Ann Patchett in the Wall Street Journal: "Has the Sexual Revolution Been Good for Women? Yes."

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Nashville author Ann Patchett had a terrific and heartfelt essay in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, essentially her personal musings on the sexual revolution (and conservatives' futile wish that it would undo itself).

A few highlights:


If you feel that the sexual revolution destroyed the American family by giving women power over their reproductive choices, and that power turned daughters and wives, by and large, into a bunch of wanton hussies, well, stew over your feelings all you want, but you might as well give up thinking that it is possible to herd us up and drive us back into the kitchen—which, depending on how many revolutions have offended you, might be a kitchen with a washboard and cake of soap or a smoke house featuring a picture of King George. ...

The sexual revolution, which rode into town on the backs of those pink plastic cases of birth-control pills, was, after all, not so much a matter of sleeping around as it was of having the ability to decide when you were going to have a child, and then deciding how many children you wanted to have. For me, it meant the freedom to choose not having children at all. It was a quiet use of a revolution, but a completely appropriate one. I never wanted children and therefore doubted I would be a great parent. Perhaps a few more people who don't want children and feel that they wouldn't be great parents could consider following my lead. You can have my birth-control pills when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands....

Reproduction is the very purpose of life on earth. No matter which aspects of the act and its consequences are debated, mandated, outlawed or rolled back, sex will keep on keeping on. So for those who remain bitter about the revolution and wish it had never happened, join hands with the likes of me, who see the rights and freedoms of women as the only possible outcome for a thinking society. Together, let's make a country into which any baby would be proud to be born.

Read the whole piece here.

Naturally, Patchett's piece had quite a few members of WSJ's largely conservative readership foaming at the mouth. Some comment highlights, after the jump ...

"What on earth is garbage like this doing on the Wall Street Journal? If I wanted to listen to pseudo-Catholics rhapsodize about the wonders and joys of sterile sex and ubiquitous birth control, I could go to the Huffington Post."

"Misogyny by definition is the mistrust or mistreatment of women. I have always found it curious that the Liberal/Progressive faction of women point to the "victory" of the Sexual Revolution war as theirs to claim when it has always seemed to me that the true beneficiaries of the so-called victory are intrinsically the selfish, irresponsible and promiscuous men in society who are no longer bound by societal mores, guilt or shame to live the wanton life that they desire."

"It's made women — and girls, make no mistake about it — a lot 'easier,' and men a lot less responsible."

"This was so angry. And not contemplative at all. I almost wonder if the editors at the WSJ wanted such an easily dismissible defense of the sexual revolution."

But Patchett wasn't without her supporters, outnumbered though they were:

"This column made far too much sense for the WSJ."

"Thank you, Ann. I agree with you completely. Interesting that the negative comments are all from men (presumably and hopefully over 60 :-) )"

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