I quote the bit that I find particularly interesting-
"Girls are more compliant and eager to please – that is how they have always been socialised – but now the dominant social expectations of them are deeply destructive of their happiness. Breast augmentation quintupled in 2006 in the US, Twenge points out. The expectations of girls and women have multiplied and intensified – on every front, from passing exams to looking good and having more friends and better photos on Facebook. Technology proliferates the places in which one is required to self-promote.
One possibility is that women's identity has always been framed around relationships – as mothers, daughters, wives, friends and sisters. "Relationality" is still central to how women see their lives, and yet it is entirely at odds with an individualistic, intensely competitive, narcissistic culture. Women, brought up to seek social approval, battle between competing frames of reference, and many end up feeling failure and inadequacy on multiple fronts.
I would hate to say that much of this is sad, but true.Since I don't want to generate a protest polka,I humbly submit the following-
- I feel perfectly good about myself, despite the fast approaching danger-mark of obesity, et all but only till the man in question mirrors it. Any hint of being ignored (translation- not thought of as being superb or simply 'out of this world') triggers days, and weeks of oft irreconciliable self doubt and a dip in an otherwise over-fed quotient of self esteem. So, this is my law of relativity- 'I like myself only if you like me more than I do'.
- There is something inexplicably warm and fuzzy about being complimented on the food I put on the table. I recognize how this is politically blasphemous, as for years, I have protested and resented the fact that no matter how successful a woman is professionally or socially, 'those who really matter to her in her life' will usually judge her by the health and hygiene of her house and the quality of food churned out either by her or her hired and carefully supervised help. No one ever expects the same of a man- we find ways to glorify, even 'cute-fy'their domestic ineptitude provided they bring in the moolah and/ or qualify as arm candy, but we are rather harsh when it comes to extending the same lenience to women. Having argued both sides of the case, I still have to admit that something about the way in which I was socialised makes me crave far greater appreciation for my domestic prowess than in all the other spheres that I might succeed in.
- A lot has been said women 'dumbing themselves down' in order to be more compatible with the men that they choose to be with- I have a slight variant to offer to this phenomenon. I think some smart women opt for this as a kind of counter balance to their brilliance in order to 'take it a bit easy'- a less evolved man means less work for the woman in question to be thought of as fabulous!!!
I can't think of a way of ending this post as there is much to be said on this- so I will just sign off for now and resume some other day