Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Wow, I never thought I’d ever post or opine in public at all about the all too personal politics of the rise and fall of the ‘60s feminist sexual revolution, but Pisces Iscariot's latest post at Farcueue stirred something in me that won’t shut up.
Betty Friedan was the first to waken my sense of gender injustice with her book, The Feminine Mystique. More than my late night musings about alternatives to the life I found ourselves leading as conservative pro to-yuppies, my talk of the alternatives to her constant discomfort with her limited role as wife and mother offered by Friedan’s book scared the bejeezus out of my establishmentarian life partner. She had found a financial and social security that such ideas of personal liberation threatened the hell out of. She so distrusted such of my speculations that years later, when I followed up on our contentious discussion of my wish to experiment with cannabis she found the last straw of reason to seek the more established security of returning to life in her parents’ home. That experience dampened any desire to so influence another being ever again. This blog about my thoughts on this kind of subject is as close as I have gotten to offering alternatives since. I neither want nor allow anyone to become so dependent upon me that my spontaneous tendencies pose a threat to them.
Like most social conflict, the combatants in the sexual revolution represent too many variations for anything like a system to steal much of a march on the patriarchy established so long ago that almost everyone assumes it is reality. Freedom of choice is limited to the selection offered us by a culture still suffering from the delusions of the myth that transformed Pan into the devil, the evolution of nature into the creation of a god who made MEN in his image and gave them ownership of all they surveyed, including the women, and women into the beneficiaries of their male children’s largess. This tautological prison of the conforming mind is so complete that the words to express alternatives to patriarchy don’t even exist. The emergence of psychedelics, tattoos and body piercing among the young, yet to become contributing establishment members of western society are among the only forms of expression they find that pierce culture’s proprietary wall with a human nostalgia for the archaic symbols of symbiosis with a nature that existed before Pan was relegated to hell as its caretaker.
The article by Paula Rothenberg which evoked Pisces’ post is a brilliant analysis of the failure of the women’s liberation movement, as evidenced by the choices it fought so bravely to be free for women to make still seeking to satisfy male sexual fantasies, rather than in consideration of the values and vision such choices reflect. Yet she too confusedly equates wearing a t-shirt with “dirty girl” printed on it to the ancient art of body piercing as both being bad choices. The variety of personal preferences obstructs the agreement, the paradigm shift required to achieve lasting social change, the final taming of nature.
The simultaneity of the winning of a more equal footing in the work place achieved by women’s lib and the national economic shift requiring both parents to have jobs to maintain the social status quo in the American dream has made me suspect that it was some sort of cosmic collusion so that the establishment could take over the raising of children as soon as mothers could get back to work. Laura Bush reinforced this notion when she declared, upon being informed of how early in the life of infants they begin shaping the person they’ll grow to be, “…we should get them in schools by the age of two.” Yeah, let’s cover up their potential with the requirements of society before they catch on — then they never will.
After my wife liberated me with her one woman’s movement home to mother, I had several fairly debauched years of catching up with the free love sentiment of the ‘70s until it occurred to me that sex just wasn’t all that great when seduction and/or performing were ingredients. By the mid ‘80s I decided to cease employing persuasion to satisfy my sexual urges and to allow mutual attraction to allow it to happen if it was going to. I laughingly refer to it as the strategy of playing hard to get and being entirely too successful. From what I hear, Catholic priests get more than I do, and I didn’t promise anyone I’d be celibate. I’m happy — I have learned to become friends with women to an degree impossible if they were still primarily potential sex partners. Maybe.