The connection between feminism and sexual permissiveness strikes me as historically contingent rather than strictly necessary, and the economic and social gains that women have made since the 1960s seem robust enough to endure or, more likely, continue apace even amid a reconsideration of some of the social changes that accompanied them. Yes, an ethic of sexual restraint can be turned to patriarchal ends, but so can an ethic of sexual permissiveness, as anyone who’s hung out in a frat house for any length of time can attest. And the fact that smart feminists like Goldstein feel compelled to act all blasé about the pornography industry, lest they give an inch to the forces of reaction, seems like one of the more regrettable aspects of the contemporary cultural debate.
But Goldstein wasn't encouraging the frat house understanding of sexuality - she was a adovating for a sexual middle way - albiet one more sex positive and less cloistered than Ross's ideal.
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