So this is how the Sexual Revolution is ending. It is not ending with the Sexual Utopians of yesteryear shouting “Oh Joy” and extolling the therapeutic orgasm, which was to bring happiness to Americans from every walk of life. It is ending with gangs of angry women—some well into their seventies, some with grandchildren—recalling sexual assaults that allegedly took place up to half a century ago. They are aggrieved. They are angry. Some still burst into tears. And their alleged assailant, in this case the avuncular 77-year-old Bill Cosby, is pictured on the front page of the Washington Post in sullen denial.
Also on the front page of the Post is more evidence of the Sexual Revolution’s unanticipated expiry. The University of Virginia is suspending all fraternities, even sororities, because of libidinous excess among its students. Specifically a gang rape is supposed to have taken place two years ago in the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. The university did not respond in any way. Apparently this is the way the university has responded to charges of sexual assault for decades. A middle-aged woman is quoted as saying that she was assaulted on campus in the early 1980s but did not bother to bring the incident to the university’s attention. The university’s lack of concern for such complaints was widely known even then.
Two stories of sexual assault, one relating the alleged assaults committed by a Hollywood icon at the dawn of the Sexual Revolution, the other relating a tale of alleged rape that was perpetrated two years ago, both in different stories on a major newspaper’s front page—I submit the Sexual Revolution is dead. Yet what will replace it? The Sexual Utopians’ beliefs are still around. Their promises of sexual hygiene, libidinous bliss, and, of course, their claptrap about the citizenry’s right to sexual satisfaction is enshrined in every sex ed curriculum in the country. Thus in early high school or perhaps even grammar school you have the harmless innocence of sex being taught, along with birth control cleanliness. Yet by the time a student gets to college the harmless innocence of sex has turned grisly: there are lectures on sexual harassment and there is rape counseling. Suddenly, sex is no fun. Possibly it is even unhealthy.
Could it be that the Sexual Utopians were wrong all along? Could it be that morality plays a role in sex? The male sex drive is usually aggressive and needs to be tempered. The female sex drive exists, but she has a right to say no, to change the subject, even to enjoy sex in a moral setting, for instance in marriage.
Such talk of morality’s role in sex is very old fashioned. It began to go out of fashion about 1960 when the Sexual Revolution began. Bill Cosby, now an old man, was a young man in those days. He married his present wife back in 1964 in the Roman Catholic faith. He was counseled by Father Carl Dianda who says today, “They were well matched.” For a marriage to last that long they had to be, but Bill was already pretty much a part of the Sexual Revolution. He went through his Hugh Hefner phase and later phases. In the Hefner phase he was very public about his interests. He went to Playboy mansions and disported with the bunnies, the starlets, possibly even Hef’s intelligentsia, the Sexual Utopians promoting the Sexual Revolution. Cosby today presents himself as a moral paragon, especially to blacks. Perhaps now he is. However, in times past he had endless affairs and at least one illegitimate child.
Then there are the charges elaborated upon in the Post of his stupefying young girls with pills and raping them. A sad chorus line of women has come forward with their charges, dating from the early days of the Sexual Revolution right up to 2005. They were would-be actresses, gag writers, and one was actually a Playboy bunny. Apparently sex with Bill was not as innocent as the Sexual Utopians would have us believe. At best the women were once participants in the Sexual Revolution who have now had a change of heart. At the other end of the spectrum they might well have been the victims of a Hollywood fetishist whose fetish was brutal and despicable.
Whatever the final judgment may be on Bill Cosby, the lengthening line of angry women, and on college campuses where sex is more rampant than learning, I think we can all agree, the Sexual Revolution is over.