Sexual symmetry between men and women was, is, and always will be a lie.
I’m 63 and I really grew up during the sexual revolution . For many years we thought it was wonderful , that the notion of a “slut” would disappear and we could engage freely in recreational sex. Don’t forget, we now had the birth control pill to stave off any unwanted pregnancies . But, in the end, it was all a mirage. Women and men do approach sex differently and no matter how much we tried to convince ourselves that the “sex” was great, there was always an underlying hope that these guys would really like us. Our rationale was , here we are, a group of intelligent, sexual people. Surely the men would appreciate that. Only, they didn’t. And time after time we started to feel empty, and undeserving of love. It was because even though as women we felt free, men never looked at it that way. It took me many years to figure this out, that even though we felt we were in control of everything, sadly the rest of society did not agree with us.
All very good advice, but the core issue is women think this is about women. It’s not. It’s about men and their expectations of a woman.
Chivalry has to be taught to boys (men). Women are the ones who destroyed chivalry because they projected on themselves that they were regarded as inferior. Women need to teach their boys to be honorable. Boys need to see men who honor their wives and daughters.
As long as mothers raise sons who look at women as sex toys, no amount of advice on how to avoid problems will help. The help starts where the problem starts — mothers and fathers raising sons to truly respect and admire the innate qualities of a woman — women are very special.
Glad to see that women are finally waking up to the horse crap they were sold. Men need to do the same.
And if you think deconstructing gender roles will help, you are sorely misguided…
I have a nine-year-old daughter that I would willingly give my life for, and this essay struck a deep chord with me.
For a large part of my adult life, I eschewed monogamy, embraced promiscuity, and enjoyed the benefits of hook-up culture.
It was only after those seemingly random hookups led to the birth of my oldest child that I chose to settle down, make plans for my life, and create a stable home and environment for my child.
Looking back, I see the carnage my promiscuity caused for me, but it's the women I met and sometimes hooked up with who suffered most.
Many dealt with life-changing circumstances due to promiscuous late-night hookups, including broken relationships, early childbirth, forgotten dreams, and soul-crushing abortions, to name a few.
Most of the men who helped bring about these disastrous circumstances offered little to no support to these women whose lives they helped to destroy.
I'm not putting all the blame on the men.
After all, it takes two to tango.
But it wasn't the men whose career aspirations, reputations, and futures got destroyed.
The women always paid the highest price for so-called "sexual freedom."
Education is not enough.
Creating awareness is not enough.
Handing out condoms, birth control, and spermicide in the Student Center is not enough.
Teaching our children how to think past the pleasure of the moment, how to set goals, and how to create good self-care habits at a young age is critical to their success and mental health.
Include sex in your conversations with your kids.
Approach the topic early and often.
Empower them with knowledge upfront.
Create space for your children to feel heard, understood, loved, and valued.
Instead of talking at them or telling them what to do, ask them what they're doing, what they want, and how you can help them get it.
Empathy is the key.
After much deliberation, these are the guidelines my wife and I use with our children.
I can only hope that they will be enough to guide them in the right direction and avoid the pitfalls and potholes my wife and I have visited.
Thanks for your voice Louise. It's a great return of sanity to an important debate. Things have worked out for me. I spent a long time not worrying about settling down and when I did get serious, I met a wonderful woman with a child and I jumped into the responsibility of fatherhood. It's been very joyful. I wish my generation was taught the importance of family life. I have friends that have chosen to not have kids and my heart breaks. I see them pouring their entire lives into jobs that don't give them back the satisfaction you would get from family.
