Just read a very interesting piece in The Atlantic by Caitlin Flanagan, a wonderful writer who explains how the 1970s' feminist-inspired regime of sexual liberation for teenage girls has morphed into an unpleasant and frequently terrifying regime of binge-drinking and hookups on U.S. campuses. Flanagan makes some key observations, including the fact that the hookup culture has been shadowed by traditional romantic fantasies in mainstream media (and, I might add, a whopping increase in purchases of romance novels -- more than 40% of books now sold in this country). The parents of American girls continue to "helicopter" around them, encouraging good grades and career prospects. But they don't seem to be able to deal with the grim environment the girls have inherited. Thus, the girls are left to navigate this world on their own. Writes Flanagan:
"What might we expect as the next thing for today’s girls? They just spent the better part of a decade being hectored—via the post-porn, Internet-driven world—toward a self-concept centering on the expectation that the very most they could or should expect from a boy is a hookup. We didn’t particularly stand in the way of that culture; we left the girls alone with it, sat idly by while they pulled it into their brains through their ubiquitous earbuds and their endless Facebook photo albums and text messages. We said, more or less, “Do your best.” And then we gave them iTunes gift cards and Wi-Fi connections in their bedrooms, and we warned them about dangerous online trends only after those trends had become so passé that we could learn about them on Dateline. And now the girls have had enough. We’ve sunk pretty low, culturally speaking, when we’ve left it to the 14- and 15-year-old girls of the nation to make one of the last, great stands for human dignity. But they’re making it, by God."