"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sexual Attraction–The Good Old Days Have Never Left

Feminists have been concerned about ‘Retro-Sexism’ – the embrace of the feminine culture of the Sixties.  It is all well and good to be ironically creative – where would we be without derivative fashion – but another thing altogether to glorify an era when women were chattels.   These critics, however, are myopic in picking on Mad Men and the post-War era.  They could have just as easily focused on Victorian bustles, Renaissance décolleté, or the seductive drapery of Roman women.

Women have always dressed up to look good, to attract men, and to compete with their rivals.  In times past when women were permitted little else, it was quite logical to squeeze every ounce of sexuality out of fashion. When women’s ankles were considered most appealing and sexually alluring, of course they hiked their skirts, walked with a bit more sashay, and pushed acceptable limits farther and farther up the calf.


Women of the 18th century European courts were trussed, wigged, and powdered; but were permitted a décolleté – a suggestion of feminine beauty but only within the context of a classic and severe Greco-Roman ideal.

The history of fashion shows how women hewed to both a male-centered ideal of chastity and high breeding as well as a courtesan sexuality.  They understood and never underestimated the power of their sexuality; and dressed to the limits of the confines of the day.

Women throughout history have dressed to be appealing to men. They have always found ways to push the patriarchal limits and to show as much of their feminine selves as possible.  Men are excited and sexually aroused by the very sight of women; and that savvy women can use this unerring biological instinct to their advantage.

Put another way, given the fact that men become hopelessly infatuated with beautiful, sexually alluring women, why wouldn’t they use their sexuality to their advantage?  Beautiful women have ensnared men since the beginning of time.

Men and women are equal when it comes to intelligence, wit, charm, and social abilities.  Men have physical strength which used to be an evolutionary plus but which has been neutered and overshadowed by a marketplace savvy and aggressiveness which has no gender notation. The Devil Wears Prada and The Wolf of Wall Street are equal.


Men may show off physically, but women don’t buy it. They want far more from prospective mates than washboards and gym-fitness.  Men on the other hand simply cannot get over simple sexual allure. The war between men and women is very unequal, with women winning all the time.

The women of Shakespeare – Tamora, Dionyza, Volumnia, Rosalind, Portia, and Lady Macbeth used every feminine strength they had to best inferior men.  Hedda Gabler, Laura, Miss Julie, Rebekka West and many other Scandinavian dramatic heroes beat men at every turn because they understood their power.

Men have always been sex slaves to beautiful women; and because they can never know the paternity of their children, are in thrall to them. Laura, the hero of Strindberg’s The Father who sows seeds of doubt in her weak and ineffective husband and drives him mad enough to be sent away to an asylum, leaving her with complete control of her daughter. She and her fictional cohorts who, because they knew and understood these fundamental truths, dominated men.

Young women today are no different.  Their retro-fashionista embrace of the Sixties simply restates a universal truth.  Hot lipstick, décolleté and short skirts win all the time.
You’ll see her perched at a banquette at the bar after work: the millennial college grad nursing that outdated American dream of marriage, kids, and the house with the lawn and the white picket fence… She’s nursing a stiff drink, too, because husband-hunting is hard work these days, not to mention frowned upon in college-educated career-girl circles. She toys with a stray curl and sucks listlessly at (how fitting) an Old Fashioned, or a gin martini (but only one) if she’s out with an older man and wants to seem sophisticated.
She may go full-blown retro and have her hair done in pin curls, or it may be modern, but her lips are likely stained a crimson shade—Bésame’s Red Velvet 1946 as seen in ABC’s “Agent Carter” is a good bet these days. She’s dressed in something fetching and feminine that she got from Etsy, eBay, or one of the dozens of “vintage inspired” or reproduction clothing companies that have gained popularity in the last decade…(The Federalist)
Although the male of the species has the brightest feathers in the animal kingdom, in ours it is the female.

No matter how much modern mothers have tried to get little girls to wear worker-man overalls and play with tractors and Humvees, they have failed.  Just as boys will substitute carrots for guns under the watch of progressive moms, so will girls find a way to dress up.  Princess costumes have never been more popular. Sexy pre-teens are the rule, not the exception.

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So what can we make of all this? Nothing much has changed in the relationship between men and women.  Despite the fact that women have made significant strides in the workplace and are now earning and advancing as quickly as men up the corporate ladder, sexual dynamic remain the same.

Mrs. Linder’s Dancing School in New Brighton, CT was de rigeur for the children of the West End, a final polishing of the social graces and skills taught by their well-to-do parents. Boys were arrayed on one side of the dance floor, girls on the other; and at Mrs. Linder’s click, the boys rushed across the slippery concourse to the prettiest girls in the class.  It was primitive, sexist, and totally unacceptable in today’s PC gender world; but it was honest.  Girls did their best to attract the most desirable boys.  Straight A’s didn’t count.

Image result for images mad men women

Barbie came on the scene in 1959 and has never left.  No matter how many mothers have tried to suffocate her, she is still alive and well.  No matter how tough the media character may be - Wonder Woman, Laura Tomb Raider, or Lucy – sex still rules.

Image result for scarlett johansson latest movie lucy images

This is a good thing. Who said that women have to look like or act like men?  A woman who wins wars against aliens by using smarts, military training, savvy, and sexual come-ons is a winner.

Women have always had the upper hand in things that mattered.  The women in Shakespeare’s plays, despite being ‘second class citizens’ always ruled. Rosalind, Portia, and Beatrice rode rings around their male suitors. Lady Macbeth was the power behind the presumptive throne. Margaret rode against the French for her pusillanimous husband, Henry VI.  Dionyza and Tamora had nothing contempt for men and defended their children like she-bears.

The glass ceiling and wage inequality are temporary rough stops in women’s social and economic progress. Men have tried to use their strength and social standing to keep women in their place, but to no avail.  Women have been a match for men since Adam and Eve; so feminist plaints fall on deaf ears.  Men and women are equal and have always been.

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