I was the guest on a podcast today and we got talking about the end result of the sexual revolution and it occurred to me as I was thinking it through that the sexual revolution will ultimately cave in on itself and end up at exactly the opposite place intended.
In fact, on further reflection, I could probably argue that this is true of every revolutionary movement. It begins in a quest for freedom and ends in bondage.
Let me explain this principle in reference to the sexual revolution: The principles of the sexual revolution are basically that there should be no artificial restraints on sexual freedom. Artificial restraints being those imposed by society–but especially those imposed by religion through the network of societal established religion. This is the legacy of enlightenment thinker Jean Jacques Rousseau, who argued that society (and religion) imposes arbitrary rules that enslave ordinary people–and that the people should rise up and shake off their shackles.
The sexual revolution–enabled by the invention of cheap, (mostly) effective artificial birth control and legalized abortion– preached a message of “love the one you’re with” Feminists jumped on the bandwagon and saw the sexual revolution as the means of attaining sexual equity with men. Once women could turn on or off the baby machine, they argued, women could pick and choose sexual partners and playtime on an equal basis with men.
The slogan borrowed from the French riots in the 60s was “Forbidding is forbidden”. Anything goes. The demand was for total sexual freedom for all. If you dissented from the ideology you were branded as repressed, hung up, puritanical, oppressive and just plain mean.
Now here’s where it gets interesting: This plea for total freedom was also a rejection of reason. Every society everywhere in history down the ages has seen fit to put some sort of restraints on sexual activity. Everybody understood that a total sexual free for all lead to a downward spiral for both the individual, but also for the family and the societal structure.
Reasonable restraint was rejected and with it, reason itself, and when reason goes all one is left with is sentimentalism: making every decision only on the basis of one’s feelings. We tend to feel kindly toward sentimentalism because we incline toward the sweet and tender feelings. However, we too easily forget that there other feeling: rage, resentment, rivalry and revenge, and if we have gotten into the habit of relying only on our feelings, then we will probably also have fallen into the trap of thinking that our feelings are good in themselves, and once we blindly accept the rule of our feelings we will start to think that our not so sweet feelings are also good, noble and worthy.
That’s why the pro abortion protesters this past weekend will have gone home after throwing their ugly tantrums in public thinking that they had done a good thing and that they are righteous people.
How does this lead to the enslavement of women? Because if you create a society with no sex rules, the lack of rules will bite you on the backside. If there are no rules for sex, and anything goes, then who decides who has sex with whom? With the lack of rules, the only person who can decide what happens is the strongest person. If there are really no rules then men will decide when and with whom they have sex. Why? Simply because they are stronger.
This is why the MeToo movement got rolling–because women were waking up to the fact that despite all the so-called progress in the sexual revolution, men still held the power. The women were quite rightly saying, “Hang on. No rules? We think there should be rules for sexual behavior. Men should keep their pants on. Men should not grope and grab. Men should not use power to seduce and abuse.”
Christians would say, “We’ve been saying that for the last two thousand years. Welcome aboard.” We’d also go on to say, “The rules were not to enslave you, but to protect you and your children–because remember, at the baseline children is what sex is about anyway.”