Relax, Ladies. Don’t Be So Uptight. You Know You Want It
October 7, 2018 9:14 AM   Subscribe

"Look, I get it. I was 20 years old in 1990. After my boyfriend punched me in the eye, he cried too. I held him until he felt better. I told friends I’d stupidly walked into the corner of an open cabinet. Because, like the Washington Post in 1990, I understood it was my job to help men feel better about themselves. It was my job to understand that their gross, abusive language was just locker room talk. Most men don’t mean to hit us or rape us or verbally abuse us. They don’t really want gay people strung up and hung. It’s just a macho act, you know? Like the Diceman. Besides, if women don’t like that sort of thing, why do they go for guys like that? Or vote them into office? Or make them Supreme Court justices?" Anastasia Basil in Medium
posted by Grandysaur (41 comments total) 95 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ugh. So many fantastic insights in there and the one that made me tear up was the "carpet and drapes" line. I "had to" laugh that off at least once a week in high school and university.

We are changing the times. It's not easy, but it's happening.
posted by rpfields at 9:39 AM on October 7 [19 favorites]


I've often wondered what we're doing today that will be appalling to some future young people. The irony will be rich whatever it is, but that's how progress goes I guess..
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:43 AM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Not gonna lie, I cried reading that. I never sat down and thought about my generation and what a long way we've come, baby. Can't stop and relax yet.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:49 AM on October 7 [11 favorites]


I was too young to understand what was happening with Anita Hill, but today I am stunned at her bravery and am so grateful she spoke up.

I know she was just a small part of this essay but it’s been on my mind. Thanks for sharing this.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 9:54 AM on October 7 [32 favorites]


“Be polite” can mean either “be courteous” or “be invisible.”

There are a lot of people of both traditional genders imploring women to be polite these days. They all have certain differences in their rationales, but a common thread is, I think, less abstract than philosophical points of view: I have certainly seen anecdotally that the rub is often just one specific male to keep calm that informs their whole campaign of suppression.
posted by Construction Concern at 10:04 AM on October 7 [5 favorites]


When you are steeped in the toxic soup of misogyny, it's hard to see it. I am around the author's age and I remember all those terrible cultural figures she's talking about. I also remember feeling pretty pissed off at a lot of the misogyny, but learning very quickly that expressing that brought a lot of accusations of Taking things too seriously and Being uptight.

So then I went and did a degree in gender studies. It was such a relief to be surrounded by so many women who did not accuse me of being uptight or too serious or not being able to take a joke.

I saw footage of the protests against Kavanaugh's nomination and thought, these people will not forget. Things are getting better and we will not go back to the bad old days. But then maybe that's what feminists thought in the 1960s and look where we are now. I just wish change were not so slow.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:22 AM on October 7 [57 favorites]


What's weird about today to me is Evangelicalism. Where I was growing up in the '80s, the Evangelical church was a refuge for more emotional, sensitive men like my father. The culture of the church was a contrast to the in-your-face toxic masculinity of "the world". Gentleness was valued; all of the bits of pop culture mentioned in the article, all the rape movies and horror novels and sweary comedians and gross jokes about women, were sure to start your soul on its way to hell.

The church had its own brand of misogyny, of course - hello, purity culture - and I suppose the evolution of that misogyny must be part of what explains the marriage today between Evangelicals and Trump. It still seems deeply weird to me, though.
posted by clawsoon at 11:12 AM on October 7 [16 favorites]


Not gonna lie, I cried reading that. I never sat down and thought about my generation and what a long way we've come, baby. Can't stop and relax yet.The Underpants Monster

Have we?? I can't help thinking that Brett Kavanaugh wouldn't have been put on the Supreme Court in my Father's generation, nor in my Grandfather's generation, and certainly not in the way he was--votes changed so only a majority needed, then rushed as fast as possible through as though they know full well that what they are doing is wrong.

