Getting attention today: The court case in which Republican now-presidential candidate Ted Cruz, then the Texas solicitor general, ferociously defended the state's law barring the sale of dildos.
The brief insisted that Texas in order to protect "public morals" had "police-power interests" in "discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors." There was a "government" interest, it maintained, in "discouraging...autonomous sex." The brief compared the use of sex toys with "hiring a willing prostitute or engaging in consensual bigamy," and it equated advertising these products with the commercial promotion of prostitution. In perhaps the most noticeable line of the brief, Cruz's office declared, "There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship."
Cruz lost, with a federal appeals court opining that the state had no legal business telling people what they could and couldn't do in their own bedrooms. (And no, Cruz's stance that using a dildo was like hiring a prostitute did not fly, though it is a damn fascinating opinion that hopefully Ted Cruz will elaborate on at some future point in the presidential race.)
This is an interesting enough little glimpse into how a Ted Cruz administration might play out, but in the movie version of the case I'm writing in my own head Ted has a tragic backstory that makes his attack on dildos far more personal and compelling. Ted Cruz was raised by dildos, in my version. As a toddler Ted Cruz survived a Texas plane crash, but was left orphaned and alone in Texas Hill Country until he was taken in, starving and bedraggled, by a pack of wild dildos. He soon came to believe he was one of them, and romped happily over the Texas hills with the other dildos until his teenage years, when he was discovered by hunters and, against his own will, torn from his dildo family and slowly reintroduced to human society. All of this leading up to the tragic courtroom scene with a grown-up, suit-wearing Ted railing against dildos and calling on the state to ban them. Behind him as he gives his arguments, his dildo mother and father weep: Why, son, why?
Even now, when he is alone at night, Ted Cruz can still hear their quiet sobs. Exhausted from long days campaigning for the presidency, he looks out the window of his latest hotel room, past the anonymous city lights and into the darkness beyond. He can still hear the call of the Texas hills, and thinks back to those carefree young days leaping through the tall grass with all the other dildos. Why, indeed.