Outraged moms, trashy daughters

How did those steeped in the women’s lib movement produce girls who think being a sex object is powerful?

by Anne Kingston

Bennett Raglin/ Getty Images/ Cole Garside

A few weeks ago, when she was chatting with her teenage daughter, Olivia, Leanne Foster mentioned the word “feminist.” “She just wrinkled her nose,” Foster recalls. “It was ‘Eww, yuck.’ ” Olivia, an articulate 15-year-old who’s about to enter Grade 10 at a Toronto private girls’ school, thinks feminists are about as relevant to her life as a rotary-dial phone. “When I hear the word I think of the hippie-ish generation where they’re all ‘girl-power,’ ” she says. And not in a sexy Spice Girls “girl power” way, more in a humourless, style-less way: “They refuse to wear perfume because they don’t want to be seen as sex objects,” she says dismissively.

Like many other teenage girls, Olivia regards the fight for female equality as over. “In the Western world, we’re pretty equal,” she says.

She has every reason to think so. Going to university is a given. So is having a career—perhaps in business or maybe medicine. She’s surrounded by smart, independent women, including her mother, who holds a Ph.D. in education and is the director of LINCWell, a student enrichment support centre at St. Clement’s girls’ school in Toronto.

Yet Leanne Foster, whose position puts her in the daily orbit of the age-old divide between teenage girls and their mothers, is not as sanguine as her daughter about female equality. She sees a unique generation gap emerging: on one side, mothers who came of age during the women’s movement of the 1970s fighting for equal opportunities, “empowerment” through financial independence and rejecting female “objectification”; on the other, their daughters, raised in a hyper-sexualized culture replete with Bratz dolls, porn-inspired American Apparel ads, and the message telegraphed by Kim Kardashian and her tabloid-cover cohorts that a leaked sex tape is the quickest route to female success.

For these girls, Snoop Dogg’s misogynist Bitches Ain’t S–t is not an affront but a ring tone, and “slut” and “bitch” are not put-downs but affectionate greetings between female friends. Snooki, the 22-year-old star of the reality show Jersey Shore, whose ambitions consist of getting drunk, vomiting on camera, and spending days in a tanning salon, is the star of the hour. “I love Snooki,” says one 20-year-old. Olivia agrees. “It’s so ridiculous, it’s funny,” she says of the show. “I don’t relate that to my life at all. I wonder, ‘Why would you do that?’ But it’s enjoyable to watch.”

Meanwhile, their mothers, who walked in Take Back the Night marches to raise awareness of violence against women, are horrified, particularly by the sight of Snooki getting punched in the face by a man—footage used by MTV to promote the show.

Some of them see a clock ticking backward. “It’s worse than the 1950s,” says the mother of a 24-year-old, referring to the ubiquity of Photoshop and cosmetic surgery creating beauty standards more unattainable than ever.

Kimberly McLeod, a Toronto social worker who counsels mothers and daughters and has two girls, one 11, the other 14, is dismayed by the constant bombardment of sexualized media images directed at girls. “I don’t meet many girls who feel good about themselves, even though they’re totally gorgeous,” she says.

But the generation that grew up reading Our Bodies, Ourselves is most apoplectic over what they see as the unrelenting pressure on girls to be sexual, and not on their own terms. “I’m so deeply pained to see where women are today and how girls—and I mean girls—are being groomed to believe their purpose in life is to be sexual beings that please men,” says Nancy Vonk, the co-chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather in Toronto and the mother of a 16-year-old daughter. Vonk recalls wearing satin hot pants when she was 15. “But it was a different time,” she says. “Back then there was at least equal premium put on intellect and what was in your head. It was the opposite of ‘Go out and please men.’ ”

Kate Lloyd, the director of program and service development for the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario and an academic coach to teenage girls, says the heightened sexual activity concerns her. “A blow job is just like shaking hands. It’s ridiculous,” she says. “But their attitude is: ‘We’re emancipated; we’re liberated; we’re in control, don’t worry.’ They see being able to hold that type of sexual behaviour over the boys as power; I see it as giving their power away.” But one 19-year-old girl sees the double standard facing girls as more complex. “If men have a lot of sex it’s a good thing, but if women have a lot of sex it’s a bad thing,” she says. “Men have a biological imperative to spread their genes. But that should not be a reason to control women.”

Every generation thinks things are worse now than when they were growing up, Lloyd points out. And fretting over teenage girls is a perpetual cultural preoccupation, “so there is some of that sensationalizing for sure.” But she also sees the current generational divide as unique in new ways. “Access to technology and the sexualization of young girls is at a point it’s never been before,” she says. “Also, parents don’t have the same scope of reference because they didn’t grow up with these kinds of issues. We’re all kind of working with a divining rod.”

And the information is coming at warp speed. As one mother of a teenager puts it, “These girls go from American Girl dolls to Gossip Girl.” New technologies breed constant distraction, says Lloyd. “It’s all boom boom boom, no reflection. There’s no pausing, no depth; it’s all very, very surface.”

Communications professor Susan Douglas, the mother of a 22-year-old daughter, compares popular culture targeted at young women to junk food. “I feel like Julia Child forced to eat at Hooters,” she writes in her new book Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message that Feminism’s Work is Done. Douglas, the chair of communication studies at the University of Michigan, articulates the plight of the progressive mom back in the late 1990s observing her little girl watch the Spice Girls: “Should she be happy that they’re listening to bustier feminism instead of watching Barbie commercials on Saturday morning TV? Or should she run in, rip the CD out of the player, and insist that they listen to Mary Chapin Carpenter or Ani DiFranco instead?”

Enlightened Sexism charts how the wedge between mothers and daughters increased during the first decade of the 21st century as so-called “millennials”—girls born in the late 1980s and early 1990s—became the most sought-after advertising demographic in history. The desire for power and change that coursed through Douglas’s generation was recast for their daughters as “empowerment” through conspicuous consumption and sexual display, she writes. Activist outlets like Sassy magazine, published from 1988 to 1997, and “riot grrrl,” the feminist punk movement of the early 1990s, were eclipsed by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess, along with a tribe of female action heroes. These “warriors in thongs,” as Douglas dubs them, paved the way for the retro “girliness” championed by Legally Blonde, Ally McBeal, and Bridget Jones’s Diary. And from there it was a heartbeat to reality shows like The Bachelor and Say Yes to the Dress, which depicted young women as obsessed with boys and getting married when they weren’t engaged in catfights with one another.

“If you did not know anything about American culture or American life other than what you saw on reality TV, it would be extremely easy to believe that the women’s rights movement never happened, that the civil rights movement never happened, that the gay rights movement never happened,” says Jennifer Pozner, the director of Women In Media & News in New York City, whose book Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, is to be published in November. “Reality TV producers have achieved what the most ardent fundamentalists and anti-feminists haven’t been able to achieve,” she says.

“They’ve concocted a world in which women have no choices and they don’t even want choices.”

“Enlightened sexism” is Douglas’s term for this new climate, one based on the presumption that women and men are now “equal,” which allows women to embrace formerly retrograde concepts, such as “hypergirliness,” and seeing “being decorative [as] the highest form of power,” she writes. What really irks her is how a Girls Gone Wild sensibility has been sold to women as “empowerment,” that old feminist mantra. But in this version, men are the dupes, “nothing more than helpless, ogling, crotch-driven slaves” of “scantily clad or bare-breasted women [who] had chosen to be sex objects.”

Douglas says she was inspired to write the book after noticing what seemed to be a glaring disconnect between the prime-time shows aimed at her generation—Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, The Closer, all featuring tough-talking, assured women who don’t use their sexuality to get what they want—and the programming aimed at her daughter. Eventually she came to believe both kinds of shows were perpetuating the myth that feminism’s work was over: “both mask, even erase how much still remains to be done for girls and women. The notion that there might, indeed, still be an urgency to feminist politics? You have to be kidding.”

Yet, as Vonk points out, female progress at top levels has not moved markedly in 20 years, Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated run for president notwithstanding. Certainly the numbers reflect this: in 1980, women held approximately seven per cent of the legislative seats across Canada.

Ten years later that number had risen to 17 per cent. But between 1990 and 2010, that percentage rose only six per cent—to 23 per cent. (According to the Intra-Parliamentary Union, Canada ranks a pathetic 50th on the world scale of women’s participation in politics, behind Rwanda, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates.) Women’s presence in top-tier corporate jobs is even lower. According to Catalyst, an organization that tracks female advancement, women head only 3.8 per cent of FP 500 companies in Canada, and make up a scant 5.6 per cent of FP top earners, 14 per cent of board directors and 16.9 per cent of corporate officers.

The notion that the workplace is an equal playing field is a myth, says Susan Nierenberg, Catalyst’s vice-president of global marketing. The first study to look at the impact of the recession on high-potential women found those in senior leadership positions were three times more likely to lose their jobs than men. Another Catalyst study published last February tracking 4,500 M.B.A. graduates in their first jobs found that women begin at a lower level than men and earned $4,600 on average less. “And more importantly, they never catch up,” says Nierenberg. As the mother of a 25-year-old daughter entering the workforce, one who believes she’ll be treated equally to men, Nierenberg finds the research troubling: “I hate to tell her that’s not the way it is. I want her going into it thinking she can do anything. But I also want her to be smart about it.”

Foster says the conversation between mothers and daughters was far easier when sexism was as overt as it is on Mad Men—back when women had to quit their jobs after they got married or were banned outright from schools or careers. “The current messaging girls are getting is so explicit but the subtleties of it—which is the negative piece of it—is really hard to talk about,” she says. When mothers try to raise the subject, girls respond with “we just don’t get it,” she says: “What happens is that they shut down and say, ‘You don’t like me looking sexy. You just don’t like me looking older.’ Or, ‘Oh Mom, it isn’t like that any more.’ When the reality is, it’s still like that.” She tries to watch TV with her daughter to point out double standards on The Bachelor or Gossip Girl. “I’m just trying to tease apart for her that this isn’t reality. And that didn’t fly. She called me ‘a wet sock.’ ”

Social networking creates another barrier, Foster believes. Of course, parents have always been excluded from the schoolyard or after-school she-said, he-said telephone chats. But the notion that children are having global conversations from which parents are excluded amplifies the gulf: “There’s less public space to come together to discuss these things so it’s much easier for them to keep it to themselves. It’s one of the challenges we have with bullying—the whole notion of rumour-mongering, particularly sexualized rumours about girls.
And every time we try to have the critical dialogue it’s so decontextualized they think they’re being lectured.”

Lauren Kessler, author of the recently published My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, A Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence, has settled for text-messaging with her 16-year-old daughter Lizzie. “It’s lacking in nuance,” she admits. “But it’s better than nothing.”

Trying to maintain any sort of bridge with their daughters is paramount, given the paucity of female role models offered young girls, says Lloyd. Olivia Foster agrees, recalling being called upon to write essays in school about female role models. Coming up with someone who wasn’t famous primarily for her looks or style was next to impossible, she says: “It’s either Oprah or my mom. Not that my mom isn’t great. She is. But there really isn’t anyone else to choose from.”

Kessler still hopes she can fill that role for her daughter: “Call me Pollyanna, but I hope in 30 years my daughter will remember something I said, and she won’t remember the lyric of a violent, sexist rap song. Or even Snooki.”




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Outraged moms, trashy daughters

  1. "Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women's progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn't the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences … "

    I just finished reading Hanna Rosin article in The Atlantic about the end of men in America. Is there any reason to believe same trends are not occurring here?

    I think this article is just another in long list of articles where women whinge about how the world does not revolve around them. I also bet a lot of the women had parenting techniques that have led to behaviour they are now bemoaning.

    • I agree that the author has selectively chosen her statistics to present the image of workforce discrimination, and that is disappointing. However I think she has a very good point in terms of the sexualization of young women, such that they are encouraged to view their worth in terms of their sexiness and male-attracting potential. That is a genuine problem, and it is the same or possibly even worse than the similar problem in the 50's. Wouldn't you agree?

      • Women were objectified in a different way in the 50's – back then they were viewed as walking wombs, as opposed to walking pairs of breasts. A woman's worth was computed based on her qualities as a mother (of which attractiveness was only one feature). While both stereotypes are problematic, I don't think it is hard to imagine which would be a better and more lasting source of self-worth for me.

        • I'm not sure I get your point here. You're saying that being objectified as a womb is better than being objectified as a pair of breasts in terms of a better and more lasting source of self-worth? Neither one strikes me as particularly compatible with lasting self-worth.

          Also, I don't think women in the 50's were objectified much differently than today – there were a lot of men sleeping around, paying for their mistresses/girlfriends to get abortions, or getting girls pregnant and then just leaving. It wasn't about "walking wombs", it was about sex – the children that often resulted, as today, were viewed as a nuisance.

          • A woman's ability to be a good mother was more valued in the 1950's. This includes qualities like submissiveness and domestic skills that are less emphasized today. Moreover, lacking porn, people's assessments of appearance were grounded much more in reality. Even in terms of physical dimensions, the ideal woman was no twig (eg. Bettie Paige).

            Contrary to Mad Men, there was probably less sleeping around then than now – even though most people were married and divorce was uncommon. The key statistic to look at would be the number of illegitimate births. Absent birth control or legal abortions, sleeping around is likely to produce children. The rate back then was far lower than today, even though today we have both effective birth control and legal abortions. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db18.pdf (see page 1)

          • All excellent points, and I completely agree that the increasing prevalence of birth control and abortion is correlated with higher, not lower, rates of out-of-wedlock births (the stats being quite indisputable on that point) together with even less self-discipline than before.

            That said, there was quite a lot (and I realize this is a relative term, but anyway) of sexual irresponsibility in that era. The 60's, after all, did not emerge from a vacuum – they were a reaction to the hypocrisy of the 50's.

          • "All excellent points, and I completely agree that the increasing prevalence of birth control and abortion is correlated with higher, not lower, rates of out-of-wedlock births "

            I don't understand what you mean by this. I find it difficult to believe abortion and birth control facilitate conception of "illegitimate" children, but I also don't understand the prevalence of "baby mamas" in society either. I'm not sure what the answer is here.

          • I was born out-of-wedlock, as was one of my friends and 4 of my little cousins yet our parents are all still living together and, besides the non-married aspects, we're all part of happy, unified families. We may all be illegitimate children, technically, but non of our births were the results of our parents sleeping around. Or even of our parents accidentally conceiving; we were all planned and wanted children.
            The point I'm trying to make of this is that an increase in out-of-wedlock births could be a shift in ideals (i.e. marriage is not necessary to have a family) rather then an increase in people sleeping around.

          • Gaunion, what hypocrisy ? People were tired out from a bad, bad depression and blooded out by a terrible war. What they wanted was stability and the physical benefits of peace, and a chance to marry and raise a family. As a product of that age I can testify that most were afraid to indulge in pre-marital sex because of the real threat of disease (there were special camps for the diseased under the provincial health act) and afraid that an unwanted pregnancy meant sacrificing your own dreams of an education. Do you know that druggists, the only stores to carry condoms wouild not sell to teenagers? Then we were confronted by the possibility of another war. We were there in Korea and then an agonizing cold war when who knows? At least we escaped the insanity of the Viet Nam nonsense. Most ordinary people had SFA to start. I "waslucky and did OK and at the same time I was paying for a small house, a car, furniture, stove, fridge, washing machine (there were no driers then) . Then our generation's children grew up sneering that we were "materialistic" so we could give them a home better than the crowded little place we had, and an education,, which many of us had only by good luck The so-called "baby boom"is also part of the problem A bunch of spoiled, self centered brats because we wanted them to have the things we didn't have.

            What these girls missed that this thread is about is the guidance of solid parents who did not "make out", "zone out", take off or otherwise fail in their role and trying to be friends with their kids when teaching self-discipline and giving guidance was their role. All I can say is, "Poor kids, misled about life by their own parents.

          • Are you guys real? What do you know aboujt the '50s except somethning you read in a text book? You talk about 50's hypocrisy – I have countered elsewhere but I just can't believe you guys are real!! Did you ever stop to think that it was a much more moral country then and it is now a very immoral country? In fact very few people think about morality at all now. And incidentally, one could only get a legal abortion later in the game. It was not only a question of the law but a matter of a particular hospital's policy.

