Tradition And Camille Paglia’s Sad Tale

I was virtually speechless when I read Camille Paglia’s op-ed piece “No Sex Please, We’re Middle Class.”  Paglia seems put off by a proposed new drug that might help women whose libido seems to be out of whack. She explains her doubts in a curious discussion of how she thinks the media’s oversexed messages, corporate boardroom conflicts between men and women, and distorted family life (one that puts women in the driver’s seat and men on the front lawn) all contribute to a middle-class case of having no interest in sex for its own sake. It’s really rather sad to read through her analysis and realize that she has, perhaps unwittingly, derived her interpretation of the culture’s alleged problems from a perspective devoid of God, moral values and common sense.

First and foremost, women don’t need a feminine equivalent of Viagra. There’s enough evidence today to prove that such pills provide only a physical response to what really is, at its core, a question of basic appreciation of each other as human persons. Such concoctions solve nothing, because selfless love for another human being does not come in a pill bottle.

Far too many Americans have been brainwashed into accepting attitudes that dehumanize their identity as men and women, insult members of the opposite sex and compete in almost every venue as though traditional male and female roles are but a footnote in history. In other words, if there is truly a defining difference between men and women in our culture today, it is apparently only seen in the windows of Victoria’s Secret stores or the pages of GQ.

There’s not much left of the camaraderie once equated with spending a lifetime in marriage trying to understand the mystery of loving, while being one with a member of the opposite sex through the grace of God. My sense is that Paglia doesn’t understand the predicament underlying what she laments as today’s so-called “middle class values.”

Step back for a moment and consider the following story, which is indicative of how widespread this crisis has become. A woman who apparently ready to become pregnant had her batch of frozen embryonic children transferred into her body. When she learned somebody goofed and she was carrying another couple’s embryonic babies, she was upset. Her response to the news was to kill them all by ingesting a morning-after pill. I believe that’s the same pill—we are told—that does not cause an abortion! Tell that to the dead babies.

How easily we describe our children as if they were batches of cookies. We respond to bad news by eliminating our problems, even when they happen to be children. Further, for the most part, parents have absolutely no problem with consigning their kids to the electronic, mouse-driven babysitter that invites them in and pollutes their minds.

And Paglia thinks the problem is inhibitions? I don’t think so! The real problem is total disrespect for ourselves, our spouses and the God-given gift of sexuality which allows us the privilege of bearing children the old-fashioned way!

The Pew Research Center tells us, in our “middle-class” state of "androgyny," as Paglia describes it, “Among all women ages 40–44, the proportion that has never given birth, 18 percent in 2008, has grown by 80 percent since 1976, when it was 10 percent. There were 1.9 million childless women ages 40–44 in 2008, compared with nearly 580,000 in 1976.” Some of the reasons for this childlessness, according to Pew, are contraceptives, better job opportunities, less social pressure to get married and have children, and more freedom to choose if and when to have a child. Oh! Well then, I guess we can say that, as our society has become more sterile—thanks to contraception and abortion—women have become less like those old-fashioned ones who welcomed children, wanted to stay home and be a mommy and really expected Daddy to provide for the family.

As the latest twist, the drive to develop and perfect a male birth control pill, moves forward, the effort to examine what’s really wrong with America’s attitude toward family life seems even less likely to arrive at the correct solution. When the folks who make the big bucks on contraception and abortion examine the state of society today, they find ways to render men and women ever more subservient to sex without passion, sex without devotion, sex without God. And as that juggernaut continues to pick up steam, the institution that we used to call marriage—one that wholly involves man, woman and God—seems to be in enormous trouble. It can only be rescued by a return to God.