The Backlash! - Backlash Article Archive - The Sexual Revolution
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The Sexual Revolution
By Rod Van Mechelen
A nonfeminist phrase of the 1960s that simply meant women's increased availability on men's terms. - Gloria Steinem, 1980
False assumptions of the sexual revolution
1991 Bellevue, Wash. - In the pop-feminist view, men used the sexual revolution to dominate women:
To look at it more cynically, 'male' culture has caused the harassment of women sexually with the 'sexual revolution,' putting women down for being 'too sexual' outside of marriage at the same time that it urges women to be sexual (on male terms) -- then offered 'protection' inside marriage if women give up this idea of 'freedom' -- like a 'Mafia' shakedown. -- Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress, St. Martin's Press mass market edition, 1989, Shere Hite, p 305
This is based on four false assumptions. First, that the "sexual revolution" was purely a "male" phenomenon. Something created and orchestrated entirely by the playboy mentality. Second, that "male" culture is a monolithic whole comprised of men of one mind all participating in a conspiracy against women. Third, that men oppress women. And finally, that the sexual revolution liberated men.

For many men, the sexual revolution was oppressive. In growing numbers, women demanded competent clitoral stimulation, prolonged foreplay, and multiple orgasms. Under this pressure, men, as Reay Tannahill notes, "began to go into retreat." (Sex in History, Reay Tannahill, p 422) Many men may have cheered the sexual revolution, but for many others, it did not liberate their libido, but annihilated their ardor. (Coincidentally, it also stimulated a taste for pornography.)

Nor are women men's victims. Despite countless polemics to the contrary, pop-feminists have yet to prove most men victimize most women. Nor have they proved that women do not oppress men. All their facts reveal is that, as Luise Eichenbaum and Susie Orbach note, too many mothers raise their daughters to be victims, and to use victim-status to manipulate men.

In war, men do most of the dying
Have women consequently oppressed themselves? If the sexual revolution oppressed women, then perhaps they have. Erica Jong, Xavier Hollander, Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston, Eva Figes, many other female authors and entertainers and millions of women did as much to shape and promote the sexual revolution as any man: "The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn." (Fear of Flying, Erica Jong) If most young women had actively disagreed with or rejected the basic tenets of the sexual revolution, most young men probably would have rejected them, too.

If there is any truth at all to the idea men think with their "little heads," then what these "little heads" tell most men to do is to do what it takes to earn the attentions, affections and sexual favors of women. Hence, if women had given their love and sex mostly to men who rejected the values of the sexual revolution, men, following the lead of their "little heads," would have rejected the sexual revolution, too.

There was no conspiracy among men to force women to participate in "free love" and sexual hedonism. Nor was hedonism the essential nature of the sexual revolution. For millions of women and men, its clear message was: sex and nudity are not sins, and making love is better than making war.

Evidently, pop-feminists want us to believe women are oppressed by slogans like, "make love not war." Perhaps that's because, in most wars, men do most of the dying.


Rod Van Mechelen

Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.


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