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A Defense of Ashley Olsen

by Miles Mathis

The gossip news this week (11/1/07) was led by the report that Lance Armstrong is now dating Ashley Olsen. Armstrong is 36 and Olsen is 21. MSNBC called Armstrong a “loser” for dating a younger woman, and AOL accused him of “robbing the cradle.” In an AOL poll, 65% thought the match was “gross”.

Americans, supposedly the most sex-obsessed, sex-drenched people in the history of the world, are clearly not living up to these false labels. Even the Europeans, who are actually much sexier (although not as sexy as they imagine), think that Americans have more sex, are more sex-obsessed, and are more sex-saturated. Our media may be slightly more sex-saturated, but the majority of Americans are still prudish when it comes to sexual issues, as this flack over Armstrong and Olsen shows. No, much more than that, Americans are still pathological when it comes to sex, and it would be easy to make an argument that they are even more pathological about sex than the Puritans or the Victorians, since their actions are even more confused and illogical.

At least the Victorians and Puritans had clear religious reasons for being prudish or frigid or pathological. They were brought up with very strict injunctions, imposed early and consistently. Religion was powerful and pervasive, and a large majority took it very seriously.

Religion is not dead in the US, not even to the extent that it is in Europe. I am not here to claim that it is or should be. But I guarantee you that these news shows are not pursuing this topic for religious reasons, and that the 65% are not saying “gross” because they are strict in their religions. Maybe 5% have learned their prudery and pathology from their religions. The rest are just Americans in America, taking their pathology straight from the media (the real religion).

The question becomes, why is the media selling sexual pathology if not for religious reasons? I will come to that next. But first I would like to point out that no religion ever invented or promulgated taught that a 21-year-old woman was a child. No religion ever invented or lofted down from any godhead ever taught that there was anything wrong with 20-something women dating or marrying 30-something men. It is clear that this Armstrong story would seem very odd to Europeans, who have no requirement that partners be the same age. But it is equally strange to people all over the world, outside the US, of both sexes, who would not understand the problem here. And, it would be equally strange to the Puritans and Victorians, who would have seen this age difference (36 to 21) to be about right. Even beyond the fact that this particular age difference was commonplace or average for the Puritans or Victorians, is the fact that even if it weren’t commonplace--due to social factors at the time--there would have been no other reason to object to such a match. The girl is not only many years past puberty, she is of legal majority, by the strictest of standards. In fact, by the standards of the time in Victorian England or Puritan New England, she would be approaching fears of old-maid status. A lot of women who weren’t seriously courted by 21 would never expect to be courted.

But there is more to it than this. Girls go through puberty much earlier now than they did then, so that a 21 year old like Ashley Olsen is statistically something like 9 years past puberty. We cannot know Ashley’s actual situation without asking her: it could have been as early as 10 or as late as 15. I think I remember reading that one of those twins, or both, has had trouble with anorexia, so puberty may have been delayed, but that is very far from being an argument against me. In any case she is many many years past puberty, and it is common knowledge that eating disorders like that are almost always caused by sexual problems. And, I might as well say, they are not caused by having too much sex, but by having too little. If you are shocked to hear this, you are one of the prudes I am talking about, and you need to get your head out of the sand. If you don’t believe me, you might try reading a book or asking a professional psychologist.

So we have here a young woman who may be a decade past puberty, who was of legal consenting age at 17 or 18 (depending on the US state; 14 in Canada), who is of legal majority in all respects, and who has been implicitly crying out--in full public view--that she is sexually repressed. And yet now that she has apparently found a boyfriend, we have to try to take him from her. We cannot let her enjoy him. We have to imply that there is something wrong with both of them. We cannot outlaw her enjoyment, but we can try to diminish it with every means at our disposal, short of formal ostracism.

We would we do this? Why would the media be so extravagantly and transparently cruel?

