Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sexy Feminists

Now comes a scientific study to prove that feminists are hot.

“Contrary to popular opinion,” Science Daily reports, “feminism and romance are not incompatible and feminism may actually improve the quality of heterosexual relationships.” The study also refutes stereotypes that “stigmatize feminists as unattractive and sexually unappealing.”

As someone who worked at the dawn of the women’s movement with hundreds of feminists, I’m puzzled by the need half a century later to argue (the study is more polemic than science) that women who have strong feelings about their rights in society are not sexually impaired.

Betty Friedan, who started it all with “The Feminine Mystique,” once showed up to protest the lunchtime exclusion of women by the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room in New York with special makeup to hide the black eye and bruises her husband had given her. But she got out of that bad marriage and, although far from a beauty, had satisfying long-term relationships with men for the rest of her long life.

The other icon of the movement, Gloria Steinem, who came to her calling after going undercover to write an article, “I Was a Playboy Bunny,” later made into a TV movie, was once described by Time as “one of the best dates to take to a New York party these days--or, failing such luck, one of the most arresting names to drop.”

Both worked with me at different times as contributing editors, and there was nothing “unattractive and sexually unappealing” about them and the multitudes who followed their lead.

“It is generally perceived that feminism and romance are in direct conflict,” the report on the new study says.

Perhaps by men who feel threatened and some brainwashed women, but these are people with problems of their own. The scientists should spend some time studying them.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I hate it when I cannot get to the original study information. It's not your fault, Science Daily is just like that. I like to know the quality of the data and Science Daily always leaves me unsatisfied.

Good post, though.