The Sexual Revolution – the unintended consequences

Who’d have thought anti-liberal prude Mary Whitehouse would turn out to be (partly) right in her doom-laden warnings about the sexual revolution? As early as the mid 1970s she pointed to the potential corrosive impact of internet pornography on society, suggesting technology could become out of control and would ‘reach a point where man is incapable of arresting the forces which he has released.” She thought a porn (for men)-saturated culture could easily curtail women’s liberation rather than encourage it and fought relentlessly to protect children from exploitation.

She was also, it would have to be said, wildly homophobic with an unhinged religiosity (“direct line to God”) dictating her campaigns.

  Even the feminist lobby have come round to a grudging admiration. Author Louise Perry in her new book, The Case Against the Sexual Revolution: A New Guide to Sex in the 21st Century leads the present-day argument pointing out that with a flood of pornography and hook-up culture, “rough sex” is seen as routine, prostitution is viewed as another career choice and there is the lowest rate of conviction for rape in a decade.  She comments that Whitehouse understood in advance how pornography would have “the effect of draining sexual relationships of love and of intimacy” in its pursuit of profit.

  Two recent BBC bio-docs on Whitehouse coincided with Perry’s book, hinting that a cultural shift might be under way with the pendulum swinging back against the worst excesses of the sexual revolution, which have turned out not to be liberating for women but in many cases damaging.

  Tracing back where it all started Freud stands out as an early trailblazer in bringing sexuality into mainstream culture even if he got goodly chunks of the theory wrong. He was writing about it in the late 19th Century during Neptune Pluto in Gemini, which has a scandalous and inspirational quality to it. In the midst of that, in 1894, Alfred Kinsey, the sex researcher, was born, who more than any other 20th Century figure pushed the anything-goes line where sexuality was concerned in the 1950s. The contraceptive pill in full swing from 1960 onwards fully unlocked the flood gates. With later sex researchers Master & Johnson and Alex Comfort’s The Joy of Sex adding to the spirit of freedom.

      Kinsey, born 23 June 1894 focused his research on the biology of sex without considering the psychological or emotional components and laid himself open to severe criticism for certain of his methods. He was a Sun Cancer in a pro-active square Mars Node in Aries; with the fey Neptune Pluto in Gemini conjunct Jupiter, so greatly amplified and not always focused on accurate facts. His revolutionary Uranus was in a stressed inconjunct to Neptune Pluto. His studies were published in the 1950s during the Saturn Neptune in Libra square Uranus – often connected to the hippy culture.

  Mary Whitehouse, born 13 June 1910, also had Gemini strong in her chart in her case a Sun conjunct Pluto – she was evidently a skilled orator – and clearly controlling. She also had a no-compromise, fearsome, publicity-seeking and can-be-fanatical Mars Neptune in Cancer opposition Uranus with her Uranus inconjunct Pluto Sun. Certain striking similarities between two polar opposites.

  The pill came out with Pluto just into Virgo and aiming for the rollicking 1960s with the Uranus Pluto conjunction fostering change, revolution, turmoil and medical advances.

   The 1980s with Pluto in Scorpio saw feminists drag child abuse into the open.

 And, of course way back when, Pluto in Cancer 1912 to 1937 transformed the identity of women and changed motherhood and family life.

  Quite whether Pluto in Aquarius will bring back romance for women, stem the epidemic of porn, and lessen the perverse drive towards aggressive sex isn’t clear.

  This is a ramble with only tangential astro-links but I’ve long thought (like Suzanne Moore in today’s Telegraph) there was something wrong with the one-night stand culture and laddish behaviour for girls.  And wrong also the rigidly feminist line that men and women are exactly the same. You just have to watch a David Attenborough wildlife documentary to see the gender differences in the animal kingdom – and we haven’t moved that far from our roots that all of that has disappeared.

    Rom-Coms, Mills & Boon, Sally Rooney strike a feminine chord that a quick sh*** won’t measure up to.

22 thoughts on “The Sexual Revolution – the unintended consequences

  1. It is very sad that women have died or suffered horribly to get the right to vote. It strikes me that equality has eluded us completely. That what we were truly offered was a con!

  2. I’m glad you ramble on social issues like this, Marjorie, with your mix of astrology and your own personal views.

    A couple more thoughts on the issue, from some wide ranging reading I’ve done.

    Discussion of Freud’s theories have to include that he had patients who told him about child sexual abuse they had survived. He was unwilling to believe polite Viennese society could hide so much depraved evil. This is what led him to theorize why children “had to be” merely making up symbolic stories.

    Some authors such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg tell young women that they can date all the bad boys while evading commitent, launch a great career, then later the good men will always be there for them. She then covered up the abuse allegations against her boyfriend, an executive at a different corporation.

    But the exciting bad boys, who’ve spoiled the women for an ordinary nice guy who can’t satisfy the “alpha widow,” have no interest in settling down a decade later… when the women discover that mother nature, not just the evil Patriarchy, really has given them a time limit on being able to have children.

