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Dave Weigel
  Dave Weigel
No sex, please, we’re conservatives

Posted 05-23-2002, 13:44
by David Weigel

While it's not my usual policy to use this space as a rebuff to Daily columnists, this week found me having trouble restraining myself. No matter what I did (sat in my room) or where I went (my room), Lilly Gonzalez's May 16 column "Guilt-free sex is OK - if you know the rules" stuck with me like a bad case of Montezuma's revenge. Like no column since Amy Choi's "History of my Life Trilogy" of 2001, Gonzalez's opus has changed the way we, at Northwestern, may continue to live.

If you missed it, Gonzalez's subject was the "booty call" - "a phone call made to a person where the only goal is to have sex." On an initial reading it was hard to see why she'd chosen the subject at all. Most NU students, are well-read enough, if not libertine enough, to know what a booty call is.

That's where context comes in. Gonzalez's column was most useful as a dissemination of the liberal utopia that her previous columns aimed to create.

Think about it. Caroline Graglia, in her recent book "Domestic Tranquility," clearly dilineates how uncommitted, purely physical sex is vital to feminism. The booty call is exactly the type of liberated sex that detaches the act from maternity, responsibility, and other elements associated with women under a patriarchy.

More notably, the noted feminist scholar Germaine Greer, writing 15 years after the publication of her classic "The Female Eunuch," denounced the sexual revolution for what it wrought upon women.

''The sexual revolution never happened," Greer said in an interview around the time her contraversial "Sex and Destiny" was published. "Permissiveness happened, and that's no better than repressiveness, because women are still being manipulated by men. Today's society is preoccupied by sex to a point where it dominates our culture. Women act as if sex is a social duty. They don't even know if they want it or not, but everyone's doing it, so they do it too.''

Whether for the sake of brevity or disinterest, Gonzalez tossed these theories out the window.

"Let's not get caught up in moral discussions ..." she wrote. "It's the 21st century, and if two consenting adults wish to have nothing but a physical, sexual relationship, then who are we to judge?"

Beneath the frothy, la-de-da prose lurks a weighty subject. Who, indeed, would be so puritanical to demand adults to have more than casual sexual relationships?

Well, since you're reading this conservative newspaper, I guess I don't need to browbeat you with the answer.

Conservatives are generally opposed to casual sex. We have been for some time now. My favorite quote on the matter comes from Mencius, the Chinese philosopher who wrote in the 4th century that "a man and woman living together is the most important of human relations." The reasons behind our morality seldom have much to do with our own relative aptitude in "getting some." Throw a dart and you'll hit a conservative who can prove, more or less convincingly, that loose sexual mores are responsible for many of society's problems. Women didn't quadruple the number of children born out of wedlock overnight; it happened between 1960 and 2000, after access to birth control and abortion became universal.

Even booty callers and callees who use contraceptives, as Gonzalez suggests, may not be doing favors for their mental health by sharing themselves with multiple partners. You can write off a sexual encounter as much as you like, but you can never stop it being awkward when you see that person, cleaned up and turning around milk jugs in Jewel.

Plus, the Reds like sex. According to the League for a Communist Revolutionary International, "Sexual repression is fundamental to the oppression of young people." I'll be damned if I'm going to be nodding my head at that.

But let's say Gonzalez is serious about this. Sure, it is the 21st century. And if sexual freedom is a liberal keystone, it's probably more likely to attract adherents than flogging The Socialist Worker at The Rock.

Gonzalez wants an America of social justice and laissez faire immigration, and she wants a campus where people don't have hang-ups about sex. The solution seems obvious. Alianza, or another well-meaning group, has to convert some unused area of campus - say, Suitcase Party's office - to a phone bank. They hire some of the attractive and comely NU students who make up the booty call community to man the lines. Then they pick up a campus directory and start dialing.

If care-free sex is as delightful as its adherents claim, NU would be liberated before finals week. Social degradation or no, it's certainly the best idea campus liberals have come up with in a long, long time.
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