Like the New Left they emerged out of, feminists joined hands with sexual revolutionaries in rejecting all of the old sexual mores – including marriage. “Destroy the patriarchy,” they chanted. They agreed with the Playboy Foundation (a contributor to the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) that linking sex with morality at all was an outdated idea.
And so professional feminists actually helped midwife the loose sexual culture we have today. Arguably, this culture has permitted men to behave even more shabbily toward women than the old mores did. This may sound odd, but I think it’s true — even the sexual harassment has become grosser than it was a few decades ago. I know of a few women who faced harassment in the 1970s and 1980s (myself included), but honestly, it was practically as polite as a Victorian drawing room compared with the stories we are hearing now about Louis C.K. or Harvey Weinstein or Mark Halperin. Womanizers used to at least make an effort at seduction. Now they seem to act out repellent narratives from porn movies.