Wednesday, August 2, 2006

The Revolution Will Be Videotaped and Catered

[Amended since my original post.]

In an op-ed in Britain's Guardian, Jessica Valenti of NARAL and its BushvChoice blog quotes a line she read in The Dawn Patrol from my upcoming book where I say, "when you become chaste, you'll notice for the first time that women who have sex outside of marriage don't really appreciate men."

To that, Valenti says, "Don't get me wrong, reviving romance sounds great, and if you want to hold out on sex, more power to you. But can you really base a movement, a revolution even, on the idea that women's life goal should be marriage?"

Yes.

I wouldn't say yes if the question specified "all women." Women who are called to marriage, however, which is to say the vast majority of women, have every right to make it a goal, Society should celebrate them, not put obstacles in their way — obstacles that include the sanctioning of sex outside of marriage.

As usual, G.K. Chesterton has the perfect reply — writing in 1920:

"In plain words, there is clearly something wrong in the calculation by which it was proved that a housewife must be as much a servant as a housemaid; or which exhibited the domesticated man as being as gentle as the primrose or as conservative as the Primrose League. It is precisely those who have been conservative about the family who have been revolutionary about the state. Those who are blamed for the bigotry or bourgeois smugness of their marriage conventions are actually those blamed for the restlessness and violence of their political reforms. Nor is there seriously any difficulty in discovering the cause of this. It is simply that in such a society the government, in dealing with the family, deals with something almost as permanent and self-renewing as itself."