Kate appeared at the Queen’s birthday parade, big with baby, smiling, blooming. She, who wore an ice- cream pink outfit, is a perfect icon of today’s womanhood – rich and canny, compliant in public, not fearsomely feminist but sweetly feminine, a princess who, unlike rebellious Diana, may just live happily ever after because she fits in and fits our times. Hundreds of thousands of young, female undergraduates want Kate’s life and luck. Why that should be so is too depressing for me to ponder. But it is so.
Other stories appeared this week about beautiful women having plastic surgery and also about pretty Kim Sears, the girlfriend of tennis champion Andy Murray, who is still waiting for a proposal. We learnt that the next Bridget Jones film is being made about that hopeless and dependent woman addicted to dieting and romance. Yes I have watched these movies and laughed, but then thought of the grim messages they convey. And the popular confessional journalist, Liz Jones, had extracts published from her memoir. Here is a taster: “[I wish] someone had told me I was normal and acceptable then I wouldn’t have spent my life trying so hard to be better than I am. Lying. Manipulating. Tanning. Plucking. Jogging. Dieting.”
Shame on those women between 20 and 40 who have squandered the hard-won achievements of original feminism. And to add insult to self-injury, these younger generations seem proud that they dissed and dumped all we fought for. We expected better and more from those who followed. It is, I know, very fashionable these days for the young to blame baby boomers for being “selfish” and spoiling it all. Well enough of that. I squarely blame the young, who, through foolish apathy, criminal self-indulgence and sometimes uninformed loathing of the women’s movement, have ensured that our social, political and economic environment is less fulfilling, much less safe, less equal and less nurturing than it was even in the 70s and 80s when we old Fems were burning bras and raising hell. There are exceptions. There are always exceptions, but what matters are the common narratives and those, alas, are regressive and anti-women.
© and source/ rest: independent.co.uk
(I’ll admit it, I had to do a double read here for I thought for nearly all of the first reading that it was that there tongue-in-cheek. I think it’s not. I think it’s for serious. It’s a bit harsh, no? “Choice” feminism has its limits and make no mistake, and I think that’s the central problem for the author, but there are 1000s of young women making a real feminist difference. Credit where it’s due, here.)