You will say that we love to see our heroes and heroines take a dive, and that is surely part of it. But once that is admitted, one must ask, why do we love to see our heroes and heroines take a dive? What is going on here, and why does it so often have to do with sex?

Before I tell you, I feel I must drop a paragraph in here stating for the record that I am not defending Lance Armstrong. He is not a friend of mine, and is far from a hero. I actually would like to see him take a dive, but not for any of the standard reasons, and not for this reason. I think he used drugs to win his Tours, but I don’t care. Everyone else was using drugs, back to Anquetil and before, and I don’t think he or Hamilton should be singled out. Rather than punish those two guys, I say close down the whole sport as a nuisance, and all other professional sports while you are at it. No, the reason I want him to take a dive is that I have read that he is “a close personal friend of George Bush.” Any friend of Bush is an enemy of mine. They can all go to the gallows together.

No, I don’t care who Lance is dating. He can be dating Matthew McConaughey for all I care. The issue is not Lance Armstrong and his personal and private life. The issue is the right to date, the right to love, the right to marry, the right to have sex. The media can report on Lance’s string of lovelies all day and all night and not bother me, but when they start ostracizing couples for a normal age difference, that is where I draw the line.

As I have already made clear, the importance of this issue is more on Olsen’s side than it is on Armstrong’s. She carries a bigger social burden than he does. When the media blasts them apart, she will suffer more than he will, since she is younger and is already on or near some sort of cliff. He will continue his little joyride, with women younger or older. But she will emerge scolded by her “sisters” and their cuckolded male minions. She will be forced to date some even younger idiot, some 21-year-old moron who is in the media for singing a bad song or rapping a bad rhyme or dunking a basketball or something. Her odds of happiness and satisfaction will then be near-zero, but who will care? At least her older sisters will have snatched back one over-30 bachelor for themselves (they will think).

Yes, this is the first of two major problems I am going touch on here: bad blood with the sisters. In general, 30- and 40-something women hate younger women. They aren’t even subtle about it anymore. They used to have to insert the knife in private, in the back, but now they do it right in the belly, in full view of the cameras. Older women have become more powerful in society. They are extremely powerful in media right now, and that explains--more than anything but one thing--why stories like this lead the press so often.

To begin with, the bad blood is not only among the “sisterhood”. It is also between mothers and daughters. Women have always been jealous of their daughters, but I have to believe that this phenomenon has only recently become epidemic, fatal, and ludicrously transparent. As an artist, I have worked with a lot of women of all ages, and it astonishes me how jealous women can be. I have seen mothers lividly jealous of their 11 or 12-year-old daughters. Recently I had a clash with a mother who was already neurotically jealous of her 4 year old. These mothers claim they don’t want artists making too much of the beauty of their daughters, to control vanity or whatnot, but what 4 year old knows anything of vanity? I should think that a 4 year old is supposed to be rather self-absorbed. I don’t see how one could even tell if a 4 old was vain. It is like trying to discover whether a 4 year old has ADD. Wouldn’t we be shocked if a 4 year old did have a long attention span?

These mothers, under the claim of protection or over-protection, are simply jealous of the attention naturally given to youth and beauty. They will begin by shooing off artists and photographers, and will graduate to shooing off all boyfriends. The teen boyfriends will be shooed off as too “immature” and the older potential boyfriends will be shooed off as “perverts.” Then the daughter will be free to go to college unencumbered by love or affection, and there she can become frigid and anorexic like the rest of her protected pals.

This is how it works inside the American home, but outside it is hardly better. Older women have fenced in all the teen girls. Legally, teen girls can’t date anyone but teen boys. Older women don’t want to date teen boys, so they leave them to the teen girls. That the teen girls aren’t much interested in teen boys either does not concern older women. In fact, it works out perfectly. The lack of action on everyone’s part, in most instances, traumatizes the youth of both sexes, and the traumatized are easier to control in the next round.

