Will my baby granddaughter pay the price of my fight for equality? Sixties feminist sees the emotional emptiness facing women today

Will my baby granddaughter pay the price of my fight for equality? Sixties feminist sees the emotional emptiness facing women today. By Jeannette Kupferman.

The moment I held Amber Ann in my arms — just minutes after her birth — an unexpected cocktail of emotions nearly floored me; what can best be described as a mixture of unbridled joy mingled with apprehension.

My first grandchild was so perfectly formed, her eyes blinking in the bright hospital lights, her little fingers intertwined with mine. Of course, every baby is an individual miracle — but Amber was something of an actual miracle too, as my daughter-in-law Ewa, who suffered from endometriosis, had never believed she could conceive. …

Much as I’d always longed for grandchildren, when I turned 70 I’d almost given up.

Both my son, Elias, a historian, now 52, and daughter, Mina, an editor and photographer, 50, married late in life, and I knew the chances were diminishing. Yet here was Amber Ann, my son’s first child, snuggling into my arms.

Has feminism improved the lot of upper middle class women? Perhaps not.

It makes me wonder what happened to the Brave New World we’d envisaged for our daughters and granddaughters. A world of unlimited possibilities, choices and equality for girls to become or do anything?

A world I — like many women — fought for in the Sixties.

Has feminism made life worse, not better, for today’s generation of girls?

Certainly, women have never existed in such a bleak emotional landscape.

The porn culture has virtually taken over every area of life, perhaps born from those Sixties cries for sexual liberation that you should have as much sex as you like, with whoever you like. …

Meanwhile, traditional roles have become ever more ideologically despised — so much so that last week the very act of being a housewife or mother was banned from advertisements for perpetuating ‘outdated’ gender stereotypes. …

But aren’t young girls today just as imprisoned by the drive to bear their flesh as the cliched Victorian wife in crinolines? It’s almost as compulsory for a young woman to take a pouting semi-naked selfie today as it was for a teenager in the Fifties to wear bobby socks. …

Who could have predicted such an obsession with thinness or worship of celebrities for the near-Frankensteinian outrages they inflict on their bodies? …

The well-meaning battles we embarked on in idealistic youth have somehow robbed young women of the soul of femininity. We’ve lost something precious, distinctive and unique. …

I have learned, over the years, that the ‘stereotypical’ roles of femininity can give a sense of identity and security unmatched by anything in the corporate or professional world.

Glenn Reynolds:

Fish develops appreciation for bicycle-based culture. And not only did your — only, miraculously born — granddaughter pay the price, but so did the ones you never had.