            The 60's emerged from an imagined view of the 50s and these spoiled kids view of themselves as neglected and its style was because of the imagined rejection ocf parents who loved them notwithstanding that many of them were high, zonked out, screwed out, or beggars, particularly in the States, which behaviour was largely copied in Canada. Nobody has mentioned the copying of American mores by Canadian kids watching US TV.

            We raised a generation (or two) of vipers.

          • The key statistic to look at would be the number of illegitimate births.

            One problem with using this data though is that 50's society, and earlier, had cooked up multiple ways of working around "no abortions" and the social stigma attached to unwed pregnancy that fundamentally screws with the data; from shipping the girl off to a cousin/aunt/etc in the country who'd midwife and raise the kid as their own, to the "Maternity Home" of Butterbox Babies, or simply "disposing" of the baby after birth at the extreme.

            Furthermore, condoms go back 400 years but also gained more widespread acceptance during and after WWII because an entire generation of young men were provided them in the service for… relaxation abroad…

      • "However I think she has a very good point in terms of the sexualization of young women …. "

        I think sexualization of young girls is outrageous and makes my blood boil. I have niece under 10, I sometimes take her shopping, and I am shocked/disgusted by some of the clothes on offer. I also know those clothes would not be produced if people – mainly moms – weren't buying them.

        However, it becomes different question when it comes to teens and older. I was at family affair this weekend and my mom and two aunts were telling stories about the all girl catholic high school they attended and their stories on their fight to wear makeup, shorter skirts than appropriate …. . I read Kingston's article, thought about my mom and two aunts, and thought plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

        What these professional mothers are bewailing is biology/mother nature. Young women around the world tend to experiment with their beauty/looks/sex in ways moms and dads don't appreciate.

        • "What these professional mothers are bewailing is biology/mother nature. Young women around the world tend to experiment with their beauty/looks/sex in ways moms and dads don't appreciate."

          I think it is a bit more complex than that. Women like the attention of men (just as men like the reverse), and that is natural and timeless. What has changed over time are the instruments by which we get there. Makeup, dresses, etc. Those instruments do not make women better off as a whole. If you imagine a world with no perfume, women are not worse off, because men would still pay lots of attention to smelly women. However, in a world with these things all women are expected to make efforts to look pretty, using what tools are available.

          In other social settings this is not necessarily the case. For instance, the fashion industry was once primarily male-oriented (think of the foppish dandies of the 18th century). Women are engaged in an appearance arms race with one another. Each is trying to outdo every other girl, perhaps with a shorter skirt or better makeup. They would all benefit if limits could be set on that arms race. The problem is that the usual regulators for young girls – parents – have grown increasingly weak-willed.

          • We are quite prudish in western world compared to anytime in history up to 150-200 years ago. We are slowly breaking away from Victorian sensibilities and reverting to our true, primal selves with all this focus on libertine behaviour and how it is ok to do what feels good.

            The instruments are also timeless – Cleopatra bewitched Caesar wearing perfume and makeup.

          • "slowly breaking away from Victorian sensibilities and reverting to our true, primal selves"

            BWAHAHAHAHA!

            Everything old is new again — in no time, we will be wearing bones through our noses, being dragged by our hair.

    • i agree. women — stupider, meaner, emptier — are better suited to postmodernity than are men.

    • Yes, probably by spoiling them and letting them behave however they wished. Many young adults are totally selfish because mommy wasn't into discipline and setting rules. They were given anything they wanted like cellphones and generous allowances. They also didn't set rules about appropriate dress and running around looking like junior hookers was OK because that's how they're idols dressed. Well, mommy was dressing young too. The irony is that those mommies are having to send their children to charm school to learn manners and how to behave in public. It was too oppressive for them to require that the girls learned how to be polite and kind to others. I read articles on women's blogs and there is alot of complaining going on about their darlings not calling.

      • Wait a minute… where are the Daddies in all of this? You fail to acknowledge the incredibly important role of fathers in the upbringing of their daughters.
        I agree with you mostly; but it's terribly unfair to exclude fathers from this resonsibility.

        • I completely agree with the "Where are all the Daddies in all of this?". I have yet to hear about the father's role in the raising of a daughter and the importance he plays in demonstrating a healthy male role model. Today it's much easier to find these male role models on TV or the internet instead of at home.

    • I know my 15 year old daughter was beaten and sexually assaulted by five women-hating boys. When I was 15, I was raped by a dirty 37 year old man.

      Women have it great in this country when we are being lynched.

      • Err….when we "aren't" being lynched, that is.

    • Haha…ha.

      You femininsts/progressives have approached an omega point of irony. You want to be the man and have the man's job? Go ahead you spinster fools! I am doing fine without the rat race and all of its male-killing stress. You want it, you can have it. Don't whine though when we men don't want to give up our permanent hiatus sitting out this recession with quality time with our kids and rediscovering the meaning of God and life. I for one think its just deserts to a movement steeped in leftism and Godlessness, and you deserve all of the vacuousness you can muster!!!

      Maybe we will be like Russia – can't find a good man anywhere except in a vodka bottle. Total decline. What you will trade for power you will reap in health problems and lack of satisfaction…

      • It's sad that your perspective of feminism is completely extreme and stereotypical of the themes men have projected in attempts to discredit the feminist movement. Here's a little education…Feminism is not about women "want[ing] to be the man" or whining. It's about empowering women, reducing opression, and allowing women to have choices in society. It's about breaking social sterotypes that you very clearly hold and project.

    • today, there are more women in medical school than men.

      i think a lot of this talk by the feminists is a way for them to feel relevant today. you can only complain and ask for so much; after you get it, then what? face it, women can do whatever they want. they can even work at HP and ruin the career of an amazing CEO with unfounded claims of sexual harassment.

    • Does that stat in the States list the average wage of women compared to men? It almost certainly paints a different picture than the one you presented.

  2. First of all- THANK YOU MACLEANS FOR THIS ARTICLE! As an eighteen year old girl I consider myself a feminist and at the same time that has made me aware that I am a member of a dwindling minority. It is nice to see this issue brought to light so thank you very much! Feminism isn't about not caring what you look like to drive men away. I care about how I look but the difference is I'm caring about how I look for me, not the benifit of men or anyone else. It is not my responsibility to be eye candy for the opposite sex. That would be selling myself short because I have far more to offer the world and its inhabitants than my body.

    • "That would be selling myself short…"

      So, it is a question of evaluating one's worth using an idealized cognitive model from the experience of commerce, after all. Do you, as a member of a dwindling minority, look with disparagement upon those weaker members in whom the ardor for the revolution has cooled? Or perhaps you mearly disagree with how they are marketing themselves?

      • Heh. I couldn't help but notice the narcissistic tone in her post either. It's all about ME!!!

        • Men are always jealous when they don't get the attention.

        • My apologies if you feel I sound narcissistic in my comment. I merely felt that as a female of the age group being discussed, my first hand experience was relevant to the article.

          • Your experience is certainly more germane than that of many of the respondents.

          • The responses to your post only validate the point of this article. Here you are, a young woman who is smart and confident enough to recognize the truth. What did you say to cause such a reaction? That you’re not a slut, that you care about looking presentable w/o looking like a wh0re? Obviously you’re young, smart and confident. It must scare them. At 33, I am not that old, but I am dismayed when I see young women just 10 years younger than I am who just don’t get it. I am glad that there are young women like you that do get it, and I am sure that it will serve you well, and that you will enjoy success and fulfillment in your life, and not be reduced to one of those catty, back-biting, plastic women like those on “The Bachelor” whose sole purpose in life is to land a rich man. I guarantee you as their looks begin to fade, they’ll just be leading sad, sad lives like those women on Sex & the City–obsessed with their fading looks, clothes, and still clamoring for men that don’t respect them.

          • Well said!

          • Agreed. The comment about fatherless chidlren becoming criminals is nothing than a mythology created by the right.

          • Well as a foster parent/ emergency short term home for over 800 troubled teenage boys over 25 years I can tell you that 99.999 of those boys came into foster care from a home where they were not living with their biological father…most from single mother homes. A lot of them were budding crimals too.

          • Not a myth at all. Try Jamaica for stats — the murder capital of the planet and, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, they don't celebrate Father's Day in Kingston. Take a look at what occurred in Uganda after Amin ordered the slaughter of an entire generation of male elders. Human children benefit from the parentage of mother and father, and saying otherwise is ridiculous.

          • I'm just appalled at the ugly male responses upthread, though ColdStanding never fails to bring negativity, so it's nice to see some people coming to her defence. She's clearly not the problem, and why people feel the need to jump on an 18 year-old woman is not something I want to get into.

          • Hey, WTF. That was frickin' cheap. All I did was ask her a question or two. I am not responsible for all the trash that followed. You should know that I am an equal opportunity kind of man. If you have the package to put it in writing, then you are fair game in a fair game.

            18 years old is adulthood in many Canadian juristictions, sister. Let her defend herself, should she choose. Show us what you have got. Or don't. Whatever.

            But, nooo, V_V wants to coddle the young.

          • "WTF"? Is that the best you can come up with? This isn't LiveJournal, sweetie, this is Macleans.

          • Do you feel jealous because nobody is rushing to defend you?

          • yeah but when you get in your 30's and 40's you'll want a young guy and then kids, the you'll be a single mom and raise a friggin delinquent since you wont allow a man to keep the order in the house. Fatherless kids are the cause. No order or rules in the home and they go out and the LAW has to take care of them.

          • This comment is completely inappropriate. I'm shocked that you believe that women having nothing better to offer than the duties performed by a wife and mother. You only provided proof that this article is completely true and honest relating to the stereotypes men project as a way to oppress woman. You men need to be educated!

          • Did you not read her response? Women who believe in their own self-worth are not the ones raising hoodlums. Women who lack all self-respect and shack up, no contraception required, with losers who have no intention of raising their offspring are the ones bailing their sons out. She's speaking from experience and it is unnecessary for you to take out your dating frustrations on her.

          • Viva la Vivian. Right again. That j*rk*ff probably couldn't find his **** with both hands.

        • Nonsense. Recognize a smart lady when you see one.

    • A lot of women in male industries – law, IT, engineering – "retire" at the age of 35. Do you know why? It's because that's the age a woman's sex appeal declines dramatically. They become invisible, just like the rest of us working chumps, and realize high pressure work environments aren't so fun when the entire staff doesn't defer to you because they want to bang you. While you may not feel your body is the most valuable thing about you, a lot of women seem to disagree with that sentiment.

      Feminism is straight greed, pure and simple, it is not an ideology, it is not righteous or just, and it is the single cause of the rapid and current decline of western civilization. Tell me: if I could convince you feminism was good for you in the short term but bad for society in the long term, what would you do? The question is rhetorical, you'll stick your snout in the trough like the rest of them without a thought to the damage you are doing to society as a whole. Feminism is take, take, take, with no sense of duty or responsibility.

      Selfish, selfish, selfish. It is a death cult, it cannot sustain itself because women are afraid of looking unsexy in Mom Jeans and therefore hate babies and don't reproduce. Selfish, anti-male, anti-baby, anti-western civilization – that's feminism.

      • I agree 100 %..and I'm a woman.

      • This young lady knows what she is talking about.

    • most of this pressure that women feel is self-imposed. men aren't telling you to wear dresses while you sit at home cleaning and caring for the babies.

      criticize who you will, but a lot of these women who take their clothes off for a living live a lot better and make a lot more money than i will in a whole lifetime of work. they are able to provide for their loved ones and are actually able to enjoy themselves a bit more than i will. this is actually an example of women being much more empowered than men.

      i think a lot of the feminist rhetoric is unfounded these days. we have more women going into medicine that men. we have major corporations bending over backwards to make sure they don't say or do anything that might be taken as discriminatory. women have a lot more power than you seem to realize. if things don't go well for a woman she can threaten discrimination or harassment. when they do this, it is taken very seriously. if a man were fired or tried to say he was harassed or discriminated against, he would be laughed out of the building.

      all i'm getting at is this: feminism is about equality between the sexes. it should not be meant to provide extra rights or incentives to one sex over another. the double standards are the real problem today, not a lack of opportunities for women.

  3. I found the following statement by Kate Lloyd of interest: "They [teenage girls] see being able to hold that type of sexual behaviour over the boys as power; I see it as giving their power away.”

    Without taking away from some valid concerns she may have. I can't help but be struck by the incredibly sexist underpinnings of that attitude. The idea that women's sexuality is a resource, and one that loses value by sharing, seems like a rather reductionist concept of female worth. A girl/woman's sexuality, from that perspective, is a source of power. But it's only valid if she doesn't share it. Sounds awfully 1950's to me.

    And the whole idea of 'giving power away' sounds like a polite manner of describing some girls as sluts. We seem to view sex as a transaction that is neutral for the male, but fraught with risks for the female. Following Lloyd's logic, the primary risk for girls is the degradation of their social status (I assume that's what she's getting at by talking about "power"). I can't find a way to consider that view as anything more but a continuation of the very logic the article's moms claimed to have railed against for much of their lives.

    Looking at the article more generally, I'm wondering where the boys are in all of this. Placing the entire burden of sexuality on the shoulders of our daughters isn't simply an unfair perpetuation of prior generations' gender dynamics, it precludes any real chances for change. Sex and sexuality are a two gender game (for the most part!), and we should probably be problematizing our sons no less than our daughters. (Assuming one thinks there's a crisis – I don't see it as grimly as the moms in the article, but that's another discussion!)

    • "We seem to view sex as a transaction that is neutral for the male, but fraught with risks for the female."

      It is – or at least the risk isn't equally shared. The female is the one who risks ending up with a child to raise.

      • I was speaking more to the identified perils of diminished social worth, status, or 'power' (as Lloyd puts it). Lloyd had even referenced oral sex in the same paragraph, which carries (to her) the same risks (minus the pregnancy).

        Pregnancy is obviously a pragmatic 'risk' of sex that society disproportionately lays upon the mother. But a great deal of societal pressure on women has to do with the same old 'good girls don't put out' mentality. So long as two teens having sex results in broken/damaged girl and an unaltered boy (both in the social sense), I think the focus on outward style and media portrayals is likely misplaced.

        • I see. In that case I agree. The one-sided social stigma makes no sense, is harmful, and is not based on reality.

          • While it does not make sense, it does, unfortunately exist. And I will add that you don't get an "unaltered" boy. In the eyes of his peers, you get an "improved" boy.

            It is a strange state of affairs.

      • I agree with Gaunilon.

        In addition, though, Sean, you seem to consider "degredation of social status" very lightly. Whether a teen girl is invited to a party in 11th grade or not is one thing. Whether the societal consequences affect her psychologically enough to be reflected throughout the rest of her life is another.

        • I don't take it lightly. But I think the mothers bemoaning feminism's death ought to think carefully about the values they help to perpetuate. It's a purely cultural construction to disproportionately make chastity a virtue for teenage girls.

          • The line you referenced from the article struck me as well. I'm not fond of viewing sex in terms of a power struggle. I was reading a Montaigne essay a little while ago (On some Lines of Vergil), where he was pondering over issues of sex, marriage, love. One of the points he made was how women teach girls to be chaste, although women have just as much of a sex drive as men, the effect being to give it a more special value. If she's put such a high premium on having sex, a man must put in a special effort to earn it. This was the late 16th century, seems like we're dealing with the same issue in a different age.

            I DO agree with pop culture being largely degraded. I watched a lot of TV as a kid, and grew to have no use for it. I found more interesting culture in books and music. Perhaps kids could be shown there's more interesting things than the latest TV show out there?

          • Interesting comparison!

          • Yeh, right, you read Montainge for the essays. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

          • That requires good parenting.

          • It's a purely cultural construction to disproportionately make chastity a virtue for teenage girls.

            Most adherents of evolutionary psychology would argue that while this might well be a cultural construction, it is a response to evolutionary drivers, which are much different in men and women. It's been observed, for example, that in environments where women outnumber men (as is the case on every university campus in North America nowadays) their behaviour becomes more overtly sexual. This is an evolutionary response to heightened competition for mates.

