March 24, 2012

"Has the Sexual Revolution Been Good for Women?"

Mary Eberstadt says no:
Why do the pages of our tonier magazines brim with mournful titles like "The Case for Settling" and "The End of Men"? Why do websites run by and for women focus so much on men who won't grow up, and ooze such despair about relations between the sexes?

Why do so many accomplished women simply give up these days and decide to have children on their own, sometimes using anonymous sperm donors, thus creating the world's first purposely fatherless children? What of the fact, widely reported earlier this week, that 26% of American women are on some kind of mental-health medication for anxiety and depression and related problems?...
Ann Patchett says yes:
The sexual revolution, which rode into town on the backs of those pink plastic cases of birth-control pills, was, after all, not so much a matter of sleeping around as it was of having the ability to decide when you were going to have a child, and then deciding how many children you wanted to have....

[F]or those who remain bitter about the revolution and wish it had never happened, join hands with the likes of me, who see the rights and freedoms of women as the only possible outcome for a thinking society. Together, let's make a country into which any baby would be proud to be born.

First, we could swap out baby showers for a revitalized Head Start program....
Programs, programs.... I don't really get Patchett. Why equate the "sexual revolution" with access to birth control? But she ends by saying that people are unnecessarily "complicat[ing] things," and her idea of simplicity seems to be that sex is "one of the loveliest of human activities." It is when it is and it's not when it's not. If the question is What makes it good for women? then obviously birth control is key. But all those other attributes of this thing the Wall Street Journal is referring to as "the Sexual Revolution"? It's not so clear. It is complicated!

150 comments:

damikesc said...

Has it been good?

For men, absolutely. Women aren't exactly choosy.

For women? I'd assume no, but apparently, this is how the sex wants it.

I'd personally not see how being pumped and dumped was preferrable to the old system (especially when the biggest advocates treat women as being more fragile than the most misogynist Westerner has ever done), but hey, not my concern at this point.

I'd argue it was undeniably bad for women and amazingly great for men.

MayBee said...

If the sexual revolution hadn't teamed up with the idea that women don't need a husband to start a family, it would have been better.

It's baffling to me this idea that birth control brought about consequence-free sex when at the same time we have so many fatherless children being born.

There is nobody in this world who can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, without consequence.

damikesc said...

It isn't that shocking, MayBee. While birth control has a high success rate, when the rate of sex increases exponentially, more failure will occur.

A 2% failure rate in 10,000 attempts will have a far smaller number thab a 2% rate in 1,000,000 attempts.

Lem said...

No means No.

MayBee said...

damikesc- true, although I suspect a big part of the problem is the idea that having sex whenever you want found a much stronger fan base than the idea of always using birth control when you have sex.

traditionalguy said...

I heard the sexual revolution was all about empowering women to live free of the need of a man's support or other tools, like a fish that has no need of a bicycle.

Birth control was more for freeing the men who can now get the milk with out buying the cow.

So the women woke up and discovered that the young men had gotten smart as they count the cost of a cow, and had taken their bicycles home with them and settled for computer porn.

I blame Tim Tebow. He is setting a high target by being a rich studly virgin cheerfully awaiting marriage to a mother for his children.

But Tebow makes everything seem easy. He just believes the Gospel and enjoys working hard to succeed at his vision.

What modern woman could put up with a Tim Tebow?

~N. said...

Oh, I saw this in the paper this morning and ignored it. I'm sick of the whole subject. Ever notice how men don't write articles like this -- not straight ones, anyway, or secure men.

Thing is, the women who think the sexual revolution was bad are perfectly free to eschew birth control of any kind -- and, remember, no NFP, either, because NFP is the result of Vatican Roulette having to compete with the pill. No one is stopping them. Hey, it's what Michelle Duggar does, and God knows we all have her rammed down our throats from the usual holier-than-thous.

They can also quit their jobs, not compete with men, not think it's unfair when family men get promoted over them regardless of abilities or achievement, and not expect the cops to come running when their husband belts them one across the face. They can sit home and be the good girls who take care of their elderly, ailing parents if they can't manage to snag husbands.

Having sex without fear of pregnancy did more than just make us sexually freer. It freed us from the social and economical constraints being relegated to ovaries and a uterus put on us. The sexual revolution overlaps the feminist movement in important aress, primarily the workplace.

damikesc said...

damikesc- true, although I suspect a big part of the problem is the idea that having sex whenever you want found a much stronger fan base than the idea of always using birth control when you have sex.

True. And men feel dramatically less willing to accept "no" for an answer nowadays. If most women said no consistently, men's behavior would change.

I'd also argue the breakdown in the family has hurt. Women used to have family who'd help steer them away from useless slugs.

Now? Not so much. I'm watching my niece make every mistake possible --- but not much I can do about that. But I know where her story is likely to end.

...fair or not, women have far more to lose in sex than men do.

David said...

The women's revolution (and the sexual revolution, which is only a part of it) has been very good for women in the United States who can manage a good education. It's given them more choices and opportunities in every area of life. Including sex. Of course this also means that there are more chances to make bad choices. Women simply need to make better choices, and accept that bad choices are largely their responsibility.

You want liberation? Taking responsibility for your own errors and mistakes is quite liberating.

damikesc said...

They can also quit their jobs, not compete with men, not think it's unfair when family men get promoted over them regardless of abilities or achievement, and not expect the cops to come running when their husband belts them one across the face. They can sit home and be the good girls who take care of their elderly, ailing parents if they can't manage to snag husbands.

...I think you're confused as to what the "sexual revolution" dealt with.

Or are just a dishonest hack.

I'm open to both possibilities.

Synova said...

Patchett starts out with a somewhat interesting premise, which is... If you don't like it, tough cookies. Other than a bit of a straw-man presentation of what the "other side" is worried about, she goes on with "the revolution happened, it's over and done with and you don't get to go back", which isn't an argument that "yes" she thinks it was a good thing. It was, more like, shut up, you lost.

And then to be fair she talks about the things she doesn't like, and I got a kick out of this one...

"There are plenty of things that people call progress which I believe are destroying the fabric of the American family: social networking, for example. Facebook tries to stand in place of the deeper connections that are essential for us to thrive, but it actually gets in the way of those connections, leaving people feeling all the more isolated."

Stick "sexual revolution" in there in place of "social networking" and she'd actually have a non-straw-personish description of what the "other side" worries about.

Women may have been given the ability to control their own reproduction, but they don't seem to bother to do so. Depth in relationships and commitment to marriage and to children has been replaced by the notion that the most important thing is to be personally happy. Instead of being defined by our obligations (which isn't always very fun) we're supposed to be defined by our passions.

Or our three thousand face book friends.

~N. said...

I'm aware what the sexual revolution is.

I'm also aware that it had a wider impact than just fucking.

Lem said...

Historically its my impression that revolutions aftermaths have been for the most part disappointing.

Why should the sexual be any different?

Men get killed in revolutions..

just saying.

damikesc said...

I'm also aware that it had a wider impact than just fucking.

Yes, because the impact couldn't have happened WITHOUT the increase in fucking.

And because anybody who notices a bad result in the Sexual Revolution is simply a Prudish Luddite who hates women.

...as opposed to somebody who thinks it's great because he gets his dick wet a little more often now than he used to.

MayBee said...

Talk about birth control always ends up with abusive men hitting women.
.

And by "ends with" I mean this time it only took 7 comments to get there.

Maguro said...

It's been groovy, baby. Shagadelic!

Synova said...

"Thing is, the women who think the sexual revolution was bad are perfectly free to eschew birth control of any kind -- and...(etc.)"

What does one have to do with the other?

Firstly... is the sexual revolution the same as contraception? Absolutely not. Talk about irrational! The sexual revolution, if it's anything, was "Yay! We get to behave like men now." (Since the obvious right response to a sexual double-standard is for women to act more like men, because "man" is good, and "woman" is bad. Someone better tell Tebow he got it backward.)

Nothing about using contraception requires adopting the male model of the sexual double standard where men (supposedly) get to fool around without social consequence while women who aren't virgins are shamed.

Demanding that one must either be a slut and proud of it or never use contraception again is ridiculous. (Or "hysterical", insult to femininity intended.)

David said...

"a revitalized head start program"

I taught in Head Start over 40 years ago. It has, as a federal program, never lived up to its promise.

Why is it that programs which have failed for decades are always candidates for revitalization rather than elimination? Head Start proceeds from a basically good notion that has been perennially screwed up by the government that runs it. Get the government out of the concept and it might work.

~N. said...

No, because once women could enter the workplace and her bosses knew she wasn't likely to leave once she inevitably got pregnant, she could compete on more level playing field.

