The Lie of the Slippery Slope

This will be brief.

But I have been thinking about The Slippery Slope. The idea that, “once certain events are set in motion, certain other things inevitably happen.” Put in place certain policies, America will become communistic. Allow gay marriage, soon we’ll be letting people marry children and toasters. Etc.

Now, there is some wisdom in recognizing that certain things lead to other things. That, I will concede.

But as a young adult always making connections between my lived reality and things I was taught growing up, I am becoming wary and disappointed with the messages that The Slippery Slope rhetoric is imparting, especially to young people.

For example, many people in my generation who grew up in evangelical environments were exposed to a certain strain of purity culture that emphasized: be careful who you choose, and then be even more careful about your physical boundaries. kissing leads to french kissing which leads to petting which leads to sex.

And yes, physical intimacy is a great example of how it’s easy to get carried away with things once you start down The Slippery Slope. Once you kiss someone enough that you’re madly in love with, you definitely want to move on to doing more things with them. But I want to say something very loud and very clear for any reader who may happen to be of the younger variety:

There is no LITERAL slippery slope. You are an independent agent capable of saying “yes” or “no” to anything you want.

Want to kiss your boyfriend? You are a human being capable of doing that, and not moving further than that.
It might be hard to stop there.
It might be difficult dealing with HIS desires and hormones.
But (assuming you are in safe places with people who respect you) you are 100% capable of removing yourself from an uncomfortable situation, saying “no, not right now,” or creating new lines in the sand for your relationship.

And I fear that The Slippery Slope argument, perhaps, might give young minds the impression that they do not possess such agency.

But you do. Please please know that you do.

Yes, make wise choices.

Yes, consider the consequences of what you choose to do or say. Consider them deeply and thoughtfully.

You can always say no, not tonight, not this far.

You don’t have to believe pedophilia is OK to think gay marriage should be legalized.

You don’t have to have sex just because you’re holding hands (or kissing, or snuggling, or ANYTHING THAT’S NOT SEX).

You’re bigger than The Slippery Slope. You can jump the freak off the sled anytime you want to.