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Jewish World Review August 24, 1999 /12 Elul, 5759

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'Liberated' women sink to men's level -- ANN POWERS WROTE in The New York Times this week about a surge of sexism on the music scene.

"It seems that Woodstock '99 did bring back one custom from the classic days of rock: treating women like sexual toys, often against their will. Four rapes have been reported at the festival. ... This abominable news would be more shocking if not for the rampant displays of vicious male behavior throughout the festival weekend ... from the lone fan who scrawled a demand for oral sex across his chest to the many who shouted at female performers ... to expose their breasts on stage."

Once again we are confronted by feminist outrage at "vicious male behavior" without even a passing nod to the kinds of behavior "sexually liberated women" exhibit. Why shouldn't males in the audience shout at performers such as Sheryl Crow to bare her breasts? Madonna has done it. There are women in Los Angeles and other major cities who go to events to have their breasts signed and flash their breasts at other drivers on the road. There are scads and scads -- legions of scuzzy, skanky women.

Sexy fun is the new norm in America, but I guess that depends on what side of the breast one is on. I know for a fact that people who don't think sexual degradation and license are fun or funny are considered the villains in this country's unfolding immorality play.

There is little reason left for society to respect women as it once did. Women get knocked up. They don't marry. They have abortions. They go to bars. They get knocked up again.

Major movie stars proudly get knocked up out of wedlock. They go to sperm banks or to the beds of hired help. Television stars contribute to our attitudes about women. Watch prime-time television: How many women behave with dignity? Where is the feminist outcry about these portrayals, hour after hour, night after night?

I'd like to line up 100 random guys and ask them how long they think it would take in the course of a single day to get some woman in bed. And I don't mean a prostitute or the low-self-esteem high school girl. A woman going to bed with a man on short notice used to require hard cash or the least popular girl in school, who was desperate for attention.

Now, it seems, boys can have just about any girl. If not, why do all the teen magazines relentlessly instruct girls who are barely adolescents in the fine art of sexuality? Recently there was news about the striking prevalence of oral sex among teen-agers. Like our president, they don't think of this as "sexual relations."

So, at almost the end of this once highly desirable "sexual revolution" (remember that?), Ann Powers can experience perplexity about the crude behavior of men at Woodstock. Is this a joke? She writes: "At (rock 'n' roll concerts) women screamed their adulation for the very stars hurling invective at them. They climbed the shoulders of their male companions and waved to the throng waiting to grope them."

These gals sound like sexually liberated women to me. How is it that the feminists still don't get it? They once believed if women were free to drop their drawers as often as boys that something wonderful was going to happen. How did they miss that STDs, abortions, children out of wedlock, lack of respect, and increased vulnerability and exposure to violence were also going to be a part of this package?

I hold no brief for the crude male animals that Powers is writing about. But men aren't the only gender that knows how to oink. As a general rule, women in our society do not behave in ways that engender respect. There is a huge population out there who thinks that's just fine and is ready to excoriate women who behave in more traditional female ways.

The guys, especially, endorse "the equality of scuzz." It sure gets them off the hook, and releases them from all responsibility. They can count on women to abort the results of indiscriminate sex or to raise the illegitimate offspring all by themselves. Good luck, gals, tracking them down or getting any financial help.

I said a few paragraphs back that we are "almost at the end" of the sexual revolution. Women, as a group, have been thoroughly misled, compromised and discounted. There's one group left for sexual liberation to conquer: our children. And the campaign, tragically, is well under way.

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©1999, Universal Press Syndicate