We’ve Come a Wrong Way, Baby

June 27th, 2018 Posted by Susan's Musings 72 comments

Are we happy yet? A few years ago, in Dallas, my husband and I gave a ‘Money and Marriage’ seminar. I spoke about the brilliant Virginia Slims cigarette ads of the late 1960s. Using the advertising slogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby,” the ads contrasted sepia-tinted cheerless, oppressed-looking women from earlier decades with modern Virginia Slims women – bold, happy, often wearing colorful pants suits and liberated by, among other things, their ability to smoke openly. My point was that these ads actually gave an unspoken anti-feminist message. Women could only come a long way by behaving like men, in other words, by smoking.

With that in mind, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at last month’s report from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. Not only have young women achieved parity with men in getting lung cancer, they are actually getting ahead of men

What a triumph for feminism!

In the past few decades we abandoned judgment. Instead of evaluating behaviors, the litmus test of whether something was desirable for women or not became whether groups of men behaved in that manner. Men smoked and got drunk and women rushed to emulate them. Men cursed, and you only have to read some of today’s humorous “chick lit” to see how successfully women learned to be crude as well. Instead of saying, “I don’t want to be around you if you curse, women boasted, “I can curse as well as you.”

Irresponsible men treated their bodies as purely physical entities sleeping around at will, and women, especially on college campuses, mimicked that degradation. Instead of rejoicing in their femininity and encouraging men to rise above the basest calls of their nature, women sought the lowest common ground in a race to copy all that is adolescent, immature and destructive in the male of the species. Somehow, it hasn’t produced the satisfaction it promised.

  The move to, ‘come a long way, baby’, coupled with advances in birth control, encouraged men and women to ignore what is uniquely feminine, the ability to nurture and bear life. Separating sex and conception and removing holiness from physical relationships left women publicly naked, both figuratively and literally.  Large numbers of American women formed “feminist” movements that focused on encouraging other women to suppress their yearning for children. They created cultural pressure encouraging the destruction of unwanted babies and along the way convinced men that wives were irrelevant and unnecessary as life partners. In other words, women gave up the privileges they should have protected including the right to respect and affection from a man who would spend his life striving to be worthy of a woman’s love.

Not surprisingly, if the goal is to be a man, men have an unfair advantage.  Indeed, analyses of the cancer study cited above have the audacity to suggest that women’s bodies may respond differently to smoking than men’s bodies, making women more susceptible to lung cancer. Perhaps women need to go back a long way, baby, and try another path. One on which they utilize their intelligence and talents rather than running lemming-like over a cliff. Maybe, instead of following the worst of male characteristics, we should appreciate and encourage that which is noble and decent in men while also valuing what is worthy and fine in our own gender.

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72 comments

Shelley Birnie says:

Amen and amen.

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks, Shelley.

Ben McFie says:

This is such a GREAT post!

Susan Lapin says:

Glad you like it, Ben.

Lawrence Taylor says:

Brilliant! Thank you!

Susan Lapin says:

I kind of liked it myself, Lawrence. Thanks for taking the time to write.

Barbara Tahir says:

Thank you, Susan. You have expressed what I have been thinking for many years and what I taught my daughter growing up. I thank the heavens every day that she was wise enough to take to heart my teaching. What I pointed out to her with irony and sarcasm you were able to express so much more logically. Thank you.

Susan Lapin says:

Barbara, unfortunately too many young women don’t have wise mothers like you.

David E. says:

Both men and women have ‘come a long way’, and I believe that both have been following the wrong path. Hopefully, my wife of 35 years and I are following a different path. Neither of us smoke, neither of us drink to get drunk, neither of us take pleasure in cursing or being rude or crude.

Susan Lapin says:

How charmingly old-fashioned of you, David. You’re in much like company here, I think.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Well done, David,
And I hope Heaven has seen fit to bless you with offspring in whom you have inculcated your worthy lifestyle choices. We need more like you.
Cordially,
RDL

Jacob Ward says:

Spot on. The media celebrates, for instance, women who date men much younger than them, precisely because it’s a behavior often displayed by wealthy, powerful men.

I’ve never understood this propensity to praise women for emulating bad male behavior (overly aggressive and lustful, under-compassionate, etc.). We don’t need more of that in the world.

I think more women should be in positions of leadership in every facet of American life, but I want them there for their female perspective, their unique way of viewing the world. If they’re going to behave just as poorly as the men that are already occupying those positions, then what’s the point?

