Another excellent essay from Canadian writer David Warren, Priscilla, this time on the pitfalls of modern dating and the role of women in teaching men how to behave. Some excerpts from the essay:
“I wonder if you know what it is like to 'date' these days?” she asked.
I will call her Priscilla, because that is not her name. She is a “nice” girl from an old-fashioned Catholic family, in one of Canada's more remote rural regions, raised to observe the moral law. Well, not entirely nice: for she has a tongue sharp enough to open a tin, and a mind quite capable of deprecation. Scintillating smart; and for her age, extremely well-read and informed. Has already acquired experience teaching English in a Third World country, whose language she mastered. So, certainly not a hick, and indeed, street-smart ....
“Every time I have gone out with a guy, within two hours, he either bluntly or circumspectly asks when we are going to have sex. Some of them even want details about how 'adventurous' I might be,” she continued.
I have this information not only from Priscilla. I have it from almost every young, unmarried woman I know -- and I'm a Catholic myself, so I know quite a few of them.
“When one explains that one will not be sleeping with the 'gentleman', there is shock. Now, you would think I'd just be dumped at that point, but I become an oddity, something they can't quite believe. So they keep coming back, in amazement. Sometimes, they keep emailing and calling for 'moral guidance' with their other 'relationships'. Or perhaps it's guilt, some latent awareness that they are cads, that keeps them asking me out to dinner 'as a friend' -- at least, until they find someone who WILL sleep with them.”
Warren says that he writes about Priscilla "not because it is unusual, but because it is common." He has criticized the outcomes of the so-called sexual revolution before, and does so again here:
"Half-a-century after the sexual revolution began, and the gauntlet was set up for the young, with Playboy bunnies on one side, and Betty Friedan on the other, this is what it has achieved. A world full of cads, to say nothing of the hussies."
He writes about the decline in stable, heterosexual marriages, the near impossibility of "finding one trusted partner for life," and the current disdain for chastity. His advice:
Those who contemplate marriage, must first become friends. The sex not only can, but must wait. And it is in the taming of that dark erotic beast, that men and women grow into adults, capable of making commitments they can keep.
My advice to Priscilla: continue teaching the young men. Women have always taught men the rules, so teach them again, strictly.
Sure to tick off the feminists, yet is seems like sound advice to me. Is it not a good thing for women to consider themselves as a significant civilizing influence in our society?