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Monday, 20 February 2012


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I think your argument is a little strained. The conservative critics strike me as consistent on this issue. Their argument is: if we're going to advocate family values, self-restraint, and sex supported by love and marriage, then it's a bad thing for the CPAC convention to get a rep as a hotbed of drunken hook-ups. True, Melissa Clouthier's focus on the women hints at a double standard, but I've also read assaults on the men's caddish behavior at this event.

If the conservatives are hypocritical, it's just in the usual way with respect to the larger political and economic picture. They tend to support big business and tax breaks for corporations, when it's that very corporate culture ("sex sells") that is destroying traditional morality and the family.

At the risk of being overly schematic, the right and left seem mirror images in their incoherence with respect to sexual liberation. The right wants to focus on personal responsibility, while disavowing the larger economic trends that are fostering the new immorality. The left wants free self-expression, but is then horrified by the way such self-expression is so easily branded and marketed (as it inevitably will be).

With all due respect, your post reproduces the left's confusion on this issue regarding the specific topic of fashion. If a woman wears denim hot pants or a brief Abercrombie top, she's going to get a reaction from men. Accusing men of sexism for checking her out strikes me as a rather convoluted line of reasoning. If she wants to be viewed primarily in terms of her wit and intelligence, then maybe best not to wear super-provocative clothes.

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