Friday, December 11, 2015

"No one had ever lived with so many choices before."

This is an article about the modern, middle-class, western woman (not the poor woman or the rich woman or the 3rd world woman) and the radical transformation of life for her in the 20th century. 

One might call it "Decter's Last Stand."

"A quiet look around would have told her and anybody else who actually cared about her that her life had undergone a revolutionary change. For one thing, she was being positively beset by new freedoms. Before marriage, she was now free to pursue an education of her choosing or not, to take a job or pursue a career, to engage in a kind of sample mating, and to marry or not when and as she saw fit. And though there of course remained social pressure on her to marry, if she did not, she was no longer consigned to playing the maiden aunt.
Once married, she was now free to continue her career or give it up, remain married or change her mind about her choice of husband, have a child or not, and at a time and place of her choosing. She could also now look forward to being vigorous and attractive well past what was once middle age, thanks to both birth control and the mechanization of housework—indeed, there was by now an ever higher statistical probability that she would end up a still-healthy widow. She had, in short, become the most transformingly advantaged beneficiary of modern technology, above all, modern medical technology.

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