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Aug. 29th, 2007

I could have sworn that I'd read How to Lose Friends and Allienate People when it was new several years ago. But a couple weeks back I dug it out along with some other books in the basement and realized that I didn't really remember any of it. As I've been reading some things have come back to me so I'm sure I read it. But - I don't know I guess it didn't really stick.

Anyway - there's this stuff in here.

The willingness of New York women to enter what is essentially a nineteenth-century marriage market is surprising. After all, the cause of women's emancipation is more advanced in Manhattan than in any other city in the world. They might not describe themselves as "feminists," but if these women experience any form of discrimination they're straight on the phone to their attorneys. They're more ambitious, better educated and less oppressed than any previous generation of women and yet they're prepared to go to any lengths, however demeaning, to secure a husband. Why?


and in a footnote on the same page:
Katie Roiphe wrong an article for Esquire in which she discussed this paradox: "Seen from the outside, my life is the model of modern female independence... But it sometimes seems like my independence is in part an elaborately constructed facade that hides a more traditional feminine desire to be protected and provided for." "The Independent Woman (And Other Lies)," Esquire, February 1999"


I just found that all a pretty interesting observation. Especially from a male non-American.

A couple of days ago I had a conversation with Karl about the weirdness that comes from feeling like I'm not supposed to behave in a way that is natural for me. I have a basic "let me get that for you" sort of instinct. I want to cook dinner and get you a drink and do the dishes and all that stuff. But all the while I feel like I'm not supposed to want to do that. Because somewhere along the way feminism went from being about the freedom to do whatever you wanted to being just as rigid a mode of thought as the patriarchal bullshit is was setting out to change.
Women are always first and foremost about judging other women. And unfortunately it's gotten under my skin and I am sometimes really sheepish about how I feel.

Comments

starchy
Aug. 29th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
Personally, I don't quite see what one has to do with the other. Independence and a demand for equality don't, in my mind, suggest a need for non-traditional family structures, frigidity, or homosexuality. I think these things become conflated because a single, very successful political and cultural movement advocated the right to any and all of them, but I don't think they have anything to do with each other except as things that everyone ought to have a right to.
maddening
Aug. 29th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
They don't have anything to do with one another. But I don't know a single woman (of anything close to my age) who uses the words "housewife" or "homemaker" without a level of disdain.

In theory I should be able to do whatever the hell I want without having to worry about how it comes across or represents me. I should be separate from my gender. But even my own mother teases me about being "housewifey" and cooking dinner every night and all that other stuff. I don't think I can explain it but from my own perspective (because hell - I don't really have a line on how the rest of the world feels) I often get that weird feeling that I'm not being enough of a "modern woman". That I'm letting someone down in some weird way.

Heh. Now that I think about it I'm sure I definitely couldn't explain it.

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maddening
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