And once that happened, women weren't given the choice of marriage or spinsterhood (which, in many families, made a woman the de facto caretaker of elderly parents, especially if she was still living at home).

And once women could control their reproductive cycles and not have baby after baby after baby, it became easier to leave abusive husbands. Also, as women gained more power in the workplace, they had to be taken more seriously by law enforcement when it came to domestic matters.

The sexual revolution didn't occur in a vaccuum. It was part and parcel of the women's movement.

Women can still say no and expect it to mean no. That they don't is their problem. Poor choices reap poor outcomes. Along with more sexual freedom comes more responsibility.

If men saw the sexual revolution as good for them because they figured they could get laid more often without any further responsibility to their sexual partners, that's on them -- that's their lack of responsibility and honor and morality.

The sexual revolution was better than the alternative. If the alternative was so great, the sexual revolution wouldn't have happened.

Lem said...

Depth in relationships and commitment to marriage and to children has been replaced by the notion that the most important thing is to be personally happy.

Whitney Huston disagrees with Synova.

Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all!

paul a'barge said...

Feminism == Sociopathology

damikesc said...

If men saw the sexual revolution as good for them because they figured they could get laid more often without any further responsibility to their sexual partners, that's on them -- that's their lack of responsibility and honor and morality.

Why should a man be expected to act with more honor and morality than the woman who is willingly letting them thrust into her? Makes absolutely no sense.

Why should women not be held to their former standards if men are still going to be held to theirs?

The sexual revolution was better than the alternative. If the alternative was so great, the sexual revolution wouldn't have happened.

So, was the French Revolution better than its alternative?

How about the Soviet Revolution?

Seems in both cases, the Revolution caused bigger problems.

~N. said...

Synova -- where did I demand that women must act like sluts and be proud of it or never use contraception? You're arguing a strawman.

edutcher said...

The best line on the subject was, "If the sexual revolution was such a success, why is everybody so unhappy?".

First, the Lefties pushed it as an excuse for complete license, as opposed to liberty, and we mere mortal can't handle it - Genesis teaches us that.

Second, the Lefties pushed it as a war, not like civil rights, which has become a race war, but turned the battle of the sexes into mutually assured destruction.

Only when we start realizing that the old rules worked better than PC are we going to learn to handle this new-found freedom.

Until then, it's just The Lefties' version of the Lebensborn Foundation.

Synova said...

"Synova -- where did I demand that women must act like sluts and be proud of it or never use contraception? You're arguing a strawman."

I'm sort of assuming that a person who makes the choice of *not* participating in the "sexual revolution" has rejected it.

You said that if someone rejects the sexual revolution that they can't ever use contraception or even NFP ever ever again.

It was a stupid thing to demand of anyone with a different opinion.

~N. said...

IMO, yes, women should be held to the same standards as men when it comes to sexual relationships.

There are adults who are capable of entering into honorable sexual relationships that don't involve marriage, you know.

It's not just marriage or whoring around.

~N. said...

Synova, the point is, those things are part and parcel of the sexual revolution.

If the sexual revolution is "bad", then so are those things, because without them, no sexual revolution.

The truth is, as in all things, there's good and bad to the sexual revolution. IMO, more good than bad.

The answer to the question, has the sexual revolution been good for women? isn't either a simple "yes" or "no".

Lem said...

..part and parcel..

California divorce?

MayBee said...


The answer to the question, has the sexual revolution been good for women? isn't either a simple "yes" or "no"


Then who are you arguing with?

YoungHegelian said...

As always in feminist questions, two educated relatively upper class women are asked to answer the question of the sexual revolution's success or failure.

For women who are bright enough to manage their sex lives as well as they manage every other aspect of their lives, their primary problem is that their relative success has reduced the number of males more successful than they are, so upper class women have a harder time finding mates.

But for uneducated women, their lives and their children's have been thrown into a shambles. If a woman is bad at controlling her life in general, her sex life will be out of control, too. In a society lacking external control mechanisms, these women will end up single mothers exploited by their men for sex. Which is exactly what happened.

traditionalguy said...

N says that the men need to go on and show to women 1)responsibility, 2)honor and 3)morality as if the sexual revolution had never happened.

I may be wrong, but those three categories taught to school age kids may be illegal because they are sneaking in the teaching of the Christian religion where the come from.

Most women are educated, sociable, and hard workers. They are needed by society and also needed by a man, if they will settle for one man who is not yet perfect and keep him honored just as if he is worthy of it.

That is your mission as women if you chose to accept it...or just enjoy complaining about men until this tape self destructs.

~N. said...

I'm arguing with the women who say "no".

At least the women who say "yes" leave the door open for women to make choices. The women who say "no" think things were better when women didn't have those same options.

Lem said...

The answer to the question, has the sexual revolution been good for women? isn't either a simple "yes" or "no".

A penumbra.. the quiet desperation were a cookout and freedom are synonymous.

MayBee said...

At least the women who say "yes" leave the door open for women to make choices. The women who say "no" think things were better when women didn't have those same options

That's not true.
Things not changing in a specific way doesn't mean things never would have changed.

Lem said...

Jezebel (Live)

William R. Hamblen said...

I find the 26% figure quoted very hard to believe, even taking it to mean 26% of women during the course of a life instead of 26% of women at any given time.

Lem said...

Happiness..

Experts have figured out that the brain has no ability to actually predict your emotional reaction to life changes that haven't happened yet. In other words, you physically do not know what you want. The act of sitting around pondering it is apparently what fucks you up.

This might be because for most of human history, we didn't have time to do that. We were too busy gathering berries and running from wild animals. Now that we've got things so under control that the animals hug us. . . well, we're like the guy up there who didn't know what to do with his lotto winnings.

This may be why studies show friendships, altruism and religious practices bring happiness. It may be that taking the focus off your own happiness is what makes happiness possible
.

Lem said...

Or was not the sexual revolution started for the sake of happiness?

I never had a long term relationship with a woman (other than my mother) so I have no clue.

Ambrose said...

Everything that has ever happened has happened because men thought it would help them get laid. Why do you think men have spread out and occupied the earth, fought wars, created art, wrote books, had the industrial revolution, flown to the moon? So is it a big surprise to find out that the sexual revolution was just a ploy to get women in bed? Oh yeah baby, be free.

Canuck said...

Discussions about the "sexual revolution" don't really make any sense unless there's a specific definition. If there's no definition people usually just talk past each other.

Does the sexual revolution = people coming out of the closet?

Does the sexual revolution = not firing women for getting married or getting preggers?

Does the sexual revolution = mainstreaming porn/ Playboy?

Synova said...

"If the sexual revolution is "bad", then so are those things, because without them, no sexual revolution."

So all bad results are good results if only there are good results alongside them?

Alongside them, because I don't think that the sexual revolution *caused* the changes in legal protections or acceptance of women in professional occupations.

The pill made the social revolution *easier* but I don't think it fueled it whatsoever. For one thing, there always was a number of contraceptive methods that could be used with reasonable success, but sexual mores remained. That there was now a quite reliable method was convenient to those trying to push for what they viewed as sexual equality, but to me seems like a very strange definition of value... if men have it or do it, it must be better, we must do what men do. "You've come a long way, baby." Someone should tell Tebow he got it backwards.

On the non-sexual, work world side of the issue, wealthier women now have careers. Poor women have always worked, babies or not, married or not. They still work, and often at the same sorts of soul destroying jobs as before. The difference is that they have their babies in multi-generational women-led households.

fivewheels said...

I wasn't there for the start of the sexual revolution, so it indeed is hard for me to grasp exactly what it is. I don't think of birth control. I seem to think of it more as the cultural shift from the time when a young man and woman were dating and the presumption was that they were not having sex, to the time when the presumption is that of course they are.

I never saw it in technological or legal terms. But that confusion is causing a lot of talking past each other.

Michael K said...

The most pro-abortion voters are young men aged 18 to 30. I wonder why ?

Milwaukee said...

N, you are a hoot. The problem for men and women is that they are both individuals and members of groups. If a single woman is amongst a group of women who choose to be sexually active, life is very difficult for that single woman. On the other hand, if the community of women choose to save themselves for marriage, and scorn promiscuity, life is easier for all the women in that community sharing that decision.

Feminism has worked best for elite women. They still manage to have educations and careers, and be able to participate in raising their children. Ordinary women now have the pressure of feeling the need to work outside the home to support their children.

Think about promiscuous women, and the height of women. A 5-10 woman would prefer to date a taller man, but if a 5-7 or 5-3 woman is already dating him, he isn't available. If a woman chooses not to be promiscuous, then those women who do will take the available men.

To really assess the question, "has the sexual revolution been good for women", we need to assess what they have given up for what they have gotten in return. Part of that sexual revolution has been liberalized access to abortion. Millions of little girls, here and abroad, have been aborted. Many mothers feel staying home to raise their children is an option they can't afford. My opinion is the answer is no, and that men have suffered as well.

