In a brief email exchange recently, a comment was made about older women being a bit more open to the idea that feminism isn't really all it's cracked up to be than younger women.
That's enough of a paraphrase, but it really jumped out at me for a couple of reasons.
a) It's a bit of a no-brainer, considering that I decided years ago that between the ages of 15-17 women don't have a whole lot of sense. The way I used to phrase it was: "our brains leak out of our ears and don't return until we're around 27".
Of course, 27 was a bit of a watershed year for me, when I woke up to a lot of things, including the fact I'd just spent 5 and a half years in a supremely unhealthy relationship.
I may not have been turned into a newt, but I did get better.
b)The Spearhead is also addressing when older feminists get a bit of a tap with the reality stick. Funny how that works - all those women who thought it was great to be provocative don't seem to approve when women 20 years younger behave the same way or worse.
Ms Freedman has gone from being in control of editorial content for a stable of magazines, to bemoaning the sexualisation of childhood. Funny how parenthood has a way of making you see things differently.
While Andrew points out the hypocrisy of her calling foul at this late stage of the game, I find it interesting that Freedman doesn't seem to have any sort of inkling of her own culpability in the raunch culture that she is moaning about.
A DECADE ago, Mia Freedman was one of the country's most powerful and provocative magazine editors. As editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Cleo and Dolly, she chased circulation gains with sexually explicit "sealed sections".
. . .
Freedman, a mother of three who now runs the website Mamamia added: "I sense an enormous frustration and anger on my website . . . Women are angry because we feel like our kids are being bombarded with (sexual) things and you can't watch them 24 hours a day.
"What has occurred is that popular culture has been turbo-charged by technology and, as parents, we have absolutely lost control of what our children are exposed to . . . and I think that does change everything."
Parents, if your tween likes to read Dolly, then cut off the spending money and burn that magazine.
While it purports to be for mid-level and above teenagers, it is nothing of the sort.
I should know. I read Dolly every now and again to have a look at what the kids are reading.
Apart from a crap load of advertising and twee "articles" of a page about how to feel good about yourself, look good and have friends, there is also the "sealed section." Here are a couple of pages from the sealed sections of this month, and also from May last year.
In every edition I've looked at over the last year (and it's not been every month - even I can't handle that much crap), there has been at least one question dealing with something sexually explicit.
Perhaps a question about diseases, about what's normal, about, as in this example, peer pressure to get involved.
I have yet to read one response to the query suggesting abstinence might be a valid option. Instead, there is a lot of wishy-washy, warm and fluffy pap spooned out. Don't want to offend the readers, after all. The wee lassies are the ones who validate the advertising agreements.
The same happens with drug discussions. Sure, the drugs mentioned might be "illicit", but I'm still awaiting a description of the legal Acts that outline the consequences that could befall young people if they get caught breaking the laws on intoxicating substances.
I've had to go looking for information, but when it comes to the legal stuff, it's not exactly in plain sight.
Oh, wait... that's right, there is no real legal fallout these days, because kids under the influence of drugs are not in control of themselves (under the influence) and therefore aren't really responsible for their actions.
Therefore, if they're caught breaking and entering, or inflicting bodily harm on someone, they usually get a slap on the wrist.
Don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, of course.
Let's have a look at some of these great, insightful websites for young people about sex.
Clued up. aka All About Chlamydia. Nothing about considering being less sexually active.
Okay, that's enough for now. I have yet to see anything in girls' or women's magazines that definitively states that perhaps women and girls should consider being less sexual in dress and manner.
Maybe it's because I'm older (as suggested by my correspondent) that I find the continual emphasis on what is euphemistically called "raunch" rather than the smut-peddling it is offensive.
Maybe it's because it wasn't this bad 20 years ago and I wasn't looking for it.
Maybe Mia Freedman should have considered a bit more carefully about what influence she wanted to have on her magazines' audiences.
Mind you, it's not only girls who are the target - boys are too.
If I recall correctly, even Naomi Wolf suggested that when the market for female consumption grew too small, then men would be the next targeted. We can see that on television, in the magazines, movies and billboards.
It's a bit rich for women like Mia to start complaining about a part of the culture that she was influential in having adverseeffects. She should have thought about that 10 years ago.
All the talk about how tv shows, movies and the like won't affect children's outlook is so much hogwash. If visual stimulation didn't have such impact upon us, then why on earth is there so much money involved in advertising? Let's face it, adverts are designed to persuade you to buy into a product. All those mini stories presenting products as essential to your sense of worth.
What's an old fully empowered feminist to do?
Hmmm. Maybe admitting the errors of their ways and working to correct the situation?
Nah, that would be like the Fat Cat losing weight. Ain't gonna happen.