Updated: Apr 29
By Susan Kastner
O dear, young 'uns – well, younger 'uns – have I missed something?
While we elder ladies were dozing over our Ovaltine, or bingeing on Masterpiece Theatre reruns, did the clock suddenly turn violently
back – or flip sideways into some strange alternate time warp?
When did your enviably proud generation of strong liberated femmes suddenly revert to Victorianism: into feeble, fearful, incapacitated tremulous emotion-driven frails, victimized and exploited and terrorized? Unable to raise your voices for fear of being labeled shrill, daring not leave a bad party, relationship or choice? Trembling at the man-beast around each corner, waiting but to pounce, grope, drug, choke, overpower and violate poor powerless you? And then, most excruciatingly, pile on the insult by dumping you?
When did the joy of sex become so profoundly the unjoy, for this most sexually-free generation ever – the prideful vaunting hooker-uppers, adolescent blow jobbers, slutwalkers, one-night-standers?
Girls, girls – we were so envious of you, the thrilling inheritors of 1960s freedom's promise.
Where we grew up plotting only to get our MRS, obeyed Mom's edict to stay out of men's apartments so as not to give them the Wrong Idea, keep one foot on the floor, save our key bargaining chip, virginity, till marriage or death, whichever came first, forbore to kiss on the first date, pet Below The Waist or Under The Bra – in short, missed out on a helluva lot of good juicy fun – you, you grew up having it all! Sex without shame, slutdress without labels, hookups without hang-ups, blowjobs without blowback, divorce without a second thought ... a fingerswipe away from each day's zipless coitus – and look at you now! Submerged in moiling debate over consent: what is it, when is it, how to give it, how to get it, how to recognize it, differentiate the drunk from the sober, the yes to touching one breast from the no to touching the other, the sex you regret from the sex that was forced on you ...
Breakable dolls, brokenly yearning, moreover, for your vilest violators. No backbone, no confidence, no judgment, no will, no responsibility – how can you be held responsible? You're just too fragile. Too feminine. [...more]
We, we knew no other truth than that the man-enemy only wants one thing, will do anything to get it, flee commitment, rut and run, and you must chase on, put up with it all, to achieve the indispensable goal of the ring on the finger.
Marry the man today, rather than sigh in sorrow; marry the man today and change his ways tomorrow ...
We just dreamed it wasn't true for you.
You were our fantasy figures, our release from the humdrum memories of our benighted oppressed pre-liberation youth and the mores that hamstring us, to this very day. For who, raised in our times, could break the mental shackles that clicked shut the day it was first determined we were of the sex that wore pink?
How we sighed over your victories, how we lived through you! And what potent competition you have been for our small store of available compos mentis menfolk. They, bursting free after a youth similarly hobbled by the blue-ball morality of their time, they who have been stockpiling Viagra in prep for the pastures of plenty in which to frolic with you young free spirits? Never wotting that to do so might be a one-way ticket to criminal court.
I feel sorry for them, of course, but even sorrier for us. For you, cruelly conflicted younger prisoners of the war of the sexes – strengthless, victimized and perennially assaulted. No better off than we were; nay, worse.
Well, well....never mind, poor modern Womynbeings. You've given it your best shot, but clearly the lady brain is hard-wired differently. Time to stay home, mothball the microminis, lock the doors, and get back into whalebone and petticoats.