Is Women’s Liberation the Ultimate Male Fantasy?

I imagine that being an adolescent was largely the same for most people growing up in the 1960s: hanging out with your friends, and in hushed voices, and nervous laughter, telling dirty jokes, repeating things you heard from older kids, trying desperately to act as if you were worldly enough to know what it all meant.

I remember, among jokes that were laughable in their naivety, were the truisms that were repeated. A common one was “The Five Fs” – the Ultimate Male Fantasy.

What was sought by most females of the day was a relationship. A girl wanted to be wooed and romanced. She wanted to feel special, loved, cared-for, and desirable as a person. She was looking for a partner: someone who wanted to raise a family with her, and love and cherish her as they grew old together.

This seemed like an awful lot of work for boys who really only wanted sex.

This was codified in The Five Fs.

What boys wanted was frequent, spontaneous, unlimited, sex without any commitment or responsibility. Anything you wanted to do, any time, any where, with anyone.

The Birth of Women’s Liberation

Three great sweeping changes in society heralded-in Women’s Liberation.

The first was a technology revolution that included rapid, easy cooking, cleaning, and maintenance. All the things that had required long, hard days of labor could now be done in hours or even minute. The same technology that enhanced the home life also made work more efficient. Productivity soared, along with wages, and leisure time. More work in a shorter time cause business to flourish. Growth required more workers, and that meant women in the workplace.

Second, pregnancy had always been the constraining fear for women. Getting “knocked-up” ended jobs, limited or eliminated prospects for marriage, and often resulted in being shunned and ostracized by your family and community. The girl had to enforce birth control, and boys didn’t like it.

Chemical birth control changed all that. “No glove, no love” gave way to “free love, baby!” One pill a day, and she didn’t have to think about it.

Third, terminating pregnancies was frowned on by society. It was long held that boys enjoyed sex, but girls didn’t. “Good girls don’t do it” was a common expression. Good girls would only get pregnant if married, so abortion was considered something only loose women needed.

Cheap, effective birth control let out a secret: women love sex, too. Broad, rapid changes in sexual behavior, and an openness in discussing sex convinced society, however grudgingly, that abortion was needed.

For the average woman, this also meant she didn’t even have to think about “not having to think about” sex. Forgot your pill? Birth control didn’t work? No problem.

The fear of pregnancy was gone.

Women’s Liberation was born. A woman didn’t need a partnership any more. She could work a job, make her own money, live where and how she wanted, and had the backing of technology to help with every task.

She could now have sex without fear or constraint. The metropolitan woman lived on her own and brought men home for her pleasure. She was free to experiment, and the new social norm actively encouraged it. It may not be what good girls did, but the liberated ones went after it with intensity.

507959_70612257Today, there is no off-limit sex for women. Teen girls willingly and excitedly do the kinds of sex acts that a man couldn’t even pay a prostitute for five decades ago.

A recent survey of college girls showed a rapidly growing trend in “hooking up” – casual sex, often with a one-time person – and a significant decrease in those looking for serious commitments and relationships.

And so we return to the Five Fs:

  • Find them,
  • Feel them,
  • Finger them,
  • F*** them, and
  • Forget them.

Frequent, spontaneous, unlimited, sex. Anything you wanted to do, any time, any where, with anyone. No commitment. No responsibility.

What is ironic is the striking resemblance between today’s “Women’s Liberation” and “The Ultimate Male Fantasy.”

I ask the liberated women among us: do you really feel liberated? Is your life happier, more fulfilling, more satisfying? Do you have the comfort of a loving, long-term relationship?

Does this lifestyle meet a deeper need, or do you run the risk of becoming the female equivalent of the old, pudgy guy in the polyester shirt unbuttoned to his wast, with the hairy chest and gold chains, who sits in a bar bragging about his conquests, desperately hoping for one more?

I understand that sex is great. Its fun. It feels good. But I’m not asking about sex. I’m asking: is what has become “normal” for women today, really normal? When not in the throws of passion, is this the life you had always wanted and imagined, or do you feel like you are living out someone else’s fantasy?


Author: Nick Batik (the Cowboy Buddhist)

I was raised a Quaker and later converted to Buddhism around the time I met His Holiness The Dalai Lama in 1981. Along with my parents and family, I have been active in civil rights and women's rights since the 1960s. I am the product of strong women – two grandmothers who owned and ran businesses in an era when women did not own or run businesses. One of whom who was a crippled, non-english speaking immigrant, in a time and place where women couldn’t vote or own property, immigrants were feared and hated, and there were no laws, protections, or support of any kind for the handicapped. Yet, despite all this, she built a business that was franchised on three continents. I have a sister who is a medical doctor, and one who worked the North Sea oil rigs. I have traveled the world, and currently live in Texas.

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