Was the sexual revolution really such an unmitigated good for women?
In a must read column, Mona Charen has a fascinating take on the roots of the MeToo movement.
Charen argues that what we are seeing is the result of the sexual revolution, which supposedly empowered and liberated women. But in reality it left women feeling pressured and men and women unsure about sexual boundaries. Charen writes:
…I think we are seeing something much larger than pushback against male predation. What we are seeing in the broader culture now is something that has been evident on college campuses for some time — women are unhappy about the state of sex and romance. They feel pressured, they feel disrespected, and they are fighting back. Sadly, our culture has so exalted sexual license that the only form of sexual conduct women are permitted to protest is coercion. It should not be surprising, then, that the terms “assault” and “rape” have been expanded beyond reasonable bounds.
Charen writes specifically about the vicious accusations a woman who identified herself only as "Grace" made against Aziz Ansari. The pushback against Grace's allegations was swift, with even vocal supporters of the MeToo movement criticizing Grace. But maybe there was a larger meaning, beyond one woman trying to get even for a bad date:
Feminists hate to seem to pine for love and romance, yet their responses to Grace hint at the disappointment the sexual revolution has delivered. Jessica Valenti tweeted: “A lot of men will read that post about Aziz Ansari and see an everyday, reasonable sexual interaction. But part of what women are saying right now is that what the culture considers ‘normal’ sexual encounters are not working for us, and oftentimes harmful.” Meghan Murphy commented that “the Aziz Ansari stuff is a perfect demonstration of how rape culture works and how men are socialized to feel entitled to sex.
No, there was no rape, but this thing where men pester women for sex and don’t let up, even when it’s clear she isn’t into it, IS RAPE CULTURE.” Is it? Or is it the sexual free-for-all they hate? Perhaps the new feminist slogan should be “Down with the sexual revolution!”
Read the whole column.