The Thrill of the Chaste, Chapter 1

Introduction here.

Dawn begins Chapter 1 with a nostalgia trip back to a “more innocent era,” the early 60s. One night after work, she passes a Johnny Rockets at closing, where she hears “Will You [Still] Love Me Tomorrow” coming from the jukebox:

The song brought up bittersweet memories — more bitter than sweet. Like many songs from that more innocent era, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” expresses feelings that most people would be too ashamed to verbalize. There’s something painful about the way its vulnerable heroine leaves herself wide open. She’s not looking for affirmation so much as absolution. All her man has to do is say he loves her — then a night of sin is transformed into a thing of beauty.

Reading that, I really had to wonder if she and I had heard the same song. Let’s start with the title: not sure how a music journalist got it so wrong, but the correct title is “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” That “still” means a lot in the context of the song
— which is clearly a plea by a woman whose boyfriend is trying to get her to have sex and won’t come out and say either that he loves her or that he’ll love her once he gets what he wants:

Tonight you’re mine completely
You give you love so sweetly
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
But will you love me tomorrow?

Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moment’s pleasure?
Can I believe the magic of your sighs?
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Tonight with words unspoken
You say that I’m the only one
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the morning sun?

I’d like to know that your love
Is love I can be sure of
So tell me now, and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow?

That’s not a plea for absolution. That’s a plea for an assurance that she’s not being used and won’t be tossed aside — that his declaration of love isn’t just a way to get her into bed.

There’s nothing in those lyrics about his declaration of love transforming a “night of sin” into a “thing of beauty.” The narrator isn’t trying to convince herself that she’s not sinning; she wants to be sure that she’s not being deceived. She could ask, I suppose, whether he’d love her if she turned him down.

As for the 60s, what Dawn calls “innocence” I call “shame and denial.”

As we’ve discussed before, Americans fuck. A lot. Before marriage. And always have — even in the “innocent” 50s and early 60s. The difference between then and now is that back then, shame and social sanction prevented people from openly admitting that they fucked. In addition, there were real, dire consequences for girls and young women who got pregnant or were simply known to have had sex. You want song lyrics for this? Try “Love Child.” Try “Wake Up, Little Susie.” Hell, for a shotgun wedding, try “The River.”

Aspazia wrote about the mythical innocence of the 1950s recently, and I think she perfectly captures the real reason people pretended that they were good, chaste and pure:

Shame. Shame about sex is what gave shape to the fantasies that we have of the 50s. It wasn’t that people didn’t have sex back then, rather it was that the shame of having others find out was powerful enough to drive you to get an abortion. You might perform it on yourself. You might kill yourself rather than have others find out that you had been having sex. Shame lead to untold numbers of deaths, and probably untold numbers of abortions.

Many pro-lifers believe that abortion rates will drop if you ban it. But, if you pay attention closely to the reality of the 50s–not the fantasy–you will realize that probably nothing is more likely to shoot up abortion rates and female suicide rates than prohibiting abortion, contraception and sex education. The fact is that our own times, which seem to be full of sexual dysfunction, are probably not a whole lot different than the 50s, except in one way: women don’t have to be as ashamed of themselves now. If you find yourself pregnant, you really do have the option of keeping the child, being a single mother, and continuing on in your community. You have that option because shame is no longer the single most important force directing your life.

Shame about sex is what’s driving the narrator of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” She has to know before she has sex with her boyfriend that he loves her, that his love is real, because the consequences of being tossed aside were so great. Reliable birth control either didn’t exist, or was hard to obtain. If she found herself pregnant, she had few options: a shotgun wedding, an illegal and dangerous abortion, or being sent “away,” a practice that is experiencing an unfortunate revival. Even if she escaped pregnancy, if she were found out, she would suffer serious social consequences.

Part of what makes the song so poignant is the delivery, which Amanda argues here was a feature of many of the girl-group songs of the era, transforming lyrics that were essentially male fantasies coming out of women’s mouths into something far more feminist: these singers conveyed that they knew exactly what was going on, and that their choices were limited, but they were trying to get what they could out of the situation.

Back to Dawn. As we know, she blames a whole lot on the sexual revolution of the 60s: now that everyone’s just giving it away, it’s harder to have the kind of leverage that the girl in “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” exerted in order to turn sex into a promise of everlasting love and marriage:

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t transform a sexual encounter — or a string of encounters — into a real relationship.