I think we've gone backwards, quite a lot backwards.
posted by eye of newt at 11:31 AM on October 7 [31 favorites]


A minor point from the article: "I wonder… would today’s anti-feminists be yesterday’s anti-suffragettes? #WomenAgainstSusanBAnthony"

Yep, those who also favor voter ID laws, etc., in a way still are anti-suffragettes: many women anti-suffragettes were racists who foresaw voter suppression efforts being harder at the increased scale required if African American women got the vote. Pages 354 and 446 [PDF] in Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement offer examples. A pretty good chunk of the book has to do with how enfranchising women and African Americans was tied together in obstructionist and/or painfully divisive ways. But the best part is chapter XXX, "Tennessee"--the nail-biting victory story (dramatized very briefly here in Iron Jawed Angels) that resonates with this article's theme of inch-by-inch progress opposed at every step.
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:34 AM on October 7 [15 favorites]


ok
Have we?? I can't help thinking that Brett Kavanaugh wouldn't have been put on the Supreme Court in my Father's generation, nor in my Grandfather's generation, and certainly not in the way he was--votes changed so only a majority needed, then rushed as fast as possible through as though they know full well that what they are doing is wrong.


I don't know how old your father is or would be, but it absolutely, positively would have happened in my father's day. Heck, a lot of the people making it happen now are my father's age and older.

For one thing, I doubt in previous generations that any victims would have dared to come forward, mostly because they would know that they would be believed even less than Dr. Ford was/is. And if they had, the men in power would have done everything they could to hush the whole thing up - not because they believed it was wrong or that it would kill their candidate's chances, but because they didn't think it was important enough to let it become a distraction.

I don't know how much you've talked to the older women of your acquaintance about how much flagrant abuse went on in their day with nobody batting an eye, but I've heard those conversations since I was a little girl and they're bone-chilling to remember.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:50 AM on October 7 [41 favorites]


Have we?? I can't help thinking that Brett Kavanaugh wouldn't have been put on the Supreme Court in my Father's generation, nor in my Grandfather's generation, and certainly not in the way he was--votes changed so only a majority needed, then rushed as fast as possible through as though they know full well that what they are doing is wrong.

From my grasp of history? Sure, he would have. It's just there wouldn't have been this kind of opposition--no one would have cared what he did with women, just about his connections to men and his relationship between the parties of people in power. Would you like me to pull out writings from women in the 1920s about the political process? I'm pretty sure I can find an Alice Duer Miller quote for you, only then it was just about having access to a right to vote, period--wealthy men could hurt whoever they damn well liked, as long as no powerful man wished to speak for them.

He would have been voted in without changing the process to squeak him in under the wire, because men like this have never had any obstacle in the way of their easy coast to power in the past. The transparent attacks on the systemic process are a symptom of progress, not backsliding. You notice it now. You wouldn't have always.

For the record, Anita Hill was my own personal father's generation--I was born in 1990. I hope my daughter, if I ever have one, will see a fight like this as an unimaginable aberration.
posted by sciatrix at 11:54 AM on October 7 [32 favorites]


A friend was talking about all the anger and despair flowing and said she was trying to keep the belief that Kavanaugh might just be the last of his kind in the Supreme Court.

I am Kavanaugh's generation (I'd have been a freshman when he was a senior) and absolutely, my father's generation and his father's generation have been giving men just like him honors, power, and a pass for a very long time. As noted above, they're the ones who made this happen.
posted by crush at 12:10 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Gentleness was valued; all of the bits of pop culture mentioned in the article, all the rape movies and horror novels and sweary comedians and gross jokes about women, were sure to start your soul on its way to hell.

Let me guess, you're a man. Sorry, but I grew up in Evangelical churches, and at all the ones I frequented, a sort of false gentility was indeed fostered. You were kind to "good Christian people"; you could absolutely be cruel and vindictive with anyone who didn't fit that narrow definition. Especially women, and children. I often wonder how on earth the church-mandated physical abuse of the time was so easily forgotten.

I remember Anita Hill, and Monica Lewinsky. Dr. Blasey Ford is another I'll always remember. I hope we're getting better in spite of this awful government. I've seen things come a long way; have been very glad for the diverse voices mounting in crescendo.
posted by fraula at 12:11 PM on October 7 [35 favorites]


I don't know how old your father is or would be, but it absolutely, positively would have happened in my father's day. Heck, a lot of the people making it happen now are my father's age and older.

My father would be in his 80s if he were still alive today. He was a life-long Republican, but shortly before he died he switched to the Democratic party because he was so disgusted with George W Bush and what the 'Republicans' were doing. My father would certainly say that things were much worse, or he would have switched earlier. And in my opinion things are an order of magnitude worse now under Trump.
posted by eye of newt at 12:24 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


The culture of the church was a contrast to the in-your-face toxic masculinity of "the world". Gentleness was valued...