It is the young women, though, from 18 to 30, who are now the target of front-line propaganda. They are the “next round” after high-school. As they did with teen girls, the older women want to fence this bracket in, too. They want to keep these young women away from the most eligible bachelors, who tend to be 30 to 50. They can’t always tell the bachelors what to do, even now (though they try, valiantly). So they target the young women. These young women are schooled to date only 20-something men. That is what all this age-specific dating is about, you know. Keep everyone corralled in their minor arenas, and the major arena falls to the powerful older women. Outlaw or forbid the most eligible men from dating teens or 20-somethings, and they then have to date older women or become monks.

Beyond this, we hear an incredible amount of propaganda trying to convince us that older women are sexier, better lovers, and so on. Like anything else, if it were true, it wouldn’t need to be propagandized. You don’t need to convince people of things that are true. You need to convince people of things that are false. Some older women are very sexy, very beautiful, very interesting, and all that. I am not denying it. But in general, or as a statistic, everybody knows that women are at their most physically attractive in their teens and 20’s. This has always been true and it is still true. To deny it takes fantastic levels of dishonesty. All you have to do is look at all the art in history, all the love poetry, all the fantasy, all the Hollywood movies, all the porn, to see that the largest category by far concerns the astonishing power and beauty of youth. You may or may not like this, but it is a fact of nature, ultimately beyond any like of yours. You may push nature to conform to your likes or dislikes, but every push will create a pathology.

To deny this is absurd, and yet it is denied, across the board. Many men even deny it (especially if women are listening). I find this truly pathetic. That many men should be forced by circumstance, or the superior power of women, to accept social situations that do not suit them is understandable, but they don’t have to be such worms about it. Back when women were forced into matches they felt lukewarm or cold about, they at least had the chutzpah to complain about it. They fought back, with every tool, large or small, at their disposal. But men have gone down with hardly a whimper. I haven’t heard a peep since Norman Mailer hit the canvas, 20 years ago.

Some high-profile men like Armstrong will be free to ignore the rules made by older women. These men are used as examples to continue the assault. They are the scarecrows for propaganda. “Look at this loser,” say the older women, “too unsure of himself to deal with a mature woman.” You hear this kind of thing everywhere now. I remember in the movie Guinevere, written and directed by a woman, we got this line from the 21-year-old girl’s mother. The 40-something mother, still beautiful, confronts the 40-something photographer dating her daughter, and she lays this line on him. The script has him turn into a whimpering poodle, saying nothing to the mother, only admitting to the daughter later that the mother was very perceptive. In other words, admitting she was right. But she wasn’t right at all. She was fooling herself. The script was a grand falsification of nature, playing to the insecurity of older women. For although the mother was still beautiful (played by Jean Smart) she was nowhere near as beautiful as the daughter (played by Sarah Polley, 8 years ago). Beyond looks, the daughter was charming and real and unspoiled. The mother was overdressed, over made-up, smoking, and aggressive even when she wasn’t confronting the photographer. The movie made this clear in other scenes. She was super-high maintenance, talked too much, and was basically no fun to be around, at all times. A bastardized form of feminism had made her think she was basically superior to all men, from the get go, and even her husband was made to feel this. I wanted the photographer to tell her, “Look, Toots, you are a royal bitch on wheels, but even if you weren’t you couldn’t compete with your daughter, who has the skin and hair of a 20-year-old. That’s just the way it is, and all your moaning will never change it. You were that age once, and got your share of attention, I am sure. Why don’t you back off and allow me my short time in the sun? If 40-something photographers appeal to young women, then they do, and that is all there is to it. I was ignored for decades, as a geek in high-school and as a poor man in my twenties. If I’ve got a little something going on now, of whatever sort, then just let me have it. I mean no harm to your daughter, will treat her better than the young guys, and may even have something to teach her. So take a fucking hike!” In fact, the movie corroborates all this, although it was written and directed by a woman. The photographer saves the girl from a boring life, from her own boring family, and initiates her into an artistic career. He was the best thing that ever happened to her, and this is clear at the end. This lady director is kind enough to admit this, even as she tramples on the poor photographer with her script. She has him booze and smoke himself into an early grave, losing his teeth at 45 and die at 48, as if he is paying the price for being a "bad man". The girl arrives at wealth and prosperity, via photography, while the man is branded “loser”. Typical Hollywood bullshit, in other words, and typical fake feminism--feminism which has nothing to do with equality and everything to do with anti-natural propaganda.

