Saturday, July 21, 2007

A World turned Upside Down

When women (of the the Class of '69) entered Wellesley's ivory tower, they were initiated into a rarefied world where the infamous "marriage lecture" and white gloves at afternoon tea were musts. Many were daughters of privilege; many were going for their "MRS". Four years later, by the time they graduated, they found a world turned upside down by the Pill, Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, Roe v. Wade, the Vietnam War, student protests, the National Organization for Women, and the battle for the Equal Rights Amendment.


Mary Day Kent's mother had dropped out of Wellesley at the end of her junior year, in 1945, to get married, and she made it clear to her daughter that the aim of college was not to prepare herself for work but "to be a more interesting person to meet a more interesting husband." Marilyn Hagstrum urged her daughter to focus less on her grades and more on her bridge: She too, was at Wellesley "to fit in socially, to meet somebody nice with good prospects and get married."

The Wellesley girls took such admonitions to heart. The majority of seniors in the class of '69, like most women in college that year, expected to work only until they got married or had their first child. Few graduated with professional goals and plans. Most still believed it best for men to be breadwinners and women to be wives.


By the time the women of '69 were launching their own daughters into the world, all that had changed. In 1998, just 3 percent of families corresponded to the perfect portrait of the traditional nuclear family - dad bringing home the bacon to two kids and a stay-at-home mum. With women waiting longer to wed, and with half of all marriages ending in divorce, a woman today can expect to be married less than half her adult life. Child rearing too, occupies a smaller portion of her adulthood. Though the number of children raised by single mothers has quadrupled since the 1950s to 24 percent, Hillary Clinton's generation has had fewer children than any previous generation of American women. With longer life expectancies, they will spend many more years in an empty nest. Twenty percent have never had children.

The shifts in family structure followed dramatic changes in women's education and employment. Women are now the majority of students pursuing higher education, and have made tremendous gains in high earning professions. By 1990, a third of all attorneys, doctors, professors and business managers were women.

- Taken from Rebels in White Gloves. Coming of Age of Hillary's Class - Wellesley '69 by Miriam Horn

The above was obviously from an American viewpoint, but it can be equally applied to Singapore's case.

AEG was telling me that higher education for women is a double-edged sword. While the social dynamics and gender balance in the workplace have changed, our traditional views towards the dating and marriage game have not. How then do you explain these?

At the other end of the scale (or maybe it is the same, just repackaged differently), you have:

Discovered this forum created by local men - just to chat about the sex trade. I don’t understand half the acronyms inside, but I do know that they list places to go and post ratings after they’re done.

A few admits they are attached.

They even warn each other about potential ‘clingy’ girls, so the others can avoid them. The thing that hit me most is that most of them treat it as purely professional. As normal as conducting any other kind of business. I pay, you service me, the end. Some even say things like “She is a very nice, just came to earn money, treat her properly ok”

I wonder if they treat their wives as good.

They aren’t shy about what they do at all, posting very explicit details and events. At the end giving ratings on body, after-service, hygiene, whatever. Its like a whole network of sex addicts feeding on each other’s dirty deeds.

It's called Sammyboy.

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