Contemporary feminism emerged simultaneously with sexual liberation. The latter offered freedom from what were deemed repressive sexual norms that paternalistically protected females from the voracious male libido. The male and female libido would henceforth meet as equals on the sexual battlefield, unrestrained by norms of chivalry, gentlemanliness, or female modesty and prudence. Feminism is now evolving, however, into a new monastic cult characterized by an aversion to the flesh and a terror at physical contact with males. The Saudi and other Muslim cultures prohibit males from any physical contact with an unrelated female lest the touch of female flesh provoke male lust. We are moving to that standard here. Feminists continue to gripe about being left out of male bonding experiences. If the new rule is that gregarious males can continue to glad-hand other males but must stay one foot away from females, another source of connection to potential power layers will be lost.
To see where this narcissistic insistence on one’s own ‘space’ is taking us, look no further than Antioch College, the harbinger of all once-unimaginable identity politics absurdities. In 1990, Antioch was universally mocked for requiring explicit verbal consent for each progressive erotic stage of a drunken hookup. Two decades later, college rape bureaucrats and state legislatures the country over were imposing affirmative consent policies on campus sex. Antioch is now applying affirmative consent to purely Platonic physical contact. A third-year Antioch student described to the New York Times last year her shock when her mother hugged her during her first visit home. ‘If you don’t want to be touched and your mom wants to hug you, you should be allowed to say no,’ the co-ed said. ‘It’s about having autonomy over your own body.’ Is this the self-engrossed, instantaneously-offended world we want to live in?