Quantcast

On promiscuity: When is a man a slut?

Armstrong Williams | 4/26/2012, 1:41 p.m.
At Thanksgiving, embracing the winds of change and increasing our faith

This continues to be a question in the public dialogue since Rush Limbaugh's now infamous comments on Sandra Fluke, a 30-year-old law student who, despite being unmarried, claimed that she spends so much money on contraception that she was going broke. The woman goes to an expensive, prestigious law school and is more concerned about the cost of contraception--I wonder why Limbaugh thought that was so strange.

Limbaugh's use of the word "slut" has caused outrage among people of all political stripes, but why is the word so hurtful?

Few things are as mainstream as adultery or abortion. Around 4,000 abortions are performed in the United States per day. Surely this can't just be a "women's issue." Most men welcome the reputation of being sex objects; they want to be objectified. Is this the result of a different standard for men or its cause?

In our secular society, men pride themselves on their rakishness; sex is no less a field of conquest than athletics, which is largely competitive for its effects on sex lives--chicks dig winners. However, I just can't understand this.

Women often complain about the double standard, saying that it is unfair that men are not only allowed but encouraged to sleep around with whomever they would like while women are shamed for doing the same thing. This puzzles me: Does that mean that women want to be promiscuous but are not allowed? Alexander Pope famously said that every woman is a rake at heart, but are they promiscuous with their hearts or do they wish to be promiscuous with their bodies but cannot?

No doubt a double standard is unfair, but what is the real solution? Is it, as those above suggest, that everyone live as a libertine? Of course not. The solution is that everyone should be shamed for promiscuity. Men need to stop encouraging one another to seduce women and then abandon them; men need to compete at other things. No one gets hurt when men test each other's manhood on the basketball court; when they do the same thing with women's hearts, everyone in society is hurt.

Today's hookup culture is emasculating. A man is not allowed to be a man, only a seducer. You can't ask out a girl anymore.

In many more traditional societies, the life of seduction and conquest is actually considered effeminate. Consider "The Epic of Gilgamesh" or the stories of Erik and Enide or Samson. As soon as the male character gives in to his lust, he loses his masculinity.

And what about love? Do we not love anymore? Love is an act of the will, not a feeling; it is an act that insists on the good of others over the good of oneself. Where is that nowadays? And what about God, who is love? Have we forgotten about Him? I'm afraid that many have, and with Him, the idea that every single one of us is both willed by Him and loved by Him with a burning passion.