Skip to comments.The end of women: The subversive legacy of the sexual revolution
Posted on 04/10/2012 6:53:54 PM PDT by Morgana
April 10, 2012 (Mercatornet.com) - The death of the American feminist poet Adrienne Rich (pictured) this week has brought many accolades on account of her literary gifts and contribution to the feminist movement over the past 50 years. In her transformation from conventionally married mother of three sons in the 1950s, to lesbian partner and apologist in the 1970s, she became not only the voice but a living example of the revolutionary character of second wave feminism.
The chief legacy of that movement has been brought into sharp focus in recent months by the battle royal between Catholic authorities (mainly) and the Obama administration over the latters mandate forcing employers to pay for birth control, including abortifacients and sterilisation.
Old-guard feministsincluding Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibeliusare nervous and casting the conflict as a war on women, an attempt to wind back the reproductive rights won in the 1960s and 1970s with the arrival of the contraceptive pill and the Supreme Court decision decriminalising abortion.
On the other hand, those who regard such methods of birth control as objectionable or morally wrongincluding those who hold that view as a matter of religious faithare outraged that the principle of freedom of conscience could be trashed for the sake of a symbolic enshrining of contraception in the pantheon of free health services.
Yes, the mandate is both an overblown tribute to the value of contraception in womens livesin particular for their healthand an act of intolerance towards those who do not value it at all. But at least we can be grateful that it has stirred up a debate that really needs to happen - a debate about whether the sexual revolution that contraception and abortion let loose on society has been a good thing or a bad thing.
As Mary Eberstadt wrote in her contribution to a forum on the issue in the Wall Street Journal last weekend, the legacy of the sexual revolution has yet to be settled in the Western minddespite claims that women (minus, at the very least, the 25,000+ who have signed a letter objecting to it) are solidly behind the HHS mandate, and the sexual revolution to boot.
In her recently published collection of essays, Adam and Eve after the Pill, Eberstadt covers all kinds of fallout from the sex without consequences culture that has grown up over the past four decades, including the growing chorus of unhappiness from women writing on such mournful themes as The Case for Settling and The End of Men, complaining about men who wont grow up and lamenting the general state of relations between the sexes. If the sexual revolution was such a boon, how come women are not happier? She asks.
Hanna Rosin, who also contributed to the WSJs sexual revolution forum, has an answer to that. She says happiness doesnt matter. Rosin argues that young women (those in their 20s and early 30s) are generally better off than young men. They are better educated and earn more money on average, she points out. In other words, they dont need menexcept for temporary, intimate relationships that dont derail a career. She is working on a book calledguess what?The End of Men, due out in September.
Rosin does make some frank admissions. She concedes that there is a rumble of complaint from young women about men who wont commit; that this is because the post-pill market has made sex very cheap and turned men into free agents who sleep with as many women as possible; which in turn causes women a lot of frustrating little dating battles and heartache. But that is a small price to pay, Rosin argues, for a womans future success in a career.
(Funny how arguments in favour of post-pill sexual culture always seem to hang on college educated women with careers, who generally do find a mate, rather than working class women who increasingly settle for the insecurity of serial cohabitation, and bringing up children, much of the time, on their own. But that is another story.)
The odd thing about Rosins theory is that it really describes the end of women rather than the end of men. The great gift of the sexual revolution to women is not that it has taken them out of mens power but that it has made them over as the new men. They can pursue their careers just like men. They can have sex without getting pregnant and having to get married, just like men. They can ignore the emotional consequences of uncommitted sex (And how bad are heartaches, anyway? asks Rosin) as men tend to do.
When the ache for a baby gets too strong, todays macho woman can go get herself impregnated with donor sperm at a fertility clinic. And since theres really no difference between men and women any more she could just settle down with a lesbian partner and save herself any further trouble from the officially male of the species.
The truth is that, if men have become redundant, so have women. One makes no sense without the other. What we have instead is humanoids who come in a range of genders and can make use of their sexual endowment (or someone elses) in a variety of ways. They can generate or acquire children as the case may be; they can saddle the kids with two moms or two dads or with other combinations of parents if it suits them. What that means for the children simply doesnt matter. Nothing that comes from the sexual revolution can really be bad for anyone. Get used to it.
Isnt this the insane world we see taking shape before our eyes? There may have been a lot wrong with marriage and the status of women in the America of young Mrs Adrienne Conrad (Richs married name), but cutting sex adrift from babies and marriage was patently not the solution. It has made nonsense of the body and made men and women strangers to themselves.
To refuse to become an active party to such madness is a right no just society should deny to any member.
Gee I miss her/him allready. Geez????
The End of Women? Dangit, I really, really like women. Almost as much as I like ladies...
Thanks for posting this.
This is too funny. So instead of "enslaving" themselves to a husband and children, a woman's goal now should be to enslave themselves to whomever they work for.
Feminists really are grasping at straws.
I do hate to say this but many young ‘ladies’ these days are not ladies at all. They dress and act as unfortunately many of their male peers that call themselves ‘gentlemen’ call many of them sl——. sad. On behalf of both genders that this is the norm. It is shocking and odd to me.
The end result was neither sex could tolerate the other. Reproduction defaulted artificial methods. Both genders were supremely happy bossing their robot servants about.
no self esteem...
no waiting for a good guy to come along...
and not just about sex, but about giving it out without a thought or a care, as if it was not a very significant and importand part of life...
but we live in a Hooters culture, where religious people defend it as harmless, and fathers want their dtrs to work there.....
talk about the mixed messages young women are receiving...
you only as good as you look in that little tight pants and shirt outfit, no more...
Yep. And neither are, or ever will be, redundant. I have a different take on this, so bear with me for a moment. Confirmed bachelor, conservative, I should be bitter about the ridiculous posturing my generation has allowed on the issue. But I work on a college campus. And the kids are beautiful, and there's a fundamental truth about the whole thing that feminist pretensions and academic intellectual fashions cannot touch. Just trust this silly old git on this one - it's going to be all right. The kids are all right.
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