When it comes to women responding to their basic sexuality there is a great deal of difference between the average women born prior to the 1960s, with the advent of that decade’s birth control pill and women’s liberation movement, than that which followed. I term the average woman born prior to the 1960s as being sexual restricted.
It was a time when nice girls weren’t supposed to enjoy their sexuality. For women of the 50s and 60s, and perhaps for all times before those transitional decades, the social message was that for women sex was meant to be little more that a bargaining chip to entice men into marriage, a means to an end to get whatever else they needed from a male dominated world, including of course a family — children. Certainly it was not seen by the average God fearing women in those past days as a highly acceptable means for obtaining wholesome pleasure.
The unwritten, but well understood, social contract was that if a woman abstained from sharing her body with others for pleasure and love outside of marriage, her reward was the “privilege” of looking down her self-righteous nose at those who did, calling them out as lose women, whores or deviates. Such actions it were a female trap that assisted in reinforcing the good girl’s own fear of such social condemnation, an experience that she was certain to encounter should she dare go against sexual convention. It other words by condemning others, society has tricked its females into restricting their own physical and psychological options when it came to freely expressing their sexuality.
There were, however, before a reliable system of birth control manifested itself, a very practical set of factors to scare women away from pleasurable sex. Childbirth had always been a potential death sentence. Moreover, just being a mother to a large brood of children itself, before a host of today’s modern conveniences exited, was for women to be condemned to a life of endless drudgery. Many escaped this fate by remaining spinsters and taking up traditional female occupations as teachers or maids or private governesses or hiding out from the standard wife and mother routine as nuns.
But the single most important remaining factor against sex as a means of pleasure for women during the first half of the twentieth century, once others causes had mostly faded away, was religion. Indeed, religion has always been the epicenter for smothering nature’s pleasures, particular in regard to women freely expressing their sexuality. The reasoning and politics of religious power goes like this. If men and women were free to find pleasure in real life, how in the world could they be enticed to seek pleasure in some after life, some heavenly paradise? Thus it has been written by wise men, that in order to be seriously effective a religion must be against commonsense and pleasure.
For Christians, a particularly effective tool for keeping control of women’s sexuality was the establishment of the Virgin Mary as the female ideal of purity and goodness. The message with Mary is that sex for a woman is inherently despoiling. So much so that it is written that Jesus, the Son of God, was born of a virgin. Yes, the message is clear that for women sex should be looked upon only as a necessary evil for placating horny husbands and procreation. Not exactly a message that would inspire nice girls to look forward with joyous anticipation to one of nature’s greatest pleasures.
Still, there were pre 1960 girls of the lower orders of society who brazenly pushed through the social taboos, willing to endure the scolding of the sexually pure or those pretending to be pure, in order to exercise their sexuality. Then, too, there were sophisticated upper class young ladies capable of finessing the sensual barriers without consequence. With them, even if things went drastically wrong they had the wherewithal to suddenly disappear to Europe or aunt May’s for an extended stay until the ship was somehow righted.
One of the unfortunate hangovers for women, even today, having matured during the sexually repressive years is that while some of these average women on occasion manage to experience intense physical pleasure from sexual activity their anti sexual conditioning leaves them guilt ridden, so much so that they hardly ever look forward with joyous anticipation to their next romantic encounter, but rather continue to deflect future opportunities. And so in many ways they end up frozen in time, dried up old biddies, bitter, frustrated and constantly angered by their suppressed sexuality, reduced to a gossipy life of trivial games and puzzles for passing the hours of their empty days.
While for most women in America, today, the opportunity for sexual expression is greatly improved; there are still pockets of religious fundamentalism where it’s as if the pill and women’s rights has never existed. And obviously in most Muslim countries women’s sexuality is still overly and symbolically repressed via such male inspired contrivances as the headscarf (the hijab) all the way to the full body cover-up (the burka). Sadly, however, most religiously devout females don’t see these suppressive garments for what they really are — male control objects.
But what about pre 1960 males, how did repressed female sexuality affect them. In short their sexuality was as warped by female sexual restriction as the ladies. While their hormones raged to want to have sex with any women who would allow it, they, too, were conditioned by artificial sexual purity. They, also, viewed women who gave in to their sexual desires as whores not worthy of marriage, thus helping to insure that few women would want to risk going to bed with them — a shooting themselves in the foot mentality. Indeed, they were as much caused by religious inspired society as the ladies to obsess over virginity. And thus many ended up trapped in marriages with frigid women, a situation that could easily push them into philandering ways.
Fast forwarding to present times and what we lately witnessed on inauguration day and by the women’s march the following day in America and around the world was a tug-of-war between two competing sets of egocentricities — pre 1960 and post 1960, the old White male order vs. the gains of women and minorities of recent years, another expression of the old and new sexual divide.
The ego is the primitive foundation of the mind; the only function being the survival of the self and to seek advantage to that end at every opportunity — my family, my religion, my race and political culture. It cares not a wit about democracy, fairness or inclusiveness but simply seeks to prevail by any means possible. The conservatively backward Republican Party has taken up America’s pre 1960 mindset, now lead by the deceitful, chauvinistic and most misogynistic Mr. Trump.
The election of Donald J. Trump as president was in large part a backlash by the tradition male dominance of America’s yesteryears against the gains of women and minorities, particularly by the LGBT community during the eight years of the thoughtful and rational Obama presidency. And now modern America is gearing up for a counter-counter backlash against the reemergence of the traditional male order, a counterattack by women, fostered mostly by those who originally lead the women’s revolution in concert with thoroughly modern young women and the contemporary minded men who support them.
The question now posed by the Trump election is will a ruthless Nazi style takeover of the American government succeed in rolling back democracy, women’s civil gains and female sexuality as well?