Lem said...

The sexual revolution, for those of you just getting around to finding out..

Prior to the sexual revolution there were no women rock bands..

That has changed.. well, it started to change.. now there is a sort of lull in the fighting..

Its all there in the Wikipedia ;)

Milwaukee said...

No man has ever gone so low that he can't get a dog and a woman to go with him.

dunce said...

There were so many comments that i did not read them all but in case nobody else asked . Has it been good for the children? Who is your daddy? Where is your daddy? Does your daddy celebrate your birthdays?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Why equate the "sexual revolution" with access to birth control?

I think the resulting babies would have slowed the revolution down otherwise.

Milwaukee said...

Synov:
Poor women have always worked, babies or not, married or not. They still work, and often at the same sorts of soul destroying jobs as before.

Of course, we can quibble about what is "poor", but I think we need to research this: I'm sure that at the turn of the last century, the early 1900's, the vast majority of married women with children stayed at home with their children. For one thing, salaries were higher. One effect of women entering the workforce in large numbers is the decline in wages. As late as the 1950's and 60's a working man, in manufacturing, construction or skilled trades, could support his family on his wages. Even 10 years ago it was estimated that a family in the Milwaukee area would need the salaries of two of the following: teacher, policeman, fireman or nurse.

Craig said...

The generation of men who lost the war in Viet Nam no longer deserved respect from women.

Synova said...

The stay-at-home mom for the middle classes was also part of a one-car, one-TV, one-phone, all-the-kids-in-one-room, single bathroom, make meals from basic ingredients, mend socks and underwear, sort of life-style.

To say this now takes two incomes isn't true.

n.n said...

They want to have their dignity and nature, too. It is an easy thing to realize when young and selfish. Unfortunately, nature has already fired some warning shots across our bow. With our desire for instant gratification has come the prominence of STDs, including AIDS. As we delay procreation to a comfortable old age, it has become necessary to pursue artificial means to compensate for our body's deterioration, which has increased the likelihood of mental and physical defects in our children. If people wanted evolutionary dysfunction, then there is no better single cause than the sexual revolution.

So, divorces in the majority, broken families, and progressive dysfunction with each generation, as undeclared expectations go unfulfilled. It's not as if we ever knew each other, when relationships were normalized to a singular physical gratification.

Anyway, another decadent civilization in decline. It too will be replaced with people who are capable of determining a reasonable compromise between the natural and enlightened orders. There seems to be an inevitable cycle of prosperity and dysfunction. It would appear that Americans are not uniquely exceptional, when they follow the same destructive patterns as their predecessors.

Seeing Red said...

No, the sexual revolution was not good for women.

Women are now predators.

Synova said...

"As late as the 1950's and 60's a working man, in manufacturing, construction or skilled trades,..."

...went to work with a thermos and a baloney sandwich... which a person could do *now* for a week on what they spend on one latte (or at most, two) at Starbucks. (Adjusted for inflation by estimating the price of wonder bread, mayo, and baloney at today's prices. The one latte or two depends on what is in the thermos.

Saint Croix said...

I'd argue it was undeniably bad for women and amazingly great for men.

It's been horrible for fatherhood, and for babies.

You're referencing the sex fantasy, the playboy, the James Bond. The reality is that James Bond has herpes, several abortions and child support payments up the ass.

John Lynch said...

Since all women were once girls, no it hasn't been good.

Why are children assumed to be male in these discussions?

Saint Croix said...

The pill made the social revolution *easier* but I don't think it fueled it whatsoever. For one thing, there always was a number of contraceptive methods that could be used with reasonable success, but sexual mores remained.

Synova, I totally disagree. The sex revolution is pagan sexuality. It's a throwback to sexual behavior 2000 years ago.

The reason Jews and Christians were so anxious to repress sexuality is because all the dead babies appalled them.

So they restrained sexuality and they wiped out infanticide.

And while we are certainly living in a more secular age, I would also insist that the change in sexual behavior almost completely coincided with birth control technology.

There was no effective birth control until the latex condom in the 20th century.

The pill is even more reliable than the condom.

Birth control gave us the illusion we could sport fuck like pagans. Without worries of infanticide.

And today millions of people have this incredibly stupid conversation: "What do you mean, you're pregnant? How did that happen?"

So birth control is, ipso facto, a very big deal.

leslyn said...

James Bond has abortions? What is s/he, a hermaphrodite?

ed said...

I'll admit to a guilty pleasure in the whole liberation - feminist movement - sexual revolution thing.

And not in a sexual way either.

I was raised in a very old school traditional manner in New England. Pull the chair out, hold the door, etc etc etc. Now? I slam the door and I don't really care who is on the other side.

It's really quite liberating.

John Lynch said...

I also disagree that it's better for men. For some men, yes. But not for all. Perhaps not even for most.

Again, all men were once boys. Growing up without a father, or with a stepfather, or just their mothers' boyfriends, is not the optimal family arrangement. We all pay a price for rampant illegitimacy and divorce.

And lastly, why does it matter if the sexual revolution was good for women? Do women matter more than men? If so, why? If something is good or bad for women doesn't justify anything until all other factors are included- men and children count, too. We're all human beings.

leslyn said...

N, IMHO most everyone read the majority of your first post and interpreted it opposite of the way you meant it. And so it went.

Your last graph in that post was quite clear though and seems to have been ignored, though it is excellent:

"Having sex without fear of pregnancy did more than just make us sexually freer. It freed us from the social and economical constraints being relegated to ovaries and a uterus put on us. The sexual revolution overlaps the feminist movement in important aress, [areas] primarily the workplace."

Damikesc, if you don't want to get arrested for acting on hot fantasies of women's' supposed inconsistencies--then just take "NO" as "NO."

I see that men are out in force again, telling women what they "need" to do, and what is "wrong" with us.

What makes you think that we're interested in that shit? Look to your own selves.

And being able to voice THAT is one of the better bennies of the sexual revolution.

ed said...

@ ~N

"No, because once women could enter the workplace and her bosses knew she wasn't likely to leave once she inevitably got pregnant, she could compete on more level playing field."

The "level playing field" came about because of *computers* and not the sexual revolution. It allowed the creation of entire industries and professions that did not require physical strength or stamina and did so in such a short time frame that it was necessary to draw on women in the workforce to fill those positions.

As for the pregnancy thing. Ask anybody who has to work closely with someone who just left on maternity leave what fifteen kinds of Hell that get unleashed on deadlines and short schedules. Guess who has to make up the shortfall in productivity. Guess who has to work the long extra hours.

Guess who.

"And once that happened, women weren't given the choice of marriage or spinsterhood (which, in many families, made a woman the de facto caretaker of elderly parents, especially if she was still living at home)."

Ummm. An unmarried woman past 40 is still defined as a spinster. She might be a successful executive. But the choice of wife or spinster is still there.

"And once women could control their reproductive cycles and not have baby after baby after baby, it became easier to leave abusive husbands. Also, as women gained more power in the workplace, they had to be taken more seriously by law enforcement when it came to domestic matters. "

You have a seriously fucked up view of husbands.

And.

Stuff like this is one of the reasons why I'm a confirmed bachelor and will remain so until I die. And frankly so will many men for the future.

William said...

Just recently I saw the HBO documentary on Gloria Steinem. As you might expect, it was completely hagiographic. The hard hitting stuff is reserved for people like Sarah Palin. Well, Gloria did have a successful life, and I suppose her three a.m. moments aren't too difficult to manage......The documentary pointed out that when she was in her early twenties she had an abortion. That abortion was illegal at the time, and she claims that that motivated a lot of her activism.. She did not subsequently have any children. She is very proud of her pro- abortion work...... I wonder if she ever has flitting thoughts about the life that could have been. Maybe, maybe not. Her persona seems cool and poised and self assured. She's not one to second guess herself, but alternatives exclude, and most people wonder what was behind the other door....In her childhood, she suffered a fair amount of abandonment and neglect. She was pretty and smart, but she had the kind of problems that good looks and brains do not solve. Well, she found feminism, a great, grand cause into which she could channel all her unease and dissatisfaction with life.

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

I don't like the conflation of "sexual revolution" and "womens' liberation." Women are perfectly capable of having careers and staying married. Most do. I think that's great.

There isn't a dichotomous choice between now and the 1950s. Sexual freedom isn't the only freedom that matters. I don't buy the argument that without sexual freedom other freedom can't exist.

There are too many people walking around today who manage to stay married and have perfectly happy lives while enjoying the economic and social freedom gained from womens' liberation.

leslyn said...

