March 23, 2011

"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."

Writes Jennifer Moses in a the Wall Street Journal piece titled "Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That?" quoted by Rush Limbaugh in a rant titled "Feminazis Worry Their Daughters Will Dress for Sex Like They Did." The quote in the post title is, for Rush, the key: These women (whoever "we" represents for Moses) are "living vicariously through the daughter." He's promoting conservative sexual values, and it's interesting to him that that's what feminists do — some feminists — with their own daughters, even though, in the abstract, they've promoted sexual freedom.

Rush is a little incoherent here as he throws a whole lot of ideas around. I mean, Moses is speaking from experience, and she has regrets. She wishes she'd waited until marriage before having sex. And she's not just saving the secret, true conservative values for her own daughter. She's writing a big, conspicuous op-ed about it. She's promoting sexual conservatism now. And she's not really rejecting sexual freedom, is she? Part of freedom is the freedom not to do things you are free to do.

The trick is to realize when you're young that you can say no. But adults who've said yes, looking back and saying that they wish they'd said no, are somewhat unreliable pontificators. They've had their fun. They made their choices at the time. And now maybe they don't like seeing the young have the first surge of excitement doing those things.


Dad said...

That's the parents' age-old dilemma, isn't it? In order to sell my own advice (ignored in my own youth, when it came from the lips of my own deluded p's) I present it in terms of, "I'm hoping you won't make the same mistakes I did." Then, I get to talk about why it was a mistake and let my kids see plenty of positive counterexamples.

Quayle said...

They've had their fun. They made their choices at the time. And now maybe they don't like seeing the young have the first surge of excitement doing those things.

Or maybe they got the thrill ride early, then later saw what they paid for it and realized it wasn't a worth the price.

Expat(ish) said...

Don't forget the double standard of boys versus girls. As a wild boy I can tell you that my sons/daughters will get different reactions when the, er, rubber meets the road dating-wise.


Carol_Herman said...

Rush has an opinion? No kids. And, he's on his 4th marriage. He sure knows stuff, huh?

Kids dress in the ways they do, because youth, going to school, survive socially on being copy cats. Very few kids enjoy being loners. (Yeah, I think being a loner has something going for it.)

But how clothes become "the rage," I do not know. When I was young, the shirts and ties boys wore to school was going to go out the window. And, school administrators would send students home for "not dressing appropriately." And, they measured the cuffs on pants because they couldn't be "pegged." Tacked into an opening of 13-inches. Which made getting your foot through a "trick" all its own.

But those were the rules. Till the administrators folded.

That teenagers can be sexy? Even when they're covered in long sleeves, and up to the neck. Nature provides.

It's like a feather array. The prettiest attract the most.

Can't change nature.

That women try to be sexy when they go past 40? Have you noticed Nancy Pelosi with the Botoxed face, trying to defy nature?

Oh, yeah. I also remember Garrison belts weren't allowed. If a boy wore them to school, the administrators took them. No idea how the guys got to hold their pants up, afterward.

And, girls weren't allowed to wear pants. Forget about jeans.

Surfed said...

Conservative sexual values? Rush used to vacation in the Dominican Republic when he was single. Not that I disagree with him politically or philosophically.

PETER V. BELLA said...

We all become our parents at some point. Trying to keep our kids from making the same perceived mistakes we think we made.

Unless, of course, your name is Hilton.

YoungHegelian said...

From the article:

"And not one woman I've ever asked about the subject has said that she wishes she'd "experimented" more."

I suspect that the author's friends are not being quite honest here. I mean SOMEBODY's keeping Ashley Madison in business, after all.

If the statement is true, I, as a man, even as believing Catholic man, just find that to be sad.

Almost Ali said...

A liberal saying she wishes she were a conservative?

But you can't un-liberal a liberal. For whom everything is immediate, and visceral. When you lie down with a liberal, you're sleeping with public property. And a cast of thousands.

shoutingthomas said...

Got the call from the work at home employer.

Back to work.

The Crack Emcee said...

"In my own case, when I see my daughter in drop-dead gorgeous mode, I experience something akin to a thrill,..."

Too much information. Yeah, yeah, I know - she's a "goddess"..

Shut her down.

The Macho Response.

Fen said...

