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The image of American women in the popular media has taken yet another blow with the announcement and launch of the massive promotional campaign by the Oxygen network to promote its new show, “Campus Ladies.” The show revolves around middle-aged women who return to college and decide to indulge in “age-inappropriate” behavior with young, male college students.
Indeed, some of the massive ads around the country involve a bra draped over billboards, and a radio commercial for the series warns male college students that “extremely drunk middle-aged college women are trying to have sex with you.”
I, of course, address these issues, the portrayal of American women in the most degrading possible light, in my newest book “Hating Women, America’s Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex.” But we would have been forgiven had we all thought that the portrayal of American woman as sluts and whores was only for younger women. For example, the dream once was that American girls would go to college and get and education, but that was before the “Girls Gone Wild” videos showed us what they really wanted to do: rip off their shirts for men in exchange for a T-shirt.
We still believed that a modicum of dignity was retained by older, more mature women, and if they wanted to go back to college, as I saw many do at Oxford, it was to fulfill the feminist dream that women can get educated. Now, we’re told that the only reason women want to go back to college in their 40s is to have sex with 20-year-old libidinous men.
The question really is: When will this all end? Where are the feminist leaders to protest this? Wasn’t feminism about women being portrayed as the intellectual equals of men, that they are individuals who have the same capacities and potential as men?
I find it astonishing that in my lifetime I have seen the feminist dream become a nightmare, where not a single feminist leader will speak against the tsunami of misogyny that has opened up against American women. Feminism’s highest objective was once the emphasis on female higher education. But this has now devolved into a cultural portrayal of women going to college not because they want to discover Aristotle and Shakespeare, but because they want to have orgies with men.
The time has come for some responsible feminist leader – if there are any left – to speak out against this increasing misogyny. There was Andrea Dworkin, who was a courageous voice against pornography and the belittling of women, but she has died now with no one to take her place.