Oh, BS, "ed." Equality in the workplace did not come about because women were weak and need computers to compete. LOTS of women--including myself--now work very successfully in what were formerly considered "men's jobs." But I never would have gotten here--despite my highly-recognized and awarded abilities--if it weren't for the axe of equal rights hanging over men's heads.

And if you think women have a bad image of men MERELY because they are more empowered to take action against domestic abuse, I hope you do stay single.

@a'barge: "Feminism == Sociopathology" = misogyny.

Bender said...

I don't buy the argument that without sexual freedom other freedom can't exist.

Is it truly sexual freedom when it is dependent upon one ingesting body-changing chemicals each day or when one is required to wear a piece of latex? Is it freedom when one is necessarily enslaved in this way?

Or is one truly free when one does not need to take drugs or wear balloons on their private parts?

Bender said...

Has the sexual revolution been "good" for anyone?

Of course, the first question is to ask what is meant by "good"? Do we mean "good" as an objective truth, or do we mean it in the utilitarian sense?

If the former, has the sexual revolution been a moral good? The answer to that is rather self-evident.

If the latter, has the sexual revolution increased happiness? The problem with that is that happiness, at least as measured by utilitarian terms, is fleeting and transitory. Especially when sex is involved, one finds rather quickly that the joy of sex is insatiable. You can never get enough of that orgasmic high.

But is that what real happiness is? mere physical ecstasy?

Or is it love that brings real happiness? And isn't it love that is the real moral good, the greatest of moral goods? Isn't love far more important to happiness and the good of a person than some damn job?

So, the question is -- has the sexual revolution brought an increase in love? Do people love each other more? Do men love women more and do women love men more? Or does each use each other as a plaything more? Is there a greater objectification of the human person? After all, why bother to authentically love when you can get the thrill of sex without having to love, merely by "hooking up"?

Has a culture of sex without love been good for women? Would it ever be good for women?

leslyn said...

P.S. "ed": When you finish taking that six weeks leave for that knee injury you got playing softball, I'd be happy to see you come back to work and pick up your part of the load.

That is, of course, if you've recovered from your hernia surgery, and the leave you took to get hair implants.

In the meantime, you'll be happy to know Jen has shouldered your work around here even though she's 8 months pregnant, AND she doesn't complain about it.

leslyn said...

Oh, Bender. Three words:

Aretha Franklin. "R-E-S-P-E-C-T."

Synova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

"I see that men are out in force again, telling women what they "need" to do, and what is "wrong" with us."

Which men were those?

Mostly I tend to notice the women, telling me what I'm supposed to do and what I'm supposed to think, on account of I have a vagina and a womb.

Used ones, too.

And, for what it's worth, while some women don't go brain-dead during pregnancy, in general terms, yes, that's what happens. And if any young lady wants my advice... never try to train for a new job while gestating. The hormone storm is a bitch to cognitive function.

Inconvenient Truth.

Synova said...

Oh, and the domestic abuse thing?

Somehow, even without marriage, the girls I know seem to figure out how to get beat up by their boyfriends.

Go figure.

Almost Ali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Almost Ali said...

When you boil it all down, all we wanted was a little Music in the Night….

Synova said...

And actually... getting told what to think by my "sisters" makes me profoundly cranky.

Almost Ali said...

Lyrics I took to a fault...

ed said...

"P.S. "ed": When you finish taking that six weeks leave for that knee injury you got playing softball, I'd be happy to see you come back to work and pick up your part of the load." - leslyn

So. You complain about men telling you what you supposedly need or want and now you're telling me about my life?

Here's my life: I've worked continuously since I was 17. The only times I've not worked is when I've been hospitalized. I've never gone to rehab. I've never done rehabilitation of a knee even though my knees are in terrible shape. I've had episodes of bleeding ulcers that required hospitalization and I still worked. I've been hospitalized for sepsis and I've still worked. I've been hospitalized a number of times due to kidney failure and I've still worked.

So next time you have the urge to tell me about my life: shut the fuck up.

Peter said...

I can god-damned well tell you one sexual thing that desperately needs to change!

Bender said...

OK, leslyn, what about respect?

Has the sexual revolution increased respect for women? or respect for men?

Almost Ali said...

Once, a long time ago, I was a sucker for romance…

ed said...

@ leslyn

"Oh, BS, "ed." Equality in the workplace did not come about because women were weak and need computers to compete. LOTS of women--including myself--now work very successfully in what were formerly considered "men's jobs." But I never would have gotten here--despite my highly-recognized and awarded abilities--if it weren't for the axe of equal rights hanging over men's heads."

Such as? What profession do you do then that was formerly considered a "men's job"?

Lumberjack? Miner? Big rig trucker?

"And if you think women have a bad image of men MERELY because they are more empowered to take action against domestic abuse, I hope you do stay single."

My point is simple:

men don't give a shit what your view is. I certainly don't. And the number of men who used to give a shit now either do not or they're dead. And the number of young men who could possibly give a shit are learning to not give a shit. Young men who learned early to not give a shit continue to not give a shit.

News @ 6: Men do not give a shit. The only ones who give a shit are other women. Other women are learning to not give a shit.

Which should elicit some sort of witty quote from Voltaire but I can't be arsed to look one up.

Almost Ali said...

But, I can still dream…

leslyn said...

@Synova, since you quoted me:

I think you may have missed the snarkies because you and N were in an arm-wrestle.

Don't go back and look; it's like having a finger stuck down your throat.

I wish we would stop pretending that certain life events only affect one gender. For instance, what about the male hormone storm between about 14 and oh, say, 30? That's not a treat, either.

leslyn said...

Why ed! At last we agree!

Bender said...

I remember some (male) professor (it had to be a professor, I can't imagine having read it in high school) trying to tell us how The Awakening was some great celebration of women's liberation.

Practically the entire class (men and women combined) responded with, "Dude, the woman was miserable and killed herself at the end. You think that should be celebrated?"

Was the sexual revolution (awakening) good for Edna Pontellier?

bagoh20 said...

What's a woman?

Bender said...

Nothing but a social construct bagoh.

You want to be a woman yourself? Easy as pie, just declare yourself to be one.

leslyn said...

@Bender.

It depends what age you are.

At these ages right now:

If you're over 50, respect by men toward women has not increased. The attitude just remains, in general, crappy.

Between 40 and 50 (that is, considering both men and women at that age) some men are still misogynystic, but most appreciate what women have to offer.

Between 30 and 40 men think misogynystic men are weird.

Between 20 and 30, men like women and don't waste their time worrying about gender roles.

Of course, these are generalizations. They are also based on "only" anecdotal evidence--but anecdotal evidence that has stood up over time.

All of which only serves to remind me (as if I needed reminding) why I have to date men at least 10 years younger than I: because all of the things that are "wrong" with me with men my age or older, are "right" with younger men. I have a challenging, interesting (formerly known as men's) job; I make good money; I'm not stupid. Younger men like that. Older men don't.

I don't make those rules. I just pay attention to them.

As for whether men have gained greater respect; I respect men who respect me for trying to do my best. I suspect it is the same for many women.

BTW, Bender, you know you can't have true love without respect.

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leslyn said...

Bender said,

"I remember some (male) professor (it had to be a professor, I can't imagine having read it in high school) trying to tell us how The Awakening was some great celebration of women's liberation.

"Practically the entire class (men and women combined) responded with, "Dude, the woman was miserable and killed herself at the end. You think that should be celebrated?"

LOL! You prove my point. The professor was at least 10 years older than the class, was he not?

As to poor Edna, the pioneers and trailblazers always have it tougher than those who come after.

Your "social construct" response was charming.

Alan said...

The sexual revolution has a number of destructive legacies. Rankign supreme is the trivialization of sexuality - the meme that a sexual relationship doesn't have to be either serious or permanent to be rewarding.

One consequence is that this plays directly into age-old male chauvinism. Once guys discover hormones, without discipline they tend to pursue female humanity as they would a free buffet.

Or perhaps "Toy Story" offers a better parallel. A toy exists solely for the imagination of its owner - thus the taboo on relationships between toy and owner. If sex is available without the need for relationship, what will motivate guys into learning about relationship-building?

Another problem is the degree to which culture is fixated on sexuality. Time devoted to one meme is time not devoted to others. Our entertainment media spends s much time on crassness (not just the sexual variety) that positive Western memes - such as peer relationships between the sexes - get short shrift.

Kirk Parker said...

David,

"Head Start proceeds from a basically good notion that has been perennially screwed up by the government that runs it."

Really? I thought a more accurate summary would go, "Head Start proceeds from a intuitively obvious theory that, sadly, turns out not be be true."


Damikesc (@7:52pm),

Hey, when historical determinism is barreling down the tracks, better just step out of the way or you might get hurt.