OK, I think I have made my point there without much beating around the bush (so to speak). What is the other problem, the one that outranks even this one? Well, this problem is strictly Freudian. In fact, it comes straight out of his book Civilization and its Discontents. There, Freud tells us that one of the main jobs of civilization is subverting and redirecting the sex-drive. In order to maximize the work you can get out of people, you must minimize the sex they have, or the sexual fulfillment they have. Every high-school football coach knows this. So big business and the government are quite satisfied to let older women spoil everyone’s fun, for whatever reason. The powers-that-be will welcome any and all pathologies, neuroses, and inversions, as long as they are forms of “don’t do it” or “just say no.” The amount of work we are getting from young women is mind-boggling, and if all these women were sexually satisfied, we would be getting much less work from them. They would be lying in bed smiling, or sleeping ten hours a night, or otherwise wasting precious work-time.

Some of those on the right pretend that they don’t want women working (outside the house), but most people on the right are driven by money first, and women working is what has made the American GNP what it is. Since the 1950’s we have doubled the number of subverted sexualities we have in business, and for the economists there is no going back. To drive the growth economy, we cannot think of any sort of sexual health or satisfaction. On the contrary, we must continue to ensure sexual dissatisfaction and pathology.

This is not to say that everyone must be celibate. The sexually active can be dissatisfied, as long as the sex they are allowed to have is pathological itself. As everyone knows, it is quite easy to have sex and still be unsatisfied. All sex does not have to be outlawed or discouraged, only healthy sex. The government has no real interest in getting rid of hookers for this reason. Hookers spread sexual dissatisfaction, not the reverse, so they are just what we want. That is why they are still here in such numbers, and always will be. The governments’ efforts to clean up this segment are only a smokescreen. The loss of hookers would actually be a governmental tragedy, since it would be a loss of sexual subversion.

The same can be said for porn. Government and business have no real interest in controlling porn. Just the opposite. That is why it is so pervasive. They pretend to be concerned, making little fake runs at it now and then to fool the grandmothers and church ladies, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that porn was subsidized and underwritten by Congress or the CIA. For the vast majority, porn is not an invitation to sexual freedom. Rather, it is the false suggestion that other people are having more sex than you are, and the government knows this. Those who are assuring your continued “civilization” are quite happy for you to look at porn, since it creates dissatisfaction. Despite the fact that all the thousands of porn sites are driven by a few hundred guys worldwide, your average viewer seems to think that half the male population of the world is bedding every budding teenager that passes by, with no consequences. This makes him feel very inadequate. Well, inadequate people buy more stuff, and not just penis enlargement kits and hair plugs. No, they buy cars and clothes and watches and gym memberships and so on and on. And, they work harder, both to buy this stuff, and to keep their mind off sex. It is the perfect racket.

Guys are trapped by porn and hookers and sports and gambling and advertisements and a long list of things I need not go into here. But the girls are trapped in a different way, usually. They are trapped by their mothers and “sisters”. Men usually take the blame, of course, but men aren’t writing the magazines these girls are reading, the Cosmos and Elles and Teens. Men aren’t the primary influence on teen girls, or any girls. Men didn’t disallow high-school girls from dating college boys. Men aren’t the ones saying “gross” when Lance dates Ashley. If girls are getting mixed signals, it isn’t mainly from men or boys. Men and boys are basically capable of one signal, that being “go”. No, girls are being traumatized by older women, and it isn’t an accident. Just as porn and hookers are no accident for men, anorexia and self-mutilation and all the rest are no accident for young women.

