The XX Factor

Bait and “The Switch”

I am Jennifer Aniston’s biggest un-fan, so I have no desire whatsoever to endure 100 minutes of her ditziness in The Switch . But Amanda’s unilateral assertion regarding social conservatism felt like it shouldn’t go unexplored. Amanda, you argue that if there’s “one belief that drives social conservatism with regard to female sexuality, it’s that women can’t make good choices, and so their choices have to be made for them.” I would vehemently disagree that conservatives think women are incapable of making a good choices or even want to make your choice for you-but I will agree 100 percent that the essence of social conservatism is that there is such a thing as a “good” choice.

It’s also the best explanation I have for the increasing frustration social conservatives have been expressing lately-from Dr. Laura to Sarah Palin to Pamela Geller -who want to argue over the definition of what is “best” for society but can’t start a debate with liberals who refuse to acknowledge that such a collective thing could exist, even at the expense of what may benefit and build community as a whole. Every debate seems to end with “You’ve offended me” or “Who are you tell me I’m wrong?” As if that should stop the presses. And in the case of female sexuality, it’s hard for me to see how the majority of women and children are the winners in an individualistic culture that discourages traditional marriage, encourages promiscuity and divorce, and disparages feminity. What’s best for the whole is a debate worth having, not silencing with self-preference as the end-all for every argument.

So if nothing else, at least The Switch is willing to at least take a head-on look at the reality of the consequences of our individualistic pursuit of happiness and take a stab at the antidote. Hopefully it can inspire its audience to do the same.