Is this the dawn of a sexual counter-revolution?

The case against the sexual revolution, a new guide to sex in the 21st century
By Louise Perry | Political press, 2022, 200 pages

Louise Perry’s book The case against the sexual revolution highlights the costs of the sexual revolution for men and women. But it’s the devastating costs for women that usually make people care.

Perry speaks with an insider knowledge. She has read studies on women, developed and facilitated workshops on consent, given individual rape counseling and campaigned to improve the law on sexual violence. A critical thinker working at the heart of the feminist project, she gathered insights and experience that give her book an almost ethnographic feel. It also has the potential to be deeply damaging to the feminist cause.

Perry shows how the relationships between young men and women have been sacrificed on a feminist altar dedicated to the destruction of tradition and patriarchy. They have been replaced by the “hookup culture” where unemotional, non-committal affairs are encouraged, leaving women to pay the highest price.

Hookup culture was born out of the stubborn belief of feminists that there are no real differences between men and women. For feminists, men’s greater socio-sexuality is a product of the patriarchy that controlled and repressed women. The feminist solution has been to teach women, through TV shows, movies and books, to “fuck off”.

To facilitate this, there is a whole genre of women’s magazines to help young female readers suppress their instincts and avoid “picking up feelings”. Advice includes telling young women to think of another person or avoid eye contact during sex, or taking cocaine or methamphetamine to dampen the dopamine response.

Thus, women have entered into pseudo-relationships where the desire for monogamy and commitment, not to mention love, is seen as odd.

Where romantic and meaningful relationships have been erased from the equation, young women assess their worth in terms of the amount of male attention. They compete to make themselves sexually available to men without expecting anything in return.

Alienated from their bodies, not understanding their emotions, and believing in the feminist myth that men and women are the same, women think they are loved when men desire them for sex.

dark places

This leads to strange and dark places. Women post photos of themselves online and rate their value based on their desirability measured in clicks. For those whose all boundaries of self-protection have been shattered by adverse childhood experiences, pornography and even prostitution become ways of making money. This is facilitated by a feminist narrative that portrays them as pathways to empowerment and expressions of being the liberated sex.

Where sex has become a substitute for love, the sexual practice becomes extreme. Women engage in bondage, domination, and sadomasochism (BDSM), believing these to be expressions of sexual agency encouraged by books such as Shades of gray. When women are killed or injured during sexual activity, it may be based on consent.

She gives the example of strangulation which she says more than half of sexually active 18-24 year olds participate in. When the life-giving sense of sex disappears, people begin to revel in a culture of death.

And where men and women know so little about romantic relationships, the exercise of power is interpreted as an expression of love.

Perry is unafraid of the implications of the sexual revolution, even if it means destroying the shibboleths that support feminism.

She points out that the feminist-promoted culture of sexual hedonism and rape anxiety on campus emerged, tellingly, at exactly the same time.

Feminists have developed the concept of consent as a tool to negotiate this new sexual playing field. But with the link between sex and reproduction long since shattered and young women encouraged to repress their natural instincts, they no longer knew when or how to say “no.”

She explains how feminists have created legitimacy for a system that serves the interests of men. This is done to the detriment of the poorest, most vulnerable and often the youngest women. But for feminists, it’s a small price to pay if family, marriage, and patriarchy can all be destroyed at the same time.

Perry is distancing himself from traditionalists and conservatives – but that sounds more like a strategy than a real difference of beliefs. She wants to be read by progressives and liberals, so this distance allows her to adopt more traditionalist ideas while avoiding the wrath of the awakened.

For example, she advises us to: “Aspire to love and reciprocity in all our sexual relations”; “Hold off having sex with a new boyfriend for at least a few months”; “Only have sex with a man if you think he would be a good father to your children”; monogamous marriage, etc.

Perry’s advice is sound. I would much rather have her write sex education programs for our young people than the activists and ideologues currently in charge. However, in terms of realizing the sexual counter-revolution she advocates, I’m not sure her suggestions measure up.

She talks about the importance of ‘virtue’. But in a secular environment, with competing moral frameworks, when it comes to knowing virtue, who should be the judge?

She advocates chivalry. But chivalry occurs where masculine strength is valued, which involves allowing men to be providers and protectors. If men are denigrated and blamed for these masculine behaviors, it is naïve to expect chivalry to take hold.

She talks about sexual restraint. But the willingness to exercise sexual restraint in the absence of an understanding of sex as sacred is, I suppose, limited. Without a human God, our will to self-restraint is at the mercy of our desire. And without faith, sexual coercion could be reduced to a form of power play or even interpreted as a lack of trust and love.

The Christian view

We need much more powerful weapons to reverse the sexual revolution.

We need to reintroduce the idea of ​​sex as something sacred and marriage as something sacred. It’s an arena that Perry fears to venture into. But when it comes to creating a counterbalance to the sexual revolution, I believe that Christianity would prove remarkably robust.

Perry traces the roots of the sexual revolution to abortion and contraception. These made sex a recreational activity and removed the potential for liability by separating procreation and sex. But when we see the harm that has resulted, the Catholic assertion that any form of unnatural contraception is inherently evil suddenly takes on surprising meaning.

Perry loves the sexual restraint she observes that men especially need to exercise. In the Christian understanding, sex is considered to unite a man and a woman in “one flesh” and is therefore linked exclusively to the sacrament of marriage. This unitive function of marriage protects and supports the life-giving aspect, which in turn supports the unitive. Such a perfectly functional system surely provides a recipe for restraint.

The biggest lie of the sexual revolution was the denial of the difference between men and women. But Christians believe that we were created male and female at the dawn of our creation, it is an integral part of our humanity. What this means can be discerned throughout the Bible and is written into our bodies in myriad ways.

Perry is interested in how sex has become meaningless and the body has become a commodity. Our bodies participate in a self-gratifying transactional dance.

In Christianity, the body has the highest significance. Eve was flesh of Adam’s flesh and bone of his bones. The body of Christ was his gift to us. Our body is one with our soul and made in the image of God. It’s hard to imagine how someone who has learned the Christian body view could engage in casual sexual activity, let alone such damaging activities as strangulation, prostitution, or BDSM.

For Christians, the body is a sign of our whole personality that we offer in marriage. In the world, the body is too often taken for personal satisfaction motivated by lust.

Perry wants to promote self-control, virtue, marriage, and monogamy. However, it will take more than sound ideas to overcome the hedonistic sex cult promoted by the global sexual revolution. Promoting a Christian understanding of family, marriage and relationships between men and women will put us in charge of the agenda.

Christian theology of the body has the capacity to produce an upward transformation of our understanding. It is not enough to respond defensively to the new world order’s attacks on our humanity using sexual extremism. We need to call on God for help.

Belinda trained in social anthropology, then studied the collapse of communism in Poland, identifying family and religion as playing key roles in this development. She has written extensively on… More by Belinda Brown

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