The Casual-Sex Backlash

by Carol Iannone

This op-ed in the Daily Princetonian questions whether a woman has the right to have a man arrested for rape who had intercourse with her when she was inebriated. The female writer says no, that the girl chose to get drunk, to get herself into a state in which she could not act clearheadedly and in which such a thing might happen to her. Therefore the responsibility is hers. 

The article thus challenges mainstream feminist principle, which holds that women must be free to do whatever they wish at any time while still being completely safe from anything untoward, and then have recourse to authority if something undesirable does occur. But there is another point to consider.  At one time, the culture impressed upon men that taking sexual advantage of an inebriated woman is a shameful, ignoble, unmanly, and downright wormy thing to do. “There are rules for that kind of thing,” says the Jimmy Stewart character in The Philadelphia Story. Stewart plays a rather snarly, resentful, working-class type of guy who still prides himself on having the manners of a true gentleman when it comes to women. This shows the difference between having a fully fashioned culture with a deep and traditional understanding of the sexes on the one hand, and on the other, making women into an aggrieved special-interest group that destroys deep-rooted cultural understandings in the name of a spurious freedom and then seeks to control behavior through artificially imposed legalities.

And this is something those who keep announcing the end of the culture wars, as well as those who present themselves as conservative regarding state power but liberal on social matters, don’t seem to get. Moral relativism will result in behaviors requiring more and more authoritatian and statist intervention. The less emphasis on the Ten Commandments, the more emphasis on government commandments.

The good news is that women themselves are creating a backlash against casual sex, as S. T. Karnick points out in this post. Things can change. Things do change.  

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