By Anthony Esolen, Ruth Institute
Lust perverts language itself, calling sex “safe” or “protected,” and cohabitation “honest,” and relationships “mutual,” which are nothing but forays into a jungle, where the strongest and most cunning survive.
Several weeks ago, Saint Valentine’s Day at my school came and went. There was no dance. There was no concert. There was no ice cream social. There was no party for trading little gifts. There was no showing of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon or Marty or Goodbye, Mr. Chips or Casablanca. There were no foolish and innocent flirtations on the way to class.
But there was some small notice taken of the holiday. A group of women, as has been customary for several years, rented space at a local theater to stage there what they are not allowed to stage at our Catholic college, the dreary, hapless porno-twaddle called The Vagina Monologues. A few hundred of our students made the trip across the city to watch it, including some young men motivated by a sort of homeless chivalry. The stated justification for the show is to protest violence against women—though, in Eve Ensler’s initial version of the play, the only violence against a woman was a lesbian drug-rape of a teenage girl, and that was celebrated as liberating.
So it’s come to this: Even lust now is gray and dispirited. The girls celebrate Valentine’s Day by putting on a series of vulgar and angry skits, to instruct the boys in how rotten they are, and the boys, most of whom have no particular desire to treat girls badly, roll their eyes and go along with it, or file it away with all the other petty resentments of our lonely contemporary existence.
Of course, there isn’t a feminist on my campus who will admit to these young women that if they really want to be protected from violence, they should marry a decent man and stay married to him, because such married women are less likely than any other group of Americans to be the victims of a felony.
Read also: Should Men Hold Doors open for Women? by Peter Hitchens