November 02, 2005


Eric Ziegenhagen reps for Minnesotan men, and we can testify he likes smart interesting women (we have seen him on the arm of Edith Frost before):

"One thing Dowd excludes is any notion that American
men have changed between the 1950s and the present,
from John Wayne to Alan Alda to George Clooney, as if
men as a whole have either been oblivious or
reactionary to the cultural changes of the last 50
years and are upholding the traditional values of
being the caretaker and the hunter.

In my own experience, I see a huge gap in behavior
from men I know who are currently over 40 (raised in
the early 70s and earlier) and men under 40. I just
turned 35 and was a pre-teen kid in the age of the ERA
movement, Ms. magazine, 'Looking for Mr. Goodbar', and
'An Unmarried Woman'. My mom had a major role in the
ERA movement in Minnesota, was the first female Rotary
member in our town, was an op-ed columnist for the
Mpls. Star, involved with the Women's Political
Caucus, etc. -- combine that with going to a
progressive high school (at least in the sense that we
weren't segregated by gender socially, especially
those of us who didn't do single-sex athletics) -- and
then add going to a liberal arts college '89-'93 at
the height of the P.C. movement, when 'girl' was an
epithet -- all of those influences are going to shape
a guy -- and not just me, but tens of thousads of us
-- in a way that's very different from the way a man
would grow up in the same town and at the same schools
in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dowd writes about successful men picking their
assistants, nannies, caterers, etc. -- it'll be
interesting to see if this changes with men who are
currently in their 20s and 30s, who were raised with
the influence of the ERA movement, who weren't
segregated socially by gender in high school, and who
went to college sometime after 1989, when
multiculturalism and feminism began to have
substantial influence both in and out of classes. I'm
pretty sure it will. (I mean, the men she's talking
about in their 40s were raised in such a different era
- watch the 1976 courtship rituals in 'Taxi Driver'
sometime and see how upside-down they seem now.)

For us fellas who hang out with smart and interesting
women, I think the reverse of what Dowd says is true
-- we need someone as a partner who is at least as
interesting as our friends. (I would assume this is
true with gals too who hang out with interesting and
smart guys, then they're going to want to be with a
man who is at least as interesting company as her
friends.) Maybe we're the outliers in 2005, but when
our generation hits our 40s and 50s, the influence of
feminism will be clearer."

Posted by Jessica at November 2, 2005 03:38 PM | TrackBack