It’s time for American women to admit that the sexual revolution has contributed to this current, concerning climate. Rolling back social mores and sexual ethics was going to come back and haunt us, eventually.
That’s the usual course of things when humans dare to mess with the sacred.
Suggesting that a mid-20th-century counter-culture movement, which followed the wholesome Beaver Cleaver era of 1950s, could have been a net negative, in the long run, is to deny the sexual agency of females. Or at least that’s what I’m told by the p***y-hat wearers who just celebrated their one-year anniversary as they marched our streets and demanded respect.
In the immediate aftermath of a movement focused on declaring the bodily autonomy of women came the horrifying, successful push to deny bodily autonomy to another category of persons entirely: the unborn. In 1973, abortion became the law of the land. Proponents of the sexual revolution claimed victory over their bodies and breathed a sigh of relief. Sexual mistakes resulting in pregnancy could now be solved by ending the life of another.
Apart from the abortion issue is the ongoing problem of sexual assault. Most feminists would say that these crimes are entirely the product of male domination. While men are often the perpetrators and should be condemned and punished as such, women must recognize their role in creating an environment that helped these attitudes flourish.
In the years of the movement, women demanded that they be seen as sexual equals. Why this was considered a positive thing continues to baffle me. When sex is reduced to nothing more than a currency exchange between two individuals, and commitment and meaning are entirely removed, we are left with a void that we’ll continually seek to satiate by searching for more of the same.
One recent example of the harm done by the “freeing” of women and their sexual inclinations is the now well-known incident between comedian Aziz Ansari and a young woman named Grace. An article appearing at Babe detailed what happened at his apartment after the two went on their first date. It’s clear that the diminutive Ansari is a boorish, unpleasant individual, proud of his own celebrity and power. Grace claimed that the behavior, which she participated in and labels “sexual misconduct”, is akin to sexual assault. This incredible stretch muddies the definition of sexual crime even further. Not everything is rape. Grace’s excitement ahead of and during the start of the casual encounter, as related in the article, is obvious. She knew what Ansari wanted most of all, and if she’s honest with herself, her disappointment came from real life dashing the fantasy she had built up in her head more than anything else.
The sexual revolution laid the foundation for these types of damaging and casual experiences all in an effort to level the playing field. The sexual predation out of Hollywood, in political circles, and in our own communities is a direct result of a demand handed down to us from the bedroom pioneers of the 1960s.
Clamoring to be on the same page as men, with regard to sex, didn’t bring us up to their level; it brought us down from our once lofty perch.
For too long we have asked to be treated as nothing more than peers. Traditional notions of selfless love and protection are pushed aside to make way for our so-called sexual freedom. The results should not shock us. When faux equality becomes the sole narrative and growth, wholeness, and longevity are not, the self-inflicted damage is acute. Grace is an example of this destruction.
Women are the only members of the human race who have the ability to get pregnant. That in itself exalts our status from merely one party involved in an interchange of pleasure to those specifically created to carry, sustain, and deliver new life. Since sex can result in pregnancy no matter if it’s planned or not, our responsibility is much more serious than many care to admit. The freedom to end an unborn child’s life through abortion, relinquishing any further responsibility to a casual tryst, does not diminish this role.
Furthermore, the female connection to intimacy is of a very different, more vulnerable nature than men, both physically and emotionally. This should cause women in 2018 to reevaluate their relaxed attitude toward sex and dating. Our biological responsibilities are inherent and they’re not going away. Instead, they must be carefully considered and thoughtfully embraced. Admitting this isn’t a regression. Instead, it’s an honest evaluation after decades of liberation left us with a modern sexual ethic that is no good.
We must recognize that the sexual revolution’s removal of moral boundaries precipitated the current rise in predation. If we don’t, then we’ll seek to cure ills that could have been contained had we respected the original roles of femininity and masculinity all along.
Follow Kimberly Ross on Twitter: @southernkeeks.