Trigger warning: the artist in question uses the word "fuck", but I don't.
So here's a song I've heard on the radio several times: Talking Bodies, by Tove Lo. According to Out magazine, she is "the world's most brutally honest pop star", as well as "the saddest girl in Sweden". My attention was initially drawn to the song because of the cringing awkwardness of the following line in response to the perfection of her paramour's body: "put it on me". I mean, Swedes, am I right? But what kept my attention on the song was that she promised her paramour that he would not take long. Take long for what, you ask innocently? To achieve completion, sir. That is, to gain release, madame. How you say, to experience la petite mort. She promised he could be quick.
Since many people listen to music without making out the lyrics, I have included below her lyrics, as well as my translation of them. The original is on the left, mine on the right.
You can listen to the song here. That link doesn't go the official music video, which I was not able to watch in its entirety. However, I can tell you that it begins in a very sad apartment building, and ends with a skinny young man being attended by many women, who are all strippers in pasties. And when I say attended, I mean, taken to bed. And when I say they're all strippers, I mean just that: all the women everywhere are strippers. Wonder what that might mean? You know, from a typological perspective.
If this song were to survive the Cataclysm of 2117, as well as the Great Meteor Shower of 2340, and I as an anthropologist came across it in 2483 and decided to use it in my studies of Late Anglo-Western Civ, these would be my findings regarding the place of women in that society:
1. Women were expected to display no will of their own. They were attractive to their suitors to the degree they accommodated the desires of their prospective mates.
2. Because of this, women had no interests outside the acquisition of mates. This led to a deep boredom that was only broken by the interest of a male. (compare: Ottoman harem culture)
3. Women were so desperate to gain male attention in a buyer's market that they were willing to surrender core parts of themselves for the chance to gain a mate.
4. Personal and societal pressures to obtain a mate were so great that women were happy to forgo personal satisfaction, including sexual, in order to build hoped-for sexual commitment.
5. Women forewent children in order to maintain the short-term interest of men, the presence of whom, again, was necessary to combat the boredom of a fruitless life.
It becomes clear that Late Anglo-Western culture held the role of women in society in low esteem, failing to provide for today's progressive guarantees of basic sexual and reproductive rights. Instead, L.A.W. culture's male-ruled societies made use of birth control, abortion, and propaganda to rob women of the power of their sexuality. Women were used as sexual commodities; and here we use "sexual" not in the way it is used today, but rather in 21st century usage, which refers exclusively to intercourse. It is no wonder that today we all, but especially women, see the century leading up to the fall of L.A.W. culture as a dark age.
And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, "We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach."1
It's tempting to say that this is the inevitable result of the flattening of sexuality. That is, of pretending that men and women are the same, and desire the same thing from sexual relationships. I suppose that's true, to an extent.
More fundamentally, however, Charlotte Simmons disinterested sex hookup death rape culture is an extreme result of sex without Jesus. (Yes, that means there's sex with Jesus. Now shut up.) Without Jesus sex is a war, and men almost always win. They have all the advantages. The best women can hope for is a truce. Even with the recent revolution and all the ground women wrested out of the control of men, they still lost at sex.
Only in Jesus is sex not a dominance play. Only in the Triune God can the fact that men and women were made so differently and for such different things be reconciled. Only in a world where the first shall be last and the last first can we be fulfilled in each other.
As men, it is important that we see the deep misogyny of not only hookup culture, but all sex outside marriage. Extramarital sex uses women. Sex as it should be fulfills women.2 Marriage and babies are the sexual security of women. We ought to give those things to our wives, and we ought to give it to 'em good.3 If we participate in this sexual culture, not only do we rob women of significance and happiness, we ourselves will become the world's saddest Swedes.
1. Isaiah 4:1
2. The exact same thing should be said of men. Sex is too sacred to be currency in a you-use-me-I-use-you contract.
3. A blonde walked into a bar and asked the bartender for a double entendre. So he gave it to her. And for the record, she was married to the bartender.