          • You might have a problem establishing causation, using university campuses for evidence. How can you know it's the ratio of men to women for certain? Couldn't factors such as age/generation play a role too?

            There's probably something to the evolutionary angle, but such theories tend to sound more scientific than they really are (i.e., they tend to substitute biology for culture, when the explanations are ultimately a particular rationalization of cultural patterns too – and often don't sufficiently account for cross-cultural variation). All of that said, it's undeniable that sexuality is a biological drive, and thus at least partly bounded by our evolutionary heritage.

            (I'm not really looking to get into a big debate on evolutionary psychology. To be clear, I agree that culture cannot explain all of human behaviour divorced from our biological make-ups.)

          • There's probably something to the evolutionary angle, but such theories tend to sound more scientific than they really are

            Evolutionary psychology tends to fall into the trap of "just so" stories, some of which are rather convincing. As an example, a popular neuroscientist by the name of Dr. Ramachandran was teasing some of his evolutionary psychologist friends, and to really get their goat, he, as a joke, wrote a paper giving the evolutionary psychological basis as to why Why gentleman prefer blondes . It managed to get some support and it was published.

            I agree that culture cannot explain all of human behaviour divorced from our biological make-ups.)

            One of the greater puzzles today in biology is, in fact, dealing with the famed "genotype environment interaction." Before, research approached such questions viewing both components as if though they solely add up or minimized one while inflating the other. Injecting biological questions into human behaviour tend to be far more conservative because of the problem of interaction effects.

          • Sean, you sound like you are spouting a lot of learned crap. There is such a thing as common sense, observation, and for all we know actual experience in the matter This one area because of its multidimensional characteristics is where one does not need to look up in a manual to find a statistical inference. Looking from the viewpoint of another day – call it 1940 0r 50, the feminist movement has encouraged people to think of sex mainly as pleeasant pastime rather than a reinforcing element in marriage – probably designed in evolution to keep couples together long enough to raise the child, since, unlike many animals, it is not ready to go when it drops. The whole meaning of sex has been twisted out of shape by The Pill, feminism, living together with no committment . At a biological level, man is designed to look for sex and take it if necessary, always looking for the most nubile woman available. Women are designed to have and rear babies and keep a man around to protect her and her baby and go out and kill an elk or something. At its basic level that is so, but civilization has put various patinas , probably first to keep the tribal lines pure., secure good mates and so on. The current gloss is to use it as a power play, I guess.

            Beside that purpose what we have is pure sluttery with the boys taking advantage wherever possible.

          • It should be a virtue for both. In a society that pushes as virtues those things that are best for the individual or society, doesn't a lifestyle of decreased risk both psysiologically and psychologically (and spiritually for those of us who embrace that), which keeps from society the burdens of illegitimate children and STD's seem like a logical thing to promote? And yet what we promote is "if-it-feels-good-go-it" with regard to sex and then react with bewildernment at the consequences. The hypocrissy of the past was this elevation of sexually experienced males- it should never have been seen as a plus for either gender. Now we treat it like a plus for both genders when we treat virgins as punch-lines and make virginity seem like an unwanted condition.

        • When I was going to high school in the 40s the most popular girl in the class fell "in love"with the most popular boy. Both wer 17. The parents, very religious, insisted that they marry. The boy gave up a university degree once he had served in the army. He retailed newspapers. The girl had a premature birth and the child died after 6 months. Both grew to hate each other. Another classmate (a girl) thought it smart to run with some of the nearby servicemen. She was infected and put into a dertention camp for VD.

          That was enought to deter too much casual sex.

    • In many ways, the nature of the sexuality does still seem to be about "giving away". The BJ references (exaggerated though they may be) concern me, because if this is done to the exclusion of other acts, it's very one-sided. I, too, am skeptical that the problem is as widespread or deep as the article describes, but it's concerning if young women aren't truly taking pleasure in their sexuality and using it as a transaction towards social status. I don't see making chastity a virtue as a good thing, but if the majority of young women are having sex but not having orgasms, you can hardly call that empowering.

      • I hesitate to use a singular example, but a friend of mine has a teenage son. The son has been at parties where girls were performing oral sex on the boys (not all girls and all boys, and not the son!). His take, for whatever its worth, was that the girls were the 'aggressors' in such circumstances, all but belittling any boy who didn't want to as chicken.

        Now, that's one boy's perception and recollection, so I'd minimally want to know if such dynamics are typical. If they are, it could suggest that the male sex drive has the potential to be subverted into a weakness, and that such public sexual (but non-intercourse) events might be interpreted as empowering for women. But I'm just putting the idea out , not championing it or anything.

        There's also the pragmatic differences in male and female physiology to consider. Without being crude, it's generally much easier to 'pleasure' a teenage boy than a teenage girl. I'd go so far as to suggest many teenage boys would botch any such attempt. I'm not trying to get graphic here, but am pondering if a straight exchange of orgasms might be difficult in such circumstances.

        Finally, I wonder if we consider oral sex a bigger deal than it really is, partly because we call it 'oral sex'. Is it really that different than what used to be euphemistically called 'heavy petting?'

        All of that said, I strongly agree with your underlying point that we tend to be dismissive of the female sex drive – particularly for the young. And that they're being relatively robbed (compared to boys) of the chance to simply enjoy their sexuality in its many possible manifestations.

        • 1. I don't buy the idea that this is empowering for women. Oral sex is an inherently unequal act, compared to regular sex. One party gets an orgasm, whereas the other gets the shaft literally. Belittling men who did not participate didn't gain the girls any meaningful power, either. Power is the ability to make others do something they would not otherwise do. In this case the girls may have managed to coerce a few boys into accepting blow-jobs before they are ready. It is not clear that this is all that useful – especially since most boys eventually come to like blowjobs anyway.

          2. Oral sex is a bigger deal than heavy petting. It requires the removal of clothing, and is a possible means for transmitting STD's.

          3. Denial is by far the stronger weapon of sexuality among young women. Both young men and women are certainly hormonally charged, but men have a distinct hormonal peak around 17-18. So this is precisely the age at which denial is most likely to succeed, regardless of the assumptions you make about the female sexual drive. However, denial ceases to be effective if most young women are promiscuous. In that case, men can easily find what they want elsewhere.

          The analogy I would draw is to a cartel. With a cartel, different sellers of a product get together and limit supply in order to raise the price. If young women or men did this with sex (ie. if they were chaste), they could substantially improve their bargaining position in relationships. I can't see how the reverse is true – if something is given out in a large supply relative to demand, it will tend to command a low price.

          • You make some good points, though I think we all need to be cautious with intermixing the perceptions of social 'actors' with the observations of social observers. Freakonomics aside, not all human behaviour can be assessed via rational economic frameworks.

            I'd also note that power relationships cannot always be observed in one interaction. Forgoing an orgasm might realize benefits of a different sort, at a different time.

            All of that said, I'm not about to go to the wall in defending what are admittedly more questions and musings on my part than assertions.

          • Not everything has to be backed up by Statistics Canada, learned one.

          • I thought I'd comment, since I am a woman and actually feel some of the societal pressures that are mentioned in the article. Perhaps I can explain the whole "power" thing and, in particular, how a girl giving oral sex to a boy can feel empowered.

            I think the most important factor here is emphasis on looks and sexiness. A girl doesn't have to actually receive an orgasm from a boy to get something out of a sexual interaction. If she gets the boy erect, and especially if she can get him to orgasm, that is like an acknowledgment from him that he is turned on by her, that she is sexy and attractive. It is even better for the girl if she keeps her clothes on during the act, because she didn't reveal anything of herself, yet she put the boy in a "vulnerable" position, forced him into a degree of intimacy that acknowledges her good looks. Since good looks are so important to social status among girls, using them to turn men on helps your social position. May be not all girls/women feel this way, but I guarantee that this sentiment exists among many.

          • That is a very interesting contribution. Thanks!

          • I agree with you, but with a heavy heart. What a twisted way to earn assurance of ones "sexiness".

          • I don't buy this…the information I have is that a lot of the girls engaging in this behavior are the unattractive ones who are desperate for male attention…the boys don't care about looks, but about the pleasure. She is just a tool for orgasm and nothing more.

          • If this "sentiment exists amongst many" these women/girls are massively misinformed.
            A man can orgasm with a women he despises, he can orgasm with an ugly woman while he closes his eyes and fantasizes of a Playboy model or whatever turns him on – it rarely is the woman he is with!
            He is using her mouth as an instrument for his pleasure.
            If she is receiving any kind of empowering feeling because of this…?! How incredibly misguided, deluded, and ultimately sad.

    • You ignore the fact that a females' sexuality is a source of power and has ALWAYS been recognized as such by women, and used as much as possible in every setting. It is the female who cultivates this natural power over sex and death. They are the reproducers, after all, and this IS a valuable commodity. Genetically speaking, the control over the continuance of bloodlines is perhaps the most valuable commodity on earth. Since the dawn of mankind, women have known this power and wielded it skillfully and unmercifully.

      • Are you serious?

        • If you deny this historical truth, you are intellectually incapable of pursuing this dialogue.

          • I think Kate has something. Jewish people only recognize the female line; Once it was the same in Scotland.
            As my instructor in genealogy said, "Only the mother really knows who the father is."

          • To say that women "since the dawn of mankind…have known this (sexual) power and weilded it skillfully and unmercifully" is obtuse to the extreem. And to insist that history has shown women to be the sexual aggressors, and have used their powers "as much as possible in every setting" is absolutey rediculous.

    • THANK YOU SEAN!

    • You are correct that the tired old notion that sex is something that a female gives and male gets is regressive, but I think you miss the point.

      Trying to emulate Snooki, Paris Hilton or the lessons of ubiquitous porn, which is not touched on in this article, and wherein girls learn that licking a toilet seat and calling themselves "dirty whores" IS female sexuality, is a dangerous abdication of autonomy and control over one's own body, especially for a young person who is still discovering who they are in the world.

      Expressing your own sexuality with a friend and partner in a respectful environment is one thing. Posting home-porn shots on your web page and banging six guys at a keg party is another. Our culture is currently promoting the latter and marginalizing the former.

  4. Feminism began as a movement to gain the same opportunities for women as were available for men, and as a bid for respect as individuals rather than being used as sex objects as was common in the Victorian era. This movement was good.

    Then it morphed into something dedicated to the assumption that there are no inherent (i.e. non-plumbing) differences between the sexes, which led to the conclusion that any gender-difference in politics, academia, or the workforce must be due to prejudice. One sees this attitude in this article, where it is taken as unquestionable truth that the difference in seat-counts in Parliament, MBA salaries, or top-level corporate positions must be due to prejudice.

    This attitude is not only irrational, but focuses on making women as much like men as possible. Same toughness, same interests, same ambitions, same damaging tendency to use others for sex. Bad move. The whole point was to get everyone to respect women as women, not to get everyone to respect women because they're just like men. It's as though hard-core feminists hated femininity and wanted to ruin it, and so they did.

    True respect for women means having reverence for femininity and ensuring equal opportunity in anything that doesn't specifically involve gender. Throw away the reverence, and assume that equal opportunity means equal outcomes, and you have the combination one sees today of women being groomed from childhood as sex objects and the injustice in the workplace – to both genders – caused by affirmative action.

    • A lot of the differences in outcomes between males and females can be explained by evolutionary concepts. However, evolutionary explanations are still almost completely ignored by social scientists. Social science research over the past century has been predicated on the tabula rasa assumption; that we are born a blank slate that is then shaped and molded by cultural factors. I don't expect this erroneous belief to be abandoned any time soon. Nobody wants to throw out a century's worth of academic research and start from scratch. Steven Pinker does a brilliant job of discrediting what he calls the "Standard Social Science Model" in his book Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. I highly recommend it.

      • Depending on how your frame it, the tabula rasa assumption is hardly modern. It is the key assumption of John Locke's work and also exists as a significant entailment in Hobbes's writing. By some readings, it is modern, but, even if it be so, it is hardly current.

        Do you not find it a touch odd that both tabula rasa and evolutionary theory both had their conception/birth in the same intellectual milieu/tradition? Isn't odd that the works that form the foundation, of one particular and fairly dominant strain, of the Western intellectual tradition say the human condition is tabula rasa and, low and behold, people come to believe it is tabula rasa?

      • EVolutionary explanations are a pile of BS. Scientists resort to evolution as an explanation for behaviour when they can't come up with a real reason. There is no way of proving or disproving an explanation based on evolution, which makes it an alluring choice for hacks.

        Evolutionary explanations for just about everything will be looked back on and mocked in a few decades, assuming we continue to progress intellectually.

        Maybe social scientists ignore these explanations because they want something they can both use and prove.

        • Actually, it's the social science based on the "behaviourial model" that will be laughed at in a few decades. Evolutionary theory is used to explain so much because it does, in fact, explain so much. When you look at human behaviour across cultures, it is not the differences that jump out at you, but the similarities. The social scientists who insist on divorcing biology from human behaviour are reducing their field of study to voodoo. We are but one more species on earth. Every other species is driven by biology. Do we really believe we are any different? More complex, certainly. But any further removed from biology? Not a chance.

          I'm not arguing that social factors or environmental factors don't influence behaviour. They exert huge influence on behaviour. What I'm arguing is that this influence can never be separated from biology and evolution. Social and environmental factors affect us by triggering different evolutionary or biological responses. They don't affect us in isolation.

          • Well usually we are interested in explaining change across time in the social sciences. Think of most of the policy problems social scientists are interested in – war, economic growth, etc. Biological evolution, even if it does matter, is a slow process that is unlikely to contribute significantly in any one person's lifetime. I think you get a lot more bang for your buck if you look at institutional evolution across time, because that can change far more rapidly.

            Biologists would benefit from better models of collective evolution – most species, including humans, live in communities with others of their species. Behaviors that improve the likelihood of reproduction of one individual may also reduce the survival chances of the kin group as a whole. For instance, altruism is bad for the individual altruist, but benefits the community. When you have groups contending for scarce resources, often with violent engagements this can matter as well. Institutions, like individuals, are subject to powerful selection mechanisms.

      • To Raging Ranter; Then I suggest your social scientists are full of popcorn. Sounds like your reference is coming back to normal. I will read it And I think your thoughts are right. . A lot of "social science" comes from a bunch of over-educated fools who want to be in the big leagues with physicists. The most misleading pursuit is statistical "evidence" in an area where there are so many variables that a lot of it is apparently scientific looking but is nonsense. Perhaps if Bayesian methods are used it might be a bit better but after a career of reading such claptrap I despair. I think this thread must have many such people who use statistics.

        • You clearly don't understand statistics.

          Even the "hard sciences" such as physics now rely on statistics, because nothing is 100% certain (nor was it ever). Where is the electron right now? We have only probability (i.e. statistics), because we cannot know for sure. If you think things are more defined it's only because you don't understand them.

    • Yes. I would add that women are in great danger of landing right back where they started. Maybe even further back. Like some time in the early 19th century if they don't start taking their role in the economic world seriously. Then again, these young women might be taking all of this for granted. As if it's their due. Why not? Just think of all the programs designed around women. Tax breaks and goverment contract preferments for women-based businesses, to mention a couple. They hardly have to lift a fuscia coloared finger.
      My experience? I've dealt with so many more empty-headed, ignorant young women in the past few years that I'm starting to think the school system is not only MIA., it's abdicated.

      • Also right on!

    • Hard core feminists hate men…period. They've poisoned the minds of decent women with hate based propaganda that should be prosecuted as hate crimes. As for affirmative action, it's nothing more than gender cleansing fuelled by the above mentioned.

    • The belief that feminism began as a movement to improve opportunities for women is a smokescreen. The truth is that feminism teaches women to be selfish, domineering and controlling. For a great inciting, revealing read on feminism, go read Ronald Radosh's book, "Commies," about the Left. Feminism began with the Left to undermine the traditional family unit.

