Saturday, April 09, 2016
"How was your date?" I asked, reaching for my coffee.
"Awful," she replied. "That's over for good." Apparently, they'd been getting along fairly well, but the sex, she volunteered, was horrible. "He was just performing. I asked him, 'What are you doing?' and he said, 'I just want to please you.' It was weird. The guy had obviously watched too much porn. Whatever happened to making love?"
Quite honestly, it was more than I needed to know. I actually just wanted to find out if the restaurant at which they'd dined was any good, but her revelation did manage to hijack the conversation into a much more interesting direction, mainly because I'd been hearing the same type of complaints from people her age and younger. Just about all of the single people I know, from kids in their teens to middle aged peers had voiced similar sexual disappointments to me.
I know. I'm that kind of guy. People tell me stuff. But hear me out on this, because what I suspect we're witnessing is no small thing. And despite the title of this piece, it's not what you think I'm going to say. Yes, I'm going to lay this at the feet of feminism, but not for the reasons you expect.
You should know that I personally harbor no bias regarding gender roles. I happen to love holding people accountable to my one set of impossibly rigorous standards, regardless of their ilk. My scrutiny knows no sexual preference. So in that sense, I've always somewhat supported feminism. And then one day, I watched as feminism's reach began to exceed its grasp, most notably with Gloria Steinem's pronouncement in the 1960s that "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." At the outset, it seemed to make sense, prying women off of their dependence on men. Good idea for anyone who valued freedom and independence. It really did open the eyes of both men and women to a whole new world of choices awaiting them. What it didn't do was let them know that a fish without a bicycle rides both ways and that years later, everyone from kids to middle aged matrons would be paying for it:
Men no longer needed to depend on women, either.
The sexual liberation of both men and women gave rise to sexual freedom, but also undermined the main reason why people used to get married, so there was no longer any real reason for men to ever want to get married. After all, men could dine out any time, without any of the maintenance costs. They could have kids out of wedlock, pay child support and never suffer the inequities of community property. And in the worst cases of sexual need, Steinem's quip about fish and bicycles was soon displaced by men's realization that they don't pay prostitutes for sex, they pay them to leave.
Add the mainstreaming of pornography to mix and it becomes clear as to how romance simply became obsolete. Most kids and people now learn about sex and romance from movies and porn, which leaves them pathetic at both. What was once courtship leading to love and sex is now swiping right, leading to hook up and disappointment. People really think life is a quick cut movie with no transitioning scenes. At this stage, most of them don't know that they're missing because they've never seen it. And most of them are left bewildered and unsatisfied.
The constant overreach of feminism into emasculation certainly hasn't helped. Stupid TV Dads and ever more ridiculous degeneration of male gender roles have continued their relentless attacks on primal masculinity. For every John Wayne of yesteryear there are now two Pierce Brosnans, Ben Afflecks and George Clooneys. You know, women with penises. Not the best role models for those attempting to reconcile their natural maleness with society's distorted views. Somewhere along the line, feminism crossed over from equal opportunity to denigration and opposition of gender roles. That doesn't sit well with most men -- and from what they tell me, it doesn't play all that well with women, either. After all, if someone called you up every day to tell you how wrong you were about who you are and what you do, how long would you welcome their calls?
You want everyone in the game to have an equal shot in the marketplace? I'm right there with you. You want to be politically correct and accommodate far-fetched excesses of feminism? Knock yourself out. But then don't complain about a harsher world without love and understanding of what makes men and women, well, men and women.
You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by
And when two lovers woo
They still say, "I love you"
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by
Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny.