Op-ed: Is ‘Old-fashioned’ returning?

  • By Cal Thomas
  • Monday, April 23, 2018 9:26am
  • Opinion

“It’s a modern changing world

Everything is moving fast.

But when it comes to love I like

What they did in the past.” — The Everly Brothers, 1962

Call me old-fashioned — and I’ve been called worse — but do I sense the possible end to the sexual revolution, which exploded in the ’60s and whose fallout continues today?

Women complain that men won’t commit, whether in a dating relationship or marriage. The #MeToo stories that have emerged since the exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment of numerous women in Hollywood have also contributed to their frustration. Harassment victims feel used and abused by men who, apparently, were never taught that women are co-equals in the human race and thus deserving of respect, even honor. I know, that last sounds old-fashioned.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has written about a new book by Joanna Coles, chief content officer of Hearst magazines and the former editor of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, titled “Love Rules.” The book focuses on avoiding unhealthy relationships in the digital age.

Coles spoke to Dowd about the young women she knows who feel “obligated” to have sex with men they don’t particularly like and what appears to be a growing “disillusionment with the hookup culture” at Middlebury College, as expressed by Leah Fessler in an article for the website Quartz.

What especially intrigued me about Dowd’s column was this line from Coles: “No one wants to go back to sock hops and going steady, but to attempt to separate emotions from sex is not only illogical, given that emotion intensely augments pleasure, but also impossible for almost all women.”

As a product of the sock hop and going steady generation I rise to its defense.

So, “no one” wants to return to a system that largely prevented the emotional, relational and, yes, physical problems encountered by modern lifestyles? Isn’t it the very definition of “insanity” when one expects different results while repeating the same behavior?

There were certain “rules,” way back when, about how men should treat women (though Hugh Hefner would later blow them up). The rules mostly worked for people who conformed to them. Yes, I know women experienced other problems then.

The societal wreckage caused by the hookup culture, easy divorce and co-habitation without commitment doesn’t need studies, though there have been some, chiefly by the late Judith Wallerstein, who spent 25 years studying the effects of divorce on children. She ultimately found that the pain from their parents’ breakup continued to cause them distress well into adulthood.

Common sense and experience also reveal certain things about human relationships, which work best and which don’t, especially for women, who mostly bear the burden when men don’t “love, honor and cherish” them until death they do part. For those of a certain age, that’s what couples used to pledge to each other when they married.

Dowd quotes Coles as saying modern sex is “bleak.” It doesn’t have to be. Millennials would do well to consult their old-fashioned and long-married grandparents. Or they can put on a “Golden Oldies” radio station and hear Don and Phil Everly sing:

“I’m the kind who loves only one

So the boys say I’m old fashioned.

Let them laugh, honey I don’t mind.

I’ve made plans for a wedding day for you and me.

That’s old fashioned.

That’s the way love should be.”

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

More in Opinion

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink promotes getting immunized with the flu shot this winter. (Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)
Immunize when you winterize

An annual flu shot plus the COVID-19 vaccine protects Alaskans and our health care system, too.

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Dunleavy’s first act as governor was unconstitutional

That’s according to a ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge John Sedwick.

This Aug. 3, 2021, photo shows Juneau International Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration shared recommendations on Thursday for improving aviation safety in the state. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: How the FAA will improve the margin of aviation safety in Alaska

Alaska depends on aviation more than any other state…

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Perspective of an educator in a ‘high-risk’ group, part 2

During some of the darkest days of my time in ICU, it was obvious where we all live is a special place.

Lawmakers havereturned to the Alaska State Capitol for a fourth special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Revenues should be determined before more PFD spending

The governor believes the dividend drives the entire calculation. Sadly, he has it backwards

Ronnie Leach. (Photo provided)
Point of View: For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #weareresilient

At the onset of COVID-19, we expanded our services in a way to ensure COVID-19 consciousness.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion:Where’s Don Young when America needs him?

Once upon a time, avoiding political controversy was completely out of character for Young.

Peter Zuyus
Voices of the Peninsula: Seniors appreciate vaccination efforts

To those who have worked to encourage vaccination we say: Be proud, you are, in fact, saving lives.

Jackson Blackwell (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Carbon dividends are the bipartisan climate solution

By levying a gradually increasing price on carbon, U.S. emissions will be slashed by 50% in 15 years.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Dunleavy: Facts Matter

Political opportunists care more about spreading political untruths than accepting the facts.

Steve Hughes. (Photo provided)
Voices of the Peninsula: We are all victims of COVID-19

It is disturbing to hear, as a triage nurse, the many reasons cited for not getting a vaccine that are based on misinformation.

teaser
Opinion: LGBTQ+ Alaskans deserve respect and dignity

Like every state that lacks equality, we need federal protection.