    • Your point is well taken. The idea that men and women are exactly the same and MUST make up 50% of every single demographic or else there's something wrong is ridiculous. Women are going to have different priorities and appreciations than men and if most of them would rather focus on family than running a fortune 500 company that's not a bad thing that needs to be rectified for "equality". Boys and girls should both be encouraged and educated equally at a young age but if one grows up to be a homemaker and the other grows up to be a stock broker that doesn't mean something's "broken". If they both arrived at their position through their own choice and desire then that IS equality, the freedom to choose. The danger exists of becoming alarmist about behaviours that are ultimately normal and healthy.

    • I don't agree about the attitude of sameness. No matter what, men will look at women and judge them on their appearances, not so much on their accomplishments, but their looks. Feminist didn't ruin the movement, but sexism
      has, be it intentionally or not, coming from both women and men. And here is where it needs to be stopped, and to
      be talked about.

    • EXACTLY my problem with today's feminists–it's as if they look down upon femininity–it's like….if you truly believe women are equal…why must you diss what is in their nature (i.e. feminine behaviours)?

      • This assumes that feminine behaviors are in w omen's nature. I would argue that they are to the same extent that feminine behaviors are in men's nature.

  5. 7 plus 6 is 13, not 23.

    Ten years later that number had risen to 17 per cent. But between 1990 and 2010, that percentage rose only six per cent—to 23 per cent.

    • Also, I should pay more attention. Heh heh . . . coffee, anyone?

      • Sure. Sugar and cream?

  6. Sounds like fodder for a musical….
    From the people that brought you Rent, the story about a rag-tag bunch of hipsters trying to make it, comes Tart, the story about a smartly dressed bunch of sistas trying to work it.

  7. when you divorce sex from marriage where do you draw the line after that? If a parent doesn't say to their child "sex is for marriage and in that context terrific", what do they say, "don't have sex until you're sixteen"
    "why sixteen, why not 15, i might be ready at 15, or maybe even 14"
    "because, just don't, well just don't until you're ready, and you won't be ready until you're sixteen at least"
    "i feel ready now"
    "you're not"
    "why not?"
    "because…."
    if sex doesn't have some boundaries where does it stop, my cousin works at a daycare and he saw four year olds making out, everyone agrees that's disgusting but no one is willing to draw any lines in the sand so what can you say.
    Another problem referenced by the a blowjob is like shaking hands comments, is that sex is no longer viewed as a big deal, have sex with everyone, with your drunk friend, with your relatives, with twenty people at once, with your dog (as long as there's mutual respect).
    It is a big deal, it's emotionally, physically, mentally, societally and psychologically big deal.
    "Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?" (settle down women aren't cows, but they are treated like property whenever anything goes is the day's mantra)

    • I agree about the specialness of sex (a specialness it loses if it becomes transactional). However, if I were to talk to my son or daughter (I have no kids), I would emphasize love rather than marriage.

    • A long time ago, I read somewhere:
      "If you think you are ready to have sex with someone, wait three months. If you still feel the same way, then you are."

  8. oh and yes the above comes from a prude who entered marriage as a virgin, has only ever kissed (and dated) one woman, but my wife never had to wonder whether i was with her for the sex, i loved her and enjoyed being around her and that's why i married her

    • Good thing. Marrying for sex is a low-odds strategy. :)

    • I think Kang said it best "Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others"

      If that wasn't clear: we are all different and different solutions can solve the same problem. The debate over whether or not sex is a married perk only will only distract us from the point and polarize us.

      I think that we can all agree that what everyone wants is to be respected and for those we care about to be respected, lets figure out how to achieve that and work out the details later.

      • The details and the respect are the same thing.

        What if the current, widely deployed (and recently novel) commonplaces about sexuality are undermining core concepts that gird our notions of individualism? Would you be willing to trade your ICM of individualism for a remodelled cognitive model of sexuality? Maybe you already have.

        • i am going to have to admit that i don't understand the acronym "ICM" and as a result, the question

          • idealized cognitive model – your understanding (if I must resort to a commonly misunderstood word).

    • yeah be educated and healthy get old and wonder why no guy wants to have kid with you. No man of any strength will want a superior woman. All your gonna get is a wimp and thats the problem in the house. No man or a wimp.
      Good luck women. Your marrying each other and everything else now. You have really f'd up this country.

      • I shuder to think of your wife and children, if they exist.

  9. "What really irks her is how a Girls Gone Wild sensibility has been sold to women as “empowerment,” that old feminist mantra. But in this version, men are the dupes, “nothing more than helpless, ogling, crotch-driven slaves” of “scantily clad or bare-breasted women [who] had chosen to be sex objects.”"

    So the men look upon women as worthless sex-toys to be tricked into sex, and the women look upon men as foolish dupes to be enslaved by their sex-drive. Terrific.

    Just exactly how far do we have to fall before we begin to recognize that sex without love (and by "love" I mean "free choice to join a lifelong and exclusive team relationship with the other person" not some kind of emotional fervor) is depraved?

    • I'm not sure that "depraved" is always, or even often the right word. Maybe "a bad idea" would work a bit more generally.

      That said, I've seen the messes that friends have gotten into engaging in "casual sex". Never turns out to be as casual as they thought.

      • I think it's the media giving messages to young men and women about sex that portrays one group as sluts and the others as dupes. Kids are smarter than that, but it's important that positive adults around them (both men and women) encourage them to think criticially about what they see on tv versus real life.

      • JoeC. No, depraved is pretyy good.

  10. Parents not liking the way kids act and socons pontificating about it?

    How very novel and unique! Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    • Precisely. Double-Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Men completely missing the point. ZZZZZ

  11. I do not disagree that feminism seems to have lost its way, or at the very least, that it's suffering from a lack of cohesive definition.

    But that said, the temptation is too much to risk: I feel obligated to point out the sociological patterns of women criticising other women who aren't like them. All the "support" in the world (being of the softer, more communicative of the species – cue roll-eyes) doesn't seem to diminish the reality that women tend to degrade other women as often as, and sometimes moreso, than men. Witness: girls who think calling one another a slut is an "affectionate greeting."

    • Could that possibly be similar to other groups that have co-opted derogatory labels? (e.g., queer, n*gg*r, etc…)

      As for women being equally misogynist as men: it's been observed repeatedly by sociologists researching race and ethnicity that the status of one's group doesn't particularly influence one's tendency to rank groups based on such factors. One finds racism and ethnic stereotyping just as abundantly among marginalized groups as empowered groups. In a way, you have to logically separate power from culture when looking at such attitudes. Men may be the more powerful gender, but the symbolic and cognitive underpinnings of the gender inequality system are sustained by most members of the culture – men and women included.

      • Could that possibly be similar to other groups that have co-opted derogatory labels? (e.g., queer, n*gg*r, etc…)

        Maybe, but I was always of the understanding that terms like "bitch" and "slut" were used to describe sub groups, not the entire gender. I'm not totally up on my slurs, in particular, because I'd rather be creative in my swearing.

        • "I'm not totally up on my slurs"

          That's probably not a bad thing.

      • Social research consists of observing something on Tuesday , or maybe Friday next week. It's the most puffed up nonsense ever laid upon us.

    • "I do not disagree that feminism seems to have lost its way"

      The possibility that the flaw leading to its rapid decline was present at and part of it's founding, needs to be considered as well.

      It also must be one of the possibilities that the model of self-assured, self-aware, and self-directing professional woman (dare I say Madame H. Clinton?) has it's opposite, the hyper-sexualized, permission-granting, and scantilly clad twenty-something, as a rational reading of the landscape by some individuals.

      • That is an interesting question. What do you see as the cause of millennial sluttiness?

        • Well, you wouldn't respect me if I just gave it away, would you?

          What do you think it is?

          • I was going to suggest something like the self-esteem effects of porn, as a negative consequence of sexual liberation (which is unfortunate because sexual liberation was an important step for personal liberty). However in the course of looking for data on teen girls and self-esteem, it appears that risky sex behavior is actually down.

          • The impulse to reproduce has not gone away. I hold that this impulse is the initiation of a cycle that leads to offspring. So, the cycle is being interupted at various later stages.
            The total number of ganglia devoted to reasoning available to the sexual organs is, I suspect (based entirely upon my personal experience) fairly limited. Having never encountered, on a sufficiently sustained scale and time frame, factors which interrupt the reproductive cycle, the sexual brain is wholely incapable of entertaining the notion of interuption (is it a double-entendre if you are actually talking about sex?). When faced with the failure to produce offspring, the sexual brain is only capable of rachetting up those behaviours that, for almost all lifeforms, leads to the generation of offspring – sexual signals and display. Hence hyper-sexualization of both men and women.

            In short: the (insert rap slag here) have got to have it + the pill (emblematic of birth control)= millennial sluttiness.

            As I can attest, off-spring have a naturally limiting effect on the reproductive cycle by leading to a reduction in the generation of the signals that lead to further reproduction.

          • Now that's an interesting idea. But wouldn't nerds and unnattractive people dress the sluttiest? (ie. the people who aren't even getting any).

          • Extend your time frame a little and you should be able to recognize that the appearence of nerds on the scene is a relatively recent event, not having attained wide spread cache as a concept until the release of National Lampoon's Revenge of the Nerds. It is part and parcel of the same phenominon as hyper-sexualization. Both are as a result of the Great Decoupling (multiple references intended) for reasons I am too lazy to explain.

            As for unattractive people, we have been get some for ages now. Literally ages. Just take a walk through the mall. Unattactiveness, as you say it, has rarely been much of an obsticle to reproduction. Wild, promiscuous teen-aged/college sex, maybe, but reproduction, no.

          • How appauling. Nobody could convince me that those little girls are feeling "empowered" in those situations.

        • You go first. What do you think it is?

          • Please disregard this last one!!! I thought I was being censored. I have no idea why I would think that.

    • It's a common phenomenon to see members of the same group, or the group just one small step up in the social hierarchy, being the ones who repress a group the most. One example is the moderately poor often thinking the least of the very poor, etc. Women are able to pressure other woman to behave in a particular in ways that men can't (at least by themselves). The power of same-gendered examples is immense.

      Of course, this is a general trend, not a universal one.

  12. "If you want a world where people look at other people as individuals, you aren't going to get there with laws, or workplace equality…."

    Completely agree.

    "Rather, you are going to get there either when women start ostracizing Carrie Bradshaw…"

    No, you are going to get there when there is an understanding that every human being is inherently priceless, and therefore not to be used as a commodity and then cast away. And this is going to have be based on the notion that humans are more than just animals, but rather creatures with a final purpose that supersedes humanity and human regard.

  13. "The old feminists of yore realized this"

    Do you mean "feminists in olden days of yore.." or are you suggesting, as your phrase does, that only the feminists of a certain age back then realized this?

    • Either the old or the yore is redundant (although the feminists of yore ARE old nowadays).

  14. In the course of looking for something else, it appears that the "girls gone wild" may be a bit overstated – at least compared to the late 90's. The Youth at Risk survey provides some instructive data.

    "Ever had sexual intercourse"
    Yes in 1991: 54.1%
    Yes in 2009: 46%

    "Used a condom in last sexual encounter" (among sexually active)
    Yes in 1991: 46.2
    Yes in 2009: 61.1

    "Had sexual intercourse with four or more persons"
    Yes in 1991: 18.7%
    Yes in 2009: 13.8%

      • That's lowering the bar!

    • Maybe it's like crime, and all the "new" sex is going unreported?

    • The problem with these statistics is that teenagers and pre-teens today do not consider oral sex, or even anal sex, to actually be sex. The definition of sexual intercourse is not stable across generations, which makes this kind of comparison very misleading. No one is saying that people of my generation (Gen X) never had sex and were all "pure" before marriage, but children today are learning about oral sex much, MUCH earlier than I did.

      These sorts of statistics are only useful if the respondents are specifically told to include instances of oral sex in their answers.

  15. Feminism<——————————————————————————————————>Machimso
    Two unhealthy extremes that the next generation would do well to avoid.

    • Simply put, feminism is believing and fighting for the equality of women. If you think it's extreme, I suggest you do some extensive reading.

  16. This article would be more aptly titled Kids These Days, perhaps with the subhead Why We're All Going to Hell in a Handbasket, possibly accompanied with a picture of that nice Mr. Bowie. (Oh, sorry, wrong decade.)

    • I don't recall Mr. Bowie look'n so good.

      How's about we extend your timeframe out a little further, eh? Wouldn't you be more likely to see the reaction back in the not-so-long-ago day to Mr. Bowie as being the starting phase of this phenominon and this article documenting the, if not end, then surely, latter stage of the same thing?

  17. This article appears to conflate two separate issues:
    -feminism
    -sexualization
    The latter is something not restricted to women. Every one of the examples illustrating the sexualization of women apply equally to men. For instance, the men that appear on reality TV shows are sexualized bimbos as well.

    The fact is, the article is trying to find something that isn't there, and reports on all sorts of other things instead.

    • I'll be damned if it doesn't sell magazines though.

      • Good point! I agree.

    • The fact is, the article is trying to find something that isn't there, and reports on all sorts of other things instead.

      Well, it's my completely un-humble opinion that girls sexualizing themselves under the guise that it makes them powerful is a noxious and concerning behaviour, if for no other reason than it means girls (and boys) are spending less time trying to figure out what they like about themselves, and more time trying to make other people like (or, really, envy) them. My understanding of psychology would dictate that a happiness that depends on someone else's phallus isn't much of a lasting or stable happiness at all…but then, I'm an advocate of having more genuinely happy and stable people, in general.

      • Yes, that sounds like a possible article topic.

        I'm not sure you got my point. Trying to connect this phenomenon to women's lib is pointless. This is something entirely disconnected. Popular culture has become more sexualized, but the connection to women's lib is tenuous. As I've mentioned, almost of the listed phenomena apply equally to men and boys.

        It's try that swim suites are skimpier, movies/TV are racier, girls/boys are trying to look sexually and physically attractive at younger ages, etc etc. This has nothing to do with the women's lib movement. It may have some underlying connections to the sexual revolution perhaps. But I think it's more the result of a culture that emphasizes value on just about any means of standing out from a crowd, whether visually, intellectually, socially, or otherwise.

        • On consideration, I'm somewhat more inclined – as you seem to be, if I understand you better- to think of the sexualization of young people as a broader cultural phenomenon, rather than something singularly attributable to women's liberation.

          Nonetheless, the connection between the two seems ironic – that is to say, given the women's liberation movement was an attempt to de-sexualize women (in the sense of being de-objectification and de-reductionist), the increasing self-sexualization of girls and young women in an age that is somehow considered post-feminist is somewhat ironic.

          …Maybe that doesn't make sense, but that's what my brain just told my fingers to type.

          • if I understand you better- to think of the sexualization of young people as a broader cultural phenomenon, rather than something singularly attributable to women's liberation.

            Exactly. In fact, I think that any connection is very weak.

            women's liberation movement was an attempt to de-sexualize women

            I don't see it that way, it was an attempt to empower women, to allow them to have careers of any sort, to live independent lives, and to remove any barriers imposed by men. Desexualization was a small part of that, and in fact, it all depends on the context. Women'ls lib wants women to be desexualized in the workplace, but wants women to have more sexual power in relationships, to assert themselves, to demand sexual gratification, and so on, in the same way that men do.

    • Very astute. There author makes all kinds of assumptions about an anecdotal handful of teenage girls, based on their fashion or entertainment preferences, as reported by their mothers.

      I don't think you'd get a very accurate picture of anyone based simply on their fashion or entertainment choices at 17, let alone filtered through their moms.

      The author cites a six women whose only connection to one another appear to be that they are middle class mothers of young daughters, and the majority of their evidence appears to be anecdotal. (Oh yes, one wrote a book inspired by generational differences in TV shows.)

      Nowhere is there any hard evidence to demonstrate that young women today are any more or less sexual than they were in the 60's or 70's or 80's or 90's, or that they are less likely to identify as feminists. (Both these assertions may be true, but there is absolutely nothing in this article to back those assertions up.)

      For example, the statement that blowjobs are like handshakes for today's teens really makes me shake my head. Really? Where's the evidence to support this statement? I've yet to see teenagers giving each other head in greeting at my kid's high school, but perhaps the practice is limited to the middle-class Toronto enclaves where I presume all of the author's sources live.

