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By Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine, April 27, 2020
Anthony Esolen, a contributing editor at Crisis, is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts. …
A few years ago, in Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity, I wrote that the recognition of same-sex pseudogamous relations—the acceptance of a lie, that a man can in fact mate with another man, or a woman with a woman—would make it even harder than it already is for us to see that man is made for woman and woman for man, and that the sexes make sense as they are, only in relation to one another. Of course, I did not mean that the marriage rate, already appallingly low, would sink to nothing. Nor did I mean that the divorce rate, which has leveled off at an appallingly high rate, would rise. It is hard to imagine those two rates taken together being much worse than they are now. In that one regard, the danger I saw was not that we would fall off a cliff, but that having fallen most of the way down, we would hobble ourselves besides, and not be able to rise and climb. And perhaps, even at that, I am underestimating the distance between the crumbly ledge where we are huddled and the absolute bottom of the abyss.
In any case, I meant that the ordinary sense of being-for-the-other in a general way would be lost. Men and women would simply not know what to make of each other. We need to throw a bridge, I wrote, over “a dangerous divide, that which separates two groups of human beings who seldom understand one another, whose bodies and psyches are so markedly different, who try to love one another, and so often fail, yet who try again for all that.” Looking on events since then, I might say that the divide has cracked open wide and now appears as a chasm no one can cross. Women speak of “toxic masculinity” in a breezy and utterly unselfconscious way, as if it were what everybody simply knows about, just as everybody used to know contemptuous things about other groups of human beings; and the “good” male is to the ordinary item rather as Uncle Tom was to Nat Turner. Men retreat into resentment, a celibacy without chastity, and into the hatred and impersonality and loneliness that sex-robots and pornography imply. ….