She does cop to insecurity being the driving force behind her behavior while she was sleeping around, beginning from the time when she was 20, a virgin, and her boyfriend wound up leaving her for a sexually-experienced friend. The conclusion she drew from that was that she could have kept him had she slept with him, so she began to sleep around. It sounds like a fairly grim time, frankly. But somehow she can’t seem to understand that sex isn’t the problem, it’s insecurity, and the feeling that she’s not in control.

Is chastity one way to get control? Undoubtedly. And it may be right for her. But many, many women are in control of their lives and their sexuality and don’t need the kind of rigid rules that Dawn prescribes for everyone.

Sexual freedom made her feel out of control; she likens it to a “drug habit.” It’s not surprising that someone that insecure and out of control would find comfort in Big Daddy Church, with its central authority and rules and prescriptions and ritual. Though it’s pretty creepy that she thinks that women in general need to be protected from their own freedom:

Do you believe that you have the right to own an Uzi? If you’re a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, maybe you do — [after] all, the right to bear arms is in the United States Constitution. But having the right to own one doesn’t mean you necessarily should — and you might not like to live in a place where people tote them around.

Likewise, the pursuit of happiness is in the Constitution [sic*] — and it’s safe to say that many single women in the New York City area where I live believe that part of that right is an active sex life.** Magazines like Cosmopolitan, many TV shows from Oprah on down, as well as films, books, and pop songs urge single women to take the sexual pleasure that’s due them. While love is celebrated, women are told that a satisfying sexual “hookup” does not require love — only respect. If “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” was good enough for Sixties soul diva Aretha Franklin, it’s supposed to be good enough for us too.

The fruits of this accepted single-woman lifestyle resemble those of a drug habit more than a dating paradigm. In a vicious cycle, women feel lonely because they are not loved, so they have casual sex with men who do not love them.

Ugh, where to start? First, what’s so wrong with respect? She seems to think that it’s a poor substitute for love, but, Jeebus. If you’re not so confused or insecure that you think that anyone who blows a kiss your way must be in love with you, you know that respect isn’t something you settle for when you can’t get love. Respect should be a minimum requirement of any kind of sexual encounter, whether or not love is also present.

Then there’s the comparison of sexual freedom to dangerous weapons and drug addiction, and, later, overeating. I’m really not sure what to say about that, it’s so fucked up.

And did it ever occur to her that those men might be lonely, too?

But most insidious is this idea that thinking you have the right to conduct your sex life the way you see fit is somehow an abuse of freedoms. She’s not the first one to float this idea recently — Dinesh D’Souza explicitly argues in his new book that the sexual liberation of women is an “abuse of freedom” that just invites terrorists to attack us, and Nancy “Really! I’m an honorary guy!” Levant thinks that women have gotten a little too used to this whole freedom-and-voting thing, which is taking them away from their biological imperatives. And that doesn’t even count all the women writing lately about how women’s suffrage was a bad idea.

Sorry, Dawn. Just because you can’t handle your own freedom doesn’t mean I have to give up mine.

____________
* Actually, it’s in the Declaration of Independence.

** Because only New York women fuck, yanno. Once you leave the five boroughs, women reproduce by parthenogenesis. Well, maybe in Staten Island, too.


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35 Responses to The Thrill of the Chaste, Chapter 1

  1. Em says:

    She’s down on respect b/c in the conservative interpretation of gender roles, men need/want respect and women need/want love. It’s fucked; check out FOTF’s site for more. They had plenty of articles about it as recently as last year.

  2. MikeEss says:

    Since Carole King, who co-wrote “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” with Gerry Goffin, is very much alive it would be interesting to have her comment on Dawn Eden’s abuse of her song.

    I always got the same take on the song you did. Later songs like “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” make it clear that she’s no prude, wallowing in the shame of her own sensuality, but rather a woman expressing the joy of her passions.

    Dawn Eden needs help…

  3. And then you can go back to the 20s and 30s with Sophie Tucker singing, “Neglected girls shouldn’t worry/That’s what god made sailors for!” or Memphis Minnie’s “Bumblebee Blues.” Of course cherry-picking meaning isn’t new. Manet, Toulouse Lautrec, and Nin were scandalous for revealing details about sexuality that had been kept in the closet long before the 60s. Mae West wrote a play that resulted in a law being passed banning discussion of homosexuality from the stage.