Its one of those things. You have to try it so you know to regret it.

MisterBuddwing said...

Certainly not the first time this subject matter has been written about:

WV: spanst

traditionalguy said...

I have seen that some will stay pure and some will enjoy every lust every which way they can. Regrets are going to happen for both types. (NB a culture that accepts moderate social drinking is not plagued by blind drunk alcoholics like a teetotaler culture is). The issue should be decided by what leads to a Family group based upon a husband and a wife raising their children. Every other goal is a death wish.

David said...

My wife is 62. She still turns heads. Especially mine.

vet66 said...

It is not a "yes or no" situation. The real power is in saying "maybe". That is the allure and magic of maintaining control and keeping your options open. The real seductiveness for the young ladies is to command respect and keep your options open. This will promote respect and self-control no matter what the coarse culture advertises.

The real sex organ is still the brain.

Lucien said...

So just does Rush mean by the term "feminazi" anyhow? I thought it referred to women with a certain amount of feminist rigor in their politics. Does he now apply the term to all women who were sexually active in their younger days -- or just the ones in the NY Times?

wv: jewavo -- a kosher Spanish egg

ironrailsironweights said...

Guaranteed Mom and daughter are equally hairless :(


virgil xenophon said...

Expat(ish) is correct about the girl-boy difference. As one of my friends who had all daughters said: "When you have a boy you only have to worry about one dick--when you have girls you have to worry about every dick in town." LOL

Surfed said...

I'm 58. There is nothing more "hot" than a well maintained woman over the age of 45. I'm having more "fun" now than when I was a hippie back in the late 60's early 70's! Minus the orange sunshine of course...

YoungHegelian said...

@Mister Buddwing,

I just read the article in McLeans. Ay-Yi-Yi! are those mothers unpleasant people or what?

The daughter who called her mom a "wet sock" hit the nail on the head.

It seems that the the po-mo lefties have discovered that if one wants to be a Puritan it's really helpful to believe in God first.

Fen said...

Expat(ish) is correct about the girl-boy difference. As one of my friends who had all daughters said: "When you have a boy you only have to worry about one dick--when you have girls you have to worry about every dick in town." LOL

*spews diet coke everywhere*

LOL. I am SO glad I don't have any daughters. I would be in prison by now.

TMink said...

I do not think this is jealousy, I think it is wisdom.

Hook ups do not satisfy long term, and they bind us to previous sexual partners they we would rather forget.

The problem is that the boomer's parents were right after all. And that crow don't taste so good.


virgil xenophon said...

And Carol Herman is correct as far as she goes about the copy-cat syndrome. But the problem is larger than that. It's the 24/7/365 drum-beat of this now heavily sexualized culture (all of it: fashion, movies, TV--the whole bit) which remorselessly not only sexualizes young pre-teens but both implicitly AND explicitly champions the most promiscuous of sexual and drug-taking behavior not only via the medium of the advertising/entertainment message,
but by the media treatment/adoration of media "hipsters" of all types in all their aberrant drug-saturated sexualized glory as the all-too-often implied functional equivalent of role models whose life-styles are to be gloried in and emulated. After all, are they not rich? Showered with praise? Appear on/in all the "cool" venues? Invited to the best parties? yada yada yada..

And, then, of course, there are the parents which KNOWINGLY let their 14 yr-old daughters go to drug-infested rock concerts dressed like 26-yr-old streetwalkers. And we are surprised and shocked, SHOCKHED!! at the societal results? Puuleeeze..

wv: prepi--LOL, yes, I once was, and at age 66 still "are" one.

edutcher said...

There's always that moment when you say, "My God, I sound just like my mother/father".

Usually after you realize how right they were about something.

This is the corollary. You realize what a jerk you were and you don't want your kids to be as stupid as you were.

It even works, sometimes.

David said...

My wife is 62. She still turns heads. Especially mine.

Ditto for The Blonde.

Also agree with Surfed. Always liked women 35 and up. Even in my teens. A little fuller, a little rounder, better sense of humor.

Tim said...

Ann, this article is just another fluff piece to fill a page. Unless I missed them, there are no explanations for her or her friends, feelings of regret, no depth to her claim of being a feminist, or whatever she thinks that is.

This statement,
"Sex is the most powerful thing there is, and our generation, what did we know?"
unwittingly gives her away.

