Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Women and the Sexual Revolution

I may as well come out and say it. I think that the best way for most people to live is the Bourgeois Ethos. It means living life responsibly, from work to family to community to sex. Bourgeois education, bourgeois achievement, bourgeois surrender to the market, and bourgeois love and marriage.

But over the last 150 years of the Great Reaction to bourgeois culture, many of the best and brightest have argued against the bourgeois ethos as too patriarchal, too restrictive, too oppressive. They want sexual liberation -- or at least liberation from the values of the bourgeois ethos.

And so the best and brightest have succeeded in normalizing divorce, normalizing sex without commitment, normalizing abortion, normalizing single parenthood, normalizing non-heterosexual behaviors, normalizing gay marriage.

If you think about it, all these normalizations amount to the social endorsement of what comes naturally to young men. They want sex with anything; they don't want to consider the consequence of anything. They just want to get laid. We are talking about the universal male appetite for loot and plunder.

But women are different. They are different because, as I like to say, men are fighters and women are lovers.

Of course down the ages humans recognized two kinds of women: modest women and immodest women. It is my experience that the overwhelming majority of women are modest women, and their whole lives are oriented around their circle of love.

So in my view the implied notion of the Sexual Revolution, that most women were straining at the leash wanting to become immodest and let it all hang out, is a lie.

Oh, modern women will tell you different. They will tell you about their careers, about work, about their liberation. Women are overwhelmingly conformable Kates: they do not have to be told to get with the program; they already did. And the women that tell you this are upper-class women, and upper-class women have tended, down the ages, to have more important things to do than look after babies and raise children.

In my view we are seeing with the "rape culture" activism on the one hand, and the Planned Parenthood video activism on the other an inchoate sense among women that the Sexual Revolution was bad for women. It reduces the central fact of woman as the miraculous fount of life to a sordid thing of meat and butchery.

When you read between the lines about the campus "rape culture" you read about the young woman that drank half a bottle of vodka before she turned up at the young man's dorm room. You read about Mattress Girl getting angry, months later, with her German lover because he didn't want to continue their relationship beyond the rough sex of their early couplings.

You mean to say, as the late Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes would intone, you mean to say that women have to drug themselves into near insensibility to dull themselves enough to do a booty call? You mean to say that women get angry when the early sex they have submitted to doesn't cement a relationship but merely hastens its end?

You mean to say that the old rules of courtship were better tuned to the rhythm of life and the needs of women?

The fact is that Planned Parenthood and its abortions are the necessary plumbing to flush away the back-flow of the sexual revolution. Free sex is all very well, but what sort of a guy would couple with a girl if he didn't want to father her baby? And what are we doing to women when we normalize the obliteration of the unwanted baby? Unwanted by whom?

Our liberal friends like to think of their progressivism as a one-way road to the future, and their sexual revolution the once-for-all liberation from centuries of oppression. But history also goes in cycles, and sexual attitudes seem to fluctuate between what we might call prudery and license. I have a suspicion that we are reaching the end of the current licentious period, and things are starting to swing back to prudery.

The problem is that the leading prudes are the feminists whose mothers helped lead the sexual revolution, so their solution will attempt to return to prudery without actually facing up to the follies of their own sexual revolution.

That won't end well, as we like to say.

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