      The whole article reads to me like a group of Boomer moms having a kvetch-in about their daughters and their slutty clothes. Ah, how it takes me back. I can almost hear my mom yelling, “You're not leaving the house dressed like that, young lady!”

      • Well, my point was not quite the same, but I do agree with what you're saying. I think the author has found a group of kids that would not have behaved that way in previous decades. But I do agree that such evidence is only anecdotal, and there remains many kids who behave with commendable self-control and humility.

        or that they are less likely to identify as feminists

        I agree. In fact, I think there is an underlying feminism in society that is stronger than ever. "girl power" is what they call it these days. Many women today believe they have no need for men (which is true to some extent), far more than at any other point in history.

        Nowhere is there any hard evidence to demonstrate that young women today are any more or less sexual than they were in the 60's or 70's or 80's or 90's

        I agree with this too. It's easy to say that the 60s changed everything. But since then, has there really been much of a change? Hard to tell.

  18. How did those steeped in the women's lib movement produce girls who think being a sex object is powerful?

    It's an interesting question. To the extent that the movement has been tied to social liberalism in general, I suppose it only has itself to blame. Abortion-on-demand. Divorce-on-demand. Encouraging teen sex. Encouraging promiscuity in pop culture. And on it goes.

    In a nutshell, when you cheapen sex, then it will be used cheaply. As they say, what goes around, comes around.

    • The modern feminist movement probably started up because of men like you Dennis. The main purveyor of objectifying women at that time was Hugh Hefner. And now with Viagra he can continue having sex with compliant young women. Does he use a condom? His fortune is shrinking because of competition-online porn. So who cheapens sex? And why are so many women working in the porn industry Dennis? Better working conditions?

      • Wow, now I'm being personally accused of starting the feminist movement, am I?

        If you're trying to suggest that men are as responsible, if not more so, for the circumstances I described earlier, I'll agree with you. I never said that the socially liberal movement solely consisted of feminism, or that it was driven just by women.

      • Oh, btw, Hugh Hefner was a virgin when he went to university shortly after WW2. Most men were. You see, there was a time when sex was seen as having consequences. That is no longer the case — a situation he helped create, obviously. Apparently, his wife cheated on him before marriage. Afterwards, she allowed him to do the same. And thus an era started.

    • But if sex is cheap, then how can it be powerful?

      • It's powerful regardless its price.

  19. This article does nothing but bring up the relentless tropes that every generation is worse than the previous, today's little girls are corrupted, and the media hates women. There is nothing original to be done with this concept; it does always generate comments, though, because everyone has an anecdote or maybe a rebuttal.

    It's fillery journalism like this that used to be relegated to the Back Pages, which have grown larger as the magazine has been redesigned, filled with "human interest", and generally become another one of Those Magazines, the ones by the cash register.

  20. Not sure about all the whining to be honest. Women in the 60s fought for the opportunity for their daughters and granddaughters to act trashy and idiotic. No point in closing the barn door now. Also, every generation of women have a different set of feminist thinking/group pressure they yield to. Since group pressure more often than not will win out over common sense and individuality, it appears that your daughters are acting trashy when they have simply picked up the feminist baton and are running it the next leg of the race. If they've gone too far that's only because they're going beyond where you stop.

    • To act trashy and idiotic? Sorry Esteban, you are wrong. They were trying to improve the lives of women. To get equal pay for equal work. To get of out clerical ghettos. To get equal opportunity for good-paying jobs that were being blocked by men. To get the right to birth control. And it is not new each generation-it is an ongoing issue.

    • "To act trashy and idiotic? Sorry Esteban, you are wrong. "

      Actually Esteban, you are right, especially when you said, "If they've gone too far that's only because they're going beyond where you stop."

  21. try reading " The Mirror Effect" and you'll get the answer to what happened. Since 2000 we've become obsessed with celebrities. And the real or fake ones all share one trait – narcissism. And if we don't teach our kids the healthy way to process the info they are being given then society will devolve into narcissists. It would be terrible.

    But on the other side, I grew up during this feminism and I'm sitting here at work, wishing I could afford to have a kid and stay home. And I can't b/c we taught women to go out and work, we raised the bar for what we need and we can't barely achieve it now. Even tho I was raised to be educated and self sufficient, I feel pretty ripped off right now b/c I can't have a family for financial reasons. I long for time when I could have just married a nice guy, had a family and didn't have to work 40 hours a week on top of it all. But thanks for that feminism….you've helped us make a better world right? Somehow I don't think so bc I don't have it all and I'm not happy about it.

    • I'm not sure if that's accurate. There are plenty of women out there who leave the workforce to have kids. Some aren't even entitled to benefits for the first year, like you probably would. There are advantages and disadvantages to having one spouse stay at home to care for small kids, and not only financial ones. I mean, if you stay at home, you would be saving a lot on daycare, for example. And since you can get benefits in the first year (I'm assuming you are employed, not self-employed), that gives you time to think about what you really want to do.

      I have friends who left the workforce to raise their kids, even though it meant their finances would be strained. I have a friend who is an awesome mother of 4 who never took mat leave when she had her kids. And she loves them to death.

      The answer is different for every woman, and there are pros and cons to both options. If staying home is what you really want to do, I'd say go for it.

    • You'd be surprised how much you can afford in a single-parent household. Less budget for work clothes, don't have to pay for as much child care, you might even be able to cut out one of the family cars. Just drop your husband off at work. Lots of people are reduce their spending levels and adjusting their lifestyle these days. NBC's Today show and the NY Times just did a piece on it – they call it downsizing.

      • True. There is probably some avoiodance as well.

    • Don't not have children for financial reasons. Children need love and time spent with parents who care for them, not the things money can buy like the latest fisher price gadgets etc. Read some frugal living blogs and see how others have done it. I live on a shoestring, I'm a self employed house painter, single mother, and I work part time so I can be home the rest of the time to care for my kids. Anyone can do it if they really want to. Don't let $ stop you, that's very shallow thinking.

      • Also true – and brave.

    • Sweetie, if you want to quit work and have kids, then find a way to do it, and don't feel guilty about it. I did that 22 years ago, when our oldest daughter was 2 years old. I can honestly say that was hands-down the best decision I ever made (other than marrying my husband). Yes, it was hard at times. And I grew up in the "early" days of the feminist movement.

      How did we do it? By making do with less. When you are forced to make priorities and choose between what you need and what you want, you learn to cherish what you have. And there is no designer purse or "latest" cell phone that will make you feel as fulfilled as children will. Mind you, if my 16-year-old self heard me saying this, she would shake her head and wonder what happened…..

      The original intent of the feminist movement was good – to have the world view women as equally capable of intelligent thinking. However, it got transformed into something else altogether, and that has turned into something that isn't always pretty…..

      • True. Go back to the way we did it in the 40's and 50's. Do without,.

    • The whole point of equality is to have a CHOICE. As others have noted, if you want to you can stay at home and raise children. If you would like to work, you can work.
      Having grown up in the 90's and being a rebellious teen, I too declared that being promiscuous was having control over my own sexuality and of the men that wanted it. Now, being a successful mother and career oriented woman, I see my behaviour was trying to satisfy the need to be wanted, loved and cared for, as I came from your typical gen x situation – divorced parents who wanted to just get on with their lives complete with their latch key kid.
      Try focusing on "raising the bar" on love, care, support and interaction – that is what a child really needs, not the fancy toys that only a double income household can afford.

  22. Keep Elle Woods out of it! Legally Blonde has a great message for girls. Elle's character arc began with her heart crushing breakup, and she chased what she thought had value (ex boyfriend) by imitating what he valued (getting into law school). Not only did she study hard, work hard, achieve, gain perspective on her doofy "I got bangs" sorority sisters, but she realized that by using her intellectual talents she could empower other women (the downtrodden manicurist), stay true to her own instincts, and succeed. Along the way she realized that the adolescent prince charming fantasy that inspired her was a mirage. She grew past her man, grew into her talents, and got noticed by someone else, a man who she never chased but who chased her, who loved her integrity, independence, and charm. I love to watch this movie with my daughter.

    • I've never seen legally blonde, but I think you may have a point. Often people judge how much of a "good feminist message" is in something on relatively superficial grounds. The fact that the main character in Legally Blonde is a ditz shouldn't matter. Transcending gender (certain behaviors are also proscribed for men) should be about choices, including the choice to be a ditz. I think the more pernicious role models are "strong independent women" portrayed as being depressed and unfulfilled without a man.

    • I second that! It's a very nice movie.

  23. "“If you did not know anything about American culture or American life other than what you saw on reality TV, it would be extremely easy to believe that the women's rights movement never happened, that the civil rights movement never happened, that the gay rights movement never happened,” says Jennifer Pozner, the director of Women In Media & News in New York City, whose book Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, is to be published in November.

    I wonder who Jennifer Pozner thinks she is kidding. Reality TV is soaked in gay/lesbian sexuality almost to the point of being X-rated. It is nearly impossible to find anti-black racism in reality TV, and there are numerous mixed-race individuals. And the hyper-sexualization of women was exactly what some critics of feminism point ot would happen.

    The truth is that Pozner and others like her helped to create this mess, and are now suffering a severe case of buyer's remorse.Sorry, Jennifer, but the old rule still applies: your break it, you buy it. And you just purchased a shattered society.

  24. Whew, good thing the author didn't see the girl I saw at Costco last Saturday. Cute little legs in extremely short shorts emphasized by the wearing of uggs, slightly bare midriff with blouse showing cute little bare shoulders. She would prance around when she knew mostly older men were looking at her (including me, I might add, but I forced myself to look away amap, but sometimes looked again as though observing a train wreck. She was taking her styling cues from her sister, who appeard to be about 16 (I think they were picking up a pre-ordered birthday cake). She was…maybe 11 Yrs old. Maybe. And fully sexualized – no doubt about it.

    • I know what you mean, watching girls go to Jr. High or even Elementary School nowadays is like watching little hookers. Its really sad. I would not like to bring up children in this atmosphere we have now.

    • As much as this is true, look at it this way:

      Does that 11 year old have a job, an income? Who is responsible for the purchasing of their clothes, who says they are 'okay' to wear in the end? Who lets the child be influenced this way?

      I think, unless this is a special case, the answer is parents. There is no one more directly involved in the child's life than the parents and their family. There is school, there is tv, there is friends, but those are all outside sources to the child's home and most immediate experience. This whole article seems like a blow off the blame to bad parenting.

      • Right on again. The moms are often shallow and permissive. The tragedy is that someone is going to look the wrong way at the girl and could be in the news the next day. And not to advantage.

    • I'm scared sh*tless when I see these teen girls dressed like hookers and talking about guys in language that would make a sailor not just blush, but head for a monastery and become a monk!!! Where are their fathers?? (Absent, I'll bet!) Their mothers let them dress like this?? I'm glad I don't have any children to raise in this goofy society. If I had sons, the way these girls dress and act would make it ten times tougher to train them to be gentlemen and if I had daughters, the way not just the boys would treat them, but the way these trashy girls would berate them…. scary. This is what you get when you have a secular society without a moral base……

  25. Feminism was never about giving women the right to make choices regardless of their station in life. Feminism was primarily about giving more power to embittered, greedy white women already rolling in money and privilege. Women like Paula Jones and Sarah Palin were smeared as "trailer park trash" or worse because they did not go to the best schools and hang out with the cool rich girls than made up the feminist movement.

    Thus, it is not surprising that the solution to the problem of oversexualization of teen girls proposed by Anne Kingston and the women quoted in the article is – wait for it – even more power to embittered, greedy white women already rolling in money and privilege. For feminists, it's the 1960s all over again, and the destruction caused by the sexual revolution (a revolution they fought for and believed in) never happened.

    • Yep, feminism is a movement of the elite that affected all women. They just don't get (because they only hang around with other elites) that there is nothing empowering about a career (actually, a job) for the overwhelming majority of women. For this vast majority, empowerment can come from sexual power, only.

      • It's so nice when a male feels he is fit to declare to the world how myself or any other female feels about having a job. What qualifies you to make this assumption? Perhaps I missed something but when was the last time you woke up with a vagina and walked in a woman's shoes?! I RECIEVE A HUGE SATISFACTION FROM MY JOB. And yes it is empowering. I worked hard and I am doing something I love. How dare you say the "majority of women" only find sexual power empowering. (Which is ironic because men cannot get enough of hearing themselves brag about their most recent sexual escapades). If you don't find your profession liberating, that's your problem. Do not assume that women are the same.

    • Are you nuts! Feminism has given every woman the right to vote, choose, buy property, etc. More to the point, Sarah Palin has the same right to make a fool of herself as Paula Jones; I doubt either of them understands "standing". :-) The sexual revolution gave women the same sexual options men already had, no more no less. What "destruction"? If you're insecure about your 14 year old daughter having sex, that's a personal matter.

      Mimi

    • Very very very untrue. Please take out a book from the library on this subject. You have a lot of learning to do.

  26. If the author was looking for a show targeted at adults with the same sluttiness is cool message as those for teens, how did she miss Sex in the City? The entire series was built around sexual escapades.

  27. Feminism is no more an ideology than a dog who wants a bone. It’s greed. Skankness, in this vein, is not incompatible with feminism in that both seek to extract maximum goods, services, and entitlements from men, they merely use different means. So dressing tweens as strippers isn’t anti-feminist but rather more of the same.

    The larger issue: many of these girls are raised by single moms, and taught by female teachers in schools. By the time they reach the workforce they have scarcely encountered a living, breathing adult male, and boy does it ever show. Let’s stop awarding custody of kids, girls especially, automatically to women in divorces, we’ve seen the evidence and the results are clear: single moms raise their daughters to be skanks, at best. These girls need grown men in their lives as parents and teachers if we want to raise proper young ladies.

    • Single mothers do not "raise skanks, at best"
      This is a very insulting comment.

      • Be insulted. The man is correct. Some single Moms try hard to do what's right, but I know many who are nothing but insolent, feminist-polluted adolescents themselves. The female children of these women have the worst of all role models–a parade of men going through their mother's life, and no father to provide the caring presence that is absolutely necessary for the proper development of a young lady. The results are catastrophic.
        American Feminism–historically an outgrowth philosphy created by Marxist propogandists to specifically undermine the nuclear family unit–has been a highly destructive force on our culture. Ironically, the manipulated women who succumb to the brainwashing are the people who are being hurt the most.

        • Interesting that you say it is an outgrowth philosophy created by Marxist propagandists. It was as an exchange student in the USSR that I had my first real encounter with "feminine wiles" and saw how my Russian peers had great power over my male American school mates (with no possibility for sexual activity allowed in our context). I'd been raised in the 1970's in the largest part of feminism's wake. All girlishness and dependance on men had been beaten out of me. As girls we'd been teased and humiliated into not swinging our hips when we walked, always opening the door for ourselves and never asking for help from men. Yet in a nation under Marxist rule I discovered that it's nice to have men hold doors open, that they will carry bags for you if you ask and that swinging one's hips isn't just sexy, but easier on the joints which were designed to move that way. That was probably one of the most liberating summers of my life!

        • Classic, blame the mom. It's a chauvinistic at his best, (though certainely not a unique argument!!) Also, you write as if women chose to be single mothers. Some obviously do. However, many single parents are in that position for other reasons. For ex: the father couldn't be a man and stick around for his child. So, if you want to play the childish game of blaming a parent, you need to ask yourself why the men aren't there!! If the women is raising the child alone, it's because usually because the father is a jerk who didn't want to contribute in parenting. (In which case, your argument that a man could fix this is lacking!) Lastly, why do you assume the girls in the article did not have fathers? Nothing indicated this. But I guess that's the kind of reasoning you get from an already very biased individual.

        • Let me guess, you vote conservative. Typical.

          (And by the way, there are PLENTY misguided females who have fathers!!!) Lastly, the article was arguing that feminism is needed to counter this, not that it breeds this behaviour. I do not expect you to understand this reasoning because you clearly have twisted, bitter views on feminism.

