I was talking to a friend of mine – an American woman – and she told me that she was upset abut the negative image American women have at home and abroad. Today, we no longer have romance dramas about American women abroad, but rather stories such as Amanda Knox’s prosecution for murder. The days when American women were considered glamorous and sexy are over; Europeans and Asians now poke fun at frumpy, fat, slutty American girls. American women are considered, along with their British counterparts, the least desirable of all.
Increasingly, the same attitude is growing at home. Although Madonna and Lady Gaga can still draw crowds around the world, mainly they are seen as freak shows — people head to their concerts as though they are going to the circus.
In the meanwhile, older feminists are still doing what they’ve always done, and not exactly inclining ordinary folks to like women the more for it.
But is it really fair? Are American women that bad?
As I look around, for the most part I’d have to say no, because I can’t really pin all the blame on them. Actually, they are not any better or worse intrinsically than their European or Asian counterparts, but rather products of circumstance and environment. Women under 40 never played a role in granting women the license they now have in our society. Most of them just went along with things, as people are wont to do, and some screwed up along the way. They’ve been told from day one that they can be and do whatever they want, should be sexually adventurous, and should despise family values and honesty. I know it’s true because this is what they taught me as a child, too. I had the opportunity to learn from observation that this is bad advice, but I’m fairly sure lots of women have gone through life fully convinced that casual sex with whoever they please, abortion on demand and frivolous divorce are good things.
A lot of people think America is a very “non-progressive” place — it’s part of the teaching narrative used to convince people up is down and such. They say “look at the Europeans, they are so much more progressive and open about sexuality, easygoing…” The implication is that we Americans are so backward and prudish, and we have to fix that by screwing around a lot and aborting all the babies. But it’s really a lie.
Americans of my generation were born into the most “progressive” childrearing environment that I can think of in modern Western history. The divorce rate was exploding, people were screwing around so much that AIDS burst onto the scene very rapidly, discos were full of coke-snorting players, and it was the so-called golden age of porn. Sweden had nothing on us. Not even close.
Back then, even the Christians were freaks. I knew a bunch of people who grew up in Christian cults, including the Children of God, Love Israel, and various other lesser-known communities. These people were not exactly enriched by the experience of a free love, communal childhood cloaked in religious garb. I’m lucky my traditional grandparents took me to a church that was mainly filled with old Irish ladies, because some of the stories these other kids told me were downright weird.
Secular society was no better. Although much of the art that came out of the 70s was spectacular stuff, the messages conveyed to kids weren’t calculated to instill a sense of responsibility. In fact, in hindsight, it really seems like the last thing a lot of the adults back then wanted was responsibility. Life was a big orgy for many of them. I’m sure a lot of them had a blast.
The one thing I remember appreciating about all this was that people my age had a lot of freedom. Wives were just entering the workforce in large numbers in the 80s, and society hadn’t really adjusted to it, so we kids were left to fend for ourselves, which gave us a lot of opportunities to do as we pleased. When we weren’t being told to “self-actualize” or somesuch bullshit, we could ride bikes around town, play in parks, chuck rocks or whatever. Today’s kids definitely no longer have this privilege, and probably for good reason.
What happened is that my little generation of kids went on to become the most troubled and violent group of minors in US history. Murder and mayhem were far more the norm in the early 90s than today, believe it or not. So, that little experiment was a total failure, but instead of going back to tried and true methods of raising families, our parents decided we were little devils and built more prisons, locked more of us up and filled the streets with police cruisers. In the meanwhile, they redoubled their efforts to teach irresponsible behavior and lies, but they entirely stopped practicing what they preached. They’d grown out of that behavior by then, anyway, but once people are past 40 or so they rarely change their minds, so they became even bigger hypocrites than they had been before.
The result has been disastrous for our society, and contributed a fair amount to social stratification. The less capable members of society were hit the hardest for a few reasons. Most importantly, they were confused by the mixed messages, and even if they weren’t they couldn’t afford to insulate themselves from dysfunctional institutions such as public schools.
Younger women, of course, were not immune from the bad influence. Despite the fact that fewer women under the age of 40 identify strongly with feminism than older women, they have followed the feminists’ bad advice, because that’s all they’ve ever known. So while the boomer feminist may have preached sexual liberation, abortion and the “I don’t need no man” mentality, she at least had the benefit of her more traditional parents’ example to fall back on if necessary. Their daughters did not have that advantage, and never really knew any better.
Despite how clear it is that their parents failed them, younger women are still taught in universities that all the problems are the result of the “old society” filled with spooky patriarchy and dead white males haunting us like so many ghosts even today. This is because the people running the universities today are their parents! They are still preaching the same garbage they embraced circa 1972, and they will never stop doing so until they retire or die.
So, as a matter of fact, the most libertine generation in our history is currently running our society, and if we are to blame anyone, it’s them. No, it isn’t because we live in a prudish, backward society, but rather that an entire generation took radically “progressive” ideals way too far and did enormous damage to our culture.
So, although I’d say it’s proper – and necessary – to hold American women responsible when they do something wrong, we must conclude that much of the fault lies with their parents. It’s time we started taking a more critical look at the people running our institutions and asking them whether, given how much they’ve screwed up their most fundamental responsibilities, they are still qualified to lead anything at all.