BARBARA MACLEAN—It’s been with alarm and great disappointment that I’ve watched the slide backwards, away from the values I learned from Women’s Success Teams. As a university career and academic counselor working with many young women students, I’ve come to realize that many of them know almost nothing about the feminist movement of the 60’s and 70’s. In the workplace I’ve seen so many women of all ages slip back towards wearing provocative clothes, lots of makeup, high heels and coloring their hair. They spend thousands of dollars on weight loss programs, the latest hairstyles and colors, plastic surgery, Botox treatments and even breast implants. I see so many older women dying their hair to cover the grey and spending thousands of dollars on products and procedures to make them look younger. I watch as women celebrities go to extremes to present themselves as eternally young, sexualized creatures. Many of them are in my circle of friends, and, indeed, in my own family. All of this is painful for me to see. I would like to share with you some of their stories.
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P. GREANVILE—bserve closely and try to see what these rituals tell you about a culture. In some cases, you will be surprised. My own impression is that the Greeks show the influence of the Turks, while the US—amazing for its surprising sheer weirdness— approximates that of a real automaton. Meanwhile, the Taiwanese excel in precision movements, while the Indo-Pakistani, mirroring their legendary enmity, indulge in a male display of mock ferocity on steroids that borders on the comical. Note traces of the British influence in their high stepping and arm movements.
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STEPHEN COOPER—Equally more illuminating than Brinkmann’s minimalist musings is masterful American writer James Baldwin’s take on modern society’s lack of consciousness. In his essay “Mass Culture and the Creative Artist,” Baldwin piercingly observed: “What the mass culture really reflects . . . is the American bewilderment in the face of the world we live in. We do not seem to want to know that we are in the world…
DAVID ROSEN—Over the last half-century, the nation’s sexual culture has profoundly changed. The once…