It’s depressing that, after 40 years, we still need a robust defense of the goals of the sexual revolution, but it seems as if we do. In the intervening years, we seem to have forgotten that it was not all that long ago when women, but not men, paid a tremendous price for having sex while not married. […]
No matter what seems to have changed on the surface of gender relations, we are always forced to rely “on the mercy of the men around us,” explains Caitlin Flanagan, the current reigning poet of eternal feminine frailty.
It’s enough to make you wish that you lived in the 1970s, when Ms. Jong was in every bookstore window and sex was the new groovy thing. But the aftermath we are living through now is even more transformative for women. In the 1970s the sexual revolution was really mostly about sex. But now the sexual revolution has deepened into a more permanent kind of power for women. Young women in their sexual prime—that is, their 20s and early 30s—are generally better off than young men. They are better educated and earn more money on average. What made this possible is the sexual revolution—the ability to have temporary, intimate relationships that don’t derail a career. Or to put it more simply, to have sex without getting married.
“Sexual Freedom and Women’s Success”