Milwaukee,

You can claim to hide behind "quibbling", but seriously--nobody working in the skilled trades was "poor" by Synova's definition (or any other reasonable person's.)

Dante said...

Condoms have been latex since 1933, so let's get rid of the idea that birth control came around with the pill.

What happened is a bunch of horny hippies in the 1960s convinced women it was their duty to have more sex, and they complied. Women's natural instinct is to get a man who is going to take care of the kids. Some ugly and crazy women decided that women were not equal (they are definitely not the same), and convinced them again that they would be more fulfilled competing in the workforce.

And the results are there for all to see. Single parenthood, screwed up divorce laws, intelligent women in their early forties realizing they gave up their child bearing years and will be barren, or an old spinster, and trying desperately to figure out what to do, the destruction of community (how many people know their neighbors anymore? it's now a government function), the tremendous difficulty it places on women who are homemakers, etc.

The advantage is of course to GDP, and creating excess wealth that gets consumed by the ownership class.

To the extent that women like to be used as pawns by wealthy men and others in the ownership class, it's been great.

Bruce Hayden said...

""Has the Sexual Revolution Been Good for Women?""

I would say it was good and bad. And, right now, I can't say which side I think that it falls.

On the one hand, my mother went to college, excelled (including being #1 in her class at a major state university), got married right after the war (WWII), and had five boys to add to the baby boom. She always seemed to me to have wanted to have had a career. And, had somewhat of one for awhile after my youngest brother was out as the head of lobbying, etc. for the state LWV. Came from a family of feminists, including an aunt get her masters in math from Columbia, and ancestoresses being active in the fight for female voting rights (and against slavery and demon rum). Happy life and happy marriage, except for what always appeared to me to be this regret about a career.

But, the problem there really wasn't that women could not have careers, but rather, that her generation could not. The basic reason for the baby boom was that Rosy the Riveter was forced by society to give up her job to free up jobs for the men returning from WWII. Fertility of those having kids was no higher, and, indeed, had been dropping at a fairly even rate since the Revolution. What shot up after WWII was the rate of marriage and of those married, the number having kids. And, this was done partially by intentionally moving women out of the workforce.

But, if you look at the generation before that, at least in my family, there were a lot of "liberated" women. My mother's two aunts had careers and no kids. Her mother worked until marrying late. And, my father's mother ended up teaching at the college level. Those four women having at least four college degrees among themselves. In that generation, in the upper middle class, it seems like half the women got married and bore the next generation, and half worked, had careers, etc.

I think that modern feminism is then, to some extent, a reaction by baby boomer women against the constraints placed upon their mothers by the necessity of finding jobs for all those returning GIs.

leslyn said...

Ya know guys, give it up.

We are just not going to go back to being barefoot,pregnant and in the kitchen FOREVER.

End of story.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am all for empowering women. Maybe because of all those strong women in my background, I have always had a weakness for strong women in my life.

But, in determining whether modern feminism has been good or bad for women, I think that you also have to look at some of what has happened to society (and, thus to women) a good part because of it.

A lot more kids today are being raised without fathers, and in broken homes. That isn't good for either the kids raised that way, or for society in general.

Back when I was graduating from college (and I am a year older than Ann), a distinct majority got married right out of high school or college. You would move into relatively monogamous relations a bit before (e.g. going "steady" in HS, etc.), and then move to marriage. So, while still at prime child rearing age, most would be paired up into marriage.

Today, that isn't the case. Very little going steady in college any more, and really a lot less dating. And, in a lot of high schools, the same. Just everyone hanging around together, and hooking up on occasion for sex. And, this seems to continue now throughout the 20s for a lot of young adults. And, when the young women are thinking about settling down as their biological clocks run, they are finding that the guys aren't nearly as interested (because they can get the sex by hooking up) and are more likely to be in an inferior position (less school, lesser career, etc.)

What I don't think was understood, when we embarked on this road, was that the thing that settles males down, and turns boys into men, is marriage and fatherhood, and one of the driving forces traditionally behind marriage was availably of sex for males at the time of their maximum hormone levels and sex drive. Add to this, that society has attempted to replace males in the bread winning category. Males are only necessary for their sperm and for paying for children, either through child support or through taxes that pay for government programs that support other men's children.

Without the necessity and opportunity to raise their own children, males are more and more just opting out. Playing more than working throughout their 20s and into their 30s. And, even if they aren't, for the most part, they are not working nearly as hard as preceding generations of men. Add to this that school, both K-12 and college, have become significantly feminized in the last 40 years, and, thus, not as comfortable environment as they are for women.

Back to women. As I noted, 40 years ago, they could expect to land a husband, and have a family. Maybe a bit earlier than they wanted, but it was still likely. Now days, not nearly so much. Young women, up into their 30s, seem much less happy with their lot than do the men, who are off doing their thing, which often involves a lot of male oriented activities. For many of these young women, the unavailability of eligible (and superior) males who want to build a long term relationship with them seems to be a major impediment to their long term happiness. Females, by their nature, are much more driven by relationships, and right now, many seem to be feeling the lack of the most important relationship of their lives - their spouse.

So, I think that there has been a downside to feminism, and I am back to where I started - I don't know if it has been better or worse for women.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that contraception has been more of a boon for males than for females. At least at the micro level (as opposed to the societal level, which I discussed above).

In the past, women could, and would, condition sex on a commitment by the male to them, because of the potential, and probability, of pregnancy and being stuck raising the resulting children without the support of a man.

This is no longer the case. Sex and marriage, or at least a long term committed relationship, are now effectively decoupled. Males can now get what they need, at a low level (i.e. sex), without giving the females what they need emotionally, which is commitment.

Another part of this is that women have always faced a race to the bottom, and were protected against that by marriage. At least at younger ages, they are driven to find a mate, and find that the girls who interest the boys the most, are the ones who put out. (And, yes, who look like they are more likely to put out, which is evidenced by the way that they dress - ever more sluttily). Which puts pressure on the rest of the women to also put out, and to look like they will do so.

Getting back to the males - they can, and naturally do, use this dynamic to their advantage. For the most part, they want uncommitted sex, and as a result, pursue the women more aggressively who are willing to supply it. Which puts ever more pressure on women to provide it.

The males get their sex. What do the women get in return? They often don't get what they need most emotionally from men, which is a committed relationship.

Which is why I think that contraception is probably more to the benefit of males (except for the problem of being denied fatherhood, which I discussed earlier).

fleetusa said...

A woman named Elle Swan is a black advice guru for essentially black women. I heard her on XM radio the other day say, "women should not have sex with a man who doesn't have a job".

She went on to say women shouldn't be footing the bill for their boyfriend's cellphone, cars, etc.

That makes sense.

Will they listen?

Jennifer said...

So, Mary Eberstadt's position is that the sexual revolution brought drama and angst to the previously peaceful and uncomplicated arena of male/female relations? Or that ladies mags are reliable indicators of philosophical truths?

Her primary thesis may well be right, but she sure didn't prove it.

MentalKarma said...

I just want to point out ways in which the pill as a form of birth control has helped women.

A woman doesn't need a man to agree to use the pill, the way they do with a condom, and it can't be as easily sabotaged by an unscrupulous male intent on impregnating the woman.

As a result, women can now have sex before marriage without as high a chance of getting pregnant, which can then be used to pressure them into marriage.

Also, women can now have sex after marriage without as high a chance of getting pregnant, which protects them from being forced into dependency on their husband, or from being forced to abandon goals that they would otherwise pursue.

I don't want you to think I disapprove of pregnancy in some way, but the results are likely to be better if both partners want it to result, and commitments made under the duress of pregnancy are more likely to breed resentment, which can damage the relationship.

However, I think it is silly to argue that the pill made it easier for men to pressure women into sex. Men were doing that long before the pill existed -- but then, women had a greater variety of negative consequences.

While you may decry the lack of negative consequences leading to an increase in unsafe or socially harmful (depending on your moral viewpoint) behavior, what this has really created is a situation where women (and men) need to think more broadly about the consequences of their actions. You may disagree, but I think this is preferably to treating women as incapable of such abstract thought.

Regardless, any argument that relies on the belief that women should have to suffer the consequence of pregnancy because of their choice to have sex is mean-spirited, and clearly not interested in improving their quality of life.

One more thing, someone here said that the pill allowed sex without love, and caused more unloving relationships. I can't help but disagree. Again, men have always successfully convinced women to have sex with them before they were married. In fact, historically, men have been praised for their skill in this endeavor (as opposed to being called sluts). I think that a marriage entered into freely without the pressure of a pregnancy is more likely to be based on love. Have you considered that love may just be hard to find?

Jay said...

First, we could swap out baby showers for a revitalized Head Start program...

