Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Randian Majesty of Sex?

There’s something just plain weird about this commentary by Ilana Mercer in the WorldNutDaily. She is discussing a couple of books, one entitled Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, and one entitled The Hijacking of a Philosophy: Homosexuals vs. Ayn Rand’s Objectivism by Reginald Firehammer (theres a porn star name if ever I’ve seen one). In particular, she is discussing the foreword to the first book, written by Lindsay Perigo, in which he pledges to challenge Ayn Rand’s “outrageous view” of homosexuality “in the name of objectivism”. Now, I have read none of these books and do not intend to, primarily because I simply don’t care what Ayn Rand thinks about homosexuality, or any other type of sexuality for that matter. As a small “l” libertarian who isn’t much of a fan of Rand, I’ve long thought that the obsessive fawning over her work by so many of her followers was more akin to a cult than than a serious intellectual movement. There is, after all, a reason so many of her followers are referred to as Randroids.

Mercer gives the following description of Rand’s views on the subject:

Rand, the Grand Dame of modern libertarianism, held that psychological immorality is at the root of homosexuality. She argued that homosexuality demonstrated “psychological flaws, corruptions, errors, or unfortunate premises.” While she declared that the government has no right to prohibit consenting sexual acts between adults, Rand made it clear that she found homosexuality personally repugnant.

To which I would be inclined merely to react with a shrug. It just seems to provide me with more support for my contention that Ayn Rand is little more than Marge Schott with a library card. But why on earth should I care? Well, Ilana Mercer tells me why I should care:

I might be mistaken, but I fear that what has emerged from Sciabarra’s many fascinating personal accounts is a liberal and permissive narrative about sexuality that serves to denude sex of its Randian majesty and meaning.

Okay, I just have to intervene here, if only because, unlike many of Rand’s more fervent followers, I’ve actually had sex. And I can assure you that if, during sex (or before or after sex for that matter), you have any thoughts whatsoever about Ayn Rand, you are entirely missing the point of the whole exercise (and for men, it’s almost a certainty that you would lose your erection regardless). Good lord, can we please find some middle ground between those who think sex is a sport or a political statement and those who think we must be careful not to diminish sex’s “Randian grandeur and meaning”? How about sex as an expression of caring in a genuine relationship, regardless of the genders involved? I know it sounds hokey and all, but it’s a damn sight better than over-intellectualizing it or trivializing it the way the two sides in this silly little objectivist debate seem to insist upon.

Comments

  1. #1 Tadlow Windsor II
    July 12, 2004

    Hence the adjective randy, I’m sure.

  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    July 12, 2004

    Ya know, I almost went there when I wrote it but decided against it. LOL

  3. #3 kevin
    July 12, 2004

    I could be mistaken, be weren’t people having sex before Ayn Rand wrote any books? How do the Randroids account for that?

  4. #4 ~DS~
    July 12, 2004

    Ed said: (and for men, it’s almost a certainty that you would lose your erection regardless)

    ROFL. Damn that was vicious!

  5. #5 Marcus Good
    July 13, 2004

    Hmm. This bears consideration.

    I think, in the interest of science, I need to test these theories.

    Would all willing female scientists please step forward?

    Also, in order to assure ‘quality control’, repetitions will be needed.

  6. #6 John Wilkins
    July 13, 2004

    You’ve had sex? What’s it like? [/Python]

  7. #7 Ed Brayton
    July 14, 2004

    LOL John. “Wink wink, nudge nudge”.