|Week of: |
September 3, 2000
|The Fruits of the Sexual Revolution
by: F.R. Duplantier
In the current issue of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, Dalrymple examines the self-serving and simplistic attitudes of the libertines who led the sexual revolution and sowed such confusion. "Revolutions are seldom the spontaneous mass upheaval of the downtrodden," he asserts, "and the sexual revolution was certainly no exception. . . . The revolution had its intellectual progenitors -- as shallow, personally twisted, and dishonest a parade of people as one could ever wish to encounter. They were all utopians," Dalrymple emphasizes, "lacking understanding of the realities of human nature; they all thought that sexual relations could be brought to the pitch of perfection either by divesting them of moral significance altogether or by reversing the moral judgment that traditionally attached to them. . . ."
Dalrymple marvels at the success of their insane struggle. "The sexual revolutionaries' ideas about the relations between men and women -- entailing ever greater sexual liberty, ever less mastery of the appetite -- were so absurd and utopian," he remarks, "that it is hard to understand how anyone could have taken them seriously. But mere absurdity," Dalrymple laments, "has never prevented the triumph of bad ideas." He concludes that "a golden age of contentment has not dawned. Relations between the sexes are as fraught as they ever were. The sexual revolution has not yielded peace of mind but confusion, contradiction, and conflict."
Dalrymple emphasizes that ours is "the first time in history there has been mass denial that sexual relations are a proper subject of moral reflection or need to be governed by moral restrictions. The result of this denial, not surprisingly, has been soaring divorce rates and mass illegitimacy, among other phenomena. The sexual revolution," he says, "has been above all a change in moral sensibility, in the direction of a thorough coarsening of feeling, thought, and behavior."
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