I was invited to Susy’s 30th birthday party last week. She’s a total knockout beauty who’s parleyed her friendships with single super-yuppies into a high-end event-based dating service …and parleyed that into a possible reality TV series. Naturally, I was flattered to be included on her list of fab friends, but seriously?? Manhattan’s Meatpacking district on a Thursday night looks like a Saturday night (don’t these people have to get up for work in the morning??) when not one little girl (and I mean tiny) has got less than 10 inches of thigh showing, stilettos that hurt my feet just looking at them and strapless tops that showed off their assets like we only saw drawn in comic book figures (Archie’s Veronica and Betty come to mind). Not to mention it was chilly and they were all completely bare shouldered. There were a lot of them –and only one of me, wearing jeans and a jacket, walking in flats, ok… low heels. What ever happened to the feminist movement?
We didn’t plump up our cleavage, we took off our bras and pulled back our hair… Skirt lengths were down; platform shoes were in; we feminized pant suits to equalize the workplace… In our private time, we lessened our make-up, joined sports teams and in a really bold move, threw our heels in our handbags, forsaking fashion to don sneakers for the daily commute to and from work. Our sexual revolution had more of an earthy tone to it; we fought for comfort — dressed for us. We scouted out intellectual stimulation and saved the sex-cat for the privacy of our bedrooms — and I’m not sure we missed much, although you can see in the looks from our male peers (and in some of their lame attempts to jump in) that they’d trade in our hippy there/then for a little bit of the titillating here/now, faster than you can say “how would you like it if I….”
My youngest daughter calls herself a feminist but she participates in the glam of sexual dressing, intentionally seeking physical (rather than intellectual) attention from the opposite sex… Or from other gals?? According to Brielle, new feminism is about gender-bending, accepting your inner male… Allowing women to be whoever they want to be, dress however they want to dress… experiment and experience any which way… “mix it up” — sequence dresses and cowboy boots. I dig the funky, but the rest of it, quite frankly, confuses me…
Is feminism an evolutionary process??
I suppose the takeaway from all that struggle we suffered through breaking barriers and ladder climbing in the ’70s and the ’80s, is that our daughters are advancing by parading around any way they want to, without guilt, accusing us of tagging them with what they call our old-fashioned stereotypes. Wow! Remember when we accused our moms of using old stereotypes on us, when we switched from Bobby socks to stockings?? Yikes.
There’s no question that part of the fun of being in the here/now is the perspective we have on what we did in the there/then — and the fact that we don’t have to do any of it anymore to get attention — from anyone. We’re uber-busy parenting and partnering and between the two, we get almost too much attention. I’m guessing that’s why so many men retire to play more golf… Or go fishing… They’re likely still ahead of us on the learning curve and have figured out how to back out of the limelight, relax and spend their post-glory days enjoying the man/nature thing –and a couple of daytime beers.
Maybe we should be taking notes.
Hey, all I know is that you can’t ride a bike in stilettos so if I’m going to spend my hard-earned dollars on designer, it’s more likely to be a chunky watch than a firehouse red micro-mini skirt. And if I get invited to another 30th birthday party after hours in the Meatpacking district, I’ll fill up the jacuzzi, light the candles, pour myself a glass of wine — and send a gift.
NOTE TO SELF: It’s not easy being green.