She thinks her generation has failed at being good feminists, because they didn't learn early enough how they could use sex, to control men.

I have never regretted sleeping with any of the women before my wife came along, I only regret not having slept with more.

Great blog, best to you and yours,Tim

Alex said...

I experience a thrill up my leg when I watch MSNBC.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, this article is just another fluff piece to fill a page."

I agree about the Moses article. But I enjoyed Rush's ravings, especially the way he caught the anomalous statement about the woman feeling good about her own sexual attractiveness through the body of her own daughter. I would have made that the center of the rant. I should record what I would do with that material in kind of the style of Rush but with different ravings.

virgil xenophon said...

And don't EVEN get me started about the school dance squads--not just college; not just HS; not just Jr High; but GRADE school pre-teens, for Godssake, who are TAUGHT bump & grind routines by adults who should know better (But are probably just trying to stay "hip"as well as produce a "competitive" "product." You Tube is replete with examples) said routines/moves once previously seen only inside strip clubs but a short decade or so ago.

Bruce Hayden said...

Some of it is new, and some is old. I am reminded of a girl friend telling me of her sisters changing clothes into something their mother wouldn't accept after they left for school every day. And, this was 35 years ago.

But, then it has probably always been a question of girls competing against other girls, primarily for the guys. And, yes, that extends into their 60s, but I think is probably at its worst in high school.

So, to some extent, we have had a move to the lower common denominator as girls move ever so slowly towards looking sexually available, since at least the 60s and early 70s when they moved from skirts to their knees to shorter and shorter skirts, short, shorter shorts, etc. Back around 1970 or so when those sisters I mentioned above were changing clothes, they were trading in their skirts for pants.

I think though that a lot of it is the parents. I don't think that their job is to be their kids' best friends, or even being cool for them. But rather, having their respect.

I will also note that there was a lot less of this when my kid was in HS not so long ago - but I would suspect that a lot of that was that they went to a private school, and most of the parents were involved the right way. And, interestingly, the HS didn't really have much of a dress code, but the middle school did, and esp. for the girls.

Bruce Hayden said...

BTW - Ann, thanks for the great topic. Nothing against what you and Meade did for the Madison protests, but need a bit of a break there.

There does seem to be somewhat of a move away from the free love ideal, but also from the career woman ideal too, when it comes to the younger women, in, say college and into their 20s.

Premarital sex is actually down a bit, and it even seems to be down more for the women in college and after, as compared to their non-college educated sistren (female of brethren?) And, yes, some are now actually electing to stay at home and have families, instead of careers - though I expect that those trying to have both will continue to predominate, esp. since stay-at-home moms seem either to be a luxury, or done with a lot of sacrifice.

Point is that to some extent, the feminists wars have been won, and their daughters and grand-daughters are now benefiting. And, I think more girls every year are feeling empowered to not have sex until and unless they are ready for it.

vbspurs said...

My wife is 62. She still turns heads. Especially mine.

David wins this thread, and every other one.

vbspurs said...

""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.""

Perhaps one shouldn't be too harsh at what Moses has to say -- my mother, in her prime, was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, outside of a catwalk or St Tropez beach. I know I am not close to approaching her natural beauty, but bless her, she always praised me and encouraged me to be girlie, which I confess, is rather fun.

It's also a good way for mother-daughters to bond. Outside of father-son relationships, mother and daughters are especially volatile and contradictory -- so who knows if what Moses and others really want, is to lessen the tensions by getting a thrill at their daughter's appearances.

vbspurs said...

My mother is a psychiatrist (not just a pretty face, she was), whose patients often included mother-daughters involved in explosive relationships. One such mother was a woman who made sure her daughter didn't dress like a "whore", only allowing her daughter to dress in severe, unshapely clothes. No makeup, obviously. Nothing which would make men sit up and take notice.

When we spoke about it years later, my mother didn't make the usual argument that this woman was merely a control-freak, jealous of her daughter's youth and beauty, which most of us would imagine to be the case.

She said it's possible the woman is fighting a sexual desire for her daughter, by eliminating her more nubile qualities.

My jaw dropped. I hadn't thought of that, ever. Even if the woman had been rather mannish, it is true.


LordSomber said...

