Many of us have said for decades now that the sexual revolution has been a horrific failure, and that it has simply caused untold amounts of damage. It has been a massive assault on marriage and family, it has harmed children, and it has especially damaged women. They have tended to be the big losers here.
But everyone has suffered from the no-holds-barred approach to sexuality which was unleashed in the counter-culture of the late 60s. As Mark Steyn put it in After America: “The wreckage is impressive. The Sexual Revolution was well-named: it was a revolt not just against sexual norms but against the institutions and values they supported; it was part of an assault against any alternatives to government, civic or moral. Utopianism, writes the philosopher Roger Scruton, is ‘not in the business of perfecting the world’ but only of demolishing it: ‘The ideal is constructed in order to destroy the actual.’ Who needs families, or marriage, or morality? Who needs nations, especially nations with borders? We’ll take a jackhammer to the foundations of functioning society and proclaim paradise in the ruins.”
Plenty of more-or-less conservative voices have been saying such things for half a century now. But our voices are so often just discounted and ignored. Thus it is refreshing to hear voices from the other side offer the same concerns and level the same charges and critiques.
Every once in a while a warning will come from the non-conservative side. Let me cite just two such recent voices. The first comes from someone who you would not have expected – especially given that he appeared in one of the most horrific films in recent times. I refer to the famous Irish actor, Liam Neeson.
And I refer to one of the more disgusting propaganda pieces ever put out by Hollywood, Kinsey: Let’s Talk About Sex (2004). And who was in the starring role? Yep, Liam Neeson. Any sympathy I might have had for the man when he played Qui-Gon Jinn in the Star Wars franchise was lost when he took on this role. I reviewed that wretched film here: billmuehlenberg.com/2005/01/15/kinsey-con-job/
Thus it was most surprising to hear him earlier this month come out and decry the sleazy world of sexuality that his kids are now growing up in. Never mind that he never should have glamourised it in his film role, but I am glad he has come around a bit.
He said this in an interview: “I’d hate to be a kid now, because we’re all inundated with so much information about sexuality coming at us from everywhere – the media, the advertising billboards, just everywhere – and it must be so confusing for them.
“There’s a problem that, if you become over-familiar with something, it moves from the sacred to almost the profane. The act is very, very special, you know. It’s full of mystery and wonder, and I’d hate us all to get to the stage where we just treat it lightly, because it deserves more than that?…?but times have changed since I was young, no doubt about it.”
Fantastic – I fully agree. So why did he star in this film glorifying a sexual pervert and a paedophile? Well, maybe he has seen the light. Whatever the reason, I applaud his current thinking, despite abhorring his previous role in that sleazeball film. But there has been another voice from an unexpected quarter coming out of the closet on this.
I refer to Wendy Squires, the Australian journalist who has edited the sleazy rag, Cleo. She too seems to be having some second thoughts here. She penned a piece recently laying out her concerns. She too cites Neeson. She said in part:
“Amid the vacuous dross that spills from the silicone lips of celluloid stars, sometimes – and it is a rarity – a relevant comment will make it to print. This happened recently when Irish actor and father of two teenage boys, Liam Neeson, steered away from the usual promotional guff involving ‘generous co-stars’, ‘visionary directors’ and ‘getting in character’ to deliver an unscripted and highly personal opinion. In Neeson’s case, one I passionately agree with.
“‘I’d hate to be a kid now, because we’re all inundated with so much information about sexuality coming at us from everywhere – the media, the advertising billboards, just everywhere – and it must be so confusing for them,’ the 60-year-old told Ireland’s Catholic Herald.”
She continues, and even makes a confession: “The Australian Kids Helpline counselling service reported that between January and March last year, 500 young people contacted the service with concerns about sexting – 75 per cent female and most under 19. One in three of these concerned youths were aged between 10 and 14.
“As a father of 16 and 17-year-old sons, Neeson is right to despair. The art of learning about sex through trust, time and tenderness has left the building, it seems. And it’s not coming back for an encore any time soon.
“There are myriad reasons why sex has become so debased in society it has been almost rendered an ablution, going from something magical to mechanical, from a gift of love to subservient surrender. About now it’s my duty to raise my arm and declare ‘mea culpa’ because, as a magazine writer and editor who has commissioned and written innumerable ‘how to satisfy him in bed’ articles, I have most definitely contributed to the problem. And I’m not proud of it.
“But it takes more than magazines to turn what should be a spiritual act into a routine release, a sexier version of a sneeze. I blame porn. I blame advertising. I blame Western religion. I blame the endemic rise of narcissism as the norm. I blame the near extinction of respect and romance in society. Sex sells may be a marketing truism, but the cost is often self-esteem, safety and sanity.
“Teenagers should not be worrying that they can’t stand on their heads to perform certain positions, or that they won’t know who puts what where in a threesome. They should be learning about their own bodies through trust and love, gradually peeling away layers to reveal the depths of their sexuality and boundaries.”
While I am not quite sure what she means by blaming “Western religion” as being part of the problem, that was certainly some confession. She was a major contributor to the problem, and now she sees the error of her ways. It is hoped that others will also wake up, and see what utter devastation the sexual revolution has been.
Given the tremendous amounts of harm it has done to our children especially, we need more such confessions and warnings real soon.