A few decades back, a vocal minority of women decided to revolt against chastity, small government, low taxes, marriage, courtship, and motherhood. They decided that it was better to be able to have recreational sex before marriage, to put their own careers ahead of motherhood, to liberalize divorce laws, to pay women to have children without being married, to vote for higher taxes, to expand government to offer social programs and redistribution schemes, and to assault the traditional gender roles of husbands and fathers. Most men had nothing to do with starting this revolution, but men in general went along with it because they wanted freely available recreational sex more than they wanted children to be safe in stable, married homes.
In the end, the vocal minority of women managed to convince the majority of women and men to accept their views in large part, and society has changed. And we can see the end of the revolution in the face of Sandra Fluke – the “victim” of the” conservative war on women” – as she pleads with Congress to force taxpayers to subsidize contraceptives, abortions, etc., so that women can substitute chastity, courtship, marriage and motherhood with recreational sex, careers and subsidized day care.
Has this change in society made women happy? Let’s see what the research says.
Mary Eberstadt writes in the Wall Street Journal.
This brings us to Myth No. 4, which is perhaps the most interesting one of all: The sexual revolution has made women happier.
Granted, happiness is a personal, imponderable thing. But if the sexual revolution has really made women as happy as feminists say, a few elementary questions beg to be answered.
Why do the pages of our tonier magazines brim with mournful titles like “The Case for Settling” and “The End of Men”? Why do websites run by and for women focus so much on men who won’t grow up, and ooze such despair about relations between the sexes?
Why do so many accomplished women simply give up these days and decide to have children on their own, sometimes using anonymous sperm donors, thus creating the world’s first purposely fatherless children? What of the fact, widely reported earlier this week, that 26% of American women are on some kind of mental-health medication for anxiety and depression and related problems?
Or how about what is known in sociology as “the paradox of declining female happiness”? Using 35 years of data from the General Social Survey, two Wharton School economists, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, made the case in 2009 that women’s happiness appeared to be declining over time despite their advances in the work force and education.
The authors noted that women (and men) showed declining happiness during the years studied. Though they were careful not to draw conclusions from their data, is it not reasonable to think that at least some of that discontent comes from the feeling that the grass is greener elsewhere—a feeling made plausible by the sexual revolution?
However one looks at the situation, it seems difficult to argue that the results of the revolution have been a slam-dunk for happiness.
It is always hard to disentangle the weeds from the plants in such a large field. But if the sexual revolution has made women so happy, we can at least ask what it would look like for them to be unhappy. A broader inquiry might yield some results worth thinking about, in contrast to the shortsighted political theatrics over a supposed “war on women.”
It’s not only women who are victims of feminism, but children, too. The wife of one of my closest friends gave me Mary Eberstadt’s book on daycare’s effects on children, which is entitled “Home Alone America“. I thought it was a pretty good read, and it shows the importance of not allowing children to come home to an empty home. It’s not good for children to live in households where they are left unattended. But feminism supported that, too.
UPDATE: Donald Sensing pointed me to this post on his blog where he wonders why Democrat elites cannot understand why some women are rebelling against the sexual revolution, and get quite concerned by all of the massive costs of providing women with consequence-free sex.
“Basic health care” for women, in Democrat lexicon, means nothing at all but being given free contraceptives and abortifacients or abortions. That’s it. In their mind, American women should not think of health care primarily in other terms.
[…]In the Democrat mind, sex without sex’s consequences are the only thing that women should think about when they approach a voting booth. [Liberal women in the media] actually think that unless the government makes sure that women’s sex lives are unencumbered, then a woman simply cannot manage her job, housing or children. Sex rules all else.
The Democrat party truly cannot comprehend a woman going to vote who is more concerned about the dent in her paycheck caused by $5-per-gallon gasoline than finding free condoms, or who worries about the future impoverishment of her children and grandchildren because of Obama’s borrow and spend binges more than she worries about buying the Pill, or whose most pressing concern is not sexual liberty, but a college-graduate son or daughter who has moved back to live with mom because s/he can’t find a job and therefore can’t make student loan payments and rent at the same time.
Not in the Dems’ world view is a woman who pays her mortgage every month but who knows that her home’s market value is less than the mortgage principal remaining, and stupidly thinks that this is more important to her future (and thus her voting) than getting morning-after pills. There is no room in Democrat gender-identity politics for a woman who has been married to one man for 35 years and so never thinks about getting free contraceptives or an abortion (that is, what Dems say is “basic health care”) but who is intensely concerned with her elderly parents’ net worth falling as inflation rises.
No, these women simply do not authentically exist in the Democrat universe. Such women simply have not heard the full message that there should be nothing more important to a woman than sex, sex, sex.
To the Democrat party, women are simply sex objects, though with political and statist rather than fleshly purposes. But objects is all they are.
I hope that more women start voting for marriage and family again, and give up on recreational sex. It’s not working for anyone.