Hysterical.

Yes, because private get togethers among family and friends are like the exact same thing as a failed federally funded program.

Or something.

Want to know why the "sexual revolution" and modern "feminism" are abject failures?

Because you had dummies like this woman as thought leaders.

That's why.

FrancisChalk said...

Of course the Sexual Revolution has been far better for men than women. Despite the view of women the Left has tried to foist on society, the fact remains that men are infinitely more sexually driven than women. The constant faux reality of women and their desire for sex depicted on Sex and The City, Desperate Housewives, and countless other fantasy shows and advertising make it appear that all this free, uncommitted sex is just great for women. Nothing could be further from the truth. If ever there was a "Big Lie" to top all other "Big Lies", the benefits of the Sexual Revolution for women would be it.

sydney said...

When I was young, I thought the sexual revolution was good for women. It allowed me to freely go visit my boyfriend in another city for weeks at a time without scandal.

But, now that I'm older and no longer view it through the prism of me, I have to think it has not been so good for women. I see so many women who are left raising children alone, often from multiple fathers, with no help from any of them. It's not a good situation for mother or children. I also have to agree with Bruce Hayden - even the more affluent who settle in to serial monogamy seem to be missing the stability of commitment. They feel the absence of it as an absence of love.

SGT Ted said...

No, because once women could enter the workplace and her bosses knew she wasn't likely to leave once she inevitably got pregnant, she could compete on more level playing field.

And what happened was that when she got pregnant, she demanded paid job leave and paid child care from her employer so she could "keep working". Men never had that deference before. Only women were to be shown any deference to their wishes. Because they have vaginas and are special.

Once women used the "equality" argument got their foot in the door, notice how the circle of men who were to cater to her personal choices expanded from her family and/or spouse to include her boss or the Companies owners.

Also included in this ever expanding circle of people who are now obligated to cater to womens whims in the workplace are the politicians who they lobbied to pass laws guaranteeing all those things normally provided by family now be provided by employers, free of charge.

Not to mention all the wealth transfer programs that shower money and benefits on women who unilaterally choose to keep a child, regardless of her ability to pay any of the costs. As well as a one sided court system that rewards women for not marrying the sperm donor with access to his bank account for 22+ years of free cash.

You can see by the actual results that the sexual revolution really has been about female superiority and deference to their personal desires by society and the law, as if the rest of us were her devoted, worshipping lovers and not equal individuals with our own desires or rights or autonomy.

Modern women are all about telling other people, particularly men, what to do and how much money needs to be taken from others to give to them and they will use the force of government to do it, all the while claiming special status because of their genitalia.

Don't ask them to do anything that would force them to make any sacrifices to their personal whims, such as paying for their own Birth COntrol Pills. Thats considered an act of "war" to them.

They also have the chutzpah to think they should be free of mockery when they announce their selfish laundry list of wants that other people are to pay for.

Such is the state of the Modern Woman of Entitlement these days.

SGT Ted said...

Prior to the sexual revolution there were no women rock bands..

And there still aren't any female rock bands with the same creds or staying power as all male ones. Most successful women are singing pop, sould, R & B, hip hop, country, etc. The best female rock singers usually have a male back-up band. Like Evanescence, Chrissy Hines, Pat Benatar or Heart.

SGT Ted said...

The basic reason for the baby boom was that Rosy the Riveter was forced by society to give up her job to free up jobs for the men returning from WWII.

And they were able to make that sacrifice with relatively little pain because they had bread winners called "men' ready to take care of them once they left the workforce and they were also making room for more future breadwinners to take care of their own families. Women had men taking care of them as a fallback.

And don't act like women back then had no say in the home or society. Go talk to my mom if you think that. She'll square you away.

The men leaving the military didn't have that option. THEY were expected to BE the breadwinners.

It's probably the last time American women have had to make a sacrifice for society that big.

SGT Ted said...

A woman doesn't need a man to agree to use the pill, the way they do with a condom, and it can't be as easily sabotaged by an unscrupulous male intent on impregnating the woman.

You really beleive thats what was happening?

The only people I have ever heard of sabotoging condoms are women looking for a payday.

Yea, now the woman can lie to the male about being protected on the pill and get free cash from him or the rest of us for the next 22+ years.

SGT Ted said...

Ya know guys, give it up.

We are just not going to go back to being barefoot,pregnant and in the kitchen FOREVER.


Thats not what we're arguing for. We're arguing that you need to take responsiblity for ALL aspects of your life and quit trying to pawn off your personal financial liabilities to the rest of us, simply because it involves your vagina.

If you let men spooge in your coochie voluntarily, don't come around looking for a payday from the rest of us when you get pregnant. Do whatever, just get your hand out of my wallet. THATS what "EQUALITY" means to me.

Men have always been forced by society and the law to take financial responsiblity for being sexually active. Women need to REALLY start doing so as well without forcing somebody other than the father of the child to pay for it. That includes child care.

We are arguing that women need to stop the rent-seeking to to subsidize the negative consequences of their personal sexual lifestyle choices.

madAsHell said...

I'm fairly certain that the "Sexual Revolution" was a headline on TIME magazine.

Otherwise, I have no proof of a sexual revolution. I may have notched more nookie than my father, but I don't think so, and we never discussed it.

hksche2000 said...

In Milwaukee, 45% of chidren of african american mothers have no father. Is that how birth control sets you free?! Perhaps those statistics weren't much better before women's lib and birth control, but it's hard to imagine they could be much worse.

Penny said...

If the Sexual Revolution didn't turn out to be good for America, how can it be good for women OR men OR children?

Bruce Hayden said...

In Milwaukee, 45% of chidren of african american mothers have no father. Is that how birth control sets you free?! Perhaps those statistics weren't much better before women's lib and birth control, but it's hard to imagine they could be much worse.

My understanding is that Black legitimacy rates peaked around maybe 1950, and has been on a pretty steady decline ever since.

The basic problem these days is that we have made having and raising children out of wedlock viable for a lot of women, esp. if economically they do not have that expensive of tastes. This really got going with LBJ's Great Society, and expanded up until Welfare Reform was forced on President Clinton.

I don't think that this is good for society. It appears that some men, esp. in Black lower class communities, now take pride in how many children they can father, on as many women as possible, and not take any financial responsibility for them.

I think that this has little to do with feminism, except that feminism gave this sort of behavior a green light, and mostly is a result of the welfare dependency state foisted upon us by well meaning liberals and progressives.

Bruce Hayden said...

The men leaving the military didn't have that option. THEY were expected to BE the breadwinners.

It's probably the last time American women have had to make a sacrifice for society that big
.

Agreed, but the jobs were also a payback for going overseas to fight and die for our country.

After the war, the men wanted to come back, get married, have kids, etc. And, society agreed. But, a lot of the women who had discovered the joys of working and earning a living did not. So, there was a major propaganda push by the government and the media of the time to convince all these women that their place was back in the home. And, it worked, with a significantly higher percentage of women bearing children, than was the case for their parents' generation.

BTW - one of the interesting facets about the "baby boom" is that it only really happened in non-UK English speaking countries - i.e., the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Pretty much everywhere else, there was a brief blip of births right after the war, but that was it. We had that blip, but that wasn't the baby boom. Rather, it got going a year or so later when the propaganda got underway fully.

Lyssa said...

What kind of "women" are we talking about? We're not all the same.

The sexual revolution has been, unquestionably, great for me. I've had the best of both worlds. I had a (mostly) SAHM and a stable dad. I had the aptitude to go to college and law school, and the self-respect and willpower to exercise the utmost responsibility with my sexuality. For some reason, I've almost always attracted males who respect me as a woman and as an individual, and I've never had them pressure me for more than I wanted to give. I was lucky enough to meet and marry a wonderful man at a young age, who respected all I wanted and was proud of my achievements and supported my goals. I've never had a unintended pregnancy, but I've always known that if I did, it would be with a man who would never leave us hanging.

I've always been successful in my careers, and, unlike Leslyn, I've never felt that my success was based on an "axe of equal rights" hanging over anyone's head, but knew that it was because I added value to my organizations.

Am I representative of "women." No, I am certainly not.

Do the benefits to women like me outweigh the downsides to other women? Do the benefits to women like me yield benefits to all of society? And do those benefits outweigh the downsides?

Darrell said...

MentalKarma said "In fact, historically, men have been praised for their skill in this endeavor (as opposed to being called sluts)."

Because it was rare, not common. They didn't hand out participation trophies back in the day, or gloat over something that everyone did. Not that I agree with you that men ever praised knocking up a woman without asking for her hand in marriage as soon as he found out.

The rest of your universe sounds equally foreign to me. Glad I don't live there.

Bruce Hayden said...

