RUSH: Rod in Olean, New York, you’re next, sir, on the EIB.
CALLER: Hello. How are you today?
RUSH: Very fine, sir, very fine.
CALLER: Very interesting topics today, but one that you had mentioned at the beginning of your show about these girls today.
CALLER: I’m a 59-year-old dad raising an 11 and 15-year-old on my own.
RUSH: Eleven and 15-year-old.
RUSH: Both daughters?
CALLER: Yes. And it’s just totally amazing when my daughters come home from school and tell me the things that go on. I work ten-hour days Monday through Thursday and have Fridays off so I get to take ’em to school and drop ’em off, and it’s totally amazing when I get to see, you know, some of these kids that are going in the school and coming and out the way that they’re dressed.
CALLER: And in the wintertime we’ve had two feet of snow overnight, and you see girls coming out of school with flip-flops on, and in the summertime you see them wearing winter boots. And some of these girls that my daughters talk to me about, they have more makeup than any woman I’ve ever known that’s had.
RUSH: Right. Does that worry you?
CALLER: It doesn’t worry me about my two. It worries me about the future of these kids today and the parents that are raising a lot of these kids ’cause my daughters know that a lot of this behavior that they see in school —
CALLER: — and the dress and everything is wrong. And, you know, they themselves are political, and both of them are very Republican, and they both know how much wrong things are being done in this country today. But when they go to school or are with their friends they keep their mouth shut because, you know, these kids don’t even want to talk about anything like that. They want to talk about boys.
RUSH: Well, I hope that you’re right in your assessment. But peer pressure is a powerful thing. It really is. Folks, what he’s talking about, and I guess I’ll get into this in detail when we get back, a Wall Street Journal story from three days ago by a liberated feminist, Jennifer Moses: “Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That?” And it’s all about post-feminist mothers and why they let their daughters dress for sex, and that’s putting it classy. So I’ll have the details on that
RUSH: You’ll remember, I believe it was last week, I shared with you some brilliance from the British historian Paul Johnson. Paul Johnson sort of pooh-poohed the idea that he was an intellectual because he says, (paraphrasing) “No, no, no. No, no, no. Intellectuals put ideas before people, and that’s not right. People always should come before ideas.” Well, it follows here. This story in the Wall Street Journal is actually from March the 19th, “Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That? Women of a liberated generation wrestle with their eager-to-grow-up daughters — and their own pasts.” And it’s about these mothers, these post-feminist mothers who bought feminism from the late sixties on, now they have their daughters, and they don’t like their daughters living the lives they lived. They don’t like it. They don’t like the notion they could dress and up say, “Come get me. Come get me. I’m available.” That’s what they did.
There was free sex. There was free loved everywhere, and these babes engaged in it. They don’t want that for their daughters. But back then, you see, as feminists they were putting people behind ideas, ideas before people. Now that it’s their daughters, guess what counts most? Their daughters, people, not the idea of feminism. Paul Johnson was right.
“In the pale-turquoise ladies’ room, they congregate in front of the mirror, re-applying mascara and lip gloss, brushing their hair, straightening panty hose and gossiping: This one is ‘skanky,’ that one is ‘really cute,’ and so forth. Dressed in minidresses, perilously high heels, and glittery, dangling earrings, their eyes heavily shadowed in black-pearl and jade, they look like a flock of tropical birds. A few minutes later, they return to the dance floor, where they shake everything they’ve got under the party lights. But for the most part, there isn’t all that much to shake. This particular group of party-goers consists of 12- and 13-year-old girls. Along with their male counterparts, they are celebrating the bat mitzvah of a classmate in a cushy East Coast suburb.
“I have a different theory. It has to do with how conflicted my own generation of women is about our own past, when many of us behaved in ways that we now regret. A woman I know, with two mature daughters, said, ‘If I could do it again, I wouldn’t even have slept with my own husband before marriage. Sex is the most powerful thing there is, and our generation, what did we know?’ We are the first moms in history to have grown up with widely available birth control, the first who didn’t have to worry about getting knocked up. We were also the first not only to be free of old-fashioned fears about our reputations but actually pressured by our peers and the wider culture to find our true womanhood in the bedroom. Not all of us are former good-time girls now drowning in regret — I know women of my generation who waited until marriage — but that’s certainly the norm among my peers.
“So here we are, the feminist and postfeminist and postpill generation. We somehow survived our own teen and college years (except for those who didn’t), and now, with the exception of some Mormons, evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, scads of us don’t know how to teach our own sons and daughters not to give away their bodies so readily. We’re embarrassed, and we don’t want to be, God forbid, hypocrites. Still, in my own circle of girlfriends, the desire to push back is strong. I don’t know one of them who doesn’t have feelings of lingering discomfort regarding her own sexual past. And not one woman I’ve ever asked about the subject has said that she wishes she’d ‘experimented’ more.” Not less. As for the girls themselves, if you ask them why they dress the way they do, they’ll say (roughly) the same things I said to my mother: ‘What’s the big deal?’ ‘But it’s the style.’ ‘Could you be any more out of it?’ What teenage girl doesn’t want to be attractive, sought-after and popular? And what mom doesn’t want to help that cause?”
Well, far be it for me to insert myself here. I not only am not a mother, I never will be. Some might say, “What do you know, Rush?” When they would be absolutely right. But if you’re going to spend all of this time preparing your daughter to look hot, be attractive, sexy, starting at age 12 and 13, maybe you might want to encourage their education about other things, too. Sorry, okay. The frowns I’m getting, “Who do you think you are?” Well, I mean if you’re gonna spend all this time teaching 12- and 13-year-olds how to dress seductively… look, if you compare and contrast this story with the Chinese mother who wrote about Chinese moms, tiger moms and how all they do is push ’em, push ’em, push ’em to be educationally the best and so forth, none of this kind of stuff, there’s gotta be a happy medium here. That article created a whole lot of controversy out there among parents.
But Jennifer Moses says here: “In my own case, when I see my daughter in drop-dead gorgeous mode, I experience something akin to a thrill — especially since I myself am somewhat past the age to turn heads.” A-ha. A-ha. Might that be to some degree a relevant factor? Living vicariously through the daughter. “But it’s easy for parents to slip into denial. We wouldn’t dream of dropping our daughters off at college and saying: ‘Study hard and floss every night, honey — and for heaven’s sake, get laid!’ But that’s essentially what we’re saying by allowing them to dress the way they do while they’re still living under our own roofs.”
Don’t forget now what spawned this is this is how this mother and her buds lived. This is what feminism taught ’em. And they don’t like it. The idea takes second fiddle to people when the people are their daughters. And this woman thinks that she is of the first generation that actually did this. And is there a first in anything anymore? Might be the first pill generation, might be the first generation to not have to worry about consequences because of the pill, I can understand that, but is this really the first bunch of mothers that — I mean, show me the group of mothers who wanted their daughters to appear average. It doesn’t happen, does it? Anyway, back in the old days, women went to college to get married. That’s why their parents sent ’em there, to find a husband. That was it. Once men figured that out they stopped going to college, and that’s why you have this terrific lack of proportion now in student body percentages.
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