Will The Left Turn On Sexual Freedom? by D. Linker
(Link): Will The Left Turn On Sexual Freedom? by D. Linker
- But more interesting is the question of whether criticism of economic libertarianism will be broadened to encompass the (Link): moral libertarianism that both underlies it and inspires the parallel drive toward the liberation of sexuality from moral judgment.
- Understood in this wider sense, we’ve been living through an extended libertarian moment since the early 1960s.
- Moral libertarianism presumes that no authority — political, legal, or religious — is competent to pronounce judgment on an individual’s decisions, provided that they don’t negatively effect other people. Thanks to this assumption, a grand edifice of inherited moral and legal strictures on sexuality have crumbled over the past half century, leaving individuals free to live and love as they wish, as long as everyone involved gives their consent.
- Religiously traditionalist conservatives have rejected moral libertarianism from the beginning, while losing just about every political and legal battle over its spread. But left-wing dissent has been selective and sporadic.
- ….While in recent years there have been some moves toward (Link): mainstreaming and decriminalizing prostitution and other forms of “sex work,” growing numbers of young women have been working to publicize the prevalence of rape on college campuses and the tendency of university administrators to go easy on the perpetrators. In terms of moral libertarianism, that sounds like a draw, with the former its latest advance and the latter a call to police its boundaries under Title IX.
- But the discontent goes deeper. In Jessica Valenti’s powerful and disturbing new memoir (Link): (excerpted here) and a recent Washington Post (Link): symposium on porn, one senses a broader dissatisfaction with the behavior of men in a world lacking norms of sexual restraint — and therefore an impatience with the social and interpersonal costs of unlimited moral libertarianism.
One distinctly un-libertarian response, favored by some participants in the symposium, would be to classify pornography (or at least some forms or uses of it) as a threat to public health.
- ….If we hope to change that behavior — or break the fixation of tens of millions of American men on internet porn — the response will need to be extra-legal. It will need to be cultural, and moral, and perhaps even religious.
- It will need to involve notions of intrinsic right and wrong, and norms of propriety, and ideals of human flourishing and degradation, and fixed standards of acceptable and unacceptable male conduct. And all of this will need to be inculcated and reinforced from a very young age — by parents, but also by our culture and society.
- ….Either we learn to limit our moral libertarianism — or we must resign ourselves to living with the consequences of refusing to do so.
(Link): Why are young feminists so clueless about sex? by M. Wente
(Link): The Myth of Safe Sex by D. Foley
(Link): Marcotte (secular, leftwing feminist) on Anyone Choosing To Be a Virgin Until Marriage: “It’s a Silly Idea” – What Progressive Christians, Conservative Christians, Non Christians, and Salon’s Amanda Marcotte Gets Wrong About Christian Views on Virginity
(Link): So According to Some Feminists Believing in Female Equality Means Supporting All Actions and Behaviors by All Females Ever – Even their Pubic Hair Photos and Bloody Vagina T Shirt Designs? What?