The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Louise Perry Gets It

Posted on | August 23, 2022 | Comments Off on Louise Perry Gets It

Louise Perry is a young British writer who has just published her first book, The Case Against the Sexual Revolution: A New Guide to Sex in the 21st Century. Although she considers herself a feminist, the core of her argument rather resembles something I wrote in May 2010:

Insofar as men and women are different, they are not equal.
Equality implies fungibility — that two things are perfectly interchangeable, so that one thing may be substituted for the other without any difference in value. Only a fool could believe that men and women are equal in that way, and yet this is what feminists would require us to believe. And any man who dares contradict this egalitarian dogma is a sexist, an oppressor, a reactionary representative of the patriarchy.
All the other errors of feminism flow from this one fundamental error, a counterfactual insistence on the equality of the sexes. Men and women are not the same, and therefore are not equal.

For decades, most conservatives have been so intimidated by feminism that they’re unwilling to speak this blunt truth, and therefore when I stated it in clear sentences, many people were shocked and angered. Belief in a fictitious “equality” between the sexes is, I would argue, far more damaging to women’s interests than accepting the reality of sexual difference. Truth is always a better basis for living than lies.

At Bari Weiss’s Common Sense blog, Louise Perry writes:

It’s precisely because I’m a feminist that I’ve changed my mind on sexual liberalism. It’s an ideology premised on the false belief that the physical and psychological differences between men and women are trivial, and that any restrictions placed on sexual behavior must therefore have been motivated by malice, stupidity or ignorance. 
The problem is the differences aren’t trivial. Sexual asymmetry is profoundly important: One half of the population is smaller and weaker than the other half, making it much more vulnerable to violence. This half of the population also carries all of the risks associated with pregnancy. It is also much less interested in enjoying all of the delights now on offer in the post-sexual revolution era. . . .
If we are to challenge the social costs of the sexual revolution effectively, then we can’t redesign society on the back of an envelope. We have to look at social structures that have already proven to be successful and compare them against one another, rather than against some imagined alternative that has never existed and is never likely to exist. The technology shock of the Pill led many liberals to the hubristic assumption that our society could be uniquely free from the oppression of sexual norms and function just fine.
The last 60 years have proved that assumption to be wrong. We need to re-erect the social guard rails that have been torn down. To do that, we have to start by stating the obvious: Sex must be taken seriously. Men and women are different. Some desires are bad. Consent is not enough. Violence is not love. Loveless sex is not empowering. People are not products. Marriage is good. . . .

You can read the whole thing. What Perry seems to be arguing for is what we may call neo-traditionalism, a revival of older social customs, updated to accommodate the inescapable requirements of modernity. In rejecting egalitarian utopianism — “some imagined alternative that has never existed and is never likely to exist” — Perry has taken a bold step, for a young woman who dares call herself a feminist, because modern feminism originated with just such a utopian ambition, as delineated by the schizophrenic radical Shulamith Firestone and others. Insofar as Perry rejects “ideology premised on . . . false belief,” she must question whether she is actually a feminist in any meaningful sense of that word.

(Hat-tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)



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