The Value of Sexuality... ...Revealed Through Rape? pt. 36:00:00 AMJeremy Schupbach
“Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive” (1).
The above quote will become very relevant very soon, because (as some of you have perhaps anticipated) it is time to call some people out.
See, in our previous posts, we have made it very clear that human sexuality is sacred, and incredibly so, because it involves our whole selves, and our whole freedom, in a gift of self, that can be replicated in no other human action.
Personally, I believe that that gift of self is such that, once given, it can never be taken back, as this would be an incomplete gift. I believe that the sexual gift of self transcends the particular moment of encounter, and in fact is a commitment of a person, to a person, for a lifetime. Regardless of whether one accepts that sexual intimacy is only proper to a monogamous relationship or not, the point is by now well proven that there is an intimacy to sexuality that must not be taken lightly.
And yet, sex is understood by modernity to be exactly that: light. Sex is the stuff of movies and TV shows. Most husbands actually receive more sexual pleasure from their computers than from their wives. Sex is entertainment. It is a competition that frat boys have jovially amongst themselves. Sex is the object of casual experimentation, and sexual proclivity is an “alternate lifestyle.” And yet underlying this carefree terminology, sex is the gruesome obsession of our culture, as the research on pornography indicates. This is the modern view of sex, and it is utterly incompatible with what is revealed loudly and clearly, what is veritably SCREAMED by the tragedy of rape, as we have seen.
Is it not an extreme irony then, that the very group that is raising the banners the highest and shouting the loudest in the crusade against rape, is the very group which is in so many ways responsible for the modern view of sexuality?
Historians have termed the complete abandonment of sexual values that began in the 60’s “the sexual revolution”. This revolution has been ongoing ever since and has resulted in the view of sexuality which was described above. One group that has been strongly linked with the sexual revolution all along, and which continues to support its ideology is the feminist movement.
Since the 60’s, the sexual revolution and the feminist movement have marched side by side, sharing the common goals of breaking down the seemingly oppressive barriers of the traditional family lifestyle. The ideas of easily available birth-control, abortion, sexual independence, extramarital relationships, and even the free love of the 60’s hippie were promoted by both groups, because where one saw them breaking down barriers to pleasure, the other saw them as breaking free of the repressions of male-dominated traditions.
The reason that feminism and the sexual revolution have always been so closely intertwined is because these two goals are really one and the same. While feminists have accomplished some noble things (equal pay, voting rights etc.) their fight is defined as a fight for freedom from repression. But, they do not have a clear idea of what that freedom is for. In the absence of the moral vision of the traditions they rebel against, that freedom becomes essentially the same freedom that the 60’s hippie seeks: freedom for pleasure.
In other words, feminism is closely tied in with the sexual revolution because the roles of men, women, and family according to the old tradition were shaped with the sacredness of sex in mind. But when the feminists rebelled against these roles they rebelled against the value of sexuality. And so the rebellion of the feminist encompasses a denial of the sanctity of sex.
Or, as feminist activist Ellen Willis puts it, “a sexual liberationist perspective is essential to a genuinely radical analysis of women’s condition” (2).
And in the modern era, the sexual liberationist perspective has become radical indeed. With child pornography and sexual trafficking becoming rampant, and Planned Parenthood (the feminist
equivalent of a Magisterium) encouraging teenagers to engage in BDSM, and women denouncing sexual values by parading naked through the streets, the sexual revolution has clearly gone unhinged, and the feminist movement continues to stand behind it.
To come around to my point, then: For the feminist movement to lead the crusade against rape, which so clearly reveals the value of sexuality is a joke, a contradiction. But on the other hand, since rape is such a clear violation of women’s rights, who better to do so?
What this discloses is the inherent contradiction in the feminist platform. Feminism has to take a stand against rape, and yet, as we have said all along, a thing cannot be violated unless it is first sacred. The horror of rape, which is proclaimed more loudly by feminists than by any others, discloses at the same time the sanctity of human sexuality. And this the feminists refuse to acknowledge. In fact, by their own rejection of this high dignity, they have themselves been major catalysts in promoting a culture of sexual obsession which simultaneously treats sex as no big deal. This is a culture that leads to rape, and you can thank the feminists for it.
The double standard of feminists exemplifies what C.S. Lewis refers to in the quote at the opening of this post. Feminism claims to promote the liberation of women, and yet at the same time it undermines them and oppresses them by denying the value of their own sexuality. This double standard is typified and made manifest by the tragedy of rape. Feminists cannot claim that rape is evil while sex is morally lukewarm. So long as they continue to do so, they will cause more harm than good to society.
(1) C.S. Lewis. God on the Dock: Essays on Theology
(2) Willis, Ellen. “Toward a Feminist Sexual Revolution”