Dressing like sluts is for girls the equivalent of porn for boys. It is no accident that porn is allowed, even encouraged, to boys and men in our society, and likewise it is no accident that girls look like whores. Just as you would think that a society that wanted to redirect sex would proscribe porn, you would think that a society that wanted to subvert the instincts would have strict rules of dress. But this was the old way. The new way actually creates even greater neuroses, and is therefore more useful to civilization.

Porn actually creates more dissatisfaction, as I have shown, and so do the new dress codes for girls. Basically, we tell girls, you can dress like you need sex immediately, but you cannot have sex. You can draw all the horses to your water, but you cannot let them drink. You can bring the fruit to your lips, so close that you can almost taste it, so close that you can smell it, but you cannot take a bite.

It is also no coincidence that my language here is so poignant. The link between food and sex is no tenuous one, no analogy only. The link between anorexia and sexual repression is immediate. It should be no surprise that girls treat food and sex in the same way, starving themselves with one in precisely the way they have learned to starve themselves with the other. In the media we are left with the impression that the blame for anorexia falls on the supermodels and the fashion magazines, but this is purposeful misdirection. Anorexia has little or nothing to do with that, and everything to do with sexual repression. Girls who “just say no” to sex then “just say no” to food. It isn’t hard to see, and the fact that it is ignored is just one more example of media prestidigitation.

Once again, the mixed signals are not an accident. It is not confusion that causes us to disallow sex but allow slutty clothes, it is policy. We need teen girls to be traumatized, and this is a very efficient way to create trauma. Girls raised under such fabulously mixed signals must turn out to be frigid or neurotic, and therefore must turn out to be capable of stupendous amounts of overtime at the office. I am not saying that all mothers are aware of this connection, but business is certainly aware of it, and mothers don’t seem too concerned to counter it, for reasons of their own.

From my point of view, I can’t see that older women seem terribly concerned about younger women. A few of them write books blaming men or supermodels, but they must either be fabulously ignorant or fabulously dishonest to move the argument in that direction. My personal feeling is that many know exactly what they are doing, and that a good portion of them have consciously written off the happiness of their daughters as a cost of feminism, or as a cost of their own petty wars. I have spent years trying to deny that conclusion, but I can do so no longer. I have given them the benefit of the doubt for decades now, since I don’t want to believe that people are like that. But the evidence is too strong and too clear. A people that really cared simply would not let things be like they are.

To believe that mothers really cared about their daughters, one would have to ask what levels of trauma it would take before they did something to ease the girls’ pain. The high-schools are in an absolute meltdown, and it has only gotten worse since Columbine. Do you really think these girls are rebelling against fashion models and men who write for Playboy? Do you really think that it is only boys who are the problem? Are only boys Goths? Boys may act out more and girls act in, but girls are just as violent. Listen to the music, you clueless mothers. Are the girls singing about those bad ole fashion models and that old pervert Hugh Hefner? No, they don’t give a crap about that stuff. They are suffering from your little illogical corrals, your business plans for them, your “just-say-no” lectures, your frigid and prudish and inconsistent expectations. They are suffering from your collusion, conscious or unconscious, with big business and government and media, to keep them unmarried and unsatisfied, so that they can work 60 hours a week and make lots of money and prove how superior women really are. So that they can continue to fight your petty fights and insert your not-so-subtle knives.

That is what this Lance and Ashley story means to me. It is the now unveiled attempt to deny sexual satisfaction to anyone, but first and foremost to young women. In their overriding desire for retribution against men, women have seen that the greatest and cruelest stroke is denying them what they most want. Since what they most want is young women, older women have denied them just that, treating the young women like toys that can be locked in a closet. This is the greatest irony: that is it not men who are treating the young women like toys, it is the older women. Yes, some men are callous, and will treat young women, or any women, like playthings. But most men, I think, tend to treat those they love, and even those they are simply attracted to, with some amount of kindness and consideration. In the worst cases they do this mainly to get what they want (you do not get honey from bees you step on). In the better cases, which were once and still can be the majority of cases, they do this because they are gentlemen, because they want a good relationship, or because they are simply nice people.