    Some conservatives even want to go back to that double-standard. The problem is not directly with porn, but with the fact that it’s no longer bought by secretive men in plain paper bags and disreputable stores.

    It seems like every generation thinks it invented sex, and needs to stand fast against sexual immorality.

    The fruits of this accepted single-woman lifestyle resemble those of a drug habit more than a dating paradigm. In a vicious cycle, women feel lonely because they are not loved, so they have casual sex with men who do not love them.

    Ohh, mild trigger there which makes sense in a way. Former addicts are frequently the most sanctimonious about other people’s behaviors.

    No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t transform a sexual encounter — or a string of encounters — into a real relationship.

    And I’m thinking, well duh! I actually went through a period of time where I didn’t have sex or seek sexual relationships for many of the reasons she describes. Of course, I met my current partner, we ended up having sex on the second date, and have been together for 13 years. It surprises me that anybody these days really thinks that sex will transform a relationship, or is equivalent no love or respect. For that matter, I don’t believe that a “real relationship” necessarily means that real love and respect exists.

  4. Molly says:

    This is only tangentially related to your post, but Susan J. Douglas discusses the importance of the Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (the title of which Dawn Eden got right, as much as I hate to agree with her) to the social evolution of what it means to be a woman in her book Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. Although the lyrics to the song are vaguely horrifying by a contemporary feminist analysis, in December of 1960, when “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” hit number 1, it represented a distinct departure from the more traditional songs that had been popular previously, songs in which rebelliousness and sexual desire were only acceptable for boys. Douglas writes:

    “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” was about a traditional female topic, love, but it was also about female longing and desire, including sexual desire. And, most important, it was about having a choice. For these girls, the decisioin to have sex was now a choice, and this was new. This was, in fact, revolutionary. Girl group music gave expression to our struggles with the possibilities and dangers of the Sexual Revolution.

    I know this post was focused on Dawn Eden’s book rather than the Shirelles’ song, but I just wanted to offer another perspective on the social significance of the song and also recommend Susan Douglas’ book to anyone interested in a very readable analysis of how the mass media and popular culture have shaped both our identities as women and the trajectory of our feminism over the years.

  5. Mnemosyne says:

    Then there’s the comparison of sexual freedom to dangerous weapons and drug addiction, and, later, overeating.

    Frankly, I do think that there’s a close relationship between sexual compulsion and food/overeating compulsions. In this culture, food IS sex (Better Than Sex Cake, anyone?), and you prove your mastery over all of your appetites by being model-thin and prudish. There’s no one more dangerous in this culture than an overweight woman who wants sex.

    Not to mention that women who were sexually abused or molested as children frequently gain weight as a coping mechanism to try and make themselves less attractive to other potential abusers. I’ve seen some women have a VERY hard time handling the sudden upsurge in male attention that they get when they lose even a few pounds — it’s very threatening to them because of their backgrounds.

  6. Or for that matter, if we are going to dissect pop music for hints about changing sexual mores, why not look at Joni Mitchel’s observations as someone who can actually remember the early 60s. “Come In From the Cold” strikes me as incredibly erotic for describing the depths of sexual desire, and realistic for describing the ambiguities of sexual relationships.

  7. Kim says:

    I never understand how anybody could ever buy that whole “time of innocence” crap. People have sex. They always have. It’s fun. It propogates the species. It’s good stuff. People who were alive in the 50’s MUST remember they were hornballs too.

    And anyway, what the hell is so innocent about a time in which blacks could be lynched, raped or anything else under the sun without anyone batting an eyelash? People are always pointing to the past and sighing that it was SOOOO much better then: I mean, I admit to liking the idea of men walking around in suits all the time (rawr!), but let us remember that the world was more fucked up then in certain ways than it is now.

  8. Peter says:

    zuzu, I agree with your reading of the meaning of the song, and it never occurred to me before that there COULD be another reading of it.

    I still think it’s the right way to look at it.

    But it was SO bizarre that I stared at the lyrics for a while to see if there was ANY way to read it as a woman looking for absolution rather than for reassurance, and it struck me that there really is.