I remember thinking to myself while waiting for a bus in 1985 or so (after my shift at the pizza place, some "career") that the most difficult thing to achieve, it had turned out, was to have children. I never knew where a relationship was going, didn't know how to ask, felt unworthy given how loose I'd been, didn't know how to communicate my needs -- compared to my mother's generation, when dating clearly led to marriage and if it didn't look like that would work out, they got out and moved on. The chaos of the so-called Sexual Revolution will take generations to undo; it frankly made my life even harder than it had to be -- and it wasn't fun. When I try to suggest that we change the narrative, and how about we agree, once more, that dating leads to marriage or get out and move on, that we should get married sooner than later (especially now that we live longer), have our kids and pursue a career in, say, our late 20's, when the kids are in school, friends and community established -- women look at me as if I'm insane -- yet -- yet -- pursuing a career first merely leads to fertility clinics in one's late 30's and early 40's....the whole social experiment has failed....and the worst effect that I see coming up the pike is that when my generation is old, most of us won't have children to advocate for us (in my high school friend group, only two of five had children, one of whom had had so many abortions she could barely carry her one child to term); I entertain predictions that assisted suicide will have to become a thing -- what else could be done with so many aged out childless women...? The whole enterprise -- like so many other progressive causes -- wasn't cause and effect by any stretch of the imagination. Castles in the air. I'm glad that Perry wrote this book -- even if it won't undo my own following the Pied Piper off a cliff, I hope it helps shift the narrative away from this cynical interpretation of motherhood and womanhood as "oppression." Nothing is worse than the oppression of fending for one's self in a chaotic, inhospitable world.
This makes me so happy to read!
I have been so disgusted with the immorality of the sexual revolution, the cheapening of a woman’s body, the meaninglessness of sex. I would be called a prude for thinking women should dress and act more modestly. Women should show they respect themselves if they want to be respected. The idea that a woman would strip naked and jump into bed with someone she just met is incomprehensible to me. So old fashioned values are making a comeback. Finally! Listen up men, the gravy train is over. Clean up your manners, google “chivalry”, and send flowers. Look for Ms Right. Not Ms Right Now.
This essay should be read by every young woman. I’ve never seen a promiscuous woman thrive. I don’t say that to judge or from some place of moral superiority. Simply that the behavior does not work for women. Every woman I knew who bought into this mentality either ended up with a terrible partner or no partner, constantly was disappointed in men but blamed the men, and more than a few times got into dangerous hook up situations. If you brought up any of these points you were some religious stiff or victim blaming. Same ad hominem language that we see now.
Listen to the podcast. It’s really a great debate between feminist theory vs reality. Especially re: porn. What they left out of the podcast is that young men get addicted to porn at a very early age and expect their young women hook ups to engage in sexual behavior that is NOT safe or enjoyable. The dangers are ten fold for a woman and ruinous for men who have their own sexuality skewed in a devastating direction.
I agree with Bari that, as a woman, I would not have a fraction of the life I have if not for early feminist leaders and advocates. However the narratives regarding sexual behavior for women are damaging.
"Only have sex with a man if you think he would make a good father to your children—not because you necessarily intend to have children with him, but because this is a good rule of thumb in deciding whether he’s worthy of your trust." That was the advice I gave my granddaughter as she headed to college. Don't think she listened. This culture of open sex was one of the problems I had with the sitcom FRIENDS-too much casual -sex as well as the more overtly oversexualized SEX IN THE CITY, which I never watched. I fear the same thing is happening with the casual marijuana use in shows now. No restraint or consequences seen anywhere.
This essay is both OUTSTANDING and profound. It resonates with another INCREDIBLE essay that went viral this week - Bridget Phetasy's "I Regret Being A Slut," which you can read here: https://bridgetphetasy.substack.com/p/slut-regret , which I shared with my daughter, a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, who loved it.
What I want to speak to is Perry's passing observation that "CHIVALRY IS ACTUALLY A GOOD THING." Yes, it is. But feminists foolishly, ignorantly, and condescendingly discourage it to their detriment. Consider the simple practice of opening a door for a woman. Occasionally when I do so for a woman I get a bristling glare from her, which unspokenly communicates "You misogynistic pig, I'm perfectly capable of getting the door myself" - a rather selfish (if not outright narcissistic) response on her part (I also open doors for men...). What this "Feminazi" fails to see is that I have cultivated this Chivalrous practice in the lives of my son and me to teach and remind us to RESPECT women. My son (an Army Major) is required to "salute" other soldiers. Why? Because, like "opening doors," the practice HABITUATES AND DEMONSTRATES RESPECT. It reminds enlisted people to respect their officers - to accord them their due - and this is done even if the officer is a jerk, for you are respecting the POSITION, not the PERSON. Women complain that men "don't respect us" and then chastise Chivalrous men when they do. They castrate the Stallion and then complain that it has no offspring...