But in the sisterhood, all such consideration now seems to be out the window, even among mothers and daughters. Can older women really not see that they have locked away the girls, not for the girls benefit, but for their own? Can they really not see that the girls’ problems, like Ashley’s problems, are sexual problems? Can they really not see that an even greater danger to young women than gropy uncles or crusing rapists is the danger from older women? Rape and incest are horrible things, and I am not discounting them in the least, but the vast majority of high-school girls have not been raped by anyone, uncles or otherwise. Most young girls are now traumatized by the milieu and by nothing else. They are traumatized by modern life, and do not need to point the finger at some specific bad man. In fact, their biggest problem is that they can’t point the finger. The worst kind of problem is the problem with no clear and single cause, and the cause of the trauma for most girls remains a ghost. They can’t pin it down.

They can’t pin it down because it is in the last place they would expect it, the last place they would admit to finding it. It is not some man, and it is not the patriarchy. It is the matriarchy. It is their own mothers, stabbing them in the back, consciously and unconsciously.

The problem is not sexual abuse, in most cases. It is sexual repression. Girls are not mainly suffering from bad sex or forced sex or from sex that is too easy. They are suffering from lack of sex, and even more from lack of love. Many teens do have sex, though it is debatable whether more are having sex now than in the past. I suspect, taking all factors into account, that they are having less, but no one really knows. Polling doesn’t work well with sex, since it is hard to get a straight answer, and the kids themselves probably don’t have a clear idea how much sex is really going on. Certainly, the extreme cases have gotten more extreme, but that is neither here nor there, statistically.

One thing is certain, and it is that those who have sex in high school are much less likely to be on the road to love than those who had teen sex in the 30’s, or the 50’s, or even the 70’s. Young people used to get married, but they don’t as much anymore. They not only avoid marriage, they avoid serious relationships, and this is not an accident. It has been planned. It is the outcome of a very successful policy. Both parents and the government want these kids, of both sexes, to go to college and on to jobs. They don’t want them wasting time with love or serious relationships or any serious amounts of pleasure. Ideally, they want the sexes just near enough to torture each other, but not near enough to actually relieve each others pains or desires, in any natural way. That is why they are brought into coed schools and then kept busy all day with copy work and useless drudgery, relieved only by “just-say-no” lectures, AIDS lectures, false rape statistics, and other manufactured anxiety.

All this is clear as day to anyone with a speck of honesty or insight, but that category appears to be small and diminishing. Nothing I have said here is new. Foucault (still considered to be on the left) said much of it decades ago, and Freud (surprisingly, now considered to be on the right) said it more than a century ago--not just the second point (which I have already given to him) but also the first point, which falls under the Electra Complex. Applying these ideas to post-Columbine America is my only novelty, and even there I am sure I am not alone. But I am certainly not part of any groundswell either. Those who agree with me are mostly not saying anything. Women would not be expected to attack themselves, and men are in hiding. Fathers have been magnificently outgunned for the past two decades, for reasons that are not really clear to me. The male side of every sexual argument has been silent, or held up only by Camille Paglia. Men are the beneficiaries of a ubiquitous and all-encompassing criticism, but women exist now in a self-created vacuum.

Women have finally managed to build their own pedestal, and, surprise, it turns out to be even loftier than the romantic pedestals we men had perched them upon. We had seen them with stars in our eyes, but the stars in their own eyes are even brighter, the light blinding them to any residue of humanity. They are now free to be goddesses, to sing songs about themselves saying that they are “beautiful in every way.” Ladies, can you imagine how ill you would feel, hearing songs by men that claimed they were “handsome in every way”? Can you imagine how ill you would feel, hearing constantly about men and their “god culture.”