Despite the view of women the Left has tried to foist on society, the fact remains that men are infinitely more sexually driven than women. The constant faux reality of women and their desire for sex depicted on Sex and The City, Desperate Housewives, and countless other fantasy shows and advertising make it appear that all this free, uncommitted sex is just great for women. Nothing could be further from the truth. If ever there was a "Big Lie" to top all other "Big Lies", the benefits of the Sexual Revolution for women would be it.

Interestingly to me, despite the portrayal of sexual independence in "Sluts in the City", the angst of the female lead characters there for something more meaningful, for a stable monogamous relationship, ending maybe someday in marriage, seems to still come out.

The problem is not that women don't have sex drives, and that in many cases, those sex drives can be as strong, if not stronger, than those of men. But, rather, women being more relationship oriented than men, most often seem to need more than mere sex. They seem to also need a relationship that goes beyond sex, and hopefully some commitment.

And, as should be obvious, this need of women is not accidental, but is deeply wired. Up until very recently, women who had sex, got pregnant. And, getting pregnant without having the male committed first meant that the resulting children were much more likely to die before reaching maturity (and, therefore leaving progeny of their own), and, the women were probably a bit more likely to die earlier too. Both of which are strong drivers of evolution. This monogamous mating is one of the big evolutionary changes in us, as humans, since the time that we split off from our chimpanzee ancestors, and was probably driven by the much longer period of dependency of our young.

In other words, no matter how liberated women want to be, esp. in regards to free, relationshipless, sex, they are wired to want/need a commitment from the males they are having sex with.

And, I would suggest that this is much less so for males. Historically, the children that have the highest chance of surviving long enough to breed came from a stable monogamous relationship. But, males could increase their genetic success if they could also impregnate other women on the side. And, I think, that forming much of an emotional attachment to these side women would be counter-productive to their primary relationship with their committed mate.

So, I would suggest that historically, women did better evolutionarily if they required a stable committed relationship before engaging in sex with a man, but men did better evolutionarily if they could compartmentalize their relationships and have uncommitted sex with women.

leslyn said...

@ Bruce Hayden:

Thank you for your cogent, thoughtful and informed comments of 3:22, 3:28 and 4:16 a.m. I'm sorry that I stepped on the first with my comment of 3:24 a.m. (Although I'm not sorry that I said it.) I was responding to Dante and his ilk, and typing while you were posting. Coincidental, but my comment interrupted an observant and, I think, accurate narrative in both fact and conclusion.

And now, gotta go, because the old farts are out again talking about a world that is not, and never really completely was.

Rally cries.... "Judge Deborah!" "Joan d'Arc!" "George Sand!" "Mary Cassatt!" "Mary Shelley!" "Josephine Baker!" "Gertrude Stein!" "Frida Kahlo!" "Kathy Griffin!" "Lady Gaga!"

leslyn said...

Lyssa said:
"I've always been successful in my careers, and, unlike Leslyn, I've never felt that my success was based on an "axe of equal rights" hanging over anyone's head, but knew that it was because I added value to my organizations."

You're younger than I am.

I did not mean that my success was related to the "axe"--merely that the axe allowed me entry into fields previously closed to me as "men's jobs." Success came upon proof. That proof was acknowledged extremely grudgingly in the first decade. It's better now.

I don't mind success based on proof. I prefer it. Anything less is an insult to my capabilities and effort.

Bill Peschel said...

No government policy, progressive or not, can protect people from making bad decisions.

Trashhauler said...

Revolutions have always worked out best for the Vanguard and not so well for the poor slubs in the trenches.

Michael McNeil said...

Saint Croix said... [snip]
Synova, I totally disagree. The sex revolution is pagan sexuality. It's a throwback to sexual behavior 2000 years ago. […]

Birth control gave us the illusion we could sport fuck like pagans. Without worries of infanticide.


There's so much wrong with this, including in parts I didn't quote, and I shan't attempt to answer it all. Suffice it to say that even the pagans didn't “sport fuck like pagans,” and the pagans of antiquity believed just like the Christians who replaced them that sex ought to be for reproduction only.

As Paul Veyne writes in his chapter “The Roman Empire” in Volume I of the historical series A History of Private Life:

“[I]ncoherences and baffling limitations are found in every century. In Greco-Roman culture we find them associated with another pleasure: love. If any aspect of ancient life has been distorted by legend, this is it. It is widely but mistakenly believed that antiquity was a Garden of Eden from which repression was banished, Christianity having yet to insinuate the worm of sin into the forbidden fruit. Actually, the pagans were paralyzed by prohibitions. […]

“Amorous passion, the Romans believed, was particularly to be feared because it could make a free man the slave of a woman. He will call her ‘mistress’ and, like a servant, hold her mirror or her parasol. Love was not the playground of individualists, the would-be refuge from society that it is today. Rome rejected the Greek tradition of ‘courtly love’ of ephebes, which Romans saw as an exaltation of pure passion (in both senses of ‘pure,’ for the Greeks pretended to believe that a man's love for a freeborn ephebe was Platonic). When a Roman fell madly in love, his friends and he himself believed either that he had lost his head from overindulgence in sensuality or that he had fallen into a state of moral slavery. The lover, like a good slave, docilely offered to die if his mistress wished it. Such excesses bore the dark magnificence of shame, and even erotic poets did not dare to glorify them openly. They chose the roundabout means of describing such behavior as an amusing reversal of the normal state of affairs, a humorous paradox. […]

“Petrarch's praise of passion would have scandalized the ancients or made them smile. The Romans were strangers to the medieval exaltation of the beloved, an object so sublime that it remained inaccessible. They were strangers, too, to modern subjectivism, to our thirst for experience. Standing apart from the world, we choose to experience something in order to see what effect it has, not because it is intrinsically valuable or required by duty. Finally, the Romans were strangers to the real paganism, the at times graceful and beautiful paganism of the Renaissance. Tender indulgence in pleasures of the senses that became, also, delights of the soul was not the way of the ancients. The most Bacchic scenes of the Romans have nothing of the audacity of some modern writers. […]

Continued…

Lyssa said...

Leslyn, while I appreciate the history that allowed entry, it should be limited to that, history. Your statement about the axe may have been intended historically, but you focused on it, and not on proof, as if it were the present or the only. It is not.

"Barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen FOREVER" exagerations to the contrary, things have changed enormously, and women like you do us all a disservice by ignoring that.

Michael McNeil said...

Continued from above…

“It is clear that the requirements of marriage had become more stringent than ever. Because marriage was friendship, husband and wife could make love only in order to have children, and even then with care not to indulge in too many caresses. A man must not treat his wife as he would a mistress, Seneca admonishes, and Saint Jerome cites him approvingly. His nephew Lucan was of the same opinion. He wrote an epic, a sort of realistic historical novel, in which he describes in his own fashion the story of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey. He shows Cato, model of the Stoic, taking leave of his wife (the same wife he lent for a time to a friend) as he prepares to go off to war. Even on the eve of such a lengthy separation, they do not make love, as Lucan is at pains to point out, explaining as he does the doctrinal significance of the fact. Even that semigreat man Pompey, although no Stoic, does not sleep with his wife on the farewell night. Why the abstinence? Because a good man does not live for petty pleasures and is careful about every action. To give in to desire is immoral. There is only one reasonable ground for a couple to sleep together: procreation. It was a question not of asceticism but of rationalism. Reason asked: Why do this? By nature a planner, reason found it difficult to accept ‘Why not?’ as an answer.”

leslyn said...

Since you quoted me Lyssa:

Lyssa said:

"'Barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen FOREVER' exagerations to the contrary, things have changed enormously, and women like you do us all a disservice by ignoring that."

1. The "barefoot" remark was directed to commenters who advocated that and worse, and I stated that.

2. "Things have changed enormously." Couldn't agree more, and I supported existing meritocracy.

3. "...(W)omen like you do us all a disservice by ignoring [that things have changed enormously]." Sorry. I don't ignore it, I celebrate it.

Alex said...

We'd be better off if ya'll women were back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant making ME a sammich.

Did ya hear leslyn - get to it!

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
damikesc said...

Damikesc, if you don't want to get arrested for acting on hot fantasies of women's' supposed inconsistencies--then just take "NO" as "NO."

You're aware Tucker Max had women THROWING themselves at him --- AFTER he discussed, in great detail, exactly how badly he uses and tosses them aside. There was no mystery what he was and women, plenty of them, wanted him to bang them anyways.

It's not that hard to get a woman to spread her legs. Hate to break it to you. With fewer negative repurcussions, men now don't have to do nearly the work to get inside a woman's pants. Perhaps that's a positive to some people, but I don't see how it helps women.

