Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

September 28, 2009

Read This

What Does Woman Want? by Mary Eberstadt, in the most recent issue of First Things.
The summer marriage wars go deeper than a mere empirical slam dunk about kids and broken homes. . . . It amounts to two charges made repeatedly, almost always by women and with many echoes elsewhere in contemporary sources: first, that the combined pressures of motherhood and marriage and breadwinning are just too much to bear; and second, that many of today’s marriages—that is to say, marriages made among enlightened, older, educated, sophisticated people—are a sexual desert. . . . Perhaps some of the modern misery of which so many women today authentically speak is springing not from a sexual desert but from a sexual flood-a torrent of poisonous imagery, beginning even in childhood, that has engulfed women and men, only to beach them eventually somewhere alone and apart, far from the reach of one another.

At least that way of looking at the puzzle might explain some of the paradox of all that female unhappiness. Between bad ideas of gender neutrality and even worse ideas of the innocence of pornography, we reach the world so vividly described by Sandra Loh and many other dissatisfied women: one where men act like stereotypical women, and retreat from a real marriage into a fantasy life via pornography (rather than Harlequin novels), and where women conversely act like stereotypical men, taking the lead in leaving their marriages and firing angry charges on the way, out of frustration and withheld sex.

1 comment:

Angela Miceli said...

This was a great, article, Agatha...Really spoke to a cultural epidemic with pornography that is so often either encouraged or ignored -- definitely worth more discussion!!

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