These symptoms are pathetically transparent, and yet we hear nothing about them. The media leaps on poor Ashley Olsen for dating an older man, but the media has nothing to say about the ridiculous and false and offensive extravagances of feminism, its high-flown and bombastic claims of superiority and transcendence and perfection. Any critique of current sexual politics, as created by women, is pushed into the furthest margins. No, more than that, anyone who has anything to say on the subject, except for flowery praise, is piled on and banished.*

It would appear that fathers don’t really care about their daughters or sons either, since if they cared they would find the courage to speak up and fight back. The meltdown at the high school is allowed to continue only with the explicit or tacit collusion of all parents. Mostly, the mothers have made it happen and the fathers have watched it happen, but many or most fathers are also satisfied to the see their daughters remain virgins, or sexually miserable, for reasons of their own which must also be clear.

The levels of psychological transparency become greater every year, and this requires ever greater levels of denial. Both the mothers and the fathers have to pretend that what is going on is not going on, and the mothers do this by being more aggressively and stridently dogmatic, while the fathers stare at the wall. That is to say, while the men are catatonic, the women pretend to be on a crusade, one that would justify the cruelty. The women never once allow themselves to consider the possibility that they are on the wrong track. Any suggestion is turned with a debating trick, usually an ad hominem device. Any man that would dare to criticize them is perforce a pervert or a child molester or a neocon. No one who did not secretly want to rape and pillage the high school would even suggest that teen girls have a right to a healthy sex life. What kind of monster would even manage to conceive the idea that post-pubescent people should be sexual?

It is amusing to me to find that I am often attacked as a closet neocon, not only for my stance on art but for my stance on sex. It happens this way: women assume that anyone who disagrees with them about anything must be on the far right, since all the guys on the left have been tamed long ago. Beyond this, my old-fashioned belief in love and marriage, and my even more antediluvian idea that teens might benefit from love or marriage, makes me an immediate throwback. Since all throwbacks and old-fashioned people have been predefined as rightists and reactionaries, that is what I must be. But, as anyone who cares to know knows, I am actually far-left in most ways. I voted Green Party in the last three elections, and I am completely unrepentant about working for Ralph Nader. I could go on, but I have posted my bona fides elsewhere and don’t need to prove myself in every paragraph of every paper. But the first and greatest irony here lies in the fact that neocons would be the first to disagree with my argument here. They don’t want teens having more sex; they would be satisfied to outlaw sex and marriage both until 21. Many of them would be satisfied to outlaw sex altogether, since they have never had any healthy sex and never will (so what’s to lose) and since outlawing sex would increase their profit margins (all’s to gain).

Twenty years ago I had thought that the pendulum was only swinging toward the feminine in a mostly natural way, and that therefore I must keep my comments relatively balanced. But the pendulum just flies further and further from the clock, arcing out into space. The torque does not diminish; rather it increases exponentially, gaining speed, straining more and more the metal pins and other connections in the mechanism. At this rate, the pendulum arm must soon become detached, flying out into the void, unconnected to anything, a complete fantasy in every way.

Due to the nature of the pendulum, the brake to it cannot be applied from its own side. Women cannot solve this problem. The reverse thrust can only be applied from the opposite side of the arc, pulling the pendulum back to normalcy. Which is to say that men must speak up. It will not be easy. We cannot expect the podium or the microphone to be ceded. The battle has been engaged, unilaterally until now, but we will make no progress pretending there is no war. White flags and suits for peace have been ignored, and we must make a positive and extended defense.

The good news is that many women expect and desire this defense from us, and that even some of the top-level feminists would apparently welcome it, if it arrived in the right form. What was Fay Weldon’s “Why all Englishmen are Women” but a dare to us to act like men again?