    A cynical view might be that people like Sandberg are trying to increase workers & consumers for corporations, at the expense of happy marriage, family and home life.

    I’ve seen some astrologers and sociologists suggest that the Zoomer Generation will be more conserative in some ways than their Millennial siblings, including on this issue.

    “the Gender Identity cult”

    Confronting this cost JK Rowling many supporters. Marjorie, didn’t you have an earlier post about Rowling vs. Transgender Activists?

    • It is a pity there is such a rigid public distinction between male and female.

      Jung of course believed that nested inside the shadow (the side of ourselves which we don’t present in public) are the qualities of our opposite gender. The anima being the archetype that expresses the fact that men have a minority of feminine qualities; and the animus expressing the masculine qualities within women. In every man there is a woman, and in every woman a man; or rather, there is the image of the ideal man/woman which is, as a rule, formed in part by the experience of our mother/father, and by the influence of culture and heritage.

      Personally, I see life as a spectrum with alpha men (strong male qualities and few female qualities) and ultrafeminine women (strong female qualities and few maile qualities) at the extremes and the psychological androgenous (as opposed to biological hermaphrodite) in the centre. If men and women were freer to express their anima and animus in public, perhaps there would be less need for transitions from one to another.

  3. Recently I saw a film about the Montagu trial. It was about the witch hunt of Lord Montagu and 2 other men who enjoyed what was then illegal sex with two RAF men in Montagu’s Beach hut in 1953.

    Part of the crime involved Montagu allegedly raping a fourteen year old boyscout who was camping on Montagu’s land. He denied all charges, saying only kissing took place, while the others admitted to their part in it, at least with the two men from the RAF.

    All were found guilty with the two friends serving eighteen month sentences and Montagu only serving a year. I don’t know what happened to the two men from the RAF or the boyscout.

    But I do know that in those days that women were treated abominable by the courts and that men would never admit to anyone if they had been raped. I doubt very much if much credence was given to that boy. Because he would have been put forward as a liar. Women or girls would have been perceived as sluts asking for it.
    I am all for sex between consenting adults, but dragging kids into it is beyond contemptible. On his release, Montagu was feted by this Tory mp, he took his place in the House of Lords, he opened up his vintage and veteran car museum and produced a magazine about the same subject as well. He also did a jazz festival on the grounds of Goodwood every year. So you couldn’t really say that his prison sentence did anything did anything bi be a minor inconvenience. Whereas it affected his friends much, much more.

    I don’t see the sexual revolution as being anything but an opportunistic ploy used to abuse those vulnerable. And it still goes on today, covered up by LGBT propaganda, which does nothing to protect the vulnerable and whitewashed any achievements made for the rights of women if they are not included.

    • Yes … the only emancipation and empowerment women will get is below the belt … like voting rights they got when the men of one party needed womens votes … that being said thats the only way they will get anything … so they took the freedoms they got to leverage on them to get other freedoms like education and work opportunities leading to more empowerment and emancipation … it will be very slow … thats how life works … evolution … its not that without these freedoms women and men are/were not abused … with legal regulation there is more of a chance of approaching a court of law … however that maybe we must remember that humans are still part of the animal kingdom and follow the might is right rule

      • Pluto in Aquarius is likely to be Brave New World territory with a completely clinical and legalistic attitude to sex. Pornography is all about money and needless to say it exploits men just as much as women though that point rather gets lost in most discussions on the topic.

  4. Three points for those who weren’t there

    1. The most popular country song of the day in 1971 was Kris Kristfferson’s ‘Help me make it through the night’. It pretty well summed up the ‘free love ‘ movement. Best version – Gladys Knight 1972. It still sends shivers down my spine.

    2. The US was fighting a war in Vietnam (which didn’t end until 1975) and the CND movement was at it’s height.

    3. The Cold War, and threat of nuclear war, between Russia and the USA was ongoing – though with hindsight it reached a peak in 1962.

    The post war baby boomers, who’d lived through the post WWII period and the rationing, genuinely didn’t think there would be a tomorrow. The words of the song were very apt.

    I would just add that the pill wasn’t available to single women until the late 1960s if not the early 70s. In fact clinics refused to make any form of contraception available to unmarried women and abortion was ‘back street’ or nothing. Pregnant women automatically lost their jobs and there was no support outside the family – hence the number of unwanted pregnancies and subsequent adoptions.

    You had to be there to understand.

  5. “She comments that Whitehouse understood in advance how pornography would have “the effect of draining sexual relationships of love and of intimacy” in its pursuit of profit.”

    Thanks Marjorie. This is all so complicated. We’re pretty much the same, biologically, as the people who built Stonehenge. But we have the internet, which has changed so much in society – or amplified and distorted it.
    Pornography generates enormous profits worldwide, and seems almost impossible to regulate online. “Hook up” culture is also a way of “draining sexual relationships of love and of intimacy”. Most sex education is totally inadequate, failing to connect the biology and mechanics of sex with human emotions and psychology, as you say. In that sense, it is profoundly unsophisticated, and potentially damaging. It also ignores the wider world of sensuality – the pleasures of hugs, hand-holding, and so on which we all need within, and outside of, our relationships – whether or not sexual intimacy is involved.