        • There's so much emphasis on how to raise a “proper young lady”. Yet, there is no discussion on how to raise proper and respectful young men. I don't know when was the last time you hung around a group of teenage boys, but they are NO picnic! Sure they are more covered up, but they are just as sexual. Usually more! And in a very explicit and disrespectful way. Now, if we use your reasoning, can we assume that the idiotic boys that run around these days are the product of ill-advised single fathers? Or is it always the woman's fault for you?

          The ideologies that kids have concerning sex these days is based on what they see on a day to day basis. Women are presented with the idea that they need to be overtly sexual to be desired. Men are told they need to be sexually aggressive. If these are the ideas society feeds them, of course they are going to buy into it. This article is suggesting is that there needs to be an intervention – Ie: a conversation! Through this, we can help kids interpret these images so they see past the fantasy. Mothers are very much needed here because a father can never truly relate to what it's like to be a teenage girl growing up with these kind of pressures.

        • I know many people who were raised in 2 parent families that have turned out horribly misguided. (Both males and females). I also know many people who were raised by single mothers who are wonderful, caring, sensible individuals. Idiot.

    • I think I just saw a baby fly by with all that bathwater you just threw. :)

    • Ridiculous. To accuse single moms and female teachers of raising a society of skanks is ignorant. The only statement in your comment that holds any water is the fact that it is better to evaluate both parents before awarding custody of kids to the mother automatically. Girls need grown men in their lives, sure but, according to you, that's all they need – better get them away from those "skank-raising" women!

      Most mothers and teachers are purposefully teaching their children lessons in character and self-worth. I think you are referencing a very small segment of society. The fact is that children are bombarded with media showing them a version of who they should be that does not include "proper young lady". It is a constant battle to fight against those images and portrayals. Perhaps we should discuss how grown men and teenage boys perpetuate those images.

      I wasn't going to respond because you are clearly do not have any respect for women…but c'mon! What an off-base and valueless statement. And no, I'm not a single mother – happily married mother that values the contribution of my husband and the grown men in my daughter's life as much as they value mine!

    • As you said, women are supposedly trying to extract goods, services and entitlements from men. But the question is, why do they need to be extracted? Why are males the ones that posses them in the first place? Why can't it be more equally divided? Thus, you just proved the theory behind feminism and why it is needed. So thanks buddy. (And I really hope your bitterness concerning custody is from personal experience because you definitely don't deserve a daughter!)

      P.S. "Skankness" isn't a word.

    • 1) That does not even begin to make sense. At all. 2) You really think women dress the way the do to steal all the power from men? Grow up.

      Besides, I definitely do not hear complaining from men about the evil naked women taking their power! Definitely not! If men can't keep their head on straight, that's their issue. "Power" can only be given up if you let it. And it doesn't seem like men have any problem welcoming sexual women into their space! Maybe you should point fingers at males first! (Though this whole argument of yours is very ridiculous and exhibits great immaturity. In fact, studies show that people who believe in gender equality tend to be more intelligent and educated. Go figure).

  28. This article amuses me because the aging hippie feminist mothers don't see or understand that feminism itself is the cause of their daughters' behavior. Granted, women lacked choices in the past and the first stages of the feminist movement (think Susan B. Anthony) rightfully pushed for Women's Suffrage and other areas of equality. The early feminist movement embraced the dignity and equality of women in and of themselves. The modern feminist movement, starting in the 60s, took a radically different course by pushing women to be the same as men as well as to embrace sexual liberation and career advancement as the key to equality. Men are seen as an enemy to be conquered, both financially and sexually. The only solution to the current crisis is a return to traditional feminism: embracing women as good in and of themselves, especially in their roles as wives and mothers. Modern women (and men for that matter) often neglect their role as parents utterly to pursue success in their careers, and then are completely shocked when their children end up having problems. This mindset needs to change if there is to be any hope for our nation's young women.

  29. The sort of tragic twist here is that feminists generally sought parity between genders and the abolition of the culturally embedded notion that a man could use a woman, most any woman, for sexual gratification (or another end) and what has happened is that in obtaining the first goal, we've entangled ourselves in the second obstacle. Now a man and a woman are equally free to use eachother as a means to an end (or at least, we are told they ought to be – though not in those terms). I am not clever enough to suss out whether or not a woman who frequently engages in casual sex is "liberated and powerful" or playing into a man's game. Frankly, I'm not sure what the difference really is.

    Indeed, this sort of egalitarian promiscuity is frequently touted by both men and women in college-level feminist courses. It's frequently bandied about that porn is liberating; that a woman in such a movie is expressing her sexuality. Or, at the very least, that a woman ought to be allowed to be in pornography (academia is terrified of sounding like a prude or religious person when discussing sexuality). My point being that the idea that this is a product of pop culture alone is deeply mistaken, it's also very much embedded in academia.

  30. The Feminist's vision of "JUST-US" conbined with it's man haters downed the movement in hypocracy and darkness. Today's girls operate on a higher moral plain than there misanderist mothers but that not saying much,

  31. "Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don't criticize
    What you can't understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is rapidly agin'
    Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin'"

    Deal with it! The way young people see the world is different than the way their parents see the world. Trying to force us to adhere to the values of the previous generation is wrong, no matter if it's parents in the sixties and seventies trying to force their kids to respect traditional family values or if it's now and we're being forced to respect traditional feminist values. There's nothing wrong with family and there is nothing wrong with feminism, but our generation will create our own values thank you very much.

    • Well folks, the expressed opinion of JAS is a perfect example of why this problem exists. Everyone wants to do what is right in their own eyes. It happened in the 60's & 70's, it happened in the 80's & 90's and it's still happening today. Apart from being responsible to a greater absolute authority (often called God) our best efforts at finding personal freedom and autonomy end in the trash can. As JAS clearly indicates no younger generation wants to be accountable to any older generation even though it may have certain learned experiences and wisdom to share. But then again, JAS is simply saying the same things that my generation said about its parents and grandparents. Ultimately, it all goes back to a refusal to submit ourselves to values, rules or commandments that might stifle our own selfish desires to do whatever pleases our broken and valueless natures. The hard truth for all of us to admit is that we are unable to "create our own values" without destroying our souls in the process. Without God the way out of this dilemma will not be found. That's the way it is – so to borrow from JAS' opening comment – Deal with it!

      • Even the belief in God was once a rebellion against the current values, as were the teachings of Jesus. This is how humanity grows.

  32. I would like everyone to consider this. The sexual revolution of the 1960's benefited who? MAN. "Come on baby, burn that bra and give me your body. Free yourself from the bondage. Oh, and after we're done, send in Flower power. She needs some encouragment. Her mother's still inside her head. Groovy, thanks Doll."
    It's no different now. Tell your daughters this. This may straighten them up a bit.
    'BOYS MARRY NICE GIRLS"
    Girls are feline
    Boys are canine
    Girls, tell them NO.

  33. Feminists just wanted abortion. They got it, so they should be happy.

  34. Well, feminazis, welocme to the world you created. Tell me, feminazis, where are you when it and there communities. comes to oh say, sharia law? talk about violence and hatred towards women, but I dont hear one feminazi daring to critiicize Islam do I? Or the porn industry, which has graduated from mere skin flicks to brutalization of women, without a peep from the leftist feminazis. I feel no solitude for the feminazis. Its the conservative women who protect there children, there families and there communities. Feminazis largely use there children as props.

  35. The feminists in the past has gained my respect but the current bunch, pushed the envelope too far that it has a rubber band effect.

  36. These so called feminists are a little silly. What do you think would happen to your daughters after preaching about sexual freedom and letting the feminist movement get in bed with Hugh Hefner? Sounds like unintended consequences bit back in a big way.

    Feminism is gross to most of us "daughters" today, because of what its become. The only proud feminists I know of who are under 30 (which I am) are all lesbians. (As an aside, tell me why a lesbian cares so much about reproductive freedom?) The women who lived their life fighting the fight all appear dowdy, angry, shill and alone. No one really wants that in their heart of hearts.

    • Interestingly enough, the feminists over 30 that I know are all happily married and have kids.

  37. Put the little brats to work. Make them buy their own cars, cellphones, fancy clothes and iPods. That oughta learn 'em!

  38. Feminism is out of vogue because they are no longer for women but just run of the mill ideologues wrapped in harpy hagdom. Girls now place no value on their value as females and give away their bodies like it was a piece of gum out of a val-pak. Our kids mirror our throw away society. And then we have parents who exclaim with glee and pride when their children performs – averagely. Low Expectations, high praise for low quality, toss and go society and dissonant messaging from those who claim to be for women. Yeah, big mystery why our girls are skanky slutty wannablowjob? little brats.

  39. Very Canadian take on the situation, I'd say its ridiculous to worry about it.

  40. Once again, those crazy hypersexualizing Americans are destroying the sistahood, the flower of Canadian womanhood, the Palinesque, cleavage showing Mamma Grizzlies of the wild Canadian frontier. And desperately manning the barricades are the bustier ripping, mega female of woman's liberation. The battle is won, American culture has penetrated every aspect of Canadian life. So get over it! (p.s. any puns are unintentional)

  41. Naturally, the feminist industry blames men one way or another for problems girls have, and this author is no exception. But here's a radical thought: Perhaps if more fathers were kept around instead of being used as child support cash cows at a distance, daughters would be less inclined to fill the emotional gap with sex. And yes, women are statistically far more likely to be the ones to initiate a breakup, just as men as far and away more likely to be the ones to pay for the mother's "choice."

  42. There is sooo much blame to go around:

    Feminazis for the breakdown of the family
    Deadbeat dads for the breakdown of the family
    Rap culture for promoting the coarse sexualization of women
    Liberals for funding the illegitimate / babymomma lifestyle
    School systems for their how-to approach to sex ed
    The rest of decent society for allowing it all to happen

    • BRING ON THE BLAME!!!! WOOOOO!!!!

  43. When men are forced to take the child and raise the children instead of women winning custody at least 90% of the time, the risks of sexual intercourse will be much more evenly spread.

    Also, most because feminism has created a much more equal playing field for women, a lot fewer women identify themselves as feminist because equality is the middle ground. Those who identify themselves as feminist now are a lot more at the extremes of the movement and are much more likely to be considered crazy by both middle ground men and women.

    And maybe young kids today are so sheltered today by their parents, that they don't generally have to deal with consequences so they live much more in the moment.
    Or perhaps young women idolize the Miley Cyrus and other girls who dress slutty in order to get more attention. We live in an era where people can do terrible things in order to gain attention and then make millions off of that attention. Look at the Kardashians, known for a sex tape and then they get a TV show. Paris Hilton gets also parties and has a sex tape and goes to jail and makes millions. A behaved women rarely makes history (a feminist manifesto) so girls are learning its better to be misbehaved.

  44. Kingston goes all the way around the barn and still doesn't get it: If feminism says " perform like a man or you're just a bimbo," most girls will go with bimbo.

  45. Some comments have come close to my probably way-too-simplistic notion. I offer it here for all to mock it for its simplicity.

    Feminism promotes equality, and in particular that never again shall a male-dominated world prevent girls and women from doing whatever they feel is right and good. And young ladies have sexual urges. And not even Mom is gonna keep that expression of girl power down. And here we are.

  46. Islam is the answer to this problem. Think about it.

    Make mine Sharia.

    • What is the question?

  47. Anyone else get the feeling Macleans has stash of trashy-girl-stock-photos they need to burn through, hence why they keep running this same article as a cover story with slight tweaks?

  48. So because her mother has a PhD in education she's smart? I wonder how many people know

    1. There are more PhDs awarded in education than any other field
    2. More than 85% of all of the PhDs in education worldwide are awarded at U.S. universities.

    The education PhD is the easiest PhD to get. Look it up.

  49. So a bunch of overbearing hyper-partisan parents are mad their children aren't behaving the way the parent wants. Welcome to parenthood.

  50. The Feminists will lose their war against men. Ironically defeated by the natural biology of their own daughters. Females are gentically predisposed to partner with men in a traditional role. No amount of marching, protesting, refusing to do laundry or divorcing their husbands and assuming masculine roles will ever change nature. The daughters of these misguided and manipulated women will always follow the call of nature–at least until the overwhelming marxist/ feminist brainwashing of American culture takes root.

  51. This is the result of feminism. What did old-school feminists expect when they touted the sexual revolution? Birth control and abortion on demand are great advances, but feminists seem surprised that Helen Gurley Brown's attitudes are prevalent among teenage girls. The last two generations have grown up seeing Cosmo covers talking about how to blow a man's mind sexually and thinking that it represents something to aspire to. The feminism lesson has been well-learned by our young people. Now more than ever, the burden of birth control and raising kids as a single parent rests mostly with women. She can use birth control, or get pregnant and her boyfriend will support an abortion (after all, it mightn't be HIS and HE doesn't want kids) and it's all good. Or she can have a kid she doesn't want.

    • Interestingly, most women who have an abortion do so because the man in their life doen't want the child. Is this being true to oneself or is it what Susan B Anthony said legalized abortion would become- just another way for men to exploit women?

  52. Feminism decided to focus on embracing sexuality. At the same time, messages pooh-poohing the need for the family unit and accepting alternative lifestyles reduced the emphasis on stable long-term relationships. Burn your bras, have a kid without a father, or have abortions as often as needed, and make your pleasure your main goal in life. We're surprised that easy girls are the result?

    I'm sure the trashy girls feel great about themselves, though. Sleeping around and dressing like a hooker are really empowering.

  53. I think some of this may be due to our society downplaying the idea that making human beings is serious work. Sexuality is fun like nothing else, but at seventh and last it's not just a toy.

  54. I'd be curious to see how the daughters of the "prudes' (that is non-feminists) have been turning out on whole.
    Without that added information it is quite dificult to reach a valid conclusion regarding this issue.
    Are the Slut daughters limited only to the Feminists, or is it a society wide phenomena?

    • As a "prude" by your standards, my four daughters are turning out beautifully!
      These issues are background noise in our lives. I believe we, my four daughters (ages: 26, 22, 15 and 11) and I, have chosen the better path. We benefit from the increased respect for women's intelligence and work, yet keep our sexual energy within the marriage relationship.
      Because I steered my own life this way during the 1970s I can give advice to my daughters. Example is a powerful thing. And so far so good. Although my daughters are actually more strict than I am. I was not nearly as careful about dressing them when they were younger as my oldest daughter is in picking clothing for my two grandaughters! And my older daughters think I am too lax with my younger daughters sometimes. That makes me the good guy to the younger girls… funny!

      This is how to do it: focus on principles. And confront the temptation of letting others make your choices for you, head on. Have your goals in mind in all your decisions. Most of all, your respect yourself and others. And avoid people who don't have that respect.

      • Great job wisdom! And my friends who are raising kids with traditional values are also raising daughters whose goals include college and careers (unlike those who think traditional means barefoot-and-pregnant-in-the-kitchen). Their kids are delightfully solid characters who know their minds and themselves.

  55. I remember when i was ikn my 20s the main msg from the feminists was
    that women were placed on this planet to have fun and to masturbate…period!!! now these feminist old hags are surprised that todays young girls call each other slut and bitch…….

  56. Sadly, "feminism" had/has at it's core the belief that ALL men are either rapists and/or abusers, and that fathers were unnecessary. The only thing a "real woman" needed for a family was a sperm donor. In the process, women (or if you wish to spell it "correctly", womyn) supported liberated men who treated women as equals. Actions have consequences. And sex has had consequences since their have been men and women. When I was young man, back in the Dark Ages, if one of my buddies impregnated a young woman he knew he was either to to marry her and accept the responsibilities for his part in causing the pregnancy, or he'd display a yellow streak and disappear. Feminism put an end to that and allowed men to be totally irresponsible. Congratulations womyn, you got what you wanted. Enjoy!

  57. Caught this article via a link from another site — now I remember why I haven't picked up a copy of Maclean's in more than ten years. This article is sloppy, and as already cited, indulges a lot of tired tropes that include blaming the media, and bemoaning how terrible kids are today. Where is the research into those girls that don't indulge in the media-driven sexualization characterized here? What about some deeper critical thinking with regard to feminism, instead of a rehearsal of its virtues and its heroic struggles of the past now betrayed?
    Jeez, I had heard that Maclean's had been revamped a few years ago and I should give it a chance. No chance.

