“Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flame,” says the Pink song “Try,” written by Busbee and Ben West. “Where there is a flame, someone’s bound to get burned.” Truer words were never spoken. People have been getting sex wrong since people have been getting sex, and I see exactly no signs on the horizon that this is about to change.
The most recent hapless moke to kick himself in his own groin was TV psychologist Dr. Phil, who came under attack after tweeting the question: “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her?” His people say, plausibly enough, that this was for research purposes but, oh, the outrage! Feminists demanded the usual multiple apologies followed by show trials and public shaming. The general response, delivered in the Twitter equivalent of hysterical shrieking, was: “No! Having sex when a girl is drunk is never right! It is always rape!”
Is it? Really? If you are imagining the girl is unconscious, absolutely. But if she’s simply drunk and says yes? Please.
Feminists have spent the last several decades striving to convince us that sex should be as meaningless to women as it is to the most brutish of men. Any psychic differences between men and women are the product of societal prejudice, we’re told, and the physical differences can be rendered moot by birth control and abortion. Promiscuous women are “empowered,” and any attempt to point out that their behavior is self-destructive or immoral or even merely less than wise is “slut shaming,” not to be tolerated.
As a result, young women on college campuses now go out on a Saturday night, to use another Pink phrase, “on a mission from the get-go.” They have the express purpose of drinking to blackout levels then hooking up. They make the decision to treat themselves like garbage when they are sober and then proceed to hit the booze, presumably to shut down the inner voice of feminine modesty and self-worth. Under such circumstances, assuming the girl is awake and says yes, the young man who takes advantage of the situation is hardly committing rape or sexual assault or anything of the sort. Is he a gentleman? No. But then he’s not dealing with a lady either. The entire situation is degraded and degrading. The guy’s no more to blame for it than the girl.
Hey, I’m not sitting around waiting for the 1950s to return. The advent of safe, effective birth control really did change the facts on the ground and they’re not going to change back anytime soon. When it comes to sex, conservative pompous assery and highfalutin moralism may make you feel right proud of yourself but they don’t necessarily address the reality of people’s lives or help anyone sort out the issues. The human libido is intense and complex. It outstrips, outsmarts and overruns every theoretical system that seeks to explain or contain it. That’s one of the best things about it! Sex makes fools of saints and libertines with equal ease.
But one does not have to be a puritan to recognize that young people have been instructed out of their humanity. I think it’s awful when young women treat themselves like meat. I think it’s awful when young men treat them no better. But I don’t blame one of them more than the other. Rather I blame the underlying logic of a culture that has lost its way.
For more on this, take a look at this powerful cri de coeur from Ricochet’s D.C. McAllister.