Since the Iraq Debacle, it seems even Mona Charen has mellowed her conservatism a little, at least regarding foreign policy, since her days of celebrating having 'real men' in the DOD. So much so, in fact, that I read her latest column published by the IR, "Girls Gone Mild", all the way through without needing a breather before I tore up the paper.
(This is where there should be a link, but Explorer continues to show the genius of microsoft software in the form of experiencing an error every time I try to insert a link; the column can be found at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/charen072707.php3)
She's back up to her anti-feminism, but with a fun new twist: She's actually attacking major corporations for encouraging promiscuity among today's young women. This is interesting in three ways:
1. She ignores that it was Capitalism that did this. In a system where everything enjoyable is commodified, sex is too rich a treasure trove to ignore. She attacks Nordstroms, Abercrombie, and the magazines Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. And I fully agree that the products of those companies are in many cases detrimental to society, yet I doubt that the editors of those magazines or marketers of those clothing lines are pushing a liberal agenda; the are almost certainly capitalists through and through, according to Charen "destroying innocence" to make a quick buck. Her traditional opponents, feminists and university liberals, tend to have no love for this phenomona either. It's time to accept that laissez-faire capitalism does not foster "family values".
2. She ignores the social climate that allows teenagers to take Seventeen seriously despite the fact that the longest word in a typical edition is the title. She is a proud part of an attack on teenager's ability to reason. In the name of abstinence, teenagers are taught by churches and social conservatives that, due to their hormones, they are incapable of rational thought and thus had better avoid making important decisions like having sex. (Joining the Army under the influence of testosterone is a frequent exception to this rule.) But as David Brooks has pointed out (in a column available here: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/opinion/nationalcolumns/article_1749089.php, teenagers are nothing if not perceptive. And when they see divorce rates pushing 50% (not to mention the Iraq war), they realize that adults are often no better decision makers that they are. But obviously the adults at churches and in society don't take them or their feelings seriously. So to whom do they turn? Magazines that tell them the opposite: that their feelings are ALL that matter.
3. She also has resigned herself to the fact that men care only about sex, and that it is a woman's job to resist the attempts of young men to steal their virginity. Those attempts, meanwhile, are just how men are, and why women should avoid men until they are ready to be married. Never can we suggest that perhaps men are not always, or need not always be, like this. Men, apparently incapable of self-control, are expected to satisfy themselves with societally designated 'sluts' (who then take all the blame) so that respectable girls settle down with these men when they are finally ready for marriage. Ironic that while her writing appears in the Jewish World Review, she is channeling St. Augustine.