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Tag Archives: caitlin flanagan
Kara, I totally thought your posts made total sense and were great! And I agree that this is worth talking about:
Do you regret being slutty in the 90s? Just kidding! I know you don’t. Wait, maybe not kidding. Whether or not we–and other 90swomen–regret the kinds of experiences that Flanagan seems to think we do or we should actually seems like a good subject.
I regret a lot of things in my life, but only a few have anything to do with sex. When it comes to ’90s sluttiness, for example, sometimes I slept with a guy who a friend really wanted, which was a shitty thing to do.
If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t have been so cavalier about those particular guys. (In one instance, my friend was doubly mad at me because I not only slept with the guy first, I also neglected to mention to her that he was terrible in bed. She had to find out on her own. Total ’90s sisterhood fail!)
But as far as whoring around? I wish now that I’d done it MORE. For me sex was tied up with adventure. I read a lot. I walked around the city. I traveled. Being enthusiastic about sex for me was part of being enthusiastic about new experiences of every kind. Not to be all Elizabeth Taylor-style dramatic, but having sex was about living LIFE. Continue reading
So, Ada, we had a great interview today with Dr. Elizabeth Keenan, who is working on a book about 90s nostalgia. One of our favorite topics! We ended up talking a lot about sex. One of our other favorite topics!
On that tip, I finally forced myself to read the Caitlin Flanagan article that neither of us could initially bear. It’s mainly about the dangers of today’s hookup culture, a subject that has really already been covered ad nauseam. One of my problems with this piece is that much of it is based on adult paranoia, rather than what is really going on with teenagers. (This is something I wrote about for you once, back when Oprah was losing her mind over so-called “rainbow parties.”)
My even bigger problem with the piece is that Flanagan assumes that teenage girls don’t really experience sexual desire. Instead, they are natural romantics who have been “forced into a sexual knowingness.” She also says that: “Unlike the girls of my era, who looked forward to sex, not as a physical pleasure (although it would—eventually—become that for most of us), but as a way of becoming ever closer to our boyfriends, these girls are preparing themselves for acts and experiences that are frightening, embarrassing, uncomfortable at best, painful at worst. These girls aren’t embracing sex, all evidence to the contrary. They’re terrified of it.”
To all of this I say: speak for yourself, lady.
Caitlin Flanagan is back at it with a new article about — I’m just guessing here — how bad it is when girls have sex without commitment. Bad, bad, slutty girls! Rah, rah, Snow Whites!
The Atlantic has really been knocking ’em out of the park lately, between this and the anti-breastfeeding and the pro-settling. Anyway, I tried to read this latest soulless condescension-fest, but I couldn’t finish it. I post it here so that others may journey into the cave and return with tales of the horrors glimpsed within. Here’s how it opens…
In case you haven’t noticed, millions of girls are in the midst of a cultural insurrection. Armed with the pocket money that has made them a powerful consumer force since the 1920s, girls have set their communal sights on a particular kind of entertainment, and when they find it, they transform it into a commercial phenomenon that leaves even the creators and marketers of that entertainment dumbfounded. What do these girls—with such different backgrounds and aspirations, foreign to one another in so many respects—demand right now? The old story, the one they were forced to abandon for a while, but will be denied no longer: the Boyfriend Story.
Kara, you told me you couldn’t get through it either, so let’s turn this chore over to our faithful readers to take the bullet for us. Here’s the article. Godspeed.