...but, hey, it's not me bemoaning how many of the opposite sex are not marriage material. True, I'm married --- but men not being marriage material and still getting sex frequently with little effort isn't exactly a positive for women.

Of course, a lot of men openly say they will never get into a marriage with American women as is. There is a reason and they will express it to you in great detail if asked.

In the meantime, you'll be happy to know Jen has shouldered your work around here even though she's 8 months pregnant, AND she doesn't complain about it.

Do you wish to compare workplace injury/death statistics between men and women? It's not even close. What you say happens is very much the exception.

We are just not going to go back to being barefoot,pregnant and in the kitchen FOREVER.

Way to slay that straw man, leslyn. Impressive!

1. The "barefoot" remark was directed to commenters who advocated that and worse, and I stated that.

So, what commenter advocated that? If somebody notes that, you know, welfare hasn't been a benefit for blacks --- doesn't mean they want to reinstitute slavery.

leslyn said...

Right away, Alex! Just name your poison.....

[It's a joke, people, it's a joke! Alex's "sammich" post was fun.]

Fen said...

Bruce Hayden is spot on, as usual.

Today's "man" is a boy who never had to grow up, who does a quick hookup and then gets back to his first-person shooter game.

Its just not worth the effort. And, after all the harping about how much work housewife's did, Women are learning that being The Man really really really sucks.

1-2-3 Not It!

Dante said...

Lesbian Sez:

We are just not going to go back to being barefoot,pregnant and in the kitchen FOREVER

Don't. But don't speak for everyone, and please, why do you disdain one of the most fundamental drives of women, to raise kids, with the trite "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen." Maybe you can't get a man, but plenty of women can. That's why their are children, you know.

Dante said...

lesbian sez:
I was responding to Dante and his ilk, and typing while you were posting. Coincidental, but my comment interrupted an observant and, I think, accurate narrative in both fact and conclusion.

What do you rail about? Stereotypes. What do you produce? Stereotypes. How about this. Why not face the facts. I think what I wrote is pretty clear. Some is hypothesis, sure, but face it. First, without women's desire to have children, I suspect the human race would die out or change rapidly, quickly. Undomesticated guys simply want to spray their seed around as much as they can. That's the biological imperative. Women on the other hand are super choosy. You equate the child rearing process to being barefoot and pregnant. Sorry you hate your natural desires/function so much.

See, that's the grand compromise in marriage. A guy gets a gal, she doesn't cheat (what worries men the most), and a gal gets a guy that hangs around. See how marriage popped up all over the world independently. Amazing.

It's fine for people like you that hate your own reproductive function/natural nurturing nature. The problem comes from your pushing an inferiority complex on to others, making them feel they aren't worthy unless they are doing what you want to do. Funny how the ownership class gets so much benefit out of it, and how the destruction of the family has catapulted an entire destructive political group, Democrats and liberals, to come to power in a spiral of state dependency and interference between men and women.

I know, that's old school. Wait, I think it's simply an observation of our animal and human nature, and you are off in the weeds chasing some self destructive idea.

Help yourself, but stop destroying others who don't have your inferiority complex.

Dante said...

Bruce,

I can't find a definitive source, like CDC, easily, but most items on the web indicate a vastly LOWER incidence of out of wedlock birth for blacks, and an astounding 70% illegitimacy today. Please check your facts.

Agree with a lot of what you say. Regarding women having more sex drive than men, I haven't seen much of that. I suppose women are more capable of having sex more often than men.

leslyn said...

@Dante:

BWAAA HA HA!

I didn't see the "Lesbian" form of address coming.

Dante said...

Lesbian:

Just giving you back some of your stereotypes. Glad you have a sense of humor.

Lyssa said...

Leslyn said The "barefoot" remark was directed to commenters who advocated that and worse, and I stated that.

No, they didn't. No commenter suggested anything like that. The fact that you interpreted suggestions that we should be more responsible with our sexuality as such exactly proves my point.

"... ignoring [that things have changed enormously]." Sorry. I don't ignore it, I celebrate it.

Could have fooled me.

Lyssa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyssa said...

Dante said: lesbian sez:

Oh, sweet Jesus, grow up. What an embarrasing comment.

FuzzyFace said...

See, that's the grand compromise in marriage. A guy gets a gal, she doesn't cheat (what worries men the most), and a gal gets a guy that hangs around. See how marriage popped up all over the world independently. Amazing.

But... wait! You mean marriage isn't for the purpose of getting tax breaks and emergency room privileges? I'm soooo disillusioned.

damikesc said...

lesbian sez:

Dude, really?

Let's say she is gay --- so?

Her being incapable of cogent thought is a problem. Her sexual orientation, whatever it might be, is utterly immaterial.

leslyn said...

@Lyssa,

Last try.

"Some ugly and crazy women decided that women were not equal (they are definitely not the same), and convinced them again that they would be more fulfilled competing in the workforce." [I.e., ugly and crazy women thought it was wrong not to get out of the kitchen.]

"Feminism = Sociopathology." [That's not worse? To me it is. My self-determination means: not that I am empowered, but that I'm criminally sick.]

"Women are predators." [That's one creepy generalization.]

These were not quotes taken out of context. The last two stood on their own, and the first had more of the same. The first quote sparked my "kitchen" retort.

I celebrate that things have changed enormously, and you say, "You could have fooled me." So I wrote a detailed analysis of my posts in this thread....But why am I even bothering? You chose not to believe me the first time. That's your issue, and I doubt I can change it. So--the world has moved on in the last few hours, and I'm moving with it.

I wish you a life even more successful and happy than you have had up to today.

Synova said...

"Some ugly and crazy women decided that women were not equal (they are definitely not the same), and convinced them again that they would be more fulfilled competing in the workforce." [I.e., ugly and crazy women thought it was wrong not to get out of the kitchen.].

Rude language aside, this is sort of what I recall. It wasn't just a choice or self-actualization, the "workplace" was superior and the "kitchen" and children were soul killing horrors. If lip-service was given to the stay-at-home mom, it was only lip-service. The truth was that there was one proper choice and one proper choice only and it did not include staying at home. The denigration of that "choice" was the phrase, "barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen."

Subsequent generations have women rebelling against this judgment and staying at home, valuing children and the domestic role.

The insistence on this either/or brings us to...

"Feminism = Sociopathology." [That's not worse? To me it is. My self-determination means: not that I am empowered, but that I'm criminally sick.].

Assuming "feminism" means "self-determination." Why assume that? Perhaps "feminism" is the insistence in the either/or that doesn't give women real self-determination but tells them what they're supposed to want. Maybe it's the world-view that insists that the other option from whatever *this* is, is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

Sociopathy is probably not at all the right term for willful fantasizing. IMO, feminism is a willful fantasy that creates a false history, false present, and false alternatives. At no point does it say "self-determination" to me.


"Women are predators." [That's one creepy generalization.].

No doubt you've never tried to send a 16 year old boy into the children's section of the library to find his sister.


I didn't see anyone saying that women ought to be barefoot, pregnant or in the kitchen. Someone said that women were lied to, that they would only find fulfillment in the work-world, and as far as I can tell, that is factually true.

J said...

It was good for the 20% of men that are sleeping with 80% of the women.

Many of the other guys are just opting out. Why settle for leftovers that have been used and abused and now have lots of baggage?

I'd say video games and porn beat most of that group.

Synova said...

"I wish you a life even more successful and happy than you have had up to today."

Heh.

"Feminist" insults of choice... "You're ugly and bitter."

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I guess the inability to recognize marital rape was another great thing about the good old days in the eyes of these conservatives.

Hey! Who needs "rights"? There's a system of social control to uphold!!!

Makes me wonder if that's the reason why so many of you are so callous.

Dante said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dante said...

Lyssa:

Dante said: lesbian sez:

Oh, sweet Jesus, grow up. What an embarrasing comment.

If I can be part of an ilk, Leslyn can be a Lesbian. If she can attribute that stereotype of men and women wanting a stay at home mom as wanting women "barefoot and pregnant," I can add the stereotype that feminists are lesbians.

Anyway, that you consider "Lesbian" an insult is interesting. I'm sure some feminists hold it as a badge of honor.

Synova said...

"I guess the inability to recognize marital rape was another great thing about the good old days in the eyes of these conservatives."

Perfect example.

Alan said...

One more thing, someone here said that the pill allowed sex without love, and caused more unloving relationships.

You're not referring to me, are you? In case anyone out there is confused, I was discussing the Sexual Revolution, not the Pill. The former encompasses the "loose" sexual mores I described earlier. The latter is a medical technology that - like guns, blogs, and law degrees - have moral and immoral applications.

The constant faux reality of women and their desire for sex depicted on Sex and The City, Desperate Housewives

Those TV series strike me as the rough equivalent of minstrel shows.

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