Sunday, August 30, 2009

Katherine Kersten: in a larger context

In today’s Strib, Kersten had another one of her weirdly almost-pornographic columns about the danger of sex in college. Quoting Cassandra  (that’s almost too good to be true, isn’t it?) Hough, a woman who started a support group for people who wanted to wait at Princeton, Katie says:

"On campus, you're constantly bombarded with reasons to dismiss and abandon" beliefs about marriage and family that run counter to the hookup orthodoxy, says Hough. "You hear nothing about the reasons that support them, and you're given nothing to put in their place."

At Princeton, for example, freshmen are required to attend skits on "date rape" that feature vulgarity and crude humor and seem to confirm that hooking up is the campus norm. They are also "strongly encouraged" to participate in "Safer Sex Jeopardy," where they are quizzed on their knowledge of anal intercourse, sadomasochism, dental dams, sex toys and flavored condoms.

Ironically, the pressure to seek instant intimacy doesn't bring men and women together but builds walls between them. "The sexes don't trust each other, don't respect each other," says Hough. "Even girls who don't want to hook up dress provocatively and dance suggestively. Then they're surprised and bitter when guys come on as if they were asking for hookups."

Sex, like anything else, is political for Katie. Who is really at fault for all this empty hedonism? Why, it’s the dirty hippies, of course:

Why this confusion and despair over male-female relationships? Today's students have inherited the fallout of both the 1960s sexual revolution and the epidemic of divorce that followed it.

"I see a whole generation of young people longing for authentic intimacy, for lifelong love, for marriage," says Hough. "But many have lost hope that this is even possible."

It’s the Woodstock Nation, says Katie.

Sex is a great issue for Republicans. Gay sex is even better. It makes Republicans out of a lot of culturally conservative people who would otherwise be Democrats. That’s why scolds like Katie continue to flog the issue. Really – she’s written the same column several times.

And who is Cassandra Hough? She’s the mother, so to speak, of the Love and Fidelity Network, and has been featured on Bill Bennett and Glenn Beck’s radio shows. Go figure.

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