December 21, 2007


Okay, taking a break from the Llama Office Party, Day 2 for just a moment, I was intrigued by Wendy Shalit's article over at OpinionJournal this morning on what may actually be a legitimate, burgeoning cultural counter-revolution:

Sensing the makings of a more conservative generation, Phillip Longman, writing in the Harvard Business Review, warned readers in the February issue to "think twice" about touting sexually explicit video games: "Businesses that have relied on sex to sell products . . . could provoke boycotts or outright bans." Today's sexy marketing campaigns "could come to be seen as relics of a decadent past." This is what happened in 2005 when teenage girls successfully "girlcotted" Abercrombie & Fitch's "attitude tees." It wasn't parents but the girls themselves who succeeded in getting the clothing retailer to pull the shirts with sayings such as "Who Needs Brains When You Have These?"

On several occasions in recent years, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has found that twice as many adults as teens answered "yes" to this question: "Do you think it is embarrassing for teens to admit they are virgins?" I now have a whole email folder filled with tales of this generational disconnect. A 19-year-old wrote to me after her mother pressured her to go to bars during the workweek. When mom packed her off with 12 condoms on a trip to India, the girl wondered: "Am I really going to have so much sex in the Third World?" I heard from a 16-year-old whose parents think she is "Victorian" because "excuse me if sex is not my favorite dinner topic."

And then there's my favorite email, received in October: "When I was about 12," reports a 23-year-old woman, "my baby boomer mother came up to me one day after school, and appraising my typical baggy t-shirt and jeans said, 'you really ought to start wearing smaller shirts. That's what the boys want.' I of course just blushed and mumbled something like 'OK, mom.' Now that I'm older I realize that instead of just being embarrassed, I could have said, 'what about what I want?' "

People sometimes forget that Victorian propriety was a direct backlash against the excesses of the late Georgian era preceding it. Mom has been predicting for some time now a similar backlash against Boomer hedonism in general, and the "Sexual Revolution"*** in particular. Articles like this one suggest that this is starting to occur. What I find especially interesting about it is that the revolt and the demand for higher standards apparently is coming from the younger generations. The kids are alright.

***SOOPER-SEKRET NOTE TO FEMINISTS: You do know by now that the "Sexual Revolution" was nothing more than a fraud fadged up by a bunch of hipster doofuses and sold to you so they could carry on without any responsibilities, right? Right?

Posted by Robert at December 21, 2007 09:38 AM | TrackBack

Or it could just be teenagers telling their parents to f***-off. Hard to imagine I know....

Posted by: LB Buddy at December 21, 2007 12:43 PM