Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson

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Andrea Tantaros might have used up her fifteen minutes of fame before Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination, but before that happened, she wrote Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable. Book Review No. 33 will note that the troubles she laments were foreseeable, perhaps before she was born.  In Pajamas Media, Suzanne Venker concurs.  At Acculturated, Mark Judge, not explicitly reviewing Tantaros, concurs with her thesis.  "As today’s generation of self-styled feminist women suggests, limitless freedom has not brought the happiness they assumed it would, and as they confront life’s realities, anger is replacing hope."  And American Thinker's Sally Zelikovsky goes radical on the radicals? "Free love destroyed marriage and gave us gender confusion instead."

But all of what Ms Tantaros writes about was anticipated by Badger Herald editorialist Michael Shane in "A Feminist Parable for the Modern Age," first published 5 February 1987.  Mr Shane is contemplating the life of the female collegians of the era.  I've substituted "Andrea" where he returns to his hypothetical collegians.
Several years pass, and she faces the distinct prospect of being unmarried and thirty.  A few more of her friends are married, and some are genuinely happy -- a few even have kids.  Yet not even they have managed to mix motherhood and careers, and if they work at all it's strictly part-time and very dull.  Some of her friends are now divorced, or even re-married.  And the only decent guys she meets already have wives.

Now she faces a painful dilemma.  Her proverbial biological clock is ticking merrily away and she realizes that most of the men she's ever dated liked her mainly for carnal reasons.  The excitement of the working world has settled into a mind-numbing routine of business trips and breakfast meetings.  And she feels a vague need to have a child.

If [Andrea] has a little candor and a lot of courage she'll admit that she's been had.  Her once-glamorous career is a bore.  She has sold her deepest intimacies to a fair number of lovers for a box full of old valentines and movie ticket stubs.
That's Andrea's story. All that has changed in thirty years is that swiping images on Tinder (or its predecessor, Grindr) strike her as less edifying than sprucing up to check out the action in the bars.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
Tags: cultural studies, feminist, non-fiction, unimpressed

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