A series of articles chart the latest news from the frontlines in the war of the sexes. First up, from late last month, Bob Tyrrell, the founder of the American Spectator, writes, “So this is how the Sexual Revolution is ending:”
It is not ending with the Sexual Utopians of yesteryear shouting “Oh Joy” and extolling the therapeutic orgasm, which was to bring happiness to Americans from every walk of life. It is ending with gangs of angry women—some well into their seventies, some with grandchildren—recalling sexual assaults that allegedly took place up to half a century ago. They are aggrieved. They are angry. Some still burst into tears. And their alleged assailant, in this case the avuncular 77-year-old Bill Cosby, is pictured on the front page of the Washington Post in sullen denial.
Also on the front page of the Post is more evidence of the Sexual Revolution’s unanticipated expiry. The University of Virginia is suspending all fraternities, even sororities, because of libidinous excess among its students. Specifically a gang rape is supposed to have taken place two years ago in the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. The university did not respond in any way. Apparently this is the way the university has responded to charges of sexual assault for decades. A middle-aged woman is quoted as saying that she was assaulted on campus in the early 1980s but did not bother to bring the incident to the university’s attention. The university’s lack of concern for such complaints was widely known even then.
Two stories of sexual assault, one relating the alleged assaults committed by a Hollywood icon at the dawn of the Sexual Revolution, the other relating a tale of alleged rape that was perpetrated two years ago, both in different stories on a major newspaper’s front page—I submit the Sexual Revolution is dead. Yet what will replace it? The Sexual Utopians’ beliefs are still around. Their promises of sexual hygiene, libidinous bliss, and, of course, their claptrap about the citizenry’s right to sexual satisfaction is enshrined in every sex ed curriculum in the country. Thus in early high school or perhaps even grammar school you have the harmless innocence of sex being taught, along with birth control cleanliness. Yet by the time a student gets to college the harmless innocence of sex has turned grisly: there are lectures on sexual harassment and there is rape counseling. Suddenly, sex is no fun. Possibly it is even unhealthy.
Could it be that the Sexual Utopians were wrong all along? Could it be that morality plays a role in sex? The male sex drive is usually aggressive and needs to be tempered. The female sex drive exists, but she has a right to say no, to change the subject, even to enjoy sex in a moral setting, for instance in marriage.
If, as Tyrrell speculates, the sexual revolution is over, perhaps it’s time, as Milo Yiannopoulos writes at Breitbart London for “The Sexodus” to begin, with “The Men Giving Up On Women And Checking Out Of Society:”
Never before in history have relations between the sexes been so fraught with anxiety, animosity and misunderstanding. To radical feminists, who have been the driving force behind many tectonic societal shifts in recent decades, that’s a sign of success: they want to tear down the institutions and power structures that underpin society, never mind the fall-out. Nihilistic destruction is part of their road map.
But, for the rest of us, the sight of society breaking down, and ordinary men and women being driven into separate but equal misery, thanks to a small but highly organised group of agitators, is distressing. Particularly because, as increasing numbers of social observers are noticing, an entire generation of young people—mostly men—are being left behind in the wreckage of this social engineering project.
Social commentators, journalists, academics, scientists and young men themselves have all spotted the trend: among men of about 15 to 30 years old, ever-increasing numbers are checking out of society altogether, giving up on women, sex and relationships and retreating into pornography, sexual fetishes, chemical addictions, video games and, in some cases, boorish lad culture, all of which insulate them from a hostile, debilitating social environment created, some argue, by the modern feminist movement.
You can hardly blame them. Cruelly derided as man-children and crybabies for objecting to absurdly unfair conditions in college, bars, clubs and beyond, men are damned if they do and damned if they don’t: ridiculed as basement-dwellers for avoiding aggressive, demanding women with unrealistic expectations, or called rapists and misogynists merely for expressing sexual interest.
How bad is it for today’s men? Yesterday, PJM’s own Dr. Helen spotted an expectant Washington State mother asking in a recent Seattle Weekly column, “A daughter would need to know how to protect herself from sexism and fight injustice. But a son does not require this protection, and his privilege allows him to ignore injustice—or think that he can ignore it. But sexism is still a threat to him, in that he could very well become a perpetrator of it.”
