Thursday, September 22, 2005

On Our Backs: How Feminism Contributed to Raunch Culture

Holy Fool and Contemplating the Laundry link to Wendy Shalit's Wall Street Journal review of Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy, which examines feminism and its link to sexual promiscuity.

Ms. Shalit notes that Ms. Levy went to college in the 1990s. I too went to college during that period. It was a time of "safer sex" workshops, where students were counseled that sex with a person covered in latex was "hot".

One person symbolizes that period to me. Lesbian Susie Bright, aka,"Susie Sexpert" was a former clerk at Good Vibrations, a sex toy store. She hit the big time on the college lecture circuit during the '90s for her numerous books on the joys of (safer) sexual depravity. I learned that all of these, at least in theory, were okay: Pornography. Group sex. Sadism and Masochism. Gay rights. Abortion on demand. Why not? Sex was fun and if women were in control, where's the harm?

It wasn't until the late 90s, newly single (my long-term boyfriend broke up with me after I refused his offer of a polyamorous marriage.), that I realized something. In order to have sex, (i .e., to have approval, to be attractive, and not lonely) I would have to allow pornography, homosexuality, and polygamy into my life. Sexual openness didn't mean I was free to experiment sexually, it meant I no longer had the option not to.

I chose celibacy. At the time, it was just until a "real relationship" was on the horizon. Later, I reverted to Catholicism, and decided to remain celibate until marriage. I'm still unmarried. But I am not in pain. I am not confused and hurting and no knowing why I hurt as I was 10 years ago, when everybody around me told me that sex was just fun and games, and as long as I'm in control, there's no harm. Some other folks apparently learned the same lesson: The aformenentioned Susie Bright's star sunk pretty fast in the late 90s after she gave birth, and then married the child's father. Apparently, monogamous heterosexuality doesn't sell books or get you a lot of invites to lecture at colleges.

I've learned some things, thanks be to God. I've learned that sex is sacred. I've learned that it's a gift that God gave men and women to bond with each other and God in the creation of life. I learned that God means for us to unite body and soul through sex. In short, that everything that the Culture of Raunch has to offer is sad and degrading for both women and men and that the Culture of Raunch is really the Culture of Death in disguise.