Yet the thing that really struck me about the response to this story is that many young women are proclaiming that it rings true to them, that it is an accurate reflection of the current dating culture, such as it is. If so, then the rules and expectations for dating and sex are totally broken. Maybe that’s the real story of the current sex panic. The sexual revolution threw out all the old rules—not just those that were puritanical or overly restrictive, but all of them, including any expectations about chivalrous behavior on the part of men. Which turns out to be a problem.
If we listen to the feminists who have been promoting #MeToo and are defending the attempted takedown of Ansari, this is what they are telling us. Jessica Valenti says that “part of what women are saying right now is that what the culture considers ‘normal’ sexual encounters are not working for us, and oftentimes harmful.” And elsewhere, “Our standard for sexual behavior has to be more than what’s legal or illegal—it needs to be about what’s right.” Why, she sounds almost like…a conservative.
The difference is that feminists filter this through a quasi-Marxist ideology of class warfare, where it’s all about power.