Feb. 15th, 2015

ricardienne: (augustine)
Ross Douthat, seriously???

At times, as the French writer Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry recently suggested, this side of sexual revolution looks more like “sexual reaction,” a step way back toward a libertinism more like that of pre-Christian Rome —anti-egalitarian and hierarchical, privileging men over women, adults over children, the upper class over the lower orders.


I mean, yeah. As we all know, the kyriarchy ceased to exist with the domination of Christian sexual ethics in the 5th century CE. No one was ever ever exploited again until the 1970's. The fact that the sexual politics in modern America are (still) terrible definitely does not have anything to do with cultural habits and mores and beliefs that pre-existed the "sexual revolution."

I'm not going to quote the part about "the bizarre modern ideal is sexual freedom for everyone where coercion and harm are prevented by things like age of consent laws and contraception and "regulations about initiating intercourse" (exact quote: this is apparently ReligiousRight for "enthusiastic consent and not raping people"). Because...Yes? And the fact that some of this has become reality is a good thing! And don't worry, Ross: same-sex marriage and enthusiastic consent were definitely *not* features of ancient sexual ethics. It's okay: it's possible to have sex that St. Jerome wouldn't approve of without also e.g., being a brutally hierarchical slave society where girls are married at 13. And the former is what we're going for here.

(This was the part where the essay reminded me of just how different the moral universes are that Douthat (it's really tempting to type "Douchehat") and I inhabit. Is there even any point to me posting this, for example? There's really no point, except that it made me ragey and I need to get my rant out before I go finish my dissertation (ulp).)

Or the part where he suggests that liberal feminist sex-positive types are criticizing 50 Shades of Gray because it's portrayal of BDSM isn't realistic enough. Obviously, the fact that most of the criticism is actually about how it depicts a completely traditional abusive relationship would undermine his point about how liberals don't understand that modern supposedly "liberated" sexual culture is still newly unequal.

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