As the partner of a Mennonite woman: Bull. Shit. "Gentle" patriarchy is a logical contradiction. All they've done is redefine "violence" to suit their narrow theological and patriarchal needs. As always, it's a scheme to make the men feel better about themselves. For everyone else, the scars are just as deep and last just as long.
posted by klanawa at 12:32 PM on October 7 [25 favorites]


Politics seems much more polarized today. Although it's not an an all-time high or anything; in the past we had actual fights on the floor of the House. (The most famous was, unsurprisingly, about slavery.) Also duels, which on any given day I could be talked into believing wouldn't be such a bad idea to bring back, all things considered.

There was a postwar geniality and bipartisanship that has faded in the last few decades, certainly, but I see this mostly as mean reversion.

Plus, that sense of geniality—which was frequently just a facade over a gentlemen's agreement to share power among white men, lest the women or Jews or blacks get their hands on the controls—was premised in large part on the unique position the US found itself in after the Second World War, with unprecedented geopolitical and economic power. When you're fantastically wealthy as a society and getting wealthier, suddenly a lot of fights can be resolved amicably. We didn't have to choose between reinforcing western Europe as a bulwark against the Reds or building schools; we could have both. And power got handed back from one party to the other without too much drama, because they were basically two sides of the same coin, and the other party—even at their most disagreeable—were probably better than either the common enemy of the Soviets or of domestic radicals.

My guess as to exactly what happened is no better than anyone else's, but it seems to me like social conservatives realized they were losing, really losing, and decided to start playing hardball while moderates and social liberals though the let's-all-be-friends truce was still on. And while US liberals have generally focused on the Federal government almost exclusively, neoconservatives went and got out the vote and started working their way up from local elections and statehouses, showing their base that going to the polls pays off, particularly for white people concerned that they might not have the power they were used to.

The decline of moderates, simultaneously, was an unintended consequence of well-intended Progressive Era reforms, mostly the creation of primaries to replace "smoke filled rooms" and party-boss-driven machine politics. Combined with mass media, we have a system that selects candidates based on their appeal to a small segment of the electorate (likely primary voters), and then forces people to choose between two frequently-odious options in the general. And the fear of the primaries also seems to drive politicians away from compromise solutions while in office (e.g. Susan Collins and her cowardly surrender to Team Trump).

At this point, I don't know how we unwind things. If there's enough energy, pushing for ratification of the ERA would end-run the USSC when it comes to depriving women of their rights, although whether that's more or less difficult than simply increasing the size of the Court a la FDR's old threat is something I'm curious about.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:14 PM on October 7 [20 favorites]


You were either marriage material (compliant and fun, a go-along gal!) or you were one of those militant ERA lesbian types doomed to die in a one-bedroom with your cats.

Option two is awesome.
posted by bile and syntax at 1:37 PM on October 7 [36 favorites]


fraula: Let me guess, you're a man. Sorry, but I grew up in Evangelical churches, and at all the ones I frequented, a sort of false gentility was indeed fostered.

klanawa: As the partner of a Mennonite woman: Bull. Shit. "Gentle" patriarchy is a logical contradiction.

Fair points. I suppose that what has changed(?) is slippage in the stance that "the way that we say men are better than women is completely different from the way that they say men are better than women."

I've been slowly figuring out all the ways that patriarchy is entwined in my Evangelical and Mennonite heritages. I'm certainly not all the way there yet.
posted by clawsoon at 1:40 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Where I was growing up in the '80s, the Evangelical church was a refuge for more emotional, sensitive men like my father.