Susan Lapin says:

Jacob, I think we would differ on the meaning of ‘leadership,’ because to me, putting women in the positions men traditionally hold is defining leadership on solely masculine terms.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Jacob–
I am sorry but I strongly disagree with your saying, ” I think more women should be in positions of leadership in every facet of American life…” Here’s why: When you think about it, that is a statement of totalitarian control. If you want to make a woman the leader of your company, please go ahead. Nobody should be able to tell you how to run your own business or interfere with your free and voluntary associations with others. But as soon as you say that you want to see more women in positions of leadership in every facet of American life, you are only one step away from forcing me to appoint a female CEO to my company precisely because she possesses ovaries. Furthermore, you are only two steps away from imposing punishment and sanctions upon me if I decline to do so. I don’t think that women should be in more American leadership positions and I don’t think they shouldn’t. I also don’t think that more American homes should have goldfish as pets or that more American men should wear suits and ties. I believe that a free people should have the freedom to keep cats, dogs, or no pets at all. I think what men wear is between them, their spouses, and their employers and that free people of either gender should be able to hire or refrain from hiring whomever they choose. I am terrified of those who would rule me and govern my life by telling me who I must hire and, for that matter, who I must serve in my store. I fear large scale pronouncements that start off “America should” or “Americans should” or any other expression of latent totalitarianism.
Other than that, I agree with your letter especially the excellent observation of your first paragraph.
Cordially
RDL

James says:

Bravo, Rabbi! Hear hear! There are already far too many ‘shoulds’ that are naught but the results and consequences of misguided regulations that in the end leave us all in fetters.

Jacob Ward says:

Thank you, Rabbi and Susan, for addressing my comments. I’m not seeing how my statement veers anywhere near totalitarian control. I made a personal judgment that I don’t intend to (and can’t) impose. And, even if I did have the power, I wouldn’t. Do I think women having a more representative role in leadership positions would be good for society and democracy? Yes. And I’m guessing that’s where we respectfully disagree. Do I want a quota met on females in leadership positions? No.

And to James, without “should” and “ought” statements, we can’t make any sense of a discussion on morality. One “ought” to care for widows. We “should” deregulate. Americans “should” rescind Roe v. Wade. Americans “should” return to traditional values. I think my “should” statement about women implies latent totalitarianism because you disagree with it.

Holly McPhail says:

Thank you so much for sharing! Absolutely spot on. I can’t wait to share this!

Susan Lapin says:

Please do share, Holly. I would love to grow the Musings audience.

Debra says:

such a good message and so very needed today. thank you Susan.

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you, Debra.

Mike R Harris says:

Inspired. Persuasively articulated.

Susan Lapin says:

Mike, this is something I largely wrote over a long period of time and then when I saw the studies on lung cancer, I knew it was time to publish it.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks Mike,
Susan Lapin does write very well and she invariably aims her formidable literary artillery at worthwhile targets.
Cordially,
RDL

Luis Sanabria says:

Not to mention the increasing number of STD cases. Some have no cure. I see now on bus stops, posters warning about an antibiotic resistant gonorrhea strain.
Christianity calls for chastity before marriage, what about Jewdiism?
Before antibiotics STD was horrible, after it gave people a false sense of security.

Susan Lapin says:

I haven’t seen those ads, Luis, but I’m not surprised. Yes, Judaism reserves sex for marriage.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Luis,
What Judaism and Christianity share in common is a regard for the Bible as a definitive guide to the nature of human reality. And the area in which we have the most compelling need for that guide is male female relationships. And in this area, one of the Bible’s most axiomatic principles is that life works best when women sleep only with men who have made a commitment of responsibility. We call that commitment marriage.
Cordially,
RDL

James says:

Excellent musing! The damage was done, for many women STILL seem not content to be women in the classical sense, but are driven to compete with men beneath the cloak of feminism. Well, maybe you won’t believe this, but back in the 1970’s when this famed brand of cigarettes was widely publicized, I conceived a piece of Black Art, so to speak. Here is an open coffin, Dracula-style, with a bony skeleton inside. Its jaw is gaping wide open in the grin of death. The right hand is emerging from the coffin. Between two of its bony fingers is a lit cigarette. The caption: ‘YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BONY.’ Oh well. I fear my concept came true like a prophecy, if the scurrilous artwork didn’t actually happen. I have known a couple of researchers in endocrinology who were firmly convinced that a woman’s complex hormonal landscape makes her more susceptible than a man to nicotine addiction and also to recidivist back-sliding if she should actually quit.

Susan Lapin says:

James, that art sounds positively gruesome. I, too, am seeing researchers suggesting that women’s bodies react differently to cigarettes.

Anna McFie says:

So, so true!

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks, Anna.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

These days, Anna,
It is only a great woman who can read, recognize, and relate to the truth! The culture places almost irresistible pressures on women to brandish a defiant fist against reality particularly as it manifests itself in male female relationships.
Cordially,
RDL

Joyce R. says:

Miss Susan, your post is right on. As an older woman, I am often appalled at the lengths women go to to prove that there is no difference between the sexes. Worse, the vulgarity in language, immodesty in dress, the drunkenness, etc., don’t just hurt the women who engage in them but all women and girls. Men see it and think all women are alike. It is sad. The question is, who do we regain the ground we have lost?

Susan Lapin says:

Joyce, there are many young women who actually agree with you, though our media doesn’t give them a voice. I think one of the most important things we can do is not to despair.

