The response to the piece was far more critical than I expected. Its feedback section quickly overflowed with righteous indignation. The blogosphere released a storm of negative, judgmental analysis of me and my boyfriend.I agree with Miss Beech that this criticism is most unfair. How is her relationship with her Sugar Daddy less respectable than any of her classmates, routinely giving it up for some shaggy Teke with chin pubes?
Sin is sin, and despite the evaporation of social outrage toward non-marital sex, sinners still feel the need to justify their sin by making invidious comparisons to the sins of others. In Miss Beech's case, she is involved with a man who is (a) older and (b) rich, and with whom she makes no pretense of being in "love." Horror!
You see that Miss Beech's critics have substituted their own moral standard for God's moral standard. Rather than being shocked at people having sex outside marriage -- they are not puritanical prudes, you see -- they instead are shocked that a young woman would become involved with a man a dozen years her senior who lavishes her with gifts. What offends them, I perceive, is the intrinsic inequality of a relationship in which Miss Beech is content to be dependent on her lover's generosity.
The critics' outrage would not be quelled if Miss Beech became Mrs. Sugar Daddy. To the modern egalitarian mind, even marriage cannot legitimate such a relationship. True love, the modern believes, requires an approximate equality between the lovers. And even where true love is not a consideration, the presumption of equality remains. Miss Beech might go off for a holiday in Cancun, get drunk in a bar and hook up for a one-nighter with another college student, and her critics would be silent, because the two partners are equal. Yet if she flies off to Cancun at the expense of a 30-something businessman, this is unforgiveable, as the partnership is clearly unequal.
Equality is the new righteousness, and inequality the new sin, and Miss Beech's critics are a lot of latter-day secular Pharisees.