The article “We Were All Meant To Be Sluts” is one author’s attempt to liberate women from the sexual shackles placed on them by society. The author, however, actually undermines the goal the author set out to achieve. He wants to liberate women’s sexuality from society’s “system” of morality. However, his postmodern advice will only lead to the sexual slavery of women. (I do find it somewhat self-serving that a MAN would champion the sexual liberation of women, perhaps creating more willing sexual experiences for himself.)
Mark Groves, the author, asked “If sexuality and sexual freedom brings our character into question, then what do we think about the many wise and amazing human beings who found themselves and learned their lessons through sexual exploration and being open-minded about making mistakes?” This statement assumes that personal experience is a preferred way of gaining wisdom. You can certainly gain wisdom by walking in front of a moving bus, but wisdom from doing that is best learned from other people’s experiences. There are consequences to sex outside of the safety of marriage, especially if those sexual encounters are frequent. Sexual boundaries are meant to protect people from the consequences of promiscuity.
Mark also based most of his article on a straw man argument that those who promote the benefits of marriage and warn against the consequences of sex outside of the lifetime exclusivity of one man and one woman have a “fear of sexuality.” Yes, there are consequences for promiscuity that can have serious repercussions for families and society. But, we do not fear the sex act. Sex within the boundaries of marriage is satisfying and stabilizing. Sex within marriage protects women from the savage, unrestrained sexuality of men.
Mark reduced marriage from a sacred status to simply “a beautiful thing” because the “divine heterosexuals who rule the institution” get divorced, commit adultery, and view pornography. He is saying that marriage is only as important as people treat it; that the worth of marriage is wrapped up in the worth people give it. By that logic black slaves were unimportant because slave owners treated them poorly; or that women in Saudi Arabia are less valuable than men because they are treated poorly. Contrary to Mark’s assertion, marriage has inherent worth regardless of whether people treat it as valuable, because the One who created the institution of marriage defined and gave it value. That people do not value what is inherently valuable does not reduce marriage’s worth.
In a bit of hypocrisy, Mark decried the suppression of female (promiscuous) sexuality in one breath, but then in the next breath, he shames the sexual freedom of rapists, child molesters, and people with sexual fetishes. By what standard of morality does he condemn rape and child molestation? Who decreed those sexual practices to be wrong? Mark Groves? Society? If society has decreed rape wrong, isn’t that just another “system” that interferes with someone’s sexual freedom? Didn’t society once say homosexual sex should be punished? Isn’t it society’s “system” that puts the brakes on female (promiscuous) sexuality? Why is Mark upholding one system that suppresses someone’s sexual freedom while trying to tear down that system for sexual practices he prefers? The truth is, Mark has no standard by which he chooses other than his own personal preferences. Christianity, on the other hand, has a moral foundation for saying rape and child molestation is wrong because such acts are decreed wrong by a transcendent moral source, God. In reality, Christianity promotes an eternal, objective standard of morality, while Mark promotes a relative, subjective standard that changes with the whims of society.
Towards the end of his article Mark offered a bit of postmodern nonsense advice. He said “There is no one way to do anything. And anyone who claims to have it all figured out is the very person to run from” and “There is no ‘right way’. There is only your way. And no one knows your life better than you. Live YOUR truth.” He is essentially saying “You can’t tell people what to do” which is, of course, telling you what to do. The problem with this advice is that it is self-defeating. Self-defeating statements cannot possibly be true. He is saying that truth is relative. The problem here is that he is making an absolute truth claim. He is saying “It is true that truth doesn’t apply to everyone.” But in order for him to make that claim, his truth claim has to be true for everyone. His assertion is self-defeating, and therefore, not true. The truth is that truth is true for everyone.
Mark tries to summon the magic of John Lennon’s “Imagine” with his several “Imagine if” statements. He said “Imagine if we were told to just play, see, and feel.” Yes, imagine a world where everyone did as he pleased. Imagine if there were no judgments to prevent you from playing, seeing, and feeling what you’d like. Imagine no boundaries where the strength of men overpowers the weakness of women, but no one was allowed to make any judgments. That is the world Mark Groves will find with his bad advice.
He tries to prevent this outcome by asserting “all of our decisions just need to be guided by our human capacity and desire to be kind. If every decision we made were based on the answer to the question: ‘What would love do?'” But, Mark has no moral foundation to base his guidance on “human capacity and desire to be kind.” “Human capacity and desire to be kind?” What if someone doesn’t want to be kind? What gives Mark the authority to force someone to make decisions on kindness? Who gets to define what “kindness” is?
Mark talked about “love” but then in the end just defines love as the sexual act. “You are the expert of you. You know you better than anyone. You know how you love. You know what feels good, and you know what your heart beats for. You know what you want to try and what you are curious about.” “Love” in his imaginary world is nothing more than the banality of sex for the sake of an orgasm.
All that Mark has done with his article is to give people an excuse to “Live YOUR truth,” to abandon commitments because they are no longer pleasurable. That world would not be paradise for women, but a hell on earth. Trying to liberate women, Mark Groves would put them in chains.