Stepford Wives Vs. Teen Romance?
My friend was asking me if I had read the article in the NYTimes 2 Sunday’s ago, “Whatever Happened to Teen Romance?” and what did I think. Then, I saw the Stepford Wives this past weekend and thought about the article and what will become of the teens of today.
The Stepford Wives premise is about a town in Connecticut where all the husbands turn their wives into robots by installing a microchip in their brains. This way they can keep a perfectly clean house, take care of all their sexual needs on demand, never fight, look perky and perfect and be the ultimate wife/mom etc. All the women in the movie who were “programmed” were at one point all high power executives of major firms or top scientists or renowned authors. Their husbands didn’t like not being as powerful, smart and capable as their wives so they them took over and made them subservient. In the end, of course, the woman prevail.
Then, I thought about the article the other week in the NYTimes, “Whatever Happened to Teen Romance?” I was most bothered in the article about the teenage girls that were happy to allow the teenage boys engage in sex without having any pleasure of their own but just allowing the boys (most of who they never see again) be in the driver’s seat per se. THe article on one hand was encouraging that young women were feeling empowered to experiment sexually but on the other hand it was upsetting that the people written about had no interest in developing intimate relationships with another person.
Every generation experiments with sex in their own way. Every generation of parents freak out at how their teenagers are behaving. Now we have the internet that allows people to connect and meet people that might not necessarily be in their own community. Scary on one hand but fantastic on another. How about a kid in the midst of rural America who feels completely disconnected from their life at home but can go online and talk to kids that have the same interests (let’s say Heavy Metal fans) and can feel that they are not alone.
I would hope that this generation is still interested in committed relationships and partnerships down the line so that they can enjoy and understand intimacy at a different level than just sex. Then, you go to a movie like Stepford Wives and you see men being intimated by their successful, take control of their own lives women. On one hand these teenagers are controlling the way they want to experiment with sex but then on the other hand how do they actually feel about having sex, not really getting any satisfaction from it but giving all that to the other person. Is the power of women’s decisions to be whatever the want moved us 2 steps forward but 1 step backward? Are these young women confused about being in control by perhaps not feeling good about it at all?
Also, what is the media teaching young women of today? Wear no clothes, think of yourself as a sexual object but on the other hand take over and run a company. Mixed messages. No wonder these young women are confused.
The Letters in the NYTimes this past week in reference to this article were interesting. One particular quote summed up the article best for me. “My daughter is still deciding whether to be a top brain surgeon or a stay home mother of 3.” Both are fulfilling but which one do I really want to do? Can I do both? The good news is that this next generation will make their mark like every other generation has of the past but will be able to choose, equal to men, whatever they damn well please.