"Even as they acknowledge the badness of their own past choices they can’t stop promoting them, because they so loudly promoted them in the past. Note who they are looking to protect. Preventing their daughter from needing therapy by not letting her become the campus mattress would protect their own daughters, but at the expense of acknowledging the harm their own feminist ideals have created. Given the choice, they will protect the young version of themselves instead of protecting their own young."

Joe said...

My grandmother had a great picture of her in her late teens in a flapper dress. I teased her about it and she told me how she and her older sisters would sneak out of the house and drive to the "city" (meaning going from nowhere to less nowhere), put on their slinky dresses and dance.

William said...

It's amazing the virtues and wisdom you acquire as age withers your libido and liver.

Martha said...

I think the pre-teen girls and the mothers who encourage their daughters to dress provocatively like streetwalkers do not realize the effect this has on males. My niece has been driving my brother crazy since her pre-teen years. She perceives no danger when she goes to a party in NYC scantily clad. My brother, her father, sees potential rapists lurking everywhere. He was sort of wild when he was young and his worst fear is his daughter meeting a youthful version of the way he was.

SukieTawdry said...

I really don't understand all this post-sexual revolution feminist angst. What the hell were these women up to that they're so ashamed and regretful?

As a young adult during the age of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, post-pill, pre-AIDS, I was sexually active for 14 years before I married. Looking back, there's nothing I'm ashamed of and nothing I regret (but then, I never had a one-night stand and never had sex with a man I'd just met--both were out of my comfort zone--YMMV). I never felt pressured to find my "true womanhood" in the bedroom (what nonsense--as I recall, that crowd wanted us to find our true selves not as courtesans, but as career women disdainful of the role men might play in our lives). I never "gave my body away." What does that even mean? Something to do with not buying the cow when the milk is free?? We, after all, weren't supposed to be concerned about getting bought.

I don't have children, but I really sympathize with my fellow boomers who did raise them in the shadow of the many ways we spent and mis-spent our own youth. Must have been tough.

The slutty dress of today's girls and preposterous dress of today's droopy-drawered boys are good arguments for school uniforms or at least a return to dress codes. And what is the deal with hooking up?? You'll never convince me that girls have changed so much that they don't feel jealousy or don't yearn for that one special guy who's all their's. Does seem like a pretty good deal for the guys, though. Girls, you need to wake up.

shiloh said...

"Ann, this article is just another fluff piece to fill a page."

AA is infatuated w/Limbaugh her narcissistic, blow hard hero, much like her current piece of fluff The Times is clearly fascinated ... AA is fascinated by Limbaugh to the point of embarrassment!

And of course, by definition, AA is "fascinated" by myriad pieces of fluff as this blog indicates.

ie she is fascinated that The NYT's is fascinated ~ the yin/yang of fascination. :D

The Crack Emcee said...

Giving Up The Nappy Dugout

Umm, uhh is Cheryl here?
Well who are you?
Tell her Ice Cube is here
Ice Cube!
Man I ain't lettin my damn daughter
go out with no damn Ice Cubes man!
Man what the hell you talkin about man?
I brought my daughter up man,
in a Catholic school, private school
Man what you want with her?
I'm sick of this bullshit!
Yo man, let me tell you somethin..

[Verse One]
Your daughter was a nice girl, now she is a slut
A queen treatin niggaz just like King Tut
Gobblin up nuts, sorta like a hummingbird
Suckin up the Lench Mob crew, and I'm comin third
Used to get straight A's, now she just skippin class
Oh my, do I like to grip the hips and ass
Only seventeen, with a lot of practice
on black boys jimmies and white boys cactus
Sorry sorry sir, but I gotta be brief
A lotta niggaz like bustin nuts in her teeth
Drink it up, drink it up, even though she's Catholic
that don't mean shit, cause she's givin up the ass quick
Quicker than you can say, "Candy,"
the bitch is on my Snicker... and oh man she
can take on three men - built like He-Men
Her little-bitty twat got gallons of semen
Fourteen niggaz in line ready to bang yo'
pride-and-joy, I mean daddy's little angel
Tell the little bitch to bring her ass out the house
cause your daughter's known, for givin up the nappy dug out

[Chorus: repeat 2X]

"I got a big old ding-a-ling, and if that bitch can hang
I'm gonna do my thing, with your dauuuughter!"
[Cube] Givin up the nappy dug out!

