The playful mantras of our adolescence have become a way of life for later generations. At least in the ’60s we knew, whatever we said, that sex was about…sex. All the same, what followed is our fault. We—the left, academics, teachers—have abandoned politics to those for whom actual power is far more interesting than its metaphorical implications. Political correctness, gender politics, and above all hypersensitivity to wounded sentiments (as though there were a right not to be offended): this will be our legacy.
Why should I not close my office door or take a student to a play? If I hesitate, have I not internalized the worst sort of communitarian self-censorship—anticipating my own guilt long before I am accused and setting a pusillanimous example for others? Yes: and if only for these reasons I see nothing wrong in my behavior. But were it not for the mandarin self-assurance of my Oxbridge years, I too might lack the courage of my convictions—though I readily concede that the volatile mix of intellectual arrogance and generational exceptionalism can ignite delusions of invulnerability.
Superb historical/biographical account by Tony Judt, in "Girls! Girls! Girls!". A must read for all us elitists without scruples (some things will always be the same)... and anybody else who dares.