    Look at just the first two verses. They could easily be being sung by someone who knows that she is using an innocent, genuinely loving partner (the text is utterly gender neutral), and wonders if he will figure out he is being used.

    The third and fourth verses are harder to justify, unless “But will my heart be broken/When the night meets the morning sun?/I’d like to know that your love/Is love I can be sure of” means, in essence, “my happiness is so invested in being able to use you, even though I don’t love you, that it would break my heart if you caught on.”

    So, yes, the song could be about a woman seeking absolution by being reassured that her lover will still love her, but only if we believe she is some sort of sociopath who is using her partner and feels sick and dirty about it, who feels no love at all, and is just looking for the reassurance that her fun isn’t going to stop.

    Which, sadly, is apparently Dawn’s worldview, that casual sex is always a sociopath’s game. But why getting the reassurance would turn that sort of sick game into “a thing of beauty” evades me.

    No, you (and every other human being on the planet who ever heard the song) have it right. It would take one hell of a whacked out delivery and video to shift the meaning to anything resembling what she describes (Some sort of neo-punk version, with a video of a Mrs. Robinson-type predator “using” an innocent teen, perhaps?) Yikes.

  9. Isabel says:

    Molly: I love Susan Douglas! Badass media-critic feminist extraordinaire. We had to read Where The Girls Are for my 11th-grade contemporary US history elective (a few weeks before we watched Hard Day’s Night as homework and spent four days straight listening to the Byrds, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan–why, yes, it WAS the greatest class ever, why do you ask?) I actually wrote a paper for that class on 60s love songs. My personal favorite nearing-subversiveness 60s girl-group song was the Chinelle’s “He’s So Fine.” Sure, they were only hoping he’d make a move, never dreaming of making one themselves, but they were acknowledging that women, too, can judge men on sexual attractiveness and desire them for that very trait alone! Plus, a beat you can dance awkwardly to!

    On another random music note, “Will You [Still?] Love Me Tomorrow” always makes me think of a truly disturbing Baby-Sitters Club Mystery I read when I was younger.

    Also: I can’t add anything to zuzu’s analysis, so I’m gonna get petty and say: Dawn Eden is a terrible writer. God, at least Caitlin Flanegan, from the excerpts I’ve read, can put a decent-sounding sentence together. I’m not gonna rag on her incessantly for not knowing where “pursuit of happiness” comes from–most Americans probably don’t, never having read either document in question, and the vast majority certainly never had a 7th grade history teacher who made them memorize the Preambles to both (and the first two paragraphs of the Gettysburg Address, though I liked it so much I did the whole thing)–but I am gonna rag on the editor who really let the ball drop with that one. Was it really that hard just to check? You probably could have freaking Wiki’d it.

  10. DAS says:

    it’s insecurity, and the feeling that she’s not in control.

    Is chastity one way to get control? Undoubtedly. And it may be right for her.

    My general experience in talking with righty-tighties is that they have serious issues with self-control and the only way they can control themselves is if some authority (the Bible, their mother, even a trusted friend) tells them to abstain. And even moderation is un-manageable for them: I know a righty-tighty who is not at all addicted to alcohol in the sense that he can go forever without having a drop nor does he ever drink to excess, but he cannot have one drink: if he has a drink, he has to have 2 or 3.

    Interestingly, many righty-tighties also view addiction and loss of control as a serious moral failing. Hmmm …

  11. DAS says:

    No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t transform a sexual encounter — or a string of encounters — into a real relationship.

    Just an ad hominem (or maybe ad femineme would be the appropriate term here): Dawn Eden strikes me that she was about as desparate and needy as I was when I was in college and my dating life was going no-where in spite of me being a really Nice Guy(R). And speaking from experience, being desparate to have a relationship is no way to actually end up in one (c.f. Martin Buber, Ich und Du for a theology based on a related observation), but rather drives potential mates away.

    Of course, and I guess I am still a Nice Guy(R) for saying this, I do find it odd that a Nice Guy(R) like I was in college couldn’t get any action, but a Nice Gal(R) like Dawn Eden got plenty, in spite of the fact that she seems to have exuded exactly the air of desparation that drives people away … I guess I should quite before this Niebelung gets mistaken for a troll ;)

  12. Magis says:

    There’ll be no strings to bind your hands
    not if my love can’t bind your heart.
    And there’s no need to take a stand
    for it was I who chose to start.
    I see no need to take me home,
    I’m old enough to face the dawn.