[Interlude: Pops]

Look motherfucker you better get from in front of my house
with that old god damn bullshit
You girlie-ass motherfucker
You better get out of here witcho' fine ass
Man, youse a little fine motherfucker

[Verse Two]
Mister, mister, before you make me go
I'm here to let you know your little girl is a hoe
Nympho, nympho, boy is she bad
Get her all alone and out comes the kneepads
I know she is a minor and it is illegal
but the bitch is worse than Vanessa Del Rio
And if you decide to call rape
we got the little hooker on tape, now:
tell the fuckin slut to please hurry up
and wear that dress that's tight on her butt
So I can finger-fuck on the way to the bed
Been in so many rooms, she got a dot on her forehead
Face turnin red from grabbin them ankles
Fuck and get up is how I do them stank-hoes
You should hear how she sounds with a cock
And her boots get knocked, from here to Czechoslovakia
Two are on top, one on the bottom
First nigga got the boots; man, you shoulda shot him
cause after I got 'em it was over
Now niggaz get lucky like a four-leaf clover
on daddy's little girl.
She keeps nuts in her mouth like the bitch was a squirrel
So tell Cheryl to bring her ass home
cause the line at my house is gettin loooooooong, ay!


Warning: when having sexual intercourse with a female like Cheryl
you must use, jimmy hat condoms

[Condom rap]
We're called jimmy hats, have you ever seen us?
Most guys wear us round rolled up on your penis
If you're real smart, you will always use us
Put me in your wallet, 'fore some dummy screws us
And goin bare back, without the bare facts
'll have creepy crawlers crawlin on your nutsac!
So get the J-I-M-M-Y to the hats
It's me and two brothers in a pack

"Run out and get your jimmy hats.." [KRS-One]
"Run out and get your jimmy hats.." [KRS-One]

[Condom] Or this might happen to you!

ricpic said...

Not drawing the line on how provocatively their daughters dress may also indicate these moms want to see themselves and be seen by their daughters more as pals than moms.

vbspurs said...

Only seventeen, with a lot of practice
on black boys jimmies and white boys cactus

Crack, I knew what jimmies were even without the lyrics 'splaining it, but what...dare one cactuses stand for?

wv: lydri (-di Biciclette)

vbspurs said...

Never mind, I got it. And I've never seen a white boy's willie resembling a thorny green stumpy trunk with spikes, but then, I don't get out much.

chickelit said...

vbspurs said...

wv: lydri (-di Biciclette)


The Crack Emcee said...


"Cactus" is the (white) Rap group 3rd Base' contribution to the vernacular, conceived mostly because they had a Ennio Morricone record to work with.

Did you listen to the track? It's an underground classic from the '90s, partially because of Sir Jinx's re-imagining of The Staple Singer's Gospel hit "I'll Take You There" (amongst others) but, of course, mostly because Cube was pulling the Charlie Sheen to a parent. That album, Death Certificate, was Cube's third brilliant concept album in a row before things started falling apart, and I highly recommend it, whether you're a Rap fan or not.

It's both stupid and rude, but it's also damned good music and art.

Big Mike said...

Women in college outnumber the men by 3 to 2, and the ratio would be worse (er, make that better if your genitalia are external) if colleges weren't already doing a form of affirmative action for males. The competition for college-educated men is going to push a lot of young women into making the same "mistakes" that Jennifer Moses says she made.

MiaZagora said...

I don't get it when people say that they did something when they were younger and now regret it, but feel unqualified to tell their children to do what they did...even if it will save their children a lifetime of regret, as well as a myriad of other problems that arise from certain "risky" behaviors. It's not just "prudish" or "religious" people that see the error of their ways - although, I myself am a Christian.

Just from a common sense standpoint, it's like a paralyzed person NOT telling their children they shouldn't dive in shallow water, because they did it themselves. Strange.

Why wouldn't you want better for your kids?

tree hugging sister said...

I think these mothers are more concerned about the popularity quotient than anything else.

Dear God, that the little girl shouldn't reach the pecking order heights the mother has predetermined she should reach? And that mother will do anything to facilitate her rise through them.