"Living Dolls explores the dark side of the sexual revolution. Walter makes the point that the pressure on young women to live up to a shag-happy ideal can alienate more reserved and quietly brilliant females who aren’t that interested in shaking their arse for FHM. Seventeen-year old Carly: ‘There aren’t any other options. You’re a sex object, and then you’re a mother, and that’s it. There is no alternative culture.' I think Walter could have explored that last statement more. As soon as a woman reaches a certain age (say, about twenty-six) the pressure to down Aftershocks and fall out of nightclubs stops and the pressure to find a man and churn out some babies begins. We have managed to combine the objectification of women with the cult of childbirth. The nuclear family crumbles, divorce rates shoot up, and yet against all sense and evidence we continue to promote the idea that the best thing a woman can be is a mother. Result: an epidemic of teenage pregnancy as young girls learn to associate reproduction with empowerment."
From "In the Company of Men" at 3:AM magazine. Link. Italics are mine.
This looks like an interesting read. I'm always ranting about this: the fact that "sexually-liberated" women are suspiciously "liberated" in a way that is structured by male desire. Many women have still not learned how to articulate what it means to be sexually liberated outside of the limits of the male gaze framework. It irks me to see women either 1) "act like men" because "we're equal" and "can fuck around too" or 2) conform to some sort of porn-star "bad-ass" ideal. In the latter case, this ideal is the same as when men were creating it, only now women themselves are propagating it and pretending that its new and liberating because they feel "in control." Riiiight. I think its equally significant and awesome that the writer indicates that women are under pressure to go to nightclubs and be that "sexually-liberated, freedom-loving" young woman. Her wording suggests (correctly, in my opinion) that this is not a lifestyle automatically suited to all young people, nor something all women strive for within that same framework. I consider myself sexually-liberated and free, blah blah blah, but I want to feel it and live it on my own terms, not as some silly alt-coquette man eater. I feel like I've grown out of that phase but I still feel pressure (perhaps internally and socially) to be out and about and showing myself off. But I just don't want to.
I've noticed recently that commercials that target women usually use the stupid-as-fuck husband as some sort of prop stock character to sell shit. Ie. man who can't load the dishwasher, man who can't cook eggs without making a huge mess, man who just generally looks like a dumb-fucking-failure. Insert image of smirking smart-ass wife in the background pulling out the fucking lysol while the children look on knowingly. Men are not stupid. Most men that I know personally are very self-sufficient. Most women I know are very self-sufficient. I feel that this kind of commercial epitomizes what the ignorant masses have taken as the "moral" of second-wave feminism: your husband is stupid, you can pretend to give him a little power but ultimately you have complete control. I hate this interpretation/mis-reading of feminist concerns and I hate the fact that one gender is always placed under the other. Sugar-coated "equality" stuck with needles. Passive-aggressive "neutrality" masking resentment.
The amount of "alternative" girls posing in so-called "provocative" poses is driving me nuts, mostly because its so hilarious. Girls in AA sprawled over random pieces of furniture, girls with "pensive" looks and stupid fucking looks on their faces. My personal favourite is the "intense eye" (usually coupled with thick-rimmed glasses) which is usually 100% terrifying. It was interesting for a while but now that the whole internet is inundated with the self-portraits of girls obsessed with their own "unique personal brand" I just want to hit a big ERASE ALL button and start my brain over.