This weekend, Medium writer Charlotte Baker posted a piece analyzing one fo my favorite angles from my new book Once in a Lifetime: How women of the '80s dealt with being the first generation told they could "Have it all": Love, education, careers, sex, fulfilling friendships, etc. They were the first women who were socially sancdtioned to be anything that men could--including turning the tables in the how they regarded relationships. It's interesting how this compares to feminist mores of today--which are still evolving.
In other words, our mothers from the '50s and early '60s never looked at a guy across a crowded club and said, "Wrap him up, I'll take him on toast, please." (At least not publicly.) But the women of the '80s did. And it was fun. Peggy Sue didn't have to Get Married anymore. Women could browse and test-drive their choice of romantic partners for relationships that they had more control over, as opposed to every dating move being focused on landing a husband. Not that there weren't still girls out there working on an "M.R.S" degree, as it was jokingly known--or skating through college with the goal of landing a soon-to-be-professional mate. But that route was no longer mandatory--or even favored. The women of the '80s wanted to taste a little more of life than what their predecessors were told they were allowed to be, which was either a "hot-to-trot" type, or a good girl who was marriage material.
Finally, we could breate a spectrum that was maybe be a measured version of both those tropes, and be proud of wherever we chose to dwell on it. (Maybe pull out the "to-trot" part and we're good to go with that analogy.)
This is also not to say that in main character Jessica's half-joking assertion that "Men are like shoes," that means that women vicariously wore men out and tossed them for the next one. Jess' reasoning is more like this: You don't need to be Imelda Marcos and own a hundred pairs of shoes to know a great pair when you find them. But once you do find that great pari of shoes, you want to walk in them. CONSTANTLY. Because they make you feel so good.
Take a look at the article and see what I mean, or read the pasted version below. Or you could always read the book first hand! Kindle/Nook is already available, and the paperback is scheduled to launch May 24.
AS SEEN IN MEDIUM, 5/13/22: