The Seen and the Unseen in Our Social Liberation

Dalrymple has two pieces in the Library of Law and Liberty, a new venue for his work. The first is a criticism of a book review that he says exposes the reviewer’s immoderate views on marriage before women’s liberation. He highlights the recent case of one Shane Jenkin, an Englishman who attacked and nearly killed his girlfriend, and imagines the criticisms one might receive if one made similar criticisms about modern sexual relations, post-women’s lib, from that isolated case:
If someone were to take the case of Shane Jenkin… as being emblematic of relationships between men and women in our time, he or she would almost certainly be accused immediately of golden-ageism: that is to say, the unwarranted and rather naïve belief that at some time in the recent past things were so much better that such terrible things were never done by men to women. He or she would be accused of wanting to return to that supposedly golden age, either openly or surreptitiously, of wanting to roll back the reforms of, say, the past half century.
But of course the reviewer of the book by Forester is guilty of a mirror-image attitude, that until those reforms all was horribly violent and repressive from the woman’s point of view. Thanks to those reforms, nothing like it is known today. This is not the historiography of the golden-age, but of the leaden-age.

One thought on “The Seen and the Unseen in Our Social Liberation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.