  58. You've really done a good idea of identifying the issue. The commercial world found a way to sexualize just about everything and succeeded in persuading a good number of women that being exploited is powerful. Meanwhile, at least in the USA, mainstream women's organizations reduced their concept of feminism to one thing: unyielding opposition to any legal restriction of abortion. Perhaps because Hollywood and the music and advertising industries have been largely supportive of abortion rights, organizations such as NOW have been largely silent with regard to the sexualization of young girls and the glorification of sexually exploitative behavior in film, rap and rock music, and advertising.

  59. Interesting that there is no mention of fathers. Thanks to the idiocy of marrying badly and divorce, too many children grow up without their own fathers in the home. That is the real disaster. What do you think a biological father in an intact family would have to say about a daughter dressing like a slut and being promiscuous? It was the feminists of the sixties and seventies who threw the fathers out in their quest for fulfillment. This is what has been wrought by it, an awful mess.

  60. This is what happens when you tell your daughters that guys are their enemies, and the daughters find out that guys are human too and certainly far more fun than their mother.

    And as for how guys are more fun — isn’t that a natural outcome of feminism’s philosophy of freeing one’s body from the natural result of procreative processes?

    The moral: be careful of what you sow.

  61. "Nomads (eg. generation X) – the cynical generation that grows up during awakening periods."

    Cynical because we saw through the boomers in their self-perception-as-prophets. They still think the world revolves around them.

  62. The feminist obsession with abortion and chemical/mechanical birth control as the means to exercising their 'reproductive rights' is directly linked to this IMHO.
    The above has allowed females to be used as playthings, and encouraged women to participate in relationships without requiring committment from the male.
    So, the modern females taking advantage of the sexual liberty their feminist predecessors provided to assert their attractiveness and availability and feed their egos in accordance with biology is pretty much a logical consequence of feminism.

    It's not a flaw- it's a feature.

  63. It is interesting that girls still pay the highest price for being sexually active. They are still the ones who get pregnant, still the ones faced with possible abortions or single parenthood, and are more likely to have long lasting devestating effects from STDs. What is equal about that?

    • And why women have the most to gain from sexual activity being limited to lifelong monogamous marriage. Aside from tragic exceptions this means no single parenthood and all but elimiting exposure to the devastation of STD's. Both men and women would be thus equally protected.

      • Except that in some cases, the marriage is only monogamous from their side, and they still get exposed to STDs.

        For a period in the 90s in Brazil, HIV was spreading fastest among married women, because their husbands were sleeping around, sometimes with men.

  64. There are a lot of tv shows and movies that promote strong female characters in lead or supporting roles. There are few alternative magazines for young female teens, and many more that cater to interests other than the girly-mags these moms are getting worked up over. If all your daughter watches is Jersey Shore and doesn't read beyond school curriculum and Seventeen, then stop bitching and step-up the parenting. Also, your child is an idiot.

    I found most of this article to just boil down to some angry moms ranting about not parenting very well. There are also some misandrist points which really encourages me to not take this annoying article seriously.

    • YES! Who is raising the "supposedly wanted" children that result from the marriages of these uber successful feminists and their partners. Apparently that "quality time" they set aside to pump up their kids self esteem didn't take. Perhaps they should have hired a nanny with a psychology degree or perhaps they should have recognized that children need their parents time and lots of it. These girls are not exercising "sexual freedom"; they are looking for attention. No one has nurtured them and taught them about the value of themselves. Whoever told these mothers that they can have it all lied. They should have given more thought to making the same commitment to raising children as they did to their careers. I am not saying you have to stay at home but I am saying your kids should be your number one priority until they reach adulthood – period!

  65. Interesting article and I appreciate the logic behind it but I think the problem has to be seen as a group of behaviors that are the result of permissive parenting and a generational notion that "any things goes" and that "I am not responsible for any of my behaviours"

    We have been raising children who are seen as little Princes and Princesses and who's behaviour is always a reflection or the responsibility of some supervising adult. There is no longer an societal expectation that kids should be treated as sentient beings who can be and should be responsible for their own behaviour. Once they get beyond the reach of the adults who are suppose to be grooming them into these perfect little beings, all hell breaks loose because they have no idea how to behave. The Reason? No on has expected it of them.

    As a high school teacher, I constantly see kids making reckless decisions with their lives because they have this bizzare notion that they are not responsible for their own behaviour and that anything bad that happens to them is someone's fault other than their own.

    I see kids destroying their social and professional reputations with things they put online because they they don't think about what they are doing, they don't care about what they are doing and they don't think it should matter. They see themselves as perfect, invincible… "special" and nothing that they do should be frowned upon.

    Skanky girls are the result of parenting without expectations.

    JMHO

    • The best post yet. Congrats for your acute observation.

    • I agree with blacktop. best post yet.

    • You are absolutely right. Thank you for saying exactly what I am thinking as I read in these comments silly ranting about how this is all the fault of "feminist hags" . Feminism has very little to do with how some (and not all) girls and young women are behaving. There will always be social influences that we do not want our kids to embrace. As parents, we can't control everything (I have 2 pre-teen kids), but we can teach our kids the important things. As "Parenting Old School" points out, two of the big things that we need to teach our kids are: (1) you are responsible for your own actions, and (2) we expect you to behave in a certain way. In my household, that means our kids have limits and boundaries on a number of things, they accept them (with complaint sometimes!), and they know we hold them accountable for how they act. Parents – single parents or two-parent families – DO YOUR JOB!

  66. Of course the feminists never bother to consider that this is the by-product of their beliefs, that by okaying & promoting women to explore their sexuality on par w/ men, their own daughters have become their own worst nightmare: objects to be obtained or mindless sluts. They have the sexual appetite of men, but without the genetic predisposition. Instead of questioning their own beliefs that men were the cause of all of their problems, they've never bother to educate their own children or future generations what it is to be a woman, a lady or to be their own selves… instead they focused purely on sexuality & abortion.

    You sure have come a long way, baby!

  67. I feel there may be a typo: should it not read "Kim Kardashian and her tabloid-cover co-whores"?

  68. The topic of this article should not surprize anyone.

    Let's get real. Most women have not been at home for the last 30 years to guide their daughters in the way the previous generation was. Secondly, most women have effectively abdicated their moral authority relative to sex as they have tolerated a world of sexual promiscity throughout our culture and aggressively supported abortion. Finally, many have been weak role models due their own selfishness and narcissism. Most men aren't any better.

    Feminism is a simplistic concept that needs a lot of work, for the benefit of families and children.

  69. Feminism has little or nothing to do with equality. The "equality" schtick is just a facade, a smokescreen. The TRUTH about Feminism is that it started in Communist/Leftist circles to undermine family life and teach women to be selfish.

    • Interesting point

  70. "Another Catalyst study published last February tracking 4,500 M.B.A. graduates in their first jobs found that women begin at a lower level than men and earned $4,600 on average less."

    We are obviously supposed to conclude that this must be because of some form of gender based discrimination. But in my experience men and women often make different career choices, with women's choices sometimes leading to more "work life balance" with lower pay.

    • Was that in the US or Canada? There is a vast difference.

  71. this is sad, what do these girls think they are proving by acting like s*anks

  72. How can girls today NOT be slutty? Come on, look at what "feminists" (and other liberals) want to teach in sex ed. Why do grade school kids need to learn about masturbation, how to wear a condom, oral and anal sex? BTW, nobody needs a teacher to tell them about masurbation. They can figure it out all by themselves. I have no objection to kids learning about sex, but not the way it's presented in schools. It should be up to their parents, or at least handled in a much more sensitive way in school. Kids today are as desensitized to sex as they are to violence. They don't learn to have respect for their bodies, instead they are taught that sex is just great fun, and how to avoid pregnancy and disease. There's a lot more to sex than the physical aspect of it. For girls especially, there is a spiritual and emotional element and this is what feminists have destroyed with wanting women and men to be exactly alike.

    • It has been going on, getting worse ever since the 60's.
      In my youth girls in the 40's were often not even allowed to date until they were 16 or 17 and then an aunt was in the next room. Girls who did were sluts. The boys who did were uisually much older as per my other post.

      I think oyou arte deasd right in your words above.

      • correction: you are dead right

  73. I CANNOT stand feminists and I do consider myself a very modern woman. These girls are nothing more than Modern day Tramps and it will all catch up with them at about AGE: 50.

  74. Just thought I'd point out, this attitude toward sex is far from new. The "good old days" when sex was exclusive to 1 person your entire life was a short period in the 20th century at best. Did the romans and the greeks not have orgies? The Babylonians, the Sumarians? Did The King of France not send boat loads of 12 and 13 year old girls to Canada to keep the lumberjacks and fur traders "happy'? There are sex guides written by Catholic monks from the dark ages. The Kama Sutra is ancient. When it was translated in the 19th century into English do you really think it was just a marriage guide? I'm not sure that girls now are worse than they were 15-20 years ago. Even 30 years ago. The Womens lib movement was at the same time as the Hippies who did mind altering drugs and slept around worse than any other living generation. The reason it seems worse now is simply due to media attention. The only change I really see is the massive amounts of gorgeous models in mass media advertising, as that would certainly make anyone feel inferior and thus cause lower self image.

  75. Self esteem issues should always be considered irrespective of gender. When a teen suffers from this, it could be an imbalance in the parenting work load. No wonder the focus time and time again is girls and women. And again, women complaining. Oh and as usual worried and fretting……self-absorbed, self – consumed…self self self

  76. How do people use selective memory to not conveniently remember to Rolodex their own memories of growth stages and spurts? Too embarrassing I guess. Canada is giving me such a complex. And Conrad Black wants to come back HERE? Good god, man stay put when youre free. Would you trade palm trees and white sands for this poppycock…Canada is nutty,neurotic and a polite acting prude. So there.

  77. the democratization and evolution of sex mostly via the pill and workplace equality will continue to change the way women and men view their relationships at home and at work, for the first time in history. one thing for sure. it will never be like it was. whatever the changes may be, the core requirement is teaching responsibility for your actions and your attitudes. the power of the effect that the rest of the environment has is dependent on how successful that core concept has been taught.

  78. The 60s were a rebellion against the 50s and the 50s were an attempt at normalization due to the atrocities seen in World War II. And so on.

    I find it hilarious the amount of people that believe the good ol' days were all moral and right. Yeah. What about the girls that had to 'go away' to help an aunt? Or went to 'study' abroad in Europe? Or that young couple so in love? Their firstborn was 4 months premature and 9 pounds, 2 ounces! If you believed those lines you were a complete and utter twit. Of course the girls going away to help an aunt or going to Europe generally were going to the home for unwed mothers. And if you were so lucky to be allowed to keep your baby, you would be forced to marry the father. Yeah, those good ol' days.

    • What you say is true as I have posted otherwise to a degree. But the instances you talk about, while present were a very small fraction. The trip to Europe was more often an attempt by a snotty mom to get her dfaughter to forget an unacceptable (meaning poor with nothing to offer but his bod)). Your view is distorted – not that all iof that didn't happen b ut not in thenumbers suggested by you.

      • If you have studies showing the numbers, I'd be interested in seeing them since the studies I've seen state the contrary. Comparing now to the 1950s when people were more 'moral' is laughable. It's a same song, different chorus. The only difference is people generally don't lie to try and cover up their children's mistakes. I'd suggest you stop glorizing the past and see the past for what it actually was.

  79. democracy and capitalism opened the doors for the individual hundreds of years ago and technology (practical application of science) has ripped the doors off the hinges. but rather than view the tools of technology (including the media, birth control, money, social networking) as complementary goods to human potential ie. hammer and nail, most people view them as substitute goods ie. nail and screw. with that individual empowerment comes a responsibility that few of us are good at managing. and there doesnt seem to be much teaching of it going on. technology, media, money…theyre all tools that are useful if used responsibly. they can either reinforce self image or they can tear it down. might be best to teach that to your kids. then the rest of the small stuff will disappear.

  80. i recently read an article that intelligence is rated as one of the top three characteristics that men want in a potential mate. compared to 1930's, intelligence didnt make the top 10. this change appears to be due to the work equality factor (women are worth something besides just child-bearing) and hopefully, the men actually enjoy being able to talk to women about stuff. it simply wasnt a factor 100 years ago. cultural evolution is slow and sporadic. it swings back and forth, slowly advancing as social expectations shift. but like it or not, women have way more power over their own bodies now which in turn means they have power over their relationships with men. sex will always be there. it will always be a factor in business and social relationships. and that power will only get more focused as women figure out how to expand into what really is unknown territory for them.

    • i like my wmen dumber than posts. what the hell are you talkig about?

  81. What exactly are these "Outraged Moms" outraged about? Their daughters are simply following the feminist formula they were brought up on: no respect for men, they are just useful idiots, no respect for sex, it is just for fun and/or profit, and no respect for marriage, that is a patriarchal hell. Unfortunately, following this philosophy also results in men having no respect for the woman, and, in the end, her having no self-respect either. The biological imperative is still to couple up, but even if this new generation of sluts can find men to marry them, it will not be long before their husbands are led astray by the next generation of increasingly youthful sluts. And with little or no guilt, given their wives' chequered history. Thanks Mom!

  82. I think it will be great when this generation of feminists dies off thus leaving their prehistoric ideas behind. Newsflash…equality is here…everyone knows it but you. Oops, gotta go…a girl with nice big titties just walked by the window and i have to yell touch your toes out the window at her so I can objectify her the way she asks for…she's a little fatter than what i usually go for (5,6 130 pounds) but I'll make an exception because by wearing what she is she's totally asking for it.

    • Great post…you missed a few stereotypes in there…lets see if I can fill in some the blanks…after you give the fatty what shes been asking for by wearing what she's wearing, you should go to university to become a doctor…it will suck at first as there will only be men in your class (because women's brains are very small, unable to hold much information based on this inadequate size), but the good news is, once you get out and become a doctor you can perscribe lot's of medication to all those crazy women…as thats how male doctors roll baby.

    • …when you later get married, its also important that you cheat on her with your receptionist, knock her up and keep her barefoot and pregnant (because what guy would want two incomes to buy toys with), and then beat her from time to time as long as the stick you use is an acceptable width (as all guys do)….maybe you can even have a teenage daughter you can later be told by feminists to feel bad about in terms of what she wears and how she uses her sexuality since its men who run the fashion industry and encourage underage sex among their daughters don't you know…your only down time will be watching all the tv shows you love that are the worst offenders of perpetuating gender stereotypes like sex and the city and legally blonde

  83. Today's young women have completely different challenges to face than their mothers did in times past. Today's mother's of Gen X'ers, Gen Y'ers and Millenials had to break far more glass ceilings than today's young women. Girls outnumber boys in high school graduations as well as university graduations. One could even argue women are at the "top" right now. Women magazines openly bash men at every turn. However, aren't parents at fault for the values instilled in their daughters?

  84. Wouldn't mothers be the source of these young girls misplaced affections? What about these girls father figures? The modern parents in the western world have REALLY goofed the younger generation and are now simply pointing the finger because it's easier. Some of these reasons of sexual wanton image projection in teen and even tween girls could be parental indifference, material-over-affection and the helicopter parent effect are also causing teens (both male and female) to engage in many types of provocative behaviour in an attempt to regain any semblence of control over their own lives and bodies, for better or worse.

  85. So many magazines and websites today harp on the youth of today, but we don't see the same attention brought to the modern day problems of helicopter parenting, kid-in-a-safety-harness effect and how modern parents have really, REALLY dropped the proper parenting ball and how it's affecting two generations of youth, (Gen Y'ers and Millenials) and how we as a society address it and fix it rather than blaming today's girls.

  86. In all candor, given the fact that feminists have sought to promote promiscuity as empowerment, and demands children as young as 5 be taught explicit sexuality, inferring that it's their right to engage in it where ever and when ever, and their parents have no say in the matter, what the hell do you expect? They have sought to redefine sex as love, they demand prostitution be legalized, which translates to promoting it as a career choice. Their advocacy has been a regressive promotion of exploitation and enslavement and those who disagreed were pilloried.