The Bible was right all along
I'm so glad somebody's publicly taking on Andrea Dworkin--at last! Certainly many woes arise from the matricidal impulses of the current young generation, and a related set of woes arise from their patricidal impulses. By and large, few parents, mothers or fathers, would want their children, daughters or sons, entangled in the bleak, dehumanizing landscape of contemporary hook-up culture.
Reading this article brings me back to college. I am in a room, trying to sleep. My roommate comes in, with a boy I know just wants to hook-up. They have sex, from behind. At the end, he says, "thanks babe," gets up and leaves. She wanted some sort of relationship. I don't think he even talked to her again. I am by no means a saint, but that experience marked me. I remember another time a few summers later. There was a guy who I think was somewhat interested (and I was somewhat interested) but somehow I wasn't good enough. He didn't make a move until he was drunk. I told him no, he needed to be sober. It ended our easy camaraderie and friendship; I became the person to be avoided. That was also sobering, though I know I dodged a bullet of a relationship with a man who would treat me poorly. I talk to my son and daughter about respect and bodily respect and the dangers of porn, etc. Not because I am a saint, but because I have these memories...that I don't want to become part of their psyche.
Anyone looking at the vastly different behavior between lesbians and gay men can see that male sexuality is vastly different from female sexuality.
There were no lesbian bathhouses, lesbians do not "cruise" parks for anonymous sex, there is no lesbian equivalent of a "glory hole".
The promiscuity among young gay men is playful and there is a friendly spirit about it.
But promiscuity among young STRAIGHT men is often not playful at all: it is often predatory and mean spirited.
Why the difference?
Because two young gay men tend to want the exact same things and are coming together with mutual understanding and common ground.
A young straight man who approaches a young woman for anonymous sex may very well assume (correctly) that she is hoping his interest in her is somewhat personal, he will have sex with her knowing that he has no interest in her personally, there is likely NOT to be a mutual acknowledgement of this, and they are NOT approaching one another on common ground.
The denial of sex differences when it comes to sexuality has been a disaster for women.
Anonymous sex with strangers is FAR more dangerous for straight women than it is for gay men.
Women are not gay men in female bodies.
Women are at far greater emotional and physical risk than men when it comes to "hookup" culture, and we should be allowed to state this without being accused of weakness and inferiority.
That, to me, is real feminism: women are different from men, but that does NOT make us less than men.
Heather MacDonald has done a great job of addressing this problem in her book "The Diversity Delusion". She writes that in the past, the default position for girls was "No", whereas now girls have to justify not wanting to engage in sex right away. She quotes one girl who basically equated having intercourse even though she didn't want to with sitting at a lunch table with a girl she really didn't want to have lunch with! The comparison boggled my mind. Apparently, you go through with it to avoid the hassle of explaining yourself. Where's the self-respect?
The feminist movement is run and has been run by inflexible fanatics. History, facts and reality means nothing to a fanatic. Men and women aren't equal. There are obvious differences. Our physiology, our internal make ups are different. For example, men are physically stronger. Women, every month are awash in hormones which affects them physically and emotionally.
Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist. Before you go orbital on me, I have been happily married for 52 years and I have been only married once. I know from experience about living with a woman who went insane once a month. In all fairness, not every month.
The whole point in this is, we are not equal. That doesn't mean I want discriminatory attitudes toward women. I just want the feminist to accept the differences. I want equal treatment of woman in the workplace. I my professional career I have actively support equal treatment.
Having said this, I support stay at home moms. I realize that a single mom has to work to support her children but if you have the luxury to be a stay at home mom take it. It is the most important job and at times difficult job in the world.
Feminist vehemently support the idea that you don't need a man to raise a child. That is not what nature, evolution and shrinks says. Children raised in a stable heterosexual environment are better adjusted because they have a strong male presence. It is the same with a single man raising children. Children need a strong female presence.
This is not an ideal world and I am not criticizing single parents that do the best they can raising children without a partner.
The whole point of my post is to point out there are differences and these differences have shaped mankind ever since we stood upright and started using tools. (Before some wiseass thinks of this. I realize other animals use tools but we have used them to advance our civilization.)
Accept the differences. Don't deny them.
Wendy Shalit’s book, “Return to Modesty” was signaling this back in the 90’s.