DEPARTMENT: Opening Salvo
Families may be in for a rough future. Consider this story about Japan:
Japan's under-40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships. Millions aren't even dating, and increasing numbers can't be bothered with sex. . . . A survey in 2011 found that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18–34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship. . . . A survey earlier this year by the Japan Family Planning Association found that 45% of women aged 16–24 "were not interested in or despised sexual contact."
But not as many men feel this way, so prostitution is booming. This all bodes ill for Japan's feeble birthrate. The country's population is on track to shrink by a third by 2060. What could possibly be the future of the Japanese family except its demise?
In Headquarters (page 14), Arthur W. Hunt III notes that two of the most popular dystopian novels of the twentieth century, Brave New World and 1984, depict societies in which the family has essentially been destroyed. The demise of the family is not incidental to the rise of the totalitarian states depicted in each novel; it is essential to it.
In Brave New World, familial demise includes changes in both the way of bringing forth babies (by manufacture in labs) and (consequently) the role of sexual activity in human life (it's nothing more than recreation). Human sexual intercourse has lost its primary purposes: procreation and marital bonding.
Both purposes are integral to the formation of a family. A child enters the world through the marital embrace of a man and woman, who remain bonded together as husband and wife to each other, and as father and mother to the child—a family.
But when procreation and marital bonding are demoted from primary to secondary purposes, not only is the family undermined, but sex itself becomes a self-referential activity—and it is no longer what sex was intended to be.
"Sex" (the word comes from the Latin, meaning "to divide") denotes the division of man into male and female. Therefore, the sexual act is, by definition, the intercourse of the two sexes. But in our post-sexual-revolution culture, "sex" denotes just about any activity that involves the sexual organs, while the exclusive and unique marital intercourse of a man and woman is no longer recognized as its primary meaning.
This is a dangerous idea to promote, with a destructive purpose behind it, as Robin Phillips shows in his feature article, "The Massacre of Valentine's Day" (page 34). Feminism's rejection of the traditional meaning of sex and sexual roles ends up, not with the elevation of female sexuality, but with the loss of sex itself and estrangement between the sexes.
This new "war between the sexes" continues, as you will see in Terrell Clemmons's column about women who "steal sperm" and men who are increasingly wary of marriage and family (page 39). Such men wish to become neither husbands nor fathers.
Some men say they want to be fathers, but outside the context of the male-female marital union. Michael Cook's column (page 26) tells of two homosexual men who paid a surrogate mother to bear a child, whom they claimed to have adopted in order to form a "family." Alas, however, the boy had really been born, say the police, "for the sole purpose of [sexual] exploitation."
Once you remove the constraints needed to harness the power of sex for the creation of the family, it's as if you've allowed a fire meant to be kept in the fireplace to spread wherever it can find fuel. It will burn innocent victims. This, sadly, is the story behind Judith Reisman's column, "The Predators" (page 41).
This sort of sexual fire is burning our houses down. That's why Salvo is dialing 9-1-1. Will anyone put out the fire before it's too late? •
Source for the story about Japan: www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/young-people-japan-stopped-having-sex
If you enjoy Salvo, please consider giving an online donation! Thanks for your continued support.