Politics is a funny business. Every once in a while, conservatives and liberals — by no fault of their own — agree on what is best for society (or, at least, for their families). Take, for example, the homeschooling movement. Homeschool parents typically fit into one of two categories: Hippies or Christian conservatives.
To be sure, they come to these similar conclusions about how to educate their children for entirely different reasons. But on this one issue, at least, they are agreed (if you’ve read Rod Dreher’s Crunchy Cons, this is a subplot.)
The latest example of such strange bedfellows comes to us from Ross Douthat’s New York Times piece, “The Daughter Theory.” His aim is to explain why the parents of daughters are predisposed to lean Republican. And in doing so, he references “Adelle Waldman’s recent novel of young-Brooklynite manners, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.”
In keeping with our nihilistic times, Nathaniel P is a bit of a player. And one could assume this means promiscuity is being glamorized. But, as Douthat observes: ”[L]urking in Waldman’s novel, as in many portraits of the dating scene (ahem, Lena Dunham, ahem), is a kind of moral traditionalism that dare not speak its name — or that can be spoken of only in half-jest, as when the novelist Benjamin Kunkel told [Salon's Rebecca] Traister that the solution was ‘some sort of a sexual strike against just such men.’”
If you go far enough to the left, you’ll eventually come out on the right. Eventually, some things go full circle.
And so, it seems we have finally observed for ourselves that certain behaviors aren’t good for young people. (Whether one comes to this conclusion by trial and error, or simply by religious conviction, matters little to me. You can rationalize doing the right thing for whatever reason makes you happy.)
Henceforth, prudish social conservatives may continue to advocate abstinence. Meanwhile, cosmopolitan young feminists will instead boycott “such men.”
Problem solved — unless you’re one of these men (but hey, nobody expects this to work on the macro level, anyway.)
Well, that was easy. Hey, if we can come to a bipartisan agreement over the budget – and now this — I suppose we can now conquer anything now…