    What these so called feminists can't seem to come to grips with is the damages they didn't mind inflicting on other people's daughters has damaged their own. Perhaps they thought their daughters were more intelligent than "the masses"? Here's a clue for them, you raised sluts, because that is what your ideology is in aid of, it's intended purpose was to discourage morality, self respect and any consideration for things other than the shallow, trivial demands of an air head.

  87. According to statistics, 3/4 of all girls age 18 have performed fellatio on boys. This also becomes a power over boys seeking thrills. Mothers, your daughters are natural sluts.

    • Yes, and nine out of ten boys haven't had fellatio performed on them. This it the gist of this issue.

  88. There is a crazy generational difference in women that can be seen as good and bad. Being a 36 year old single male I am shocked how many young girls (19-26) are willing to be friendly so to speak where as my generation has always had a stick up it's … errr ear. I do worry though about how overly sexual young girls are as much as I have reaped the benefit from it, it's becoming a bit of a turn off and has reduce young women just to that a "sexual commodity." I work on the Hill and the issue is less relevant there but off the Hill it's a world of depressed, anxious, insecure women who find acceptance in the beds of men who eventually grow to resent and dislike their female companions who aim for a life only viable on Television.
    I think this change in direction with women is a media driven problem that plays to a Generation that has reject the men hating attitudes of their mothers and swung too far in the other direction, but to play the Devil's Advocate it doesn't help that we have a generation of men with prolonged adolescents .

  89. I hate this article, more cherry picked man hating feminist shrill

    Notice in the article when it talks about women in the CORPORATE world were more prone to lose their jobs during the recession than men, not once did it consider that maybe women perform poorly compared to the best which are usually always men. At the top of every field it is filled with men but Feminists like to compare themselves to the Homer Simpson variety in a childish form of "one up ship".

    Then of course it COMPLETELY leaves out the fact that 70% of all jobs lost were to blue collar slobs like me who were all men.

    Go to Hell Macleans!

  90. There are only two kinds of people in society — male and female — and if they can't get along then society falls apart.

    Feminism is a disease which has succeeded in creating distrust and antipathy between the sexes. And like a disease it will only end when it has run its course and destroyed its host.

    Feminism like communism is against the Natural Order and like communism is destined to fail. But in the interim it will share another feature with communism it will destroy the lives of many people.

    A man would be crazy to get married today and there is zero incentive. If he wants sex it is easily available if the woman wont spread her legs by the 3rd date he can just date another woman. So sex is not an incentive. And certainly he will be financially destroyed in a divorce and be a 14% dad when he loses his kids.

    Its no wonder that the marriage rate in the West is falling while divorce rate keeps climbing.

    See
    http://www.flippertv.com/nomarriage/
    http://www.marriageandwealth.com/nomarriage.html

  91. I once heard Muriel Arpin, a longtime advocate of Canadian feminism, explain an error made by the suffragettes in the early 20th century. “They focussed too much on getting the vote,” she said. “They believed once they got the vote, everything else they wanted would follow. It didn't.”
    In the late 60s/early 70s, I reported “women's news” during a time of tremendous change for women. I was also an active volunteer in “the movement.” From 1972-74, I wrote a weekly newspaper column entitled “Feminist” in Manitoba in which I attempted to articulate what the changes I and my “sisters” were advocating meant to us, to our world, and to the future. One of my “hopes” was for a day when women could make choices for themselves without fear that their choices would be used to limit or judge or prejudice the choices made by others.
    We are, after all, individuals.
    Each individual makes her own choices; each generation chooses its own battles.
    As a young woman, I battled for the right to make my own choices, and for the right of my daughter to make hers.
    Forty years later, as a mother, I'm proud to report that she is.

  92. To me the entire article appears to be one big exercise in defending the confirmation bias of a generation that doesn't know the war in won.

    We have equality.

    What people do with that is their business.

    Every generation thinks the latest generation is headed for ruin, and honestly it's getting a bit cliche.

    "…The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers…" ~ Attributed to Socrates by Plato.

  93. heck, I'm too old but would love to date one of your sons…

  94. I had a stronger reaction to this article than I thought I would because I wish it were wrong. However I work for a company that represents peer to peer executive learning throughout Toronto and I am sorry to report that my recruiting consistently turns up far fewer female executives than male. We happen to be really fantastic at preparing people for promotions and an accelerated career path and I honestly wish I knew how to get more women involved.

    • Perhaps many women simply have different aspirations than many men? For example, how many primary school teachers are women versus men? None of them will be executives, but is their job not terribly important to society?

      My last boss was a woman, but she felt it took too much of her time away from her daughters, so she left for a new part-time non-exec position so she could have more time at home with her kids. There's only so much the job could change, and a 30 hour work wasn't in the cards given the workload.

      I don't know, I think we all get caught up in this equality "ideal" without stopping to think that maybe different members of society simply have different goals in life, and being an "exec" may simply not be something a lot of women aspire to.

      If they don't value it, why would they pursue it?

  95. This is disgusting I can tell by the majority of messages being posted here that the respondents are either Male or Females who have fallen into this trap where they beileve that feminism has run its course and usefullnes.

    Feminism is no longer about equiality in our western society as women can do pretty much any job they wish. But feminism is now about respect and the question of wether women deseve the same treatment as men in society.

    it is very evident from the comments that many of the readers of the article have missed this point. they have shown such a lack of respect for women in many of theri comments and just repeated antiquated norms and ideas about proper male role models and the ills of single motherhood.

    the question is abotu respect and if it cannot be shown for a simple article trying to bring light upn this complex issue then how can it be expected of society. after all society constructs and reproduces it beliefs through the media.

    • Thank you. While I don't consider myself a die-hard feminist, I am an advocate for respect for all people. Especially young people. It really annoys/offends me (as a mother of teenaged girls) to hear people say "oh…you have GIRLS!!" (as though they are locusts). It's all so disrespectful, old boy's club and biased, in my opinion.

  96. I'm not sure if the issues is limited to girls or to teens. The media has targeted everyone with messages brainwashing us to be materialistic. I know as many teen-aged boys who worry about their appearance and need expensive accessories to feel like they are valuable. The sexualization of younger and younger girls is end results of make-up, clothing, shoe and other retailers trying to make as much money as they can. Reality TV is about getting people to watch commercial with inexpensive programming rather than investing in a team of good script writers and trained actors and actresses. What is worrying is less about sex and more about the quality of person that is being created, if all their mental energy is engaged in turning men into drooling sex slaves, is any thing left for caring about their communities, environment or the lives of others. Premarital teenage sex has been going on even back in the days when girls were turned out of their homes and shunned in the streets and told quite emphatically they were going to hell. The sex isn't the problem, its the focus on materialistic and narcissistic values to the point where other things are excluded.

    • i agree. sex isn't the problem. how can it be? its at the core of our existence. we live in awe-inspiring times with a expansion of goods and services and knowledge of ourselves that wasnt available before. but rather than use our increased knowledge and prosperity to enhance our lives, we've substituted human potential with shallow cultural values and prolific marketing. hopefully, its a phase that we grow out of.

    • Thank you Jane! I'm so sick of MacLean's trashing young girls. Teen sex has been around since the beginning of time (my own grandma — God rest her soul — would also agree with me!). So has makeup and trashy clothing. I DO believe that this barrage of celebrity-watching TV/media and "Reality" TV is however, indeed a problem.
      We need to stop picking on girls and we need to raise bar for ALL teens. There are lots of good ones out there!

  97. As they say, "the battle of the sexes will never be won, there is too much fraternizing with the enemy " and it will continue on in this way through parent to child until we stop trying to encase our children in the beliefs of what they should be and allow them to be the best of the human animal we all are.
    Allowing ourself the permission, if you will, to raise the level of being human but not at the expense of driving to extinction the animal in us all. Those smiles that weaves a web to catch you, those casual caresses up against your leg to comfort you, that beast of us all, that in a breathless moment, will jump across the great divide of any mindless adventure to defend and protect our mindful journey together.

  98. The problem for feminists today is that all the big battles have been won and what's left to fight over is far more murky and difficult to identify and define.

    It's very easy to fight for obvious equal rights in law, but it is far more difficult to argue that say "50% of all politicians SHOULD be women", since that involves telling women what they should value and what they shouldn't.

    So the former is an external fight for rights that unifies, whereas the latter is an internal debate between women primarily, and one that is fractious.

    Besides this, the article is, in my opinion, trying to extract more meaning from the actions of adolescents than is really there.

    Teenagers are crazy, but most of us come out of it okay in the end. LOL

  99. why dont moms get rid of tvs and computers and then their daughters will listen to them and wont see a double standard?

  100. I wonder if many feminist moms raised daughters without fathers. Because girls raised without any male attention when they are young and don't get male attention in a sexual way have always gone berserk and acted needy of male approval when they are sexually mature. That is because being overtly sexual is an easy way to get male attention if not approval. Girls raised with male attention from Fathers and brothers aren't so needy and don't develop the habit of being sexually overt.

    I am raising a teen daughter and I don't have problems with her selling herself out to men. In fact she has only had one boyfriend in her life, broke up with him after a few months and has since then held men at a distance and while she goes out with them she has not allowed any of them to act possessive of her.

  101. This article was highly interesting to me because of my involvement in it. Being 18 years old I am bombarded with both sides of this controversy every single day, but I am smart enough to not let it effect me as it does with some of these girls you speak about. Teenage girls are highly impressionable and obviously are following the trend, whether that trend be approved of or not. But the difference for me is that these girls LET themselves follow that trend, and their parents do the same.

  102. How many times in the article have you mentioned a tv show or movie? Does anyone else see how much of an impression the media has with this situation? I sometimes wonder why these girls are acting the way they are and why my friends and I are not, and my answer is TV. I watch TV for maybe 2 hours every week, and my TV shows consist of nothing to do with reality TV or MTV. "I don't relate that to my life at all. I wonder, 'why would you do that?' But it's enjoyable to watch." The fact that this young woman ENJOYS watching Snooki throw up on Jersey Shore is enough to tell us of what it is doing to her. She thinks she is an outsider watching this, but the fact that she is even WATCHING that television show tells us about her mindset. What ever happened to reading? What ever happened to discussion that did not involve the latest celebrity sex tape?

  103. Another quote that caught my eye was when Olivia could not come up with a female role model who wasn't famous primarily for her looks or style, stating that it was "next to impossible." That is a clear vision of what this girl spends her time doing, obviously reading magazines and watching tv. Had she done some reading I feel that an answer might have followed along the lines of Margaret Atwood or JK Rowling. Those would be my answers, anyway.

  104. I'm hoping that Macleans doesn't just become another feminist bullhorn spouting cherry picked statistics and issues with the glass ceiling, while completely ignoring the glass basement that men are stuck in.

    IMO, feminists have destroyed expectations of traditional relationships and men are unwilling to commit because of inequality in relationships and the destructive bias of family law. Now, women have to compete even more for men and that means sex and sexuality.

  105. Every few months Macleans has an article like this highlighting young girl's sexuality. It's really been quite a common theme in our popular culture how promisciuis girls are becoming. Where are the similar articles about boys? After all half the young people having sex are of the male gender.

  106. THANK YOU, MacLeans! This article was an excellent catalyst for productive conversation between the generations. Whenever there is conflict and misunderstanding, it is so meaningful for both parties to have their respective points of view represented by a third party piece such as this. Knowing that others feel the same way we do normalizes our own feelings and relieves some of the stress of our struggles to understand and communicate. In my family, it was a heartwarming moment when my 24-year old daughter brought home this issue, which she had spotted while in the grocery store line. It exactly echoed a series of discussions we'd had over the last several months. After a hug and a laugh, we were able to put the issue in perspective and agree that the world would be boring, indeed, if each new generation was not significantly different than the last. p.s. I have to admit that her generation growing up in the 90's and 2000's is much smarter about MANY things than we ever were in the 70's. We didn't protect ourselves and look out for each other the way this generation does!

  107. It really disturbs me how other girls my age(I'm 15) are so obsessed with Jersey Shore and Gossip Girl and turn into puddles when Drake or Eminem is brought up. I don't want to parade around acting like Ke$ha with my only ambition is to get a "hot" boyfriend that doesn't really respect me. And it really puzzles me that a majority of girls I know fit this description. Why do they want to be viewed as sexy when they're only 15. I mean we're still kids!

    Maybe it's just me, the girl who would rather spend her time reading Stephan King novels, listening to Children of Bodom and making fun of Twilight or watching a horror movie than hang out with a bunch of people and babble about how deep Taylor Swift's songs are or questioning the amount of hairspray Justin Bieber puts in his hair while watching the latest episode of Degrassi or 16 and Pregnant.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not wanting to go back to the 1800's and make all women wear skirts down to their ankles as to not tempt men. It's fine to dress a little flirty every once and a while and sit back and enjoy that drama filled episode of The Bachelor but it's disgusting how girls as young as 7 or 8 aspire to get a boyfriend as soon as possible and to wear a mini skirt with a midriff top. I really hope we can soon change all of this and one day girls and boys will love themselves for who they are and not try to look just like Kim Kardashian or Taylor Laugtner.

  108. Hmmm..I've been reading a lot of these threads and I think there seems to be an oversimplification of many of the issues that gave rise to feminism both in the 60s and in its present form. Firstly, despite second wave feminist desire for women to be the equal of men, they have never been and are still not the equal of men. Historically, women and minorities won entrance into the workplace not because people were more "enlightened" but because they could be paid at a fraction of the cost of a male worker. This is the logic of the market. There is always a downward pressure on wages to create the underclass.

  109. con't
    So for those women who say feminism hasn't helped them, well, you have to realize that feminism exists within a larger captialist structure, a structure that keeps wanting women to pump out those babies so that there are future workers for tomorrow. If you think marriage would help you. Think of gain. Research shows the family wage has been steadily declinig. Chances are, you'd still have to go out to work to make ends meet and guess what? You'll be doing most of the housework and baby-care which again, are supported by the statistics.

  110. Con't
    I agree. Feminist gains are minimal. But this is not necessarily because of some underlying agenda; rather, it is an agenda that has been coopted by larger patriarchal forces in society which try to dismantle its more radical elements even as it accomodates the less threatening ones. (e.g. now you can wear whatever you want to work and can take your bikini off and go topless and this is touted as feminist "empowement." These actions are tolerated because they do not challenge the existing power structure in any way. So again, as seductive as it is, we must get away from blaming women for their own problems and look at the bigger picture ie. How might a male controlled media might have something to do with the way that feminism has been portrayed? To what extent to you think these powerful men who make billions on the backs of women (including pornography and the sex trade) really want to show pictures of emanipated young women?

  111. What always cracks me up in these comments is the female wailing about the "sexual double standard"; i.e. men have the right to loose, free sex, but women are chastised for the same behavior.

    First of all, men have never had the "right" to be promiscuous, and every sane society in history has discouraged it. Likewise, every sane society has discouraged *female* promiscuity, which is far worse and far more dangerous; female promiscuity massively aggrandizes the risk of fatherless children being born en masse, and whittles away the concept of lifelong paternity (women always know who their children are; men cannot say the same thing).

    No, this female fascination with a make-believe "double standard" is really only a fascination with promiscuous men themselves, who titillate the female passions so (after all, a man can only be as promiscuous as there are women willing to be seduced by him). A total joke.

  112. And can someone enlighten me as to how men are "the more powerful" sex? Can someone give me even a single instance in which this is unequivocally the case? (Men make up the vast majority of war dead, prison inmates, homeless persons, etc.)

  113. Very sad, this is decadence. Corruption. However, the most interesting element in this article in the focus it gives on mainstream culture. This was ALL produced from "above". Both these generations were products, marketing products. Not the other way around. And it's been the same with the men as well. It's…sick. How people don't realize the degree of manipulation that goes on, and has been going on throughout their entire lives. When you see a single, consistent pattern of behavior being promoted all over every media, literally raising an entire generation, know then you are in a completely brainwashed society.

  114. A shattered society, indeed. Well, I've adapted. Wonder if Pozner has?

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