Letter to Young Ladies
(Republished with permission of the author.)
If you are a girl or young lady age 12-18, then to you I address this letter. It is about sex, relationhsips, and the associated dangers that our culture presents you with. Read it as from one who has been through a lot, and would like to see you avoid the pain and heartache that I have been through.
It is more difficult today to find deep relational happiness than at any time in our country's history. If you do marry, that relationship will be less likely to last than ever before. Only half of US adults are married today. This is the lowest level in our history. Approximately 42% of adults are single, having never been married, or being divorced and not remarried.
These facts mean that your heart is in danger. In earlier days, the institution of marriage was held in higher esteem, and people entered into it with more seriousness. Today, it is merely "extreme dating". Yet when we marry, our hearts are just as tightly intertwined with our spouse's as ever. This is a prescription for trouble.
The problem for us females is that our hearts are not tough enough to endure innumerable breakups. And unlike with men, sex goes straight to our souls. Our hearts, our happiness and even our health--all are at stake here.
I'll tell you who to blame for this state of affairs later*, but first we must understand how things came to be this way. And to understand that, we have to understand some basic facts about human nature.
The instincts are a tricky thing. They can't be completely suppressed, but neither should they be allowed to run wild. They do the most good (or the least harm) when they are channeled and controlled.
Consider our economy. It is essentially driven by self-interest, or for a shorter word, greed. Communists tried to deny the omnipresence of greed, figuring that via suppression it would wither away, and they would be left with a world of selfless individuals contributing at maximum efficiency. Instead they got demoralized people always struggling to get by.
Capitalism, for all its warts and flaws, takes a different approach. We don't try to suppress greed, but neither do sensible people want it to run wild. Rather we put laws and regulations into place, but otherwise let people's self-interest lead them to work for their reward. It is far from perfectly fair, but given an informed choice, most prefer capitalism over communism.
Sex is a far more powerful instinct than greed. Left to run wild, aggressive men will have sex with as many women as will allow it (or who can be manipulated into temporarily allowing it). And such men will follow their instincts unless they are taught to be something more than a mere animal. Today, the "unless" part is gone, and our culture permits males to satisfy their instincts as often as possible.
Of course sexual morals were not always as loose as they are today. The 1930's were relatively conservative, for instance. But the sexual revolution of the 1960's has the distinction of being the most rapid change in sexual standards in human history. This loosening had its roots before the 1960's, but for our purposes that is precise enough. It was during that decade that the separation of teens from their parents became commonplace. College was attended by the largest contingent in history, which took young adults out of their homes and into the near-exclusive company of peers. Lastly, birth control became easily available. The goal of looser sexual morals was ostensibly good: It was intended to free us from restrictions that were (supposedly) no longer necessary. It would mean more "love" (i.e., sex) for everyone, without any of the former consequences that had kept it largely restricted to married couples only.
That is all interesting to the historian of culture, but the question for you is whether this revolution actually benefited you personally. If you have
- had your heart severely broken more than a few times
- been given a sexually-transmitted disease by someone you thought you could trust
- had sex forced on you by a particularly aggressive male
- been treated like a sex object and had to just accept it
- felt that you had to dress immodestly in order to get attention, but then received unwanted advances from males who assumed you were advertising your availability to everyone,
then I would suggest that the sexual revolution was not good for you. I know these sort of things happened prior to the sexual revolution. But they happen much more now, and because males today can legitimately behave in these ways, to speak out against them is to go against our entire culture.
The sexual revolution backfired in numerous ways. First, when there is a loosening of laws or morals, the most aggressive will take advantage of the situation first. Consider what the largest corporations would do if all anti-trust laws were repealed: monopolies would spring up like weeds. In the case of the sexual revolution, the alpha males quickly realized that the females of the world were theirs to plunder.
At the same time, we quit protecting our hearts as we had before. We were fooled into believing that we could be as sexually careless as men, with no consequences. This arose from a fundamental presumption of the '60s that men and women were identical in every way. Slowly, we are coming to our senses and realizing that men and women are not completely interchangeable.
Once a generation had gone through the revolution and become parents themselves, something new happened: it became fashionable to let children find their own way in life. For the first time in history, it was no longer considered wise or necessary to educate children about relationships. The idea that young people needed some supervision in these areas became unfashionable. Just let them explore it for themselves and make up their own minds about right and wrong! What could possibly go wrong? The so-called "generation gap" did not help here.
Because of increased sexual freedom, families began to break apart in larger numbers, which meant even less protection for girls.
Lastly, postmodern feminism came along. It too had the admirable goal of achieving equality for women--and made large strides in that direction. But as more women were "used" by men, they became bitter (who could blame them?), and feminism became less about equality and more about hating men. That wasn't what feminists originally intended. The anti-male feminists never understood what really happened, nor could they come up with a real solution. Lesbianism? Not a path to real happiness for most of us. Just hanging out with the girls, avoiding men entirely? One whole aspect of our being would never finds its ultimate expression.
To get ourselves out of this situation, we have to face a few facts. For starters, we are not just like men--nor should we try to be. We are special in ways they aren't. By being emotionally warmer, we are better at caring, loving, nurturing, listening, counseling, all things positive and relational. If you want to know what the world would be like without us, just visit the front lines of a war.
Because we are different in this way, we cannot be promiscuous and expect to be happy. The most visible males can have sex with dozens of women over a span of years and not suffer a bit when breaking up. Our hearts simply aren't designed to take that degree of trauma. After a certain number of breakups (more or less depending on our personality), we're done. A cloud comes over us at that point and we're never the same again.
We have to realize that the Christian ideals of chastity/marriage/etc. were for our protection, not to deny us fun. They were designed to shield tender hearts from the harm that unrestrained males would inflict if given the chance.
(If the reader is a parent of young girls, you must educate them about men. Not from a bitter perspective, but from a realistic one. Tell them what went wrong with this culture, and set them on a better path that can lead to deep, lasting happiness.)
This will be the hardest thing of all to do, but we must do it: We must take control of our hearts, and deny irresponsible males access to our bodies. Only when they prove that they are capable of respecting us as men did before the sexual revolution can they have us. This will be seen as an act of rebellion by nearly everyone (including alpha males, and today's feminists), but another revolution is what we need. Yes, this will put me in hot water, but I am saying that feminism needs to be redirected back to more noble and realistic goals.
*Now you can see clearly who is responsible for the failed sexual revolution, namely those who today still revel in it:
- The alpha males. They have no interest in our well-being, but only strive to satisfy their lust.
- Cultural liberals, by swearing that women wouldn't be hurt by the sexual revolution. They may have been sincere, but they were sincerely mistaken.
- Feminists, by believing that women could be as promiscuous as men and not be hurt. Then by believing that women could achieve sufficient happiness in a sub-culture devoid of men. They were mistaken on both counts.
- The media and Hollywood, by being full co-conspirators in the sexual revolution and rarely depicting the pain and heartbreak they helped bring upon us. It won't be easy to ignore them, because they entertain, and sometimes educate us (Cosmopolitan magazine, anyone?) But we must turn them off.