Rick McAndrew (home) says:

Thanks for sharing your article. This I will pass on to my daughters.

Susan Lapin says:

Please let me know their response, Rick.

Vince says:

You hit the nail right on the head. My grandkids say we are old fashion because of 45 yrs of marriage, isn’t that the way G-d meant it to be?

Susan Lapin says:

Vince, I imagine they say that wistfully. Who wouldn’t want to have a happy, long marriage?

JAMES DIVINE says:

Great analysis! My wife and I were virgins until our wedding night 31+ years ago. For her, I know it was because of her great virtue. For me, the virtue of the girls I dated was 2/3 of it.

Susan Lapin says:

James, if you’ve read the book we publish, Hand’s Off! This May Be Love, you know that there is pushback to today’s norms.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear James,
Thank you for your note which was both funny and piercingly self-aware!
Cordially
RDL

John says:

I remember your husband saying it’s better to marry a preschool teacher than a lawyer (to men). That’s exactly what I did, not specifically because of his advice but it encouraged me. She is happy to have children and it makes me very happy that she feels that way–its one of my favorite things about her. Excellent post.

Susan Lapin says:

John, that is the type of statement that raises hackles and then when you discuss it calmly, it makes a lot of sense.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Well done, John,
You have a wife that enjoys complementing you rather than competing with you. Just to clarify, I did say “all other things being equal” which, of course, in real life, they never are. In general, with all else equal, pick the more feminine woman, is what I tell young single men. Second, be aware that contemporary feminism paradoxically aims to masculinize women. Third, be aware that certain activities and behaviors conducted consistently over time will tend to masculinize women just as there are activities that will demasculinize men.
It always pays to know how the world REALLY works.
Cordially,
RDL

Flo says:

Ironically I’ve heard many women say the world would be a better place if women ran it yet they take on many of the less virtuous behaviors exhibited by men.

Susan Lapin says:

So true, Flo. It’s easy to point to women in leadership positions in politics who, instead of bringing positive feminine qualities, have simply adopted horrible demeanors.

Jean says:

The ad agency that convinced women that it’s “liberating” to smoke, curse and sleep around like men has to be the same one that convinced women that abortion is somehow connected to “female empowerment.” I’ve recently been in a position to speak with lots of single women who 1) became pregnant out of wedlock, and 2) who were coerced (or were being pressured) into having an abortion by their male partner. I’m convinced that the only beneficiary of abortion is the man; the women all felt bullied, and in the one case where she went through with the abortion and lost the man anyway, she was literally haunted by the impact of what she had done. Women are tied to that unborn child physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, and unlike men, can’t just walk away from it without consequence.

Susan Lapin says:

You are so right, Jean. Abortion as a ‘pro-woman’ concept has to rank as one of the Big Lies of history.

Sadly, women are still trying to find their way….but emulating men and male behavior has only hindered women being “free” and expressing more of their own uniqueness. By doing so, we are telling the world that men are doing it all right. And that is far from truth. Good post!

Susan Lapin says:

Exactly, Joanne.

Jacob Miller says:

Hello Rabbi and Mrs. Lapin,

That post was well-done – Thank you.

Quick question – I enjoy a weekly cigar. While our kids play this has turned into a pleasant time for my beautiful virtuous stay-at-home wife and I to visit and talk about whatever is on either of our minds. My lovely wife professes to enjoy the smell of the cigar and I highly enjoy the companionship she brings to the event.

With the intent of increasing her enjoyment, I started purchasing smaller flavored cigars specifically marketed towards women to keep in my humidor, sometimes at my offering, she will have a half or quarter while we visit. Do either of you think that this is an activity or behavior that will tend towards masculinization over time? Do you see this as an egg that is going to hatch into something either of us will regret?

The information regarding the female body reacting differently to the smoke already raises my concern, however, I look forward to your insights!

Sincerely

Jacob

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Jacob,
Thanks for your encouraging words. Now to your question. I’ll chime in on it now because I too enjoy an occasional cigar (and even a more occasional “vape”). Still, I’m sure Susan Lapin will also add her thoughts to the charmingly domestic scene that you limn so seductively.
It was in the 1980s when I first learned that hard driving female athletes and ballerinas as well as female “linemen” lugging heavy toolboxes up those electricity transmission towers have measureable drops in their estrogen levels. Furthermore I was amazed to learn that upon ceasing those activities, their estrogen levels soon crept up back to normal. At the same time I explored the significant drop off in testosterone in the bodies of men who had signed up for “crying therapy”. (Yes, men gathering together for crying sessions enjoyed brief popularity back then) These and other scientific and medical explorations confirmed for me the ancient Jewish wisdom principle that what we do can, and probably will impact our physiologies. Yes, would you believe that while cigarette smoking has little hormonal impact upon men, it does decidedly lower estrogen levels in women! That’s true. For this and other reasons, pregnant women were discouraged from smoking back in those golden Virginia Slims days. I don’t for a moment doubt