The sexually libertarian patriot versus the socially conservative appeaser—what a choice!
There is a long discussion today at FrontPage Magazine between FP managing editor Jamie Glazov and Dinesh D’Souza, and it’s an impassioned one on Glazov’s side. While D’Souza reveals many of the flaws in his position—the cultural left is the cause of Islamic terrorism, the solution is for the West to return to traditional morality and simultaneously ally itself with traditional Muslims—that have already been discussed at length here and elsewhere, Glazov, in an apparent reaction to D’Souza’s extreme position, has gone to the opposite extreme, revealing himself as an unreconstructed exponent of the Sexual Revolution. Glazov returns again and again to the demand for “women to be free to do whatever they want with the bodies,” as though this were 1970 all over again. He mocks the idea that a society should have any constraints at all on sexual and expressive behavior, and, tellingly, he puts the word “morality” in scare quotes.
At the same time, Glazov’s main objection to Islam is its “hatred of women and of their sexuality.” He finds any moral disapproval of any sexual display or behavior to be the most objectionable thing. Thus he writes: “Obviously the reality of humans, especially females, doing what they want with their sexuality and exposing their bodies poses a threat to a death cult based on totalitarian Puritanism.” [Italics added.] He denounces Muslim societies “that are based on the hatred and fear of the female body, and on the hatred and fear of the possibility that a woman can do whatever she wants with her body.”
Glazov’s demand that a woman should be “free to do whatever she wants with her body” is, of course, right out of the manual of the Sexual Revolution and Radical Feminism. It is a vision of women and men as disconnected atoms in a “Singles” universe, pursuing whatever sexual experiences or expressions they feel like independent of any social, natural, and moral order, ruled only by their own wishes and desires. For Glazov, this radical vision of totally liberated human sexuality is identical with the good, while opposition to it is the very essence of evil, since, as he says, “the hatred and fear of women and of their sexuality is at the core of Islamist terror.” [Italics added.]
In his attack on Islamic sexual Puritanism, Glazov is not letting Islam itself off the hook, as so many critics do, since he correctly pinpoints Islamic teaching as the ultimate source of Islamic evil. But the main evil, virtually the only evil, that he sees in Islam is the hostility to unrestrained female sexual freedom.
By taking his embrace of sexual libertarianism to such an extreme and making it the very center of his definition of America, Glazov inadvertently lends support to D’Souza’s thesis that American culture is a moral sewer on steroids and a threat to human decency the world over—and that Muslims’ hatred and fear of America are justified.
As I wrote at FP in 2002:
If America were not trying to create, in Charles Krauthammer’s terrifying words, a “super-sovereign West, economically, culturally, and politically hegemonic in the world”; and if this American hegemony were not the carrier of a radical individualism that breaks down all cultural and religious values; and, furthermore, if we were not simultaneously admitting entire populations of Muslims into America, thus increasing the pressures of our hyper-individualist culture on theirs, isn’t it just possible that America would seem a good deal less threatening and hateful to many Muslims?
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 25, 2007 12:57 PM | Send