Writer Erica Jong, one of the flag-bearers of the sexual
revolution, wonders, in the New York Times, why her daughter’s generation is not interested in sex. Sexual
passion, that is. “Fear Of Flying” stuff, perhaps, though I have never read her
famous women’s lib tract.
She first discovered the shocking news about lust, it
appears, while editing “an anthology of women’s sexual writing” (yawn) last
year. The younger writers displayed “a nostalgia for ‘50s-era attitudes towards
sexuality” and were “obsessed with motherhood and monogamy.”
Generalizing about cultural trends is tricky, but everywhere
there are signs that sex has lost its frisson of freedom. Is sex less piquant
when it is not forbidden? Sex itself may not be dead, but it seems sexual passion
is on life support.
It would be too bad — wouldn’t it? — if passion were
subordinated to monogamy and motherhood. What a betrayal of the revolution, etc
etc. And yet, that’s the model of relationship that educated, savvy young women are embracing today. Who prefers to have four marriages, one child and 22 books (all, apparently, on the same subject)?
Oddly enough, the Times published Ms Jong’s op-ed a week after New York state passed its same-sex marriage law.
Different though we are, men and women were designed to be
allies, to fill out each other’s limitations, to raise children together and
give them different models of adulthood. We have often botched attempts to do
this, but there is valor in trying to get it right, to heal the world and the
rift between the sexes, to pursue the healing of home and by extension the
healing of the earth.
Sexual complementarity? Now that is old fashioned, and Ms Jong should be the first to understand that. The birth control, abortion and unbridled passion that she champions make the sexual identity of the partner irrelevant; they are just a collection of interchangeable body parts.
Wake up, Erica, and write the real story about women and sex before you die.