Philobiblon: A story for the papers

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A story for the papers

An article in the Observer wonders where is all the coverage of the Women of the Year awards. (Male) Editors everywhere are scratching their heads trying to find stories that will appeal to women, but these struggle to make much impact at all. Instead we get endless pap about hairstyles (as a friend was complaining last night), and of course make-up, and Kate Moss.

Minette Marrin in The Times has some very sensible things to say about sexual "morality". Why is it still so hard to say that as long as sex is safe, between consenting adults and doesn't involve betrayal of someone else, it is absolutely not society's business to worry about it?

Traditional sexuality morality — meaning sexual restraint, particularly for women — was based on that connection between sex and conception: it evolved to protect paternity and patrimony. Now the connection has all but disappeared, as has patrimony, and the less connection, the less restraint and the more empty the morality.
For this reason Christian moralists and others are doomed to failure with their quixotic hopes of getting people to say no to sex or to save themselves for married monogamy; they might as well try to put a genie back in his lamp. Because higamous, hogamous we are mostly not monogamous, and we no longer have any reproductive reason even to try to pretend that we are.

And trying to do so only does harm, particularly to women, since somehow it always ends up being their fault, I'd add.


Blogger Frank said...

And, frankly, a lot of people "in the good old days" didn't wait for marriage or remain monogamous in the first place.

10/30/2005 10:21:00 pm  

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