Herodotus in his Histories describes the primitive tribes that lived on the western shore of the Caspian sea in ancient times. Some, he reported, were said to “couple in the open…like animals in herds.” Perhaps that’s what we as a culture are coming to: animalism.

Following on our discussion of gay marriage and the stake heterosexual women don’t realize they have in opposing it, a friend writes to correct me for giving women too much credit for innate modesty. 
But before getting to that, a brief review: Modesty means keeping private things private. I argued that our country’s radically revising its longstanding collective opinion on homosexuality, placing a gold star of approval on men “marrying” men, would also mean approving the culture that too often goes with male homosexuality. The normalization of that culture would hurt women by pressuring them to adapt, even more than now, to male crudity — represented in its most extreme form by a strain of gay culture. Our prime illustration was the shamelessly crude writing of gay activist Dan Savage at Seattle’s The Stranger, which he edits, and the comments left here by his fans. It’s hardly a marginal publication, by the way. You’ll find The Stranger in any local Starbucks, any Tully’s. Here in King County, it’s given away in stacks in the foyer of public libraries. Amazing. As kids walk in on their way to story hour, they can pick up a copy.
Anyway, my friendly correspondent writes:

Regarding male gay sexual morals, I think you missed that the same morality is now spreading into the female culture. My observation only, not my area of expertise. But look at the ethics promoted by magazines like Cosmopolitan. Who are the female paragons, the role models? Madonna, Britney Spears, etc. I once chaperoned a high school dance. The aggressors, squeezing the boys’ butts, etc. were the girls. Look at the dress codes. Look at the rates of tattoos and piercings, which send a distinct message of rejection of Judeo-Christian virtue (in my opinion). When I was last in Seattle, I was being driven to my hotel, and four girls were walking down the street. One reached between her friend’s legs and vigorously stimulated her privates — in public.
So, where once females kept male animalism, as you put it, in check, now I think that the mainstream view is to join in the fun. This isn’t universal, of course. Many religious women and some others opt out. But they are the odd ones now.

Is he right? I suppose it’s possible that women’s nature is more malleable than I assumed and that, under the influence of publicly conducted indecency from men, many women will cheerfully assimilate.

I have to admit that many of the comments left on our earlier threads by women (or people identifying themselves as women) were almost as crude as the ones left by men. Many had to be unpublished. Yes, I find myself wondering about my original thesis. Not rejecting it, but wondering.
Something else I realize is that the story of Lot and Sodom is an even more illuminating parable than I thought when I wrote about it before. You have the city with its depraved, shameless culture that gives us the term sodomy. You have the father (Lot) who, despite being from Abraham’s household, assimilates its values to the point where he’s willing to give his daughters over to the howling mob. Finally you have Lot’s daughters themselves who, escaping from the city with their father, show us the idea of modesty they learned too well from their residency in Sodom.
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