Writing for CNN on May 8 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Pill, 69-year-old sex symbol Raquel Welch had surprising reflections on the sexual revolution she helped create. I wouldn't be surprised to learn Welch is pro-life, given one of her statements.
I appreciate Welch's honesty, I'm sure in face of anticipated attacks which she - surprise - indeed got from the Left in the comments section [ex: "Wow, even a hot free-wheeling millionaire can end up a grumpy old person."] Her piece was all good, but here are key excerpts...
Margaret Sanger opened the 1st American family-planning clinic in 1916, and nothing would be the same again. Since then the growing proliferation of birth control methods has had an awesome effect on both sexes and led to a sea change in moral values....
And as I've grown older over the past 5 decades - from 1960 to 2010 - and lived through this revolutionary period in female sexuality, I've seen how it has altered American society - for better or worse....
During my pregnancy, I came to realize that this process was not about me. I was just a spectator to the metamorphosis that was happening inside my womb so that another life could be born. It came down to an act of self-sacrifice, especially for me, as a woman....
Later, I would strike out on my own, with my little ones, as a single mother to pursue a career in the movies. It was far from ideal, but my children didn't impede my progress. They grounded me in reality and forced me into an early maturity. I should add that having 2 babies didn't destroy my figure.
But if I'd had a different attitude about sex, conception and responsibility, things would have been very different.
One significant, and enduring, effect of The Pill on female sexual attitudes during the 60's, was: "Now we can have sex anytime we want, without the consequences. Hallelujah, let's party!"
It remains this way. These days, nobody seems able to "keep it in their pants" or honor a commitment! Raising the question: Is marriage still a viable option? I'm ashamed to admit that I myself have been married 4 times, and yet I still feel that it is the cornerstone of civilization, an essential institution that stabilizes society, provides a sanctuary for children and saves us from anarchy.
In stark contrast, a lack of sexual inhibitions, or as some call it, "sexual freedom," has taken the caution and discernment out of choosing a sexual partner, which used to be the equivalent of choosing a life partner. Without a commitment, the trust and loyalty between couples of childbearing age is missing, and obviously leads to incidents of infidelity. No one seems immune.
As a result of the example set by their elders, by the 1990s teenage sexual promiscuity - or hooking up - with multiple partners had become a common occurrence. Many of my friends who were parents of teenagers sat in stunned silence several years ago when it came to light that oral sex had become a popular practice among adolescent girls in middle schools across the country.
The 13-year-old daughter of one such friend freely admitted to performing fellatio on several boys at school on a regular basis. "Aw come on, Mom. It's no big deal. Everyone is doing it," she said. Apparently, since it's not the act of intercourse, kids don't count it as sex. Can any sane person fail to make a judgment call about that?
Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it's gotta be pretty bad. In fact, it's precisely because of the sexy image I've had that it's important for me to speak up and say: Come on girls! Time to pull up our socks! We're capable of so much better.
Wow, her beauty on the inside is catching up with the beauty on the outside! She's still a babe!Posted by: Brad Mattes at May 11, 2010 10:14 AM
Great article. I was thinking that in counseling pregnant women, when I ask if marriage to the birth father is a possibly, the answer is usually OH NO, I wouldn't want to marry him...but they laid down and made a baby with a guy they wouldn't consider for marriage...think about that. Sex has become so cheap.Posted by: Susie at May 11, 2010 10:15 AM
Wow. That was excellent!Posted by: bethany at May 11, 2010 10:16 AM
It appears she understands commitment for life is sacrificial for both men and women.
And if the photo up top is recent - she's aging quite gracefully - both inside and out.Posted by: Chris Arsenault at May 11, 2010 10:17 AM
Susie, what a different world we would live in if everyone followed the simple mantra not to sleep with someone they wouldn't want to raise a child with.Posted by: Lauren at May 11, 2010 10:27 AM
I agree Susie.Posted by: angel at May 11, 2010 10:29 AM
Seriously? Raquel Welch seriously wrote this?
I am stunned. Pleasantly stunned. That was excellent.Posted by: Kelli at May 11, 2010 11:05 AM
I agree with the previous comments (susie, lauren).
And Raquel Welch looks awesome for her age. I wonder if she got there "naturally", or if she had cosmetic surgery along the way.Posted by: army_wife at May 11, 2010 11:09 AM
A very wise commentary! Like!Posted by: carla at May 11, 2010 11:11 AM
Gees...ya think if more women used the PILL or some form of birth control....there wouldn't be so many unwanted pregancies??...I don't see the leap, from this article to conjectoring that she might be anti-choice...Just don't get your logic.Posted by: Sue at May 11, 2010 11:56 AM
Sue, 50% of all unplanned pregnancies occur during a month when the woman was using some form of birth control. Easy access to hormonal birth control hasn't lowered the need for abortion, and in fact, abortion demand actually increased in the 60's following the introduction of the pill.Posted by: Lauren at May 11, 2010 12:03 PM
"And Raquel Welch looks awesome for her age. I wonder if she got there "naturally", or if she had cosmetic surgery along the way."
