05 June 2006


Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon sums up the reasons for my choice for the Greatest Man of the Twentieth Century in the course of a dazzling post which argues that “pro-life” social conservatism is not simply anti-sex ... it's actually enforcement of all kinds of creepy power relationships.

“I cannot imagine any development in human history, after the Fall, that has had a greater impact on human beings than the pill,” Mohler continued. “It became almost an assured form of contraception, something humans had never encountered before in history. Prior to it, every time a couple had sex, there was a good chance of pregnancy. Once that is removed, the entire horizon of the sexual act changes. I think there could be no question that the pill gave incredible license to everything from adultery and affairs to premarital sex and within marriage to a separation of the sex act and procreation.”
I agree with Mohler that the pill has indeed been one of the most profound inventions in human history. But of course, he’s an idiot and loses his argument after making that admission and actually tries to argue that premarital sex and adultery weren’t rampant before it, which is like arguing that people didn’t murder before there were guns. What has changed and changed profoundly is that for the first time in history, women have a real shot at equality with men. And for the first time in history, sex isn’t a force that tears women and men apart as they try to negotiate the number of sexual encounters and therefore pregnancies. Now sex is something that brings us together, because for the first time in history, men and women can view it with roughly the same perspective. It that new world of opportunities that conservatives find so threatening.

Not only is Ms Marcotte's essay worth reading in full, but her links at the end of her post are all worthy of attention, particularly the one to Echidne Of the Snakes.

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