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Time for a Sexual Truce?

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The revelations have been important, effective, and timely. Going forward, however, the feminine has more important issues to confront than sexual abuse and harassment.

Before I get into this, which I think will be fun in some respects, I would like to thank recent subscribers and apologize for the delay in delivering new material. I have been working like a person possessed to revise a novel by the end of the year, and I succeeded. However, I was flattened by food poisoning New Year’s Day. An interesting start to the year. Someone suggested that I look at it as a “mystical cleansing.” I have embraced that idea. I am sparkling.

THE FEMININE ON DECK

And it’s interesting to move into the new year with so many feminine experiences long past as a focus of attention. Of course, I’m referring to the accusations of sexual abuse, harassment, and insult in the media eye. Some of them really are appalling, but a message has emerged with warp speed: This will no longer be tolerated. I imagine a male visage facing the camera and speaking into a microphone: “Got it.”

However, this is a good time to pause and realize that men are also scratching their heads a bit, a little confused. And in the minds of many of the older ones is this idea: “But I thought you wanted me to do that! I thought you liked it. I mean, after all. . . .”

And it would go on like this: “After all, you’re really sexy. You’re really beautiful. And if you don’t want me staring at your cleavage, why don’t you button your blouse?”

They are confused about what the feminine is conveying through presentation, and the feminine is a bit confused herself. The women speaking out now seem to be of a certain kind–those who have stature, who are extremely attractive, whose story is newsworthy, and whose stance is simply “Enough!” Great. We need this kind of leadership. But let’s also look at an assumption that has been afoot among us for as long as we can remember.

AN “A-TYPE”  WOMAN

There are certain conventions, traditions, standards that women have inherited and become complicit with–like what our role in society as a female is, what’s expected of us, what we may aspire to professionally, and what our duties are within the family and to our “man,” if we have one. Most of us who have wanted to get an “A” as a woman have always known that looking good was high on the list of important attributes. Looking good is an asset, and we’ve invested very heavily in it in the US–more heavily perhaps than anywhere in the world.

And what I’m seeing in feminine presentation today looks a bit schizo to me. After all, I began my career in an era when women were dressing very professionally to be taken seriously. I was still wearing skirts back then. Sleek hose and heels daringly broadcast the curve of the calf, but that was it.

Wonderbra Strapless

But then in the 80s and early 90s, we were also supposedly becoming more comfortable with our sexuality as well as success–and now came the “invasion of the Wonderbra.” Remember that in 1994?

It was developed in Canada, partly in response to concerns about the dangers of silicon breast implants that were becoming very popular. It was not exactly a push-up bra but was engineered to gently lift and enhance cleavage; and as soon as it hit the market, the demand was so great that Canada couldn’t meet it. By the end of the year, sales of all push-up bras here were up 43%.

Feminists were angry, saying that advertising encouraged women to focus on their breasts to get the attention of men. Sara Lee, the manufacturer, retorted that it was women who were developing the advertising, so. . . .

The Wonderbra inspired a new focus on feminine beauty that makes all this fury about sexual harassment look a bit off, as I said. Women are making a lot of money from making us very attractive to men. For example, Forbes published an article last year saying that the $445 billion beauty industry is one of the “most prevalent places for women to self-start their way to big-time success.”

I also checked on statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which revealed last year that there had been a three percent growth in cosmetic procedures in 2016. The report didn’t say so, but presumably this is mostly among women. Facelifts are still one of the top five most popular procedures, and so is breast augmentation. And the new thing is harvesting fat to inject somewhere else, as in the buttocks. I have a vision of this man lurching backward, hands raised in fear: “I’m sorry. But they’re so pretty and round, and I thought. . . . ”

And in my everyday world, I’m just amazed by the provocative dress of many young women in Santa Fe. There is a legging frenzy afoot, the material so tight that it could be spray paint on naked flesh. And then there are the bosoms rising plump and high in the décolletage even on cold days. Last summer, the shorts were so short they looked like undies. How male teachers at the Community College where I tutor remain focused on the curriculum I don’t know.

THE POWER OF BLACK

And now to the Golden Globe Awards. I didn’t watch the awards, but of course I knew that the actresses wore black to show solidarity with the women who have been sexually harassed. Black or not, many gowns were extremely revealing, as in that of  Kate Hudson.

Kate Hudson at the Golden Globes

So you see that there is a lack of clarity regarding this issue, and maybe it will disappear when more important topics loom. Women have advanced in so many ways–newly so highly educated, so successful, so bold, so articulate, and on and on. It seems ironic that so many of the most powerful are enraged about the harassment issue when they are desperately needed elsewhere. After all, we may be standing on the threshold of a failed democracy, of world war, of climate chaos, of international pandemics, and of the potential extinction of humanity itself due to a fatal combination of crises.

An important point has been made, and the heat must stay on. But isn’t it time for the feminine to put aside the grievances, slip into something unambiguous, and align with our most enlightened men to work on saving civilization? That’s the way it will happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “Time for a Sexual Truce?”

  1. Barbara McCarthy

    Oh, Ellen!

    What an amazing perspective! You are absolutely on target! I feel that many women are sending a provocative message and then resenting the response they get. But I do feel that there are rightful resentments especially when so many women WERE threatened with job loss, etc. if they revealed the truth, and many were so young and easily intimidated.

    Interesting perspective on your part!

  2. Les Fenter

    You go, girl!!! — Sorry, Ellen, I just couldn’t resist using the current feminine saying. . . . The cleansing/watershed WAS overdue. And we’re not going to change men’s proclivity toward “hot” “chicks”. YIkes; I didn’t intend to watch the Goldens. But surfing, looking for something to idle my mind, noticed it and the uh. . . .the women’s attire. Yup, even ol’ farts enjoy some tit-illation. Have you considered an article about female women’s fashion designers? But hey! There’s an old Hollywood cliche, “even bad publicity is good publicity”. Look what Paris Hilton, The Kardashians, Kate Hudson. . . . . and my favorite, Lady Gaga have done to jump-start their careers. BTW Lady G and Toni Bennett delivered a fantastic performance the other night on PBS. My fav can really sing! ;0