Protect against Title IX and submit a comment by September 12, 2022.

The US Department of Education released their proposed changes to Title IX regulations that would dramatically change the future for women and girls in federally funded activities and programs. There are many negative impacts that will harm girls, women, and families.

A government portal has been set up for you to make a comment submission.  It is very straight-forward and easy to do.  In addition, this governmental body is required to read every submission, large and small – before they can finalize the new “Rule.”  So rest assured, your input will be read and considered.


November 29, 2022

by Alexis Tarkalson

Last week, Washington Post published an article titled, “’Downstate’ is a play about pedophiles. It’s also brilliant.” The article, written by Peter Marks, does not go on to offer a glowing review of the play’s condemnation of pedophilia or pedophiles alike. No, Marks only offers admiration and positive accolades for the plays unheard of speculation, “that the punishments inflicted on some pedophiles are so harsh and unrelenting as to be inhumane”. 

The timing of this article is in sour conjunction with the Balenciaga scandal, which has also blown up in the last week. Both incidences are unfortunate yet necessary displays of what happens when a culture indulges in the sexualization of children. Neither the article/play nor the ad campaigns featured by Balenciaga are subtleties hinting at darker undertones but are trumpets loudly announcing their intentions with a level of boldness shocking to many. 

‘Downstate’ and its intentions 

The play was written by Bruce Norris in March of 2019, and recently came to life at the Playwrights Horizons in New York City November 15. Its storyline goes something like this: 

Four male convicted sex offenders are sharing a group home in downstate Illinois when one of the victims of the men shows up at their doorstep to demand an apology from his childhood nightmare. Marks describes these men’s lives as, “four men of diverse age and backgrounds eke out marginal existences in menial jobs and managed routines. The house is like an island whose shores are washed with waves of contempt.” 

Despite his attempt to ‘eke’ out some sympathy for these men through repeated euphemisms, neither Norris nor Marks can shrink the magnitude of what the men have done. One had ‘sexual relations’ with a 14-year-old boy while he was in his thirties, another slept with a teenage girl, the third sexually abused his daughter, and the fourth molested his twelve-year-old student. 

As for the victim that appears and sets the ball rolling in the play, Marks writes, “The playwright cannot hide his scorn for Andy, who has made a successful life for himself as a Chicago Finance guy and now seems intent on some kind of purging reunion with the man who molested him as a child on a piano bench”. These scathing words seem to suggest that because Andy, the victim, has made a life for himself despite his traumatic experience, he can no longer claim victimhood. It is no longer his title to hold and he is now deemed “both entitled to sympathy and unsympathetically entitled”.

Balenciaga and it’s twisted advertisements

Two ad campaigns were released by the famous and elite Balenciaga fashion line, a relative to the lavish Gucci and Saint Laurent. Known for its determination to test the limits of fashion, their most recent campaign blew their past feats out of the water in terms of being controversial. 

On November 16 they published what was called the Balenciaga Gift Shop. This campaign featured photos of children surrounded by Balenciaga products, but the most sinister of all was what was clutched in their hands. Handbags in the form of teddy bears, the seemingly innocent ‘toys’ were dressed in notorious BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadochism and Masochism) bondage gear. BDSM gear is common in violent pornography films. As New York Times reported it, “The fluffy bears had black eyes, fishnet tops and leather harnesses; wine glasses and other gift items were displayed around them.” 

Balenciaga did not stop there but continued on their pilgrimage for child pornography by posting five days later, November 21, another advertisement for their spring 2023 Garde-Robe campaign. This ad, devoid of innocent children, was instead comprised of a messy desk wherein a Balenciaga purse lay on top of papers, among them the Supreme Court case United States v. Williams (2008). This specific court case dealt in providing federal protections against child pornography, which some felt was a violation of the first amendment. 

Another image from the Garde-Robe campaign featured the legendary Isabelle Huppert, French actress and now model, in an office wearing Balenciaga clothing. Also on the office desk and taking a share in the spotlight but more subtly so, is a book written for the Belgian painter, Michaël Borremans. His works frequently center on children, but specifically naked children, and sometimes even more specifically, castrated toddlers. His paintings have been described as “toddlers engaged in playful but mysterious acts with sinister overtones and insinuations of violence.” One of the most frightening things is the utter silence coming from celebrities associated with Balenciaga who are normally so vocal about other topics.

Since the maelstrom of accusations that the fashion line is engaging in promotion of child pornography, Balenciaga has since pulled both campaigns down, and released numerous apologies. They have even going so far as to launch a $25 million lawsuit against those responsible. 

What happens when we normalize sexualizing children

This sexualization of children is no longer just an extreme exception, but now becoming a culture. A culture wherein some of us advocate for the rights of a drag queen to dance provocatively in front of children, incorporate obscene sexual material in elementary curriculum, and mutilate the genitals of the most defenseless among us.

Minor-attracted persons is now a thing, a new term pedophiles are attempting to use to justify their gross fetishes through the neutral and protected title of “sexual orientation”. If we continue down this warpath for sexual revolutions for everyone, we just might see ourselves become accustomed to plays like ‘Downstate’ and advertisements like Balenciaga.


Alexis Tarkalson was raised on a ranch in Dadeville, Missouri. She loves spending time with her husband, reading, hiking mountains, and learning new hobbies. She is currently a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho, where she is working to get a degree in Political Science with an emphasis on American Government.