    Just call me angel of the morning angel
    just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby.
    Just call me angel of the morning ANGEL
    then slowly turn away from me.

    Maybe the sun’s light will be dim
    and it won’t matter anyhow.
    If morning’s echo says we’ve sinned,
    well, it was what I wanted now.
    And if we’re the victims of the night,
    I won’t be blinded by light.

    Just call me angel of the morning angel
    Just call me angel of the morning ANGEL
    then slowly turn away,
    I won’t beg you to stay with me
    through the tears of the day,
    of the years, baby baby baby.
    Just call me angel of the morning ANGEL
    just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby.

    Merrillee Ruch

  13. Ailei says:

    My general experience in talking with righty-tighties is that they have serious issues with self-control and the only way they can control themselves is if some authority (the Bible, their mother, even a trusted friend) tells them to abstain.

    Ah, the old external versus internal morality thing. They only do what’s ‘right’ because they’re afraid of God/Mom/Their Peers punishing them for doing ‘wrong’. The mark of the intellectually immature. It’s so much harder to do the right thing because YOU know in your heart that it’s wrong. It’s so much trickier to judge situations and craft a moral response that’s appropriate based on your own inner compass.

    Sorry. Sore subject right there.

  14. Zuzu, thanks for reading this so I don’t have too. I don’t think there’s enough brain-soap in the world to wash away the icky.

    Former addicts are frequently the most sanctimonious about other people’s behaviors.

    I think that perfectly sums up Dawn’s need to push her choices on to everyone else. If chastity works for her, fine – but why try to extend it out to Everywoman as though it’s some kind of revealed truth, instead of telling her story and hoping that people will be inspired to follow her example? I’d have had much more sympathy with that and found it much less patronising. Oh yeah, because in order to get a book deal, you have to rag on women’s sexual choices…

  15. zuzu says:

    the Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (the title of which Dawn Eden got right, as much as I hate to agree with her)

    Oh, rats. But at least I got her on the Declaration of Independence. Which is much less satisfying, since it’s not her area of expertise.

  16. Hope you don’t mind if I reproduce that fucking novel I wrote you as a post. ;) I realized after I hit “send” that I have a blog and don’t have to do the nerd thing of getting like all wordy when someone asks me my opinion on my nerd love.

  17. zuzu says:

    Hope you don’t mind if I reproduce that fucking novel I wrote you as a post.

    Not at all. I feel bad I didn’t use more of it.

  18. Roxanne says:

    I was conceived out of wedlock in 1962 and my mother hated Elvis.

  19. Kyso K says:

    Because only New York women fuck, yanno.

    Maybe NY women are the only ones fucking in the pursuit of happiness. I know some bored teenage girls in BFE, OH who would love to have motives that lofty. Ah, to be a big city girl-even the promiscuity is more noble and exciting, just like on TV.

  20. pbg says:

    Who says the couple in the song aren’t married?

  21. CatStaff says:

    It’s funny, but I thought of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” as soon as I started reading your post. What Dawn appears to overlook is the very ending of the song, where, having been leveraged by sex into marrying the female and swearing that he would love her until the end of time, the male half of the sketch is “praying for the end of time, so [he] can end his time with [her].”

    Think about it, Dawn, what would you really rather have? A relatively happy life on your own, nurturing yourself, if that’s what it comes to, or achieving the Holy Grail of marriage any way you could and having your husband end up loathing you to the point that he’s looking forward to death just to get away from you?

    C’mon, girl, wise up and start loving yourself a little. Sheesh. Trust me, babe, there’s not a man alive who can make up with his love for whatever’s lacking in someone who doesn’t love herself first.

  22. zuzu says:

    Why would you need to get assurances that your husband will love you the next day if you sleep with him when you’re already married?

  23. Kyso K says:

    Why would you need to get assurances that your husband will love you the next day if you sleep with him when you’re already married?

    For that matter, why do you care? You’re married, he’s stuck, you’ve won. Everything else is gravy.

