Has the sexual revolution failed? That was the question posed to all in attendance of The Free Press’s first live debate held in downtown Los Angeles last Wednesday — one deemed “a clash of female titans.” In one corner sat pop musician Claire Boucher, popularly known as Grimes, along with ex-Muslim podcast host Sarah Haider, both taking the position that the sexual revolution succeeded. On the other side sat British author Louise Perry and “Red Scare” podcast co-host Anna Khachiyan, who both argued its failure.
Ultimately, the audience decided the cultural moment did in fact deliver on the liberating promises it made to women: The sexual revolution promised to free women from oppressive stereotypes that locked us out of many educational and career opportunities and forced us to act as sexual gatekeepers in a world where chastity, marriage, and motherhood were expectations rather than choices.
As a member of the Gen Z generation who attended the debate, I agree. But that doesn’t mean I’m OK with the resulting effects.
Indeed, not only did the sexual revolution succeed, but it triumphed in a massive overcorrection of our sexual culture. As a result, today’s current generation of young women are left to navigate through its wreckage.
This movement for sexual empowerment has been exceedingly effective. Think back to its original goal. Feminists yearned to sever the act of sex from the process of reproduction. Feminists sought to redefine marriage from its institutional model predicated on obligation to one’s family to a romantic model placing emotion on a high pedestal.
What transpired was, as Perry has explained, a dechristianizing of the West. We’ve dissolved the sanctity of holy matrimony for a narcissistic quest for radical self-love. Relationships between men and women that lack commitment or even a baseline understanding of serving one another with joy are unfulfilling. They render us addicted to a drug-like sense of validation, of which we’re given regular hits within the internet’s self-obsessed attention economy.
The Gender Wars Are Bad for Everyone
We’ve effectively desexed women, pulling us further and further away from centuries of evolution and human nature in order to level the biological playing field. Now, women are snatching up college degrees at higher rates than men and achieving financial independence outside of marriage.
You’d think men would love the results of a sexual revolution since it empowered consequence-free sex, sans commitment. But even this has backfired, and now men are feeling increasingly subordinated to women. No amount of risk-free sex can sweeten this proverbial deal with the devil where we’ve fundamentally disavowed gender norms and elevated women above men at their own behest.
Men are no longer required to cultivate masculine virtues. Commitment, self-control, and a duty to provide and protect are effectively discouraged by the proliferation of casual sex. In essence, we’re rewarding men with intimate access to our bodies and asking for nothing in return. If we no longer gatekeep our sexuality, and contraceptives or abortions reduce the risk involved with promiscuous behavior, is it any wonder why many modern men turn toward a life of hedonistic pleasure, finding it in porn, pop culture, or weed?
The sexual revolution led to an over-feminization of the Western world. If speech offends us, we lean on the feminine trait of agreeableness and silence it. To raise up the “weaker” sex, we rely on dogmatic diversity and inclusion agendas in lieu of merit. To repress the “oppressor” sex, men must self-flagellate and become their weakest selves.
Destroying Women’s Health and Happiness
It would be naive for me to assert that things are all peachy keen for the female sex. By rejecting or outright erasing womanhood in an effort to increase sex neutrality, we’re actively working against our reproductive health in ways that could cause temporary or even permanent damage. I would know; I’ve spent several years trying to fix my fertility after the Nexplanon birth control implant threw my hormones totally out of whack.
Furthermore, what good does it do to relentlessly egg on women to close the gender pay gap when we simultaneously haven’t fostered a more child-friendly culture? Big government makes big promises to increase access or decrease costs associated with childcare, like with the Biden administration’s recent executive order for subsidized childcare centers. But all that a one-size-fits-all system will really do is introduce bureaucracy as the next member of your family unit. That’s not what most women want.
During the debate, Grimes emphasized that the sexual revolution has been both a cultural and technological phenomenon. From hormonal birth control to dating apps, we’ve introduced several advancements in technology that have shocked America’s Judeo-Christian tradition. But our advancements in “complementary social technology,” as Grimes put it, have not yet caught up. In other words, America lacks the social infrastructure to make childrearing more convenient and more affordable.
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Traditional basics may seem like a bore, but as Perry pointed out, we might all be a bit happier if we lived more normal lives. Studies consistently show that women who embrace motherhood and marriage have some of the biggest happiness dividends and that married men are twice as happy as their unmarried peers.
Good old-fashioned family values may not have enticed Gen Xers or Millennials whose concept of adulthood was shaped by shows like “Sex and the City,” but my generation — the “Zoomer” generation — has a unique opportunity to reset the battering ram that the sexual revolution has had on our culture.
We don’t have to settle for a life of unfulfillment, where instead of celebrating our femininity we are embittered by it. We don’t have to devour subversive messaging that preys on women’s insecurities and standardizes unhealthy extremes just because the media shove it down our throats in music and movies. We don’t have to accept the leftist narrative, which damages our mental health and isolates us from objective biological truth and common sense.
America doesn’t need a “return to tradition,” in the sense that we should walk back women’s hard-fought gains for equality under the law. We need a return to the tradition of freedom — and sexual liberation won’t grant us that. It instead ensnares us in a toxic cycle of disappointment. It’s up to us to adopt healthy boundaries and practice what would actually be a fulfilling act of radical self-love: unapologetically rejecting the sexual revolution.
Andrea Mew is the storytelling coordinator at Independent Women’s Forum (iwf.org).
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