The Repressive Sentimentalism of David Brooks

SEXTER!David Brooks is off to the sexting races today. He is claiming, in essence, that since we kids today do not date within the circles of our church socials and Maypole parties or whatever, and that we have no “social scripts” for getting sex and romance, and so bad things happen, and we are all sexting each other and constantly trading up for better sex parties and getting all degraded. This has some truth to it! There’s two places where he goes hideously wrong. For starters: “Over the past few decades, these social scripts became obsolete. They didn’t fit the post-feminist era.” Yeah, your complaint about the uses of technology by no means had to be hung on feminism! His other huge mistake is one of omission. His repressive nostalgia (WELL?) for what he calls the “‘Happy Days’ era” is a seriously rejiggered recollection, which he is certainly old enough to have, about a society in which one could not discuss, say, abortion, STDs, cancer, divorce, infidelity, sex roles, social roles or homosexuality. (So maybe it is feminism’s fault! How dare they end the silence!) Would we trade all the gross and misguided New York mag sex diary nihilism in the world for a return to socially-enforced silence? Actually hell no!