feminism and foreign policy, I'm surprised that the Democrats haven't proposed this themselves.
Of course I'm not serious. But I'm tired of otherwise intelligent and responsible people acting as if the sex lives of politicians cannot possibly matter, with no more apparent justification than the hope that it spites Jerry Falwell.
And now I'll turn it over to Lileks.