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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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Wo-person

This article appeared in Sunday’s NYT magazine, and has been a subject of emails, conversations and AIM chats since. I think it’s cool that one little article can prompt people to discuss what it means to be a person in the post-Feminism age.

The article left me kind of…somewhere between eh and sad. Overall, it felt a lot like the author was only interviewing people whose cubes were right next to hers, or folks she knew through work. I got the sense that her interview sample of 20-somethings was pretty narrow, allowing her to make sweeping generalizations about what it means to be a fully bloomed (why isn’t there a better synonym for “épanouie”?) woman. At the same time, some of those generalizations sounded true to me—true based on what I’ve observed, true based on what my dating girlfriends tell me.

The biggest thing I took away from the article is this: I think I must be luckiest straight girl on the entire planet EARTH. I have a boyfriend who is a) not threatened by me in any way, b) who supports me no matter what I do or say, c) who thinks I’m sexy when I’m in a wife-beater T and 501s. He is smart and funny, sensitive, masculine, open-minded and generous and would drop everything and fly to Greenland if I asked him to.

I was trying to figure out how there could be so many men out there who are afraid of women of substance, who feel threatened by women who are successful, smart and attractive. Men of my generation and younger have no excuse, especially if they were raised by women who lived through the 60s and 70s…

Then it hit me.

Maybe one of the giant failures of Feminism is the fact that the women who lived through it and burned their bras DID A CRAP JOB OF REARING THEIR SONS! How else to explain all these shit-together totally rad women, and all of these lame weenie men who can’t deal with them? And here comes my Carrie Bradshaw sentence: Did the 60s/70s Feminists devote so much time to developing cool girls that they completely neglected the boys?

Or maybe, the bigger failure of Feminism is that the women fighting for women’s rights kept the discussion focused solely on themselves instead of turning the protest into a discourse about sharing sacrifices, responsibilities, and burdens with men? When you think about it, here we are in 2005 and how many men do you know who will A) quit their jobs to stay home to rear a child, or B) put their career on hold to help their partner advance in hers?

TA said something interesting. He thinks women have spent centuries adjusting their lives, considering the work/career dichotomy, making personal sacrifices for the good of the couple or of the family, and men have done nothing.

But enough of this heavy stuff. Let’s talk about makeup. I just got a 20% off coupon for Benefit and it’s only good for a few more days. What should I get?

11:48 a.m. - 2005-11-03

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