Phi Beta Cons

Human Nature No Surprise

An article by journalist Lisa Belkin deplores the willingness of women to attend frat parties dressed, as requested by the men, as “sluts.” A Princeton graduate, she returned to her alma mater after a couple of decades to teach a course in journalism. She notes that in the classroom the women are totally equal, but when it comes to social life they respond to the wishes of men, and as a feminist she is dismayed. Feminists believe that life and nature can be engineered to specifications, and that total equality and virtual sameness of the sexes can be achieved in every area, and they are surprised when reality bucks.

Belkin may be thinking, now that feminism has achieved its goals — obscuring the differences between the sexes, piling students into coed dorms, demanding affirmative action when outcomes are not equal, pushing women into every area of endeavor, demonizing and ridiculing men at every opportunity, and enforcing conformity through speech codes and political correctness — it is a mystery why distinct sexual natures remain. Yet she discovers that “he chases, she submits” is still the expected scenario. It startles feminists that women might like to please men and even to submit to them at times. This must really drive feminists wild in light of today’s talk of evangelical Christian women submitting to their husbands.

Regarding sluttishness, I guess Belkin has forgotten the sexual revolution that preceded and then accompanied feminism in its long march. According to the official ideology, all are licensed to act out in any way they please, and yet to preserve pristine their sense of dignity and self-esteem. Women can be sexually explicit, sexually available, and sexually voracious, and yet still command the boardroom and the operating theatre, and we’re all supposed to pretend that we really believe that, to paraphrase Malcolm X.

A key to Belkin’s real annoyance comes when she observes how the female students she met were “outspoken, self-confident, and unapologetic about running rings around their male cohorts in the classroom,” revealing how much of feminism is not about equality anyway, but about pumping women up and making them feel superior. The standard media propaganda is of females as butt-kicking superwomen who wipe the floor with the worthless males surrounding them. But in real life, men can take control without even thinking much of it, women might even like that, and a double standard still prevails.

I’d be on Belkin’s side if she would more generally deplore the crudeness of intercourse today between the sexes, as evidenced in wild frat parties and slutty dress. But, again, feminism is at least partly to blame. Lust and vanity and pride have always been part of the human makeup. What has traditionally modified them are the rules of morality and decorum that feminism has mocked and destroyed as patriarchal constructs designed to enslave women. “Equality” is not a guide to behavior or to the living of a good life. Life, and college, should be about friendship, companionship, good company, good conversation, good times, and lasting relationships, not about eating each other alive in a sexual meat market. Many college kids understand that, I think, but many unfortunately do not.

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