WASHINGTON — As I have been saying, the sexual revolution of the 1960s is now over. We can thank Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's gang of angry women (which Trump either knew or did not know years ago) for that. I think it is a contribution to the moral life of the republic, but I might be wrong.
Arguably, the females of the species began the sexual revolution; and unarguably, they are now ending it. Frankly, I, for one, am relieved. There is nothing more frightening than an amorous — if that is the word — woman aroused and on the move.
I am sure that many women from the era of the sexual revolution will — if they are still with us — disagree when I say that women began the sexual revolution. And one does not want to disagree with these eminently disagreeable women. So I shall concede a point or two. Men played a role in the sexual revolution of yesteryear. To begin with, there was Hugh Hefner, the force behind Playboy magazine and an early herald of the revolution. But there were also Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. Steinem was a leading proponent of the notion that women were just like men when it came to the sexual impulse, though they have different plumbing.
A few years later came the real practitioners of zoo sex: the pornographers. That is to say the writers of dirty books and the stars of pornography. Today the stars of pornography are not easily identified, and many do not even maintain a decent pornographic work. Truth be known, the life expectancy of these practitioners of the sexual revolution is not terribly long. They expire from drug overdoses and horrible diseases. Yet Hugh and Gloria are still around.
All of these adventurers out on the frontiers of sex in decades past propounded the line that sex was a beautiful thing. It was so very healthy, poetic, humane and, at its most preposterous, a cause for world peace. They got this hooey from European quacks who plied their hokum in the 1920s and 1930s. Come to think of it, they plied their hokum about the time Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were plying their much more dangerous hokum. These swamis of sex hung around Vienna and Berlin, and their most absurd wizard was Wilhelm Reich, inventor of the orgone box. From it one could supposedly partake in the "hypothetical universal life force" — if one did not catch the flu or a head cold first.
As I have said, I think at the outset it was the women who brought on the sexual revolution. All they had to do was say "no." There has always been among the males of the species a reckless fellow who would, in contemporary terms, make "an inappropriate proposal." In years long gone a lady simply said "no," or more emphatically, "Are you kidding?" If the cad persisted, she snickered and called in the authorities. That all broke down around 1965. After that, a growing number of women said "yes," and a growing number of men thought the cool thing to do was to try their luck. For decades, they have been hitting on what appeared to be pay dirt, and in growing numbers. Now it has all changed.
Women are saying "no" in growing numbers. Increasingly, they decide that they meant "no" weeks, months or even years after their initial opportunity to say "no." And they are charging the men with ever graver acts of indelicacy, to the point of aggression. It makes one wonder whether sex was ever a beautiful thing, at least under certain circumstances.
The sexual revolution lasted about half a century and was of a piece with other anomalies, such as the use of drugs, petty crime and, most recently, a man's legal right to use a woman's public bathroom if he will announce himself a woman or a transgender woman. In fact, this is the only act of aggression against women allowed in our society today, and apparently it's encouraged by the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's candidacy. I know it sounds odd, but at last all the other nonsense of the sexual revolution is over, and I can still love my wife in a proper way, toujours amour.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author most recently of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.