Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sexual Harrassment vs. Sexual Revolution

I don't know about you, but I've been enjoying the discomfort of Harvey Weinstein and all the sexual predators of Hollywood. But I've also been embarrassed by the apparently revolting teenaged tastes of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

But the question is what do we do now? If it is bad for male sexual predators to prey on nubile young women, then what do we do about the culture that celebrates let-it-all-hang-out sex? Or was that all a confidence trick by the Hollyweird types so that they could have more access to nubile young women?

I interpret the intent of the "campus rape" activists as making the university campus "safe" for young college women. And this clearly means that young college men should not get young women drunk, should not importune them, should not use any kind of pressure to have sex.

But these "campus rape" activists are not actually saying that a young man should not importune a young woman for sex unless he is prepared to love and honor her forever. In other words, they are not abandoning the sex-without-consequences culture promoted by the sexual revolution.

I think this is popularly called the impossibility of "having your cake and eating it."

I don't know about you, but my limited experience of women is that they are really not into the sex-without-consequences thing. My experience -- and it is limited -- is that the commencement of sex is experienced by women as the confirmation of a love relationship that will continue forever. And indeed the reports of the women that claim to have been harassed by Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore and Bill Clinton and Uncle Tom Cobbley all seem to agree on the notion that "he done her wrong" and did not treat her as a temple of future life. Which suggests to me that, sexual revolution or not, today's women are still the same women that you might find in a 19th century Trollope novel.

Now, I don't know that much about the world, but the message I get from a Trollope novel is that women were protected from male aggression back then by simple rules about when a woman might be alone with a man that is not her father, her husband, or her fiancé. The rule was: never!

Today, as I understand it, men and women are to mix together socially and economically at will, but men are not to use their power or male aggression to pressure women into sex. I assume this is to be achieved by teaching young men a culture of non-harrassment backed up by frightful penalties against harassers.

This is to say nothing, of course, about something like this where a woman is attacked in broad daylight by black gang-members.

But I wonder if the campaign against sexual harassment can work while the culture of the sexual revolution endures, where anything goes as long as it is "consensual."

And I wonder if the campaign can work in the arts and entertainment where beautiful young women are a dime a dozen and there is really nothing to choose between them, and the whole point of beautiful young women on camera is to broadcast their beauty and sexual attractiveness to the world.

And I wonder if the campaign can work in the regular working world, where unequal power relationships abound, and only a saint may be expected not to take advantage of his (or her) power over a subordinate.

My point is: what is the best we can expect when we throw men and women together in the workplace and the university and left-wing fundraising dinners?

I know! Let analyze the whole procedure using my reductive Three Peoples theory.

Let us suppose the young woman is a People of the Subordinate Self, a worker or a peasant. Well, the answer is simple. She will submit to the power of the other person. She will resent it and perhaps share the horrible experience with her women friends, but would not even think of accusing her boss or co-worker of harassment, because in the her world subordination is a fact of life, and the means of obtaining protection from other, more pressing perils. The rule about abuse of power is that nobody does anything until there is blood in the water.

Let us suppose the young woman is a People of the Responsible Self. This means that she believes in herself as an individual and believes in following the rules. So the chances are that she would resist the power play of the harasser, perhaps because of her confidence in herself as a responsible individual, or perhaps because of her culture of following the rules. She would, of course, understand that she might not get hired or promoted if she didn't submit to superior power. But that, she would say to herself, is the price of responsibility and principles.

Now let us suppose the young woman is a People of the Creative Self. This means she believes in what Charles Taylor calls expressive individualism and, of course, creativity. I'd say that she's in a bit of a pickle. Should she pay the price for the opportunity of a creative process? Or should she resist the power play? On the other hand, maybe she is such a confident young woman that she exudes a kind of aura such that men would not dare to interfere with her person. On the other hand she believes in non-binary sex, and the creativity of any kind of sexual orientation. So what's so bad about a minor dalliance? Don't forget that she also believes that rules are for the little people, and people like us are above all such pettifogging stuff.

It seems to me that I have just explained why the whole campus rape/sexual harassment thing is a thing. In the world of the People of the Creative Self there are no real boundaries, no guard-rails. However, young women are still young women, and their approach to sex is still experienced through the instinctive lens of love. So the sexual aggression of the Harveys of the world is bound to be extremely disorienting and likely to lead to social hysteria and witch hunts and attempts to Do Something about the rage that women feel when a man treats them as a sexual object and not as a loved one.

I really like my Three Peoples theory. It lets me understand everything and explain everything. Yay!

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