Throughout history and across cultures, men have always felt most free to display the full range of human emotion and vulnerability when women aren't there or aren't in control. Every place is a refuge for men to express themselves, where women have been entirely excluded or effectively shut out of power. see: boys' private schools, men's colleges, the army (where men have always learned to cook and clean and mend clothing for themselves and love their comrades for life and cry and die in their arms. it's great for them, if they survive. for everyone they run into, in war or out of it, well. everyone enjoys being in the presence of a sensitive man's emotions, don't we?)

men have always explained it to us that way, too: that it's women's presence, and especially women's power, that causes macho displays and forces men to hide their humanity. because they need to impress us, which they do by suppressing their human side, which must be shown only to other men, which is our fault. just nature is all. why do we have to keep pushing our way in everywhere, when exposure to us makes men worse and worse? shouldn't we leave them to their exclusive pursuits and their unchallenged dominion? they'll be kinder husbands, fairer judges, better priests, if we do.

of course patriarchal institutions are "a refuge for more emotional, sensitive men." they always have been and they always will be. meanwhile, the refuge for emotional, sensitive women continues to be nowhere. their own house? no, that is asking too much. their own rooms, if they have one. their own rooms, if they have a lock on the door and don't make any noise.
posted by queenofbithynia at 1:43 PM on October 7 [89 favorites]


Evil things may be more out in the open now, but I think that's a necessary step in the process of fighting them.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:08 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


queenofbithynia: of course patriarchal institutions are "a refuge for more emotional, sensitive men." they always have been and they always will be.

That hasn't been my experience, or matched what I've read of the experiences of others. A few patriarchal institutions are like that, but in most of them any display of weakness by someone who hasn't "earned it" is ruthlessly punished. Toxic masculinity is toxic for most men, too.

(I might be swayed in this by my own experience with sports teams, coworkers in a male-dominated profession, and stuff I've been reading recently about elite English boarding schools. I think that in many cases men learn that it's dangerous to dump their emotions on male colleagues but safe to dump them on women, while remaining supremely uncomfortable with displays of negative emotion by women. And women learn, as the article puts it, that it's their job to help men feel better about themselves. I'm saying this all from my own limited perspective, and I could well be wrong.)
posted by clawsoon at 2:15 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


"The church had its own brand of misogyny, of course - hello, purity culture - and I suppose the evolution of that misogyny must be part of what explains the marriage today between Evangelicals and Trump. It still seems deeply weird to me, though." -- posted by clawsoon

I think the anti-abortion zealotry overrides it. I talk to my mom, and I know her heart is not evil, and she opposes from a moral point the bullshit about Trump being a sexual assailant...

But in her eyes (besides the excusive : "It's just talk")... it's abortion.

Which goes along w/that misogyny. Of course, they never say it's about being against women. But it is.

Still - I think that's the thought, because she was like "I am not voting for that woman who is not pro-life! Trump has flaws, but he will stand up for unborn children"

I don't know how many people there are, but Trump gave the base their crumbs and they regurgitated it back for him. Disgusting, but I think that's the link.
posted by symbioid at 3:48 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


Which goes along w/that misogyny. Of course, they never say it's about being against women. But it is

I think there are people who genuinely do not understand their anti-abortion beliefs as inherently misogynist. They believe in unborn babies. That’s what they believe they are. In a literal sense. So in the same literal sense, they think we’re murderers.

It does not matter that this doesn’t make any sense, or that to believe a fetus is a person you have to ignore the fact that a woman has to grow it into a person. Literally give of her body and her blood to make another human. It is that process they do not see as rightfully voluntary, but the belief in “unborn babies” is such an emotional trigger that it short circuits any sort of critical thinking.

It is brilliant, evil, ruthless propaganda, and it has likely set us on a path to eventual war.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:07 PM on October 7 [28 favorites]


This article is fucking dope, though. It felt great to read.

But yeah. The abortion zealots aren’t fucking around. They want Gilead. They’re going to try for Gilead. We to have become just as ruthless.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:09 PM on October 7 [11 favorites]


I'm waiting for the day when it's possible to transfer a fetus into the body of a man and grow it to term.
posted by bq at 4:13 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


It was this bad or worse. Dissenting voices were just silenced, either by cultural pressure or outright violence.

The conflict we see now is the direct result of those voices fighting their way into public awareness and the existing power structure reacting.

Whatever the appearance of their being a bastion of masculine gentility and tender vulnerability, the reality of evangelical Christian churches in 1970s-1980s US was that this was a polite fiction maintainable only in an environment in which complete male dominance was unquestioned.

I grew up in one. This is how it was.
posted by allium cepa at 4:15 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


...and let me just be blunt.

I saw "gentleness" and "vulnerability" in men in the church, growing up in this time period.

I saw a lot of sanctimonious performative "Christ-likeness" in public from individuals who regarded themselves as the representative of god in their private lives, divinely appointed patriarchal authorities with no tolerance for dissent. I listened to sweet words in the church building from individuals who were fonts of violent racism, misogeny, and homophobia outside of it.

