Friday, March 25, 2016

Another Victory for Feminism

Cindi Leive edits a magazine called Glamour. I have never read it but I can guess what it’s about. Surely, she was the right woman to review Peggy Orenstein’s new book about teenage girls and sex.

She opens with a scene that sums it all up, though in ways that escape her:

There’s a moment midway through Peggy Orenstein’s latest book that seems to sum up what it’s like to be a teenage girl right now. An economics major taking a gender studies class is getting dressed in her college dorm room for a night out, cheerfully discussing sexual stereotyping in advertising with Orenstein — while at the same time grabbing a miniskirt and a bottle of vodka, the better to achieve her evening goal: to “get really drunk and make out with someone.” “You look hot,” her friend tells her — and the student, apparently registering the oddness of the scene, turns to Orenstein. “In my gender class I’m all, ‘That damned patriarchy,’ she says. But ... whats the point of a night if you arent getting attention from guys? Her ambition, she explains, is to be just slutty enough, where youre not a prude but you’re not a whore. ... Finding that balance is every college girls dream, you know what I mean?”

This is not new. Tufts professor Nancy Bauer described a similar scene in a Times article several years ago.

The difference is:  Bauer understands that she is describing what happens to women when they drink the feminist Kool-Aid. Leive does not understand that one of the major cultural forces making these girls do as they do is feminism.

And yet, the woman whose idea of a great evening is getting drunk out of her mind on vodka—vodka that she, liberated woman, supplies herself—and then making out—surely a euphemism for what she can only do when she is blind drunk—with a guy who she just met. She is living the feminist dream, but is too drunk and too brainwashed to know it.

For reasons that do not require too much exposition feminism seems to instill in young women a pathological anxiety about their ability to attract men. These women so completely lack confidence in their femininity that they are willing to do literally almost anything to gain male attention, or, as Amy Schumer famously declared, to catch some dick. If that's your standard of success, you have a problem.

After all, if you have spent all of your time learning how to lean in, to be assertive and aggressive very few men are going to find you all that attractive. They might be willing to use you for sex, if you insist, but that is usually as far as it goes.

Today’s liberated woman, fresh from her class in woman’s studies might, if she is sufficiently intelligent, figure out that feminists have been pimping her out to the patriarchy:

For guys, she says, there is fun and pleasure; for girls (at least the straight ones), too little physical joy, too much regret and a general sense that the boys are in charge. Fully half the girls in Orenstein’s book say they’ve been coerced into sex, and many had been raped — among them, by the way, that econ major, who was so confused that when her assailant dropped her off the next morning, she told him, “Thanks, I had fun.” The sexual playing field Orenstein describes is so tilted no girl could win.

To be fair, Leive offers Orenstein’s list of all of the factors that have produced this situation. I do not disagree with any of them. But, why is feminism not on the list and why do these women not understand that feminism has robbed young women of their self-esteem as women.

When you are blaming pornography, you should also recall that feminists have encouraged women to be open and free and sexually liberated. And that feminism for decades now has promoted a graphic awareness of the female genitalia. Recently, feminists started having a national conversation about periods.

Any woman who feels sexually exposed will also feel that she does not have any self-respect. As for the last shred of her dignity… she will drown it in vodka.

Leive lists some of the problem:
There’s pornography, which teaches boys to expect constantly willing, fully waxed partners, and girls to imitate all those arched backs and ­movie-perfect moans. (Sorry, male college students, but studies show that the percentage of your female peers who fake orgasm has been steadily rising.) There are the ­abstinence-only sex-ed programs of the last two decades, which she argues encourage shame and misinformation; and the unhelpful tendency of even liberal parents to go mute with their daughters on the subject of what they deserve in bed. (“Once parents stopped saying ‘Don’t,’ Orenstein observes, many didnt know what to say.) Theres alcohol, so much alcohol, a judgment-dulling menu of Jäger bombs and tequila shots. Theres selfie culture, which Orenstein charges encourages girls to see themselves as objects to be “liked” (or not) — a simple-sounding phenomenon with surprisingly profound implications, since self-objectification has been linked with everything from depression to risky sexual behavior. There are the constant images of naked, writhing women, as well as the idea that taking your clothes off is a sign of power.

However much girls feel abused or worse in hookups, they prefer hookups to having feelings or having a relationship. Because the latter might make them feel like girls and might make them want something other than to be down on their knees servicing a guy they just met. 

To be more explicit, feelings might lead to a relationship and a relationship might lead to a commitment and a commitment might lead to a marriage and that, my friends, would sidetrack the woman’s career. And we know, for feminists that only thing that matters is the career track:

… girls share that while an endless string of hookups can bum them out, many of them prefer it to “catching feelings” for a guy, which would make them more vulnerable. (The interviews also reveal an almost comical generation gap. When one recent high school graduate explains to Orenstein that performing oral sex is “like money or some kind of currency. ... Its how you make friends with the popular guys. ... Its more impersonal than sex, Orenstein writes, I may be of a different generation, but, frankly, its hard for me to consider a penis in my mouth as impersonal.)

Unfortunately, Leive and Orenstein think that it can all be solved with more therapy and more sex education. A sad conclusion. It would be better if older feminists took some responsibility for the situation they created.


Ares Olympus said...

It's a mess.

I admire a (not overly religous) father who told me when his only daughter was going off to college that he'd pay 100% of her college costs if she agreed to refrain from all sexual activity until she graduates, and he said she said "Deal, that was my plan anyway."

I wonder if it really works for a 20-year old woman to say "I'd really like to make out with you, but my dad won't let me, and he's paying for my college. Would you like to pay instead? I only have two years left, at $20k/year after my scholarships."

Or maybe "My dad really likes shotguns" would work better?

Sam L. said...

Have I mentioned my dad has a huge collection of knives and likes to cook? He's always sharpening them. Come over for dinner sometime.

Ares Olympus said...

Sam yes, knives are probably a good hint.

I forgot to mention my friend's daughter was going off to college at 16 or 17, the little smartypants. Also no alcohol was a part of the agreement, and easier to commit to when you're underage anyway.

Anonymous said...

One thing that would help a lot: if people would avoid drunken sex. Not talking about a couple of glasses of wine, but about really inebriated.

Several years ago, a female friend had just wrapped up an unpleasant legal proceeding. I asked her what she was going to do to celebrate.

She: Get drunk and get laid
Me: Hmm, bad combination. It would be sad if the lay-ing was good and you were so tanked you couldn't even remember it.
Me: Why don't you get laid one night and get drunk a different night?
She: Huh, never thought of it that way

Now she wasn't talking about going to the bar and hooking up. The planned lay-ing was by a guy she'd been dating for several months and she later married. This is an extremely intelligent woman (didn't go to college, though) who seems to have a real sense of fairness and integrity.

I don't get it

--Anonymous Guy

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

From an evolutionary fitness perspective, the female chauvinist's indoctrination of women and girls to greedily adopt a promiscuous orientation, to eagerly become taxable commodities of the state, and to voluntarily abort their Posterity for wealth, pleasure, leisure, and ego, is a rarely achieved victory for a master class.

That said, to be fair, the opiate of a pro-choice religion, and elixir of liberal behavior, are first-order anthropogenic causes of dysfunction in progressive societies.

Dennis said...

Feminism is like the democrat war on poverty. If either of them had any sense they would have surrendered a long while ago. We have gotten more poverty and young women who are becoming the providers of young men's wishes.
In both cases people have become what they protested they did not want. You have come a long way baby.