Well it only took a few weeks for Ross Douthat to screw up his courage and take on one of his favorite hobbyhorses: unrestrained fucking in America. Using a report entitled “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness” as a springboard, Ross meanders about in the halls of glass ceilings and housework before reaching the master suite:
They [feminists and traditionalists] should also be able to agree that the steady advance of single motherhood threatens the interests and happiness of women. Here the public-policy options are limited; some kind of social stigma is a necessity. But a new-model stigma shouldn’t (and couldn’t) look like the old sexism. There’s no necessary reason why feminists and cultural conservatives can’t join forces — in the same way that they made common cause during the pornography wars of the 1980s — behind a social revolution that ostracizes serial baby-daddies and trophy-wife collectors as thoroughly as the “fallen women” of a more patriarchal age.
No reason, of course, save the fact that contemporary America doesn’t seem willing to accept sexual stigma, period. We simply don’t have the stomach for permanently ostracizing the sexually irresponsible — be they a pregnant starlet, a thrice-divorced tycoon, or even a prostitute-hiring politician.
I, for one, think it is very white of him to take one for the man team and negotiate the acceptance of some type of slur (manwhore? hobro?) for guys who can’t keep zippers zipped so that we can get back to calling a slut a slut without all of that sexist baggage. What is stigma for the goose should be stigma for the gander, Playboy Philosophy be damned. But, if Ross is truly interested in curtailing single motherhood, he might want to suggest that society, in the form of public policy, make birth control as cheap and as easily available as, say, handguns. It is my understanding that birth control can be fairly effective:
One successful foray ended on the guest bed of a high school friend’s parents, with a girl who resembled a chunkier Reese Witherspoon drunkenly masticating my neck and cheeks. It had taken some time to reach this point–"Do most Harvard guys take so long to get what they want?" she had asked, pushing her tongue into my mouth. I wasn’t sure what to say, but then I wasn’t sure this was what I wanted. My throat was dry from too much vodka, and her breasts, spilling out of pink pajamas, threatened my ability to. I was supposed to be excited, but I was bored and somewhat disgusted with myself, with her, with the whole business… and then whatever residual enthusiasm I felt for the venture dissipated, with shocking speed, as she nibbled at my ear and whispered–"You know, I’m on the pill…"
Even, in this exceedingly rare case, as a boner-shrinker.