Listen to Your Mothers, Feminism


I am eagerly awaiting the release of Louise Perry's book The Case Against the Sexual Revolution, to be released on 29 August. In the meantime, she's been writing a series of blazing shorter pieces. I'd like to draw your attention to the one she wrote for Bari Weiss' substack here. It's just terrific.

She is not the first to suggest that the sexual revolution has been a disaster for women. But her voice is lifted in a time when women appear ready to listen. It had to become pretty awful for women to listen, but that time is here. The types of "sexual" practices now becoming prevalent would be classified as torture under the Geneva Convention, and young females as fleeing womanhood as fast as they are able, under the labels enby and transmasc and ace.

In this particular piece, she suggests some rules for healthy living as a young woman, and it is these I'd like to highlight here. Here are some of them:

• Distrust any person or ideology that pressures you to ignore your moral intuition.

• Chivalry is actually a good thing. We all have to control our sexual desires, and men particularly so, given their greater physical strength and average higher sex drives.

• Sometimes (though not always) you can readily spot sexually aggressive men. There are a handful of personality traits that are common to them: impulsivity, promiscuity, hyper-masculinity and disagreeableness. These traits in combination should put you on your guard.

• A man who is aroused by violence is a man to steer well clear of, whether or not he uses the vocabulary of BDSM to excuse his behavior. If he can maintain an erection while beating a woman, he isn’t safe to be alone with.

• Consent workshops are mostly useless. The best way of reducing the incidence of rape is by reducing the opportunities for would-be rapists to offend. This can be done either by keeping convicted rapists in prison or by limiting their access to potential victims.

• The category of people most likely to become victims of these men are young women between the ages of 13 and 25. All girls and women, but particularly those in this age category, should avoid being alone with men they don’t know or men who give them the creeps. Gut instinct is not to be ignored: It’s usually triggered by a red flag that’s well worth noticing.

• Get drunk or high in private and with female friends, rather than in public or in mixed company.

• Don’t use dating apps. They offer a large pool of options, but at a severe cost. It is far better to meet a partner through mutual friends, since they can vet histories and punish bad behavior. Dating apps can’t.

• Holding off on having sex with a new boyfriend for at least a few months is a good way of discovering whether or not he’s serious about you or just looking for a hook-up.

• Only have sex with a man if you think he would make a good father to your children—not because you necessarily intend to have children with him, but because this is a good rule of thumb in deciding whether he’s worthy of your trust.

• Monogamous marriage is by far the most stable and reliable foundation on which to build a family.

Amen to all of that advice! It is shocking that none of this advice appears as common sense in this day and age. Apparently, we actually have to teach these things explicitly, because women have been trained (by men) to have no boundaries, no standards, and no instinct for self-preservation.

Perry goes on to say, "We need to re-erect the social guard rails that have been torn down. To do that, we have to start by stating the obvious: Sex must be taken seriously. Men and women are different. Some desires are bad. Consent is not enough. Violence is not love. Loveless sex is not empowering. People are not products. Marriage is good." Believe it or not, many of those assertions are considered not only controversial, but downright offensive in 2022. What a desolate wasteland the sexual revolution gave us all--a wasteland that is termed sexual liberty.

One of the most affecting parts of Perry's essay comes near the end, where she says, "Above all, listen to your mother . . . [Young women have] been denied the guidance of mothers, not because their actual mothers are unwilling to offer it, but because of a matricidal impulse in liberal feminism that cuts young women off from the “problematic” older generation. This means not only that they are cut off from the voices of experience, but—more importantly—they are also cut off from the person who loves them most in the world. Feminism needs to rediscover the mother, in every sense. Until we do, each individual woman will have to learn on her own the lie of the promise of sexual liberation—the lie that tells us, as Andrea Dworkin phrased it, that “fucking per se is freedom per se.”

This is so profound. The hearts of the daughters must finally turn to their mothers, lest the daughters be consumed by the curse of desolation. On a site I frequent, the following anecdote was shared:

"I'm just remembering many many decades ago hanging out with an older woman friend one afternoon, telling her about how I met this man, who was really interested in me, but was still married, but-- and she interrupted me in a weary tone, 'wait, let me guess, he's not yet divorced but he and his wife have been divorced in spirit for years' and I was all 'whoa, how did you know?' Then she basically repeated to me word for word what bullshit he'd told me."

Older women can instruct younger women in the manifold types of b.s. and the manifold types of danger that lie in wait for them in the house of men. The real question for modern feminism is why the wisdom of the mothers is not sought at all. Especially in an age where women have broken free from enforced gender norms, one would think this wisdom would be prized. But modern feminism has more of a problem with mothers than it does with, say, sex workers. That tells you something right there--it tells you that modern feminism no longer centers female wisdom.

While this topic is deserving of a much deeper treatment than I can give here in this blogpost (but which I hope to write one day), one of the most important possible advances for contemporary feminism is a turn to the mother. Listen to your mothers, feminism! That is the step that is necessary to take in order to stop the destruction of the daughters.