His mother-to-be is pondering all this while her future son is still in the womb. As Dr. Helen responds, the author is “already pre-judging her unborn child and has him pegged as a potential perp before he is even born — and she thinks it is girls who suffer from sexism:”
Hopefully, this woman will at least be narcissistic enough to protect her son from the more likely cases where injustice will be brought against him by a misandric society that sees men and boys as disposable, but that might be asking too much from a woman who hates men and baby boys as much as she seems to. His start in life is to a woman who already harbors hatred of his sex. How will this affect him as he goes through life? How many thousands or millions of young boys have dealt with the same hatred or are dealing with the same psychological and cultural bias against them in this society? Probably a lot.
How much pain and angst has been brought to men and boys because of hatred and bias like this from women who dislike them? Thirty-thousand men commit suicide a year; maybe women like the author mentioned are one of the reasons boys see themselves and their sex as disposable. Why does this woman want to add fuel to the fire? What if her harboring sexism causes him to think something is wrong with him his whole life and causes depression because she is the sexist jerk?
Meanwhile, as Bruce Thorton of Hoover Institute in Stanford writes, “California recently passed a law requiring that sexual encounters between students in universities and colleges can proceed only on the basis of ‘affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement.’ Failure to resist or to ask the partner to stop the encounter can no longer be taken as consent. Institutions that wish to receive state funds or financial aid must adhere to this standard when investigating charges of ‘sexual assault,’ a phrase redefined to include behaviors once considered boorish or insensitive, but not legally actionable.”
All of which has led Thorton to declare “The End of Feminism:”
Faced with the costs of sexual liberation, contemporary feminism has betrayed its devotion to personal freedom and equality, choosing instead to demand that the state use its coercive power to protect women not just from insensitive men, but from the consequences of their own choices. Sexual harassment law is the most widespread expression of this impulse to use the tutelary state to defend women from a “hostile and intimidating” environment. The vulgar joke or boorish innuendo is now not just a violation of social decorum, but a crime subject to law and punishment.
But nothing infantilizes women more than the sexual codes promulgated by numerous universities. Obviously, sexual assault properly defined is a crime that should be investigated and the guilty punished. But getting drunk and then sleeping with an equally intoxicated partner is not a crime. It’s a learning experience about taking responsibility for one’s actions, and practicing the virtues of prudence and self-control.
By criminalizing young adults’ complicated sexual experiences, feminism is betraying its original call for sexual equality and autonomy by making women perpetual victims too weak to be held responsible for their choices, and too incapable of painfully learning from their mistakes and thus developing their characters. At the same time that feminists still call for unlimited sexual freedom, they treat women as Victorian maidens who lack agency and resources of character, and thus must be defended against sexual cads and bounders. As the Manhattan Institute’s Heather MacDonald puts it, this “new order is a bizarre hybrid of liberationist and traditionalist values. It carefully preserves the prerogative of no-strings-attached sex while cabining it with legalistic caveats that allow females to revert at will to a stance of offended virtue.”
Incidentally, to return to the first piece we linked, atop Tyrrell’s article is a recent photo of a now-elderly Cosby and Hefner hanging around the Playboy mansion. Today, the London Daily Mail flashes back to the women that surrounded both men during their swinging younger days, and one of the casualties of the era of “free love.” “Passed around by Bill Cosby, Hugh Hefner and dozens of Hollywood honchos — this is the [November 1968] Playboy Playmate of the Month who felt so used and abused by the most powerful leading men she took a gun and shot herself in the head” in 1974, at the age of 30.
Tyrrell’s article is titled “The Joy of Sex is Over.” As Kathy Shaidle recently quipped, noting that the original illustrations for that epochal 1972 smash bestseller are currently on display in London, “How many people were turned off sex by those pictures of hairy, humping hippies, that’s what I want to know.”
Heh. Yet another cautionary tale embraced by far too many as a how-to guide. But then, all of these recent articles are yet more reminders that as fun as a wild evening in the Weimar Republic can be, the hangover is a nightmare — and may only get worse in the years to come.