In this direction, I defend both Ashley Olsen’s right to date an older man without a feminist outcry and Lance Armstrong’s right to date her without any false “robbing the cradle” comments. I defend men’s right to love who they want to, within reason. I defend women’s right to love who they want to, within reason. Working back from this (since Ashley Olsen obviously just emerged from this period of life) I must also defend teens of both sexes, and their right to look beyond the high school for love and affection. I defend teens of both sexes, and their right to consider love and marriage a real and viable option, one whose importance must supersede that of business. I defend all our children, of both sexes, who must apparently be protected from the skewed psychologies of both their parents, parents who have become, in many instances, either catatonic or irrational (it is not the kids who are dazed and confused, in the first instance; it is the parents--Dad being dazed and Mom being confused). And I denounce, in the strongest terms possible, this fake and inconsistent Puritanism, prudery, and pathology that permeates our culture, always allied to business and government, and now often allied to neo-feminism. While I remain a feminist in the purest sense, since I believe in equality under the law as well as social and sexual equality, I denounce all the anti-natural and anti-male propaganda now falsely distributed as progressive.

Beyond this, I denounce the schools, especially the high schools, which have now outlived their historical place, and must undergo a total transformation, or be abolished as a psychological and physical blight upon humanity. From its fairly logical position as a place of secondary education, the high school has devolved--within the past four or five decades--into a vast holding cell, like a fattening pen for chickens. It has become a nowhere land, a time out of time, an extended period of sexual denial between the biological time of majority (12, say) and the legal time of majority (18). Because we cannot admit that our children are grown up, we lock them in this Neverland, forcibly buying ourselves another 4-6 years of false authority and power.

What must emerge from this extended time of forced stasis and compression in high school is what we see daily: young people stunted both sexually and mentally. We see 18 year olds who know no more, and often less, than they did at 12, and whose sexuality has been deformed, through lack of light and oxygen, into a crouching beast. We blame rappers for this, and TV, and Hollywood, and so on, but the fault lies in the curriculum itself, the very modus operandi and existence of the high school. The music and clothing and all the rest is only a response, not a cause. The cause is the 4-8 year gap between biological adulthood and social adulthood, and it cannot be fixed with dress codes, metal detectors, searches, or heavy police presence. It can only be fixed by opening our eyes to the facts of post-pubescent biology, to the facts of sexuality.

These facts are not different than they were a hundred years ago, or a thousand years ago. The equality of the sexes requires a shift in mores, attitudes, and actions, but it cannot rewrite biology. Specifically, the equality of the sexes has absolutely nothing to do with delaying sexuality for one or both sexes. Delaying sexual majority and denying sexual opportunity to young women has nothing to do with the equal rights movement. Just the reverse, in fact, since young women should have been the first beneficiaries of equality. Young women may have benefited in their test scores, college plans, and job opportunities, but they have certainly not benefited sexually.

The only fact that is different from a hundred years ago is the age of puberty. So while nature moves one way, we move the other, and for no sufficient, or even necessary reason. A logical feminism would have benefited teen girls as much as anyone else, both publicly and personally. It has not done so, and feminism must look to this immediately. Feminism must look more closely at the high school and the teen girl, to discover the real problem at hand. If feminism is not to continue to be seen as complicit in this tragedy--as I have shown that it is--it must break its conscious or unconscious alliance with business and government and all anti-natural religion. All positive aspects of the feminine can be promoted and defended without sacrificing the maiden. Youth does not need to be sacrificed on any altar, great or small. Beauty does not need to be sacrificed on any altar, great or small. And sexuality does not need to be delayed or stunted, on any altar great or small. Least of all upon the altar of business.

*For instance, in my local town library, the book Who Stole Feminism?, by Christina Hoff Sommers, has been removed from the shelves and "decommissioned" by the library itself, under pressure from radical feminists (who do not like their statistics investigated). This author's name has been completed purged from the library computers. You would not know she existed.

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