And even the few I knew who presented a more consistent appearance did so from positions of assumed power over anyone not male. And did so while patting themselves self-righteously on the back for overcoming an inherent "sinful nature". And any slips? Any failures? Any violence? Understandable and of course forgiven by the Heavenly Father
posted by allium cepa at 4:41 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


I don't know how much you've talked to the older women of your acquaintance about how much flagrant abuse went on in their day with nobody batting an eye, but I've heard those conversations since I was a little girl and they're bone-chilling to remember.

Absolutely this. And if something happened to you, unless your assailant was a stranger with a weapon (and sometimes even then), it was considered to be your fault. Sometimes people did see the actual act as being vile- but like as not, they'd see *you* as the source of the vileness, because you somehow encouraged it, or didn't take appropriate steps to prevent it, etc.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:56 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


we naturally absorb our share of generational sludge

I did. Misogynist bullshit was the order of the day, from the morning zoo shock jocks on the radio, to the music (women are pieces! She's got legs and she knows how to use them! David Lee Roth singing about hot legs) to the casual groping on the school bus, to period-shaming during gym class (all girls, some of them sitting poolside after handing the coach their monthly notes), to the P.A.-declared "early cut" for the male sports teams ("Go get 'em, boys!"), to after-school sexual harassment and grabbing by fellow activity-goers. And then home to the parents who asked us to be flattered by that gross and violating attention, because...it was easier than accepting a child as a victim of bullying? They asked us girls to excuse the boys, who weren't really serious (who got the full seven sacraments to my six; no exception for Sundays) because that's just what boys are like. No need for change, no consideration for the girls: That's what boys are made of, and girls need to deal with that immutable fact without complaining or getting angry. It took me until college to get good and mad, and until last week to ask where the fuck were the grownups, and why weren't they protecting us? Why were they making excuses for the boys' shitty behavior, and requiring us to put up with it? I swam in that sludge for years, and I am not going to give a polite and resigned sigh, saying that's just how it was. That IS just how it was, and it was BULLSHIT.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:58 PM on October 7 [48 favorites]


queenofbithynia: of course patriarchal institutions are "a refuge for more emotional, sensitive men." they always have been and they always will be.

This was not my experience either, in my all-boy's prep school. And I'm pretty sure that wasn't the role Georgetown Prep played for young Brett Kavanaugh.

In my experience specifically of the evangelical church, yes, there was a component of "sensitive" men who were drawn by the literal message of Christianity and encouraged by it to think that the fold of the church gave them a safe place to be decent and caring. I believe "betas" would be the MRA term for them. They were indeed tolerated there, but were generally ignored. They were certainly never in positions of real responsibility and were never taken all that seriously by the toxically patriarchal authoritarian sorts who actually wielded the power within the church.
posted by Naberius at 5:39 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


In my experience specifically of the evangelical church, yes, there was a component of "sensitive" men who were drawn by the literal message of Christianity and encouraged by it to think that the fold of the church gave them a safe place to be decent and caring.

I think this is probably true of all Christian sects, Evangelical or no.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:55 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


The basic premise of religions like evangelical Christianity - rule-based ideologies wherein some group has access to the truth that is power and the rest get to watch and maybe try to figure it out - is that if you accept that premise you get a pass on personal responsibility. It's attractive because if you buy in all you do is agree and follow along and it's all good for now and forever. You build in to that an insular social structure that shields you from the corruptions of the world and it's a pretty comfortable spot to hang out.

For me it took a university education to poke enough holes in the story to wake up from it - a la The Matrix. (Fittingly it was a 1st year female prof deconstructing Milton's Paradise Lost that for the ball rolling.)

If I feel despair in the air it's because I can't see how our siloed realities will allow us to be confronted by stories and facts that challenge our assumptions. If there's hope it's because my kids don't trust dogma of any sort, nor anyone who suggests them.

And, as a teacher, it's just plain as day that girls are the most engaged and eager to engage both politically and academically. If that holds it's just a matter of time. Gilead? No engaged young woman today would put up with that shit. They want agency, not an excuse to hide behind someone else's rules.
posted by kneecapped at 6:51 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


I've often wondered what we're doing today that will be appalling to some future young people.

