Mohler writes about Helen Gurley Brown, sexual revolution at The Atlantic

Communications Staff — August 23, 2012

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. published an essay about Helen Gurley Brown and her contribution to the sexual revolution at The Atlantic website, Aug. 23. Brown, an author and longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, died Aug. 13.

In his essay, “Why the Sexual Revolution Needed a Sexual Revolutionary,” Mohler credits Brown as a major player in the onset of the U.S. sexual revolution of the 1960s.

“When Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl hit the bookstores in 1962, it lit a firestorm of controversy,” he writes. “… [She] dared to scandalize the nation, virtually inventing the ‘single girl’ as a cultural category. Brown urged young women to see themselves as empowered by sex, money, and men — but without any need for the traditional commitment to marriage.”

The sexual revolution, according to Mohler, was not an accident. Rather, like any revolution, the actions of an aggregate of individuals contribute to a culture shift over time. In the case of Brown, her persistently provocative writings significantly affected an entire generation.

“Since 1960 we have experienced a moral revolution that has transformed every dimension of American life, and the death of Helen Gurley Brown is a reminder that the sexual revolution did not happen by accident,” Mohler writes. “Like all revolutions, this one required moral revolutionaries.”

He concludes:

She was a living contradiction, who argued that being the single girl was the ideal, but then married; and that married men were fair game for adulterous affairs, but then drew the line at her husband.

The lesson for those who, like me, believe that the sexual revolution represents a moral disaster is that such moral revolutions come like a great tidal surge, led by revolutionaries willing to scandalize mainstream culture, confident that their controversial ideas will one day move into the cultural mainstream. Helen Gurley Brown lived long enough to see it all happen, to mark the 50th anniversary of Sex and the Single Girl and to know that she had played a major role in one of the most significant cultural transformations in human history.

Mohler’s full article is available at The Atlantic website: here.

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