The Clare Spark Blog

February 13, 2016

“…a pretty face….”

WSJ March, 2016 – Women’s Style

WSJgirls002The last few days in the 2016 campaign have seen an increase in the chatter about feminism, mostly focused on the gap between Millennial young women and [relics] from the feminism as it is imagined to have existed in the second wave of “feminism” in the 1970s.

Even the Washington Post has taken notice, starting a new series on “New Wave Feminism” (, while right-leaning Fox News Channel invited Harvard Crimson staffer Molly Roberts to represent the Ivy Millennials in an evaluation of the same subject. Ms. Roberts, close to scowling during the entire segment, is apparently unaware that the second wave feminists of the 1970s came out of the antiwar movement, and were equally “anti-racist” and “anti-imperialist.” (Some were right-wing social democrats, while many were communists.)

The media have been equally ignorant of 60s-70s politics. Gloria Steinem has been castigated for stating (jokingly) that the millennial girls are simply “going where the boys are.” Persons of my age will remember that the antiwar demonstrations were a magnet for protesters of both genders looking for hook-ups. Indeed Steinem got lots of publicity because of her glamour and well-known connections with powerful males in publishing.

Also making news this week was Madeline Albright, consigning non-Hillary Clinton supporters to eternal damnation in hell. What this signaled to me was the moralism of both “Left” and “Right.” Meanwhile, fashion magazine of the Wall Street Journal today has reduced to sexual objects even the “privileged” women who can afford the major designers.

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz had to pull a political ad directed against Marco Rubio because the production company failed to vet a “soft porn” actress (Amy Lindsay), whose chief line was that it was foolish to trust “a [lying] pretty face.” Nobody in the press noticed that this was a slap against an allegedly effeminate Rubio.

So much for progress in gender relations: “plus ça change….”


  1. In the late 1970’s, I was dating a feminist who took great offense to my suggestion that feminism should focus on opening up choices for women, and not limiting them to competing with men for high salary jobs. “Equal pay for equal work” and “the glass ceiling” were big memes for her, not “anti-imperialism” and “anti-war” though she believed those things as well. In her understanding, feminism was about liberating women from the traditional responsibilities of the home and making “bread-winning” careers the ideal feminist choice. She couldn’t conceive of marriage, having children, and moving to the suburbs as a desirable choice for an intelligent woman.

    Comment by Scott G Lloyd — February 24, 2016 @ 3:05 am | Reply

    • My point was reducing women to a sexual object and aid to masturbation.

      Comment by clarelspark — February 24, 2016 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  2. Please accept my apology up front for being ignorant, but what exactly would “progress in gender relations” entail?

    Comment by iamtheone — February 13, 2016 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

    • For starters, educating women with the same devotion as accorded to males; i.e., not reducing them to sex objects and reproductive vessels (though I would never minimize the importance of smart mothering).

      Comment by clarelspark — February 14, 2016 @ 12:18 am | Reply

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