Whatever it is, it won't be a complete surprise; it'll be something that is already controversial to some extent. (I'd put $5 on the eating of meat.)
posted by nnethercote at 6:59 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


And then home to the parents who asked us to be flattered by that gross and violating attention, because...it was easier than accepting a child as a victim of bullying?

It was more than that for some of us. I remember my mother-- my educated, future county court judge mother-- just filling up with light and practically floating when she told me that crap. It was so magical to her that, at the age of eleven, I'd managed to turn the eye of some vicious, entitled little boy enough that he was now bothering, on the regular, to insult and belittle me, and to do things to disrupt my classwork.

What a coup for me! What a coup for the whole family.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:15 PM on October 7 [15 favorites]


If there's hope it's because my kids don't trust dogma of any sort, nor anyone who suggests them.

Gilead? No engaged young woman today would put up with that shit.


the mind reels.

systemic oppression is real, except when it's oppression of women. then, they're not oppressed. they're putting up with it. why would you put up with it? stop hitting yourself, why are you hitting yourself.

just a minor example chosen completely at random, but christine blasey ford didn't almost lose a physical fight for her life against two older, larger boys because she trusted dogma. Attempted rape wasn't a mere misdemeanor in Maryland in 1982 because girls back then put up with the criminal code until they had a sudden change of collective childish heart in 1996. the religious training that taught rich schoolboys that lower-status girls were created for their abuse, those girls didn't have to trust that training to suffer from it. they didn't even have to know it existed.

They want agency, not an excuse to hide behind someone else's rules.


and people in hell want ice water.

they're not manic pixie dream children and they are not being well nourished on hollow compliments. they want what their mothers and grandmothers wanted, and a lot of them probably think they're going to get it. they are going to struggle just as endlessly and painfully as the rest of us are still struggling, and for just as long. that is, all their lives. maybe for slightly more reward, why not. Why not! Someone's got to get it eventually, don't they, so why not them. good luck to all of us.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:22 PM on October 7 [41 favorites]


"they're not manic pixie dream children and they are not being well nourished on hollow compliments. they want what their mothers and grandmothers wanted, and a lot of them probably think they're going to get it. they are going to struggle just as endlessly and painfully as the rest of us are still struggling, and for just as long. that is, all their lives. maybe for slightly more reward, why not. Why not! Someone's got to get it eventually, don't they, so why not them."

Yes. At least that's what I'd tried to say, but managed not to. Sorry.
posted by kneecapped at 8:07 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


He’d linger at my desk describing that morning’s copulation. I’d respond in ways the ’80s taught me: Laugh and roll your eyes or make a maternal tsk-tsk face.
This one struck home hard. This is...what I learned. It’s how I learned to stop these things - the gentle maternal shut down, the “I’m too holy and pure to hear this, you have polluted my ears.” I probably still default to that, when I’m not thinking about it.
posted by corb at 1:27 AM on October 8 [13 favorites]


GenX here (right on the boomer line) and just here to say that I tend to dismiss or underestimate the toxicity of the culture I grew up in. Not one but two of my high school friends had "boyfriends" who were pushing 30 and nothing was ever said about how gross that was. (The one girl's mom tried to lock her in an attic to keep her away from Romeo; as twisted as that was, part of me thinks that she should have locked HIM in the attic and left him there.)

To this day, it's sad to me how low I learned to set the bar for men. It continues to have negative ramifications for me and I'm now in my fifties.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 4:33 AM on October 8 [19 favorites]


This is a really good and interesting essay.

I've often wondered what we're doing today that will be appalling to some future young people.

Whatever it is, it won't be a complete surprise; it'll be something that is already controversial to some extent. (I'd put $5 on the eating of meat.)


That, and I'm thinking use of fossil fuels will look not so great in retrospect.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:08 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


Based on that IPCC thread I don't think we can assume there'll be future young people.

But yeah, I'm either Gen Y or the beginning of the Millennials, depending how you count, and some of the toxic nastiness was so firmly entrenched that it often takes rewatching media or revisiting childhood stories from that era with someone else to actually confront just how many horrid things I didn't even question.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:52 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Very late, but I'd like to share this collection of sexist ads from vintage issues of Ms. Magazine, taken from its No Comment feature. This, too, is what we were swimming in during the 1970s...
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:09 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


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