Posted by: army_wife at May 11, 2010 11:09 AM
She certainly is beautiful. Raquel stated on the Oprah show recently that she's had no plastic surgery. She does yoga. Some people are just blessed with good genes - but good lighting and a little blurring of the wrinkles with Photoshop can work wonders at any age. I'm guessing that's her secret. :)
"I don't see the leap, from this article to conjectoring that she might be anti-choice...Just don't get your logic. "
I think you mean "conjecturing". And nobody is asking whether she is "anti-choice"; the question raised was whether or not she is pro-life. Don't worry; you'll get it someday :)Posted by: Lucy at May 11, 2010 12:43 PM
"Gees...ya think if more women used the PILL or some form of birth control....there wouldn't be so many unwanted pregancies??"
No, I don't, but even if I did, the ends never justifies the means. In other words, even if there was overwhelming evidence that use of contraceptives decreased abortions, this would not make contraceptives morally good. They would have to be good in and of themselves, not because of some good side effect that it may have. We are not utilitarians.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 11, 2010 12:54 PM
In fact, I believe that if people understood the true nature and beauty of the sexual act, there would be no such thing as an ``unwanted" pregnancy.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 11, 2010 12:56 PM
Too bad she's still doing those suggestive Foster Grant commercials...
Young waiter: "See anything you like"?
Welch, eyeing the waiter up and down like a piece of meat: "I sure do"Posted by: Tom at May 11, 2010 2:43 PM
Whenever Sanger is brought up, her bizarre and, frankly, Hitler-esque views on minorities and the "feeble-minded" are ALWAYS, ALWAYS left unmentioned!
See her comments about blacks, etc.:Posted by: Jenee at May 11, 2010 2:47 PM
Was Racquel Welch the one who said "Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti"?
I read some of the comments on this article yesterday and got a kick out of the people who were saying she was a "hypocrite." Um...yeah, fail. You're only a hypocrite if you denounce a thing at the same time you're doing it yourself, not if you change your opinion later. It's like claiming Yul Brenner was a hypocrite for making those anti-smoking ads when he was dying of lung cancer. He'd experienced the consequences first-hand and changed his mind.Posted by: Marauder at May 11, 2010 3:33 PM
Regarding Raquel and plastic surgery, I find it impossible to believe that she has not had some facial surgery to tighten things up a little. Yes, she's beautiful and has obviously been blessed with some great genes, but come on. I watched her on a tv interview (I think Hannity) recently and a 69 year old does not NOT have some sagging skin around the face. I'm now 43 and getting the loosening and sagging that just naturally occurs with age. As beautiful as she is, I find it hard to believe that yoga can tighten up your facial skin that much. You cannot stop gravity and mother nature.Posted by: Doe at May 11, 2010 4:06 PM
Doe, my grandmother looked about 40 when she was 70. In fact, when she was hospitalized after a fall in her 80's her doctor actually asked us if the birthdate on her chart was correct because she literally had no wrinkles.
I don't know how some people are so lucky, but it's definitely possible!Posted by: Lauren at May 11, 2010 4:24 PM
Maybe she's doing that Elizabeth Bathory thing.Posted by: Marissa at May 11, 2010 4:34 PM
I work in a middle school and the kids call what they do having "friends with benefits" ):Posted by: Praxedes at May 11, 2010 7:04 PM
Very sad re: the 13yo girls. You can't tell me the girls really get anything much out of giving the boys blow jobs. They won't be having orgasms themselves I bet, so what's the story?Posted by: Louise at May 11, 2010 9:05 PM
I'm half-bolivian, like Raquel Welch, 27 and I look 17 and my figure is BETTER after having a child.
I am sure hoping that it's in my genes to age well, but so far so good.
She writes well. Makes her points without being divisive.Posted by: militarywifey at May 11, 2010 9:07 PM
Are you crazy? She definitely has had plastic surgery. Who wants to read her lame views on sex or anything else. She is the original Bimbo and still is. She's as responsible for the sexual freedom in the '60's as anyone. Changing your mind when you're 70 about who should and shouldn't be having sex is a little late.Posted by: Jo Ann at May 11, 2010 9:20 PM
Was Racquel Welch the one who said "Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti"?
Posted by: Marauder at May 11, 2010 3:33 PM
I think that was actually Sophia Loren.Posted by: Lori Pieper at May 11, 2010 9:41 PM
All I can say is..Wow!
And CNN allowed this piece on their website? Is this a gimick?Posted by: RSD at May 12, 2010 3:04 PM
Sue and Lauren,
Abortion is a likely following to contraception. As Pope Paul VI warned, contraception would lead to promiscuity, to abortion, to euthanasia. When life is disrespected at any age or faction, who of us are safe? Many forms of contraceptives are abortifacients, example: the pill and the IUD, hormonal injections, and so forth. These things cause the mother's body to expell a newly conceived baby. Contraceptives are a big "NO" to God, the Source of all life, and a big "YES, I WILL HAVE MY OWN WAY,AND NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY ACTIONS".
Thank you Ms. Welch for speaking up and letting others benefit from your life's lessons.
God bless you.
This is great stuff! The most passionate and effective advocates for change have had personal revelations of the err of their ways. Thanks, Raquel!Posted by: Kristie at May 12, 2010 7:15 PM
Ah, right, Sophia Loren. Thanks. :)
Louise: Thirteen-year-old girls having any form is sex is icky and wrong, but there definitely are women who enjoy fellatio, just like there are men who enjoy cunnilingus. Oral sex isn't necessarily something people just put up with giving to another person.Posted by: Marauder at May 13, 2010 10:56 AM