  24. pbg says:

    Why would you need to get assurances that your husband will love you the next day if you sleep with him when you’re already married?

    because love dies?

  25. CatStaff says:

    Oh, and Dawn, I forgot to mention that I have two friends, married to lovely men who died 6 and 8 weeks, respectively, after the weddings.

    There are no guarantees. Life’s a twisting stream, and sometimes the best thing to do is just relax and enjoy the ride.

  26. tara says:

    zuzu, you’re amazing. such a perceptive, thorough deconstruction of dawn’s faulty argument. this is so powerful.

  27. Christopher says:

    If I can go off on a tangent, this got me thinking of how how we rarely think about or acknowledge the fact that, when we apply adjectives to them, terms like “era” or “generation” become inherently reductive.

    For example, dawn characterises the early sixties as “innocent”.

    But it seems to me that for, say, a black or gay person, the early 60s would be a time not of innocence, but of terror and upheval; On the one hand, civil rights groups were gaining more and more influence; on the other, everyday living was still fraught with peril, and artistic and political expression about the two groups was highly charged, and often overtly, calculatingly hostile.

    Or, to put it bluntly, how innocent are segregated drinking fountains?

    At the same time, though, the early 60s probably were a more innocent time, from the perspective of white males; introspection about your place in the world was fairly unnecesary, and you could remain ignorant of a number of complexities in the world.

    In order to call an era “innocent” you are making an implicit judgement about whose views and actions shape the character of the time, and who can be excluded as non-entities.

  28. LiberalCatholicGirl says:

    God, I think of some of the stories my aunts tell about their high school days in the late 50s early 60s. Innocent my ass; they make SATC look like a Catholic grade school.

    My grandma’s both have deliciously racy stories about their premarital days.

    Great-grandparents had their first baby out of wedlock after a hot fling.

    Great aunt had 3 abortions to faciliate her Roaring Twenties lifestyle.

    Innocent? Fuck, all the older women in my family think we young ‘uns are prudes!

  29. jfpbookworm says:

    Christopher: the reason the early 60s are “innocent” is because baby boomers write the histories. I’ve seen the year range for the boomers as 1945-1957; this would make them anywhere from 3 to 15 in the early 60s. So of course they’re going to see the 60s as a more “innocent” time – not because there was less sex out there, but because they were kids. The modern era, I think, seems more sexual because we’re looking at it from an adult perspective, and the kids who think it’s more “innocent” haven’t grown up and found their own voices yet.

    Dawn Eden, incidentally, wasn’t even born at this time, which means she’s basing her understanding of the time on pop songs and secondhand accounts.

  30. Tim says:

    Dawn is a very sad specimen. What strikes me about her is her complete lack of self-respect/esteem/confidence, which has led her into situations where she tries soooo hard for fleeting approval. That goes for her wild days, and it goes with her courting of the religious right and her conversion to Catholicism. What started me on this thought was my annoyance at how she cannot write a single headline or title or subhead without making it a pun or a play on some cliche. To me, this means she has no confidence in her own words.

  31. Susan says:

    Tim: she has no confidence in her own words

    Well, with good reason:

    Likewise, the pursuit of happiness is in the Constitution [sic*]

    If she doesn’t even fact-check the obvious stuff, why should anyone listen to a word she says?

  32. Lesley says:

    What started me on this thought was my annoyance at how she cannot write a single headline or title or subhead without making it a pun or a play on some cliche. To me, this means she has no confidence in her own words.

    In this case, that particular thing should be read as nothing more than the fact that she used to write headlines for the New York Post.

  33. And ok, I’ll throw the question out here. Is there anyone who is not an emotional masochist who would consider this song as something other than a tragedy? I suspect that many feminists would find it problematic for the unrequited emotional needs and power imbalance. A classic sex-positive like me would say, “Ok, let’s chill out and talk about the relationship.” (We also would not take that word “love” for granted without some discussion.) And I’m not going to risk trying to characterize how chastity advocates would approach it.

  34. A classic sex-positive like me would say, “Ok, let’s chill out and talk about the relationship.”

    Somehow, I just can’t see that as a pop music lyric :-).

  35. Ismone says:

    Methinks we should send her that Fugees song “That Thing”:

    (“Baby girl, respect is just a minimum”)

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