Answer: consumerism is the default philosophy of humankind. Buy stuff, flatter each other, evade upsetting forms of reality.
Young girls so often see being able to behave badly as a right to be fought for; that being as sexy and outrageous as the boys is “empowering”.
They don’t have any sense of being bamboozled or exploited. And if anyone doubts it, look at the fact that girls think it’s simply hilarious to “sext” their boyfriends – send a photo of themselves naked on their mobiles.
They don’t know much about the darker side of sexploitation – tyrannical pimps, the near-slavery of the girls trafficked into this country for sex – let alone what lap dancing outings for businessmen do to any idea of a level playing field for females. Though when it comes to journalism, according to a high-up in the Murdoch empire, “journalists don’t go to lap clubs. They’re much too exhausted.”
Fifty years ago women were all clean and bright-eyed and fresh looking – housewives and brides in Woman’s Own, haughty and remote in Vogue.
Now they not only look far younger – Vogue used to have a feature showing clothes for mature women called Mrs Exeter, it’s decades since they dropped it – but the girls are all too often like sulky schoolgirls, with that irritating cliche of the toes turned in to look deliberately gawky.
Feminism, like all forms of liberalism, is a revenge ideology.
Revenge against the perceived majority who, because we assume we’re all equal because we want to assume we can be anything without obligation to engage with the world, must have been gifted by the gods instead of having some innate ability, intelligence, drive, etc. to end up in their position.
If we look at a king and say, “That guy’s the top of the heap,” we feel our inadequacies; if we say “some accident of nature or the of the gods put him there,” we do not feel inadequate. We feel unlucky, and as a consequence, we build up an impulse toward revenge.
Feminism geared itself toward revenge against men. Instead of working for women, it worked against men, inserting women in a role identical (equal, get it?) to that of men. However, differences between genders remain; consequently, some women used other ways to get ahead and justified it as feminism. It wasn’t incompatible with the ideology, which sought material rewards as a sign of having reached equal status.
Now women have to ask themselves a question: do they want a revenge/negative ideology, or simply to pick a sensible role for both themselves and men? But that’s not a soundbite, is it.