    The ‘birthday’ of the internet is 1st January, 1983. It has Jupiter in Sagittarius conjunct Uranus – innovation and disruption travelling the world. Venus and Mercury are conjunct in Capricorn, square Pluto in Libra and Saturn in Scorpio – money, money, money – but also quite intense and dark in a sexual context. Mars is 17 Aquarius.

    Pornography and erotica are part of human history. Each communicative invention has been used, almost straight away, to distribute it – printing (15th century), photography (1836-1841), and so on. However, violent hardcore pornography has never been so widely available before, and I think this is very damaging for all of us.
    Currently, 60% of porn websites are hosted in the US, with 26% in the Netherlands (Statista). Perhaps a discussion about what to do could begin with these two nations?

  6. There is a super little film on YouTube which is an old Nationwide segment from the 70’s. It is about the seaside town of Hornsea in East Yorkshire and reactions to a proposed nudist beach there. It is dated and quite Pythonesque – but some of the comments and attitudes of the vox pop are interesting e.g. the worries on the impact on children then (compare to what we now have). The link is – “Should Hornsea have a nudist beach?”

  7. If anything, I foresee P-in-Aq making things even less romantic. Worst case scenario – dragging out the phone, pulling up an app, recording the consent process etc. And yet, while it will seem to promise a solution, it will ultimately fail because you can’t solve emotional/intimate problems logically.

  8. It was astute of Whitehouse IMO to make the connection between exploitation and capitalism in the sexual realm. But I would also argue that patriarchy, especially that rooted in religion, is not healthy for women either. Interesting to see her Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio, suggesting a deep awareness and focus on what she seemed to perceive as the “fallen” condition of women. There’s a lot I could say about women’s bodily autonomy and their broader position in Western society that is really far too much of a conversation for a blog comment post. So I’ll just end by noting that Whitehouse’s chart is currently being triggered by the Nodes transiting Taurus/Scorpio. Taurus NN wants to simplify and enjoy life, not be continually dissecting deeply held and emotional issues.

    • Imo only what the patriarchy wants/needs will be allowed … either ultra conservative or ultra liberal … either a burkha/hijab or a bikini … the patriarchy does not need women who want a 3rd option of moderation … the extremes can be exploited … moderation cant

  9. I agree with Marjorie. I remember Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford opinions. She was quite a campaigner. She was reviled amongst those who were on a Revolution mission though. Free love, drugs and complete freedom was the order of the day. The Pill coincided with the post war Freedom movement. Sexual freedom, homosexuality had become legalised and a way to cut loose from the past restrictions became part of society, albeit not totally widespread. The Uranus/Pluto explosion was huge. I couldn’t do sleeping around or drugs, yet I know sixty year old who still do both. By the 1970’s wife swapping and swinger parties had developed. Also, some were campaigning for underage sex. By the 1980’s the number of divorces started to rise. Sleeping around, swearing and affairs are now seen as fair game. No wonder porn is now so prevalent, in a perverse way, it was the natural progression for getting more sexual highs as everything else had been normalised. Mary Whitehouse was ahead of her time.

  10. The tide of porn (much of it extreme and violent) is disturbingly easy for children to freely access on the internet. This has to be harmful to their psycho-sexual development. Back in the 70s I considered Whitehouse’s views to be ludicrous and risible. A small lesson in listening to other’s points of view.

  11. When do you see lots of teenagers hand going out as boy and girlfriend today , LIKE IN THE 60’s and 70’s, my Mother says NEVER.
    The boys are probably watching porn or doing video games and the girls are on Snapchat or whatever.

  12. And now we have the Gender Identity cult which seeks to remove personal and sexual boundaries of women and girls and push them out of public spaces. Conflating sex and gender is dangerous for women’s equality in the workplace and therefore earning power, as there will be no way of collecting relevant data. Women are being attacked from left and right at the moment. We can only hope a more Aquarian influence will help.

  13. Corrected-

    The biggest problem with Mary Whitehouse. was her delivery and over the top sanctimonious lectures. I have Venus in Capricorn sextile Moon trine Asc. It is so difficult for me to understand the one night stand take it anywhere anytime culture. Substance and quality are much more appealing. Equality is about choices. Pornography available 24/7 does seem to detract from one’s ability to have “real” relationships. We are no longer in the days when the boys in the family would run off with National Geographic.

  14. I think its all about whether being feminine has value/respect/status … if women are financially independent its easier to be feminine in personal life … they are respected for their wealth and ability to earn … but to survive in the work environment need masculine qualities … women were empowered and emancipated only below the belt … they took it thats the best it would get at that point in time … which opened up opportunities for education and employment … they are now much more powerful than they used to be … so can roll back the below the belt faux empowerment and emancipation … it can go back to being a choice

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