This essay by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarawati Thakur…what an excellent find! Just imagine the misfortune of the people of kaliyuga that there are was just one website, whose creators were fortunate and merciful enough to have made available online this essay by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarawati Thakur. This essay should have been published by one million websites and read multiple times by all people of the world. Atleast, AKINCANA.NET have been given the transcendental credit to find such forgotten essays taken from the pool of Vaishnava Siddhanta and publish them for the world to see!
The relationship between the sexes cannot be placed on a satisfactory basis without reference to the Absolute. The modern woman in Europe and America is anxious to have full liberty of action limited only by the conditions of mundane existence. This necessity for adaptation to the mundane environment is a very large reservation on individual liberty and perhaps exercises the decisive influence on the aspirations and modes of activity of every mortal, including women.
The modern woman is seeking, above all things, economic equality with man by enlarging the scope of her occupations. There is no field of human labor into which she is not entering on a footing of equal partnership with men. There may even come a day, perhaps very much sooner than many people imagine, when woman workers will be preferred to men in most branches of human industry, thus reversing the past arrangement.
Under the circumstances will it not be regarded as an extinguisher of the cherished hopes of the fair sex to advance the view that the sexes should be segregated from each other, which clearly requires also demarcation of the respective spheres of activity of the sexes? Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya condemns all association between the sexes for carnality in the most unsparing terms. Is this teaching of the śāstras to be regarded as obsolete and oriental in view of the immemorial practice of Western countries as well as the most modern tendencies all over the world that are rapidly sweeping away all barriers to unreserved association of the sexes? If women take over the work that is being performed by men all over the world, will not such change obliterate the last obstacles in the way of the fellowship of the sexes on a footing of perfect equality? Will it also lead to sexual intemperance and moral and eugenic disasters?
This is not regarded as likely by those who believe in the natural goodness of the white races, who are the pattern of modern humanity, and the proved sobering effects of individual liberty in the case of white men. It is the basic maxim of modern radicalism that the more complete the responsibility that is thrown upon the shoulders of a human being, the lesser be chance of his or her physical or mental degradation.
Liberty is supposed by the moderns to be the panacea for all the ills that the flesh is heir to. The tendency towards full liberty is very clearly illustrated by the modern attitude towards the institution of marriage. Modern women and men are developing an increasing repugnance for the obligations of the married state. Free sexual intercourse at the option of the parties is on the point of scoring an unqualified victory over the old superstition of the inviolability of the marriage vow.
Both man and woman are nowadays claiming perfect freedom of sexual relationship. This is necessary if both sexes are to have equal liberty of action. It does not follow that such liberty will be necessarily abused. The modern expectation is that it will make the conditions of sexual relationship better and more reasonable. Such being the modern ideal, is not the teaching of the Supreme Lord contrary to the best hopes of the race?
The question from the worldly point of view hinges on the actual mundane result of sex liberty. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is against sexual intercourse between man and woman who are not husband and wife. He is against man and woman who are not husband and wife meeting by themselves in privacy. He cites with approval the text of the śāstras that it is not possible even for the wise to stand against the seductions of the flesh. There is a radical school of thought in favor of admitting the practice of carnality as a matter of right and source of wellbeing. They hope that licensed carnality can alone effectively curb sexual excess. This view is not endorsed by Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, who declares that the carnal propensity increases by sexual freedom.
This essay appears in the Harmonist of January 1936. It is to be assumed that either Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur himself penned it or gave his sanction to this.