Tag Archives: gen x

Let’s Talk About Sex

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.

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I’m Not Having a Mid-Life Crisis, Are You?

So, Ada, I handed in my final paper yesterday, which means I’m on summer vacation and I can’t think of anything to do except….blog. Expect a lot of catch-up posts!

Meanwhile, I wanted to post this article that ran in the Times this past weekend about the paradox of Gen X guys having mid-life crises, since Gen X never grew up in the first place.

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Oh, Phyllis Schafly

Phyllis Schlafly cracks me up. I think she is maybe also a performance artist? She should seriously open for Ashley Dupre. They can do a duet of Ke$ha’s “Blah Blah Blah.” Here are some of the things she said recently at a college in South Carolina.

Feminists are “bitter, unhappy and not successful women.”… Schlafly challenged the legitimacy of a variety of social programs and legislation put in place by feminist agenda, including abortion, shelters for battered women and sexual harassment counseling … Other controversial comments included Schlafly’s denial of the existence of spousal rape, as well as her statement that individuals shouldn’t be able to “check out” of marriage.

It provides a nice flashback to un-subtle sexism and totally unstealthy anti-feminism. She’s a very tangible Hater of Young Women With Their Freedoms. I mean, look at her hair.

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Has Feminism Changed?

You are right, Kara. Hilary’s question is super hard, in both interpretations. I feel like my experience of sexism is similar now, but my response is a little different. I used to sulk. Now I get mad.

Hilary writes in the comments that what she really wants to know is: “Is it just me, or has feminism dropped away from the greater (pop) cultural dialogue?” That’s a really good question too, so I’m going to ramble and see if anything comes of it.

Here’s why I would say feminism is still part of the pop culture dialogue: Feministing.com has a really big readership, and so does Jezebel. Everyone’s obsessed with any stories in The NY Times or Time or Newsweek about ladies, especially if they are related to working versus staying home with kids or who makes more money or any of that. The biggest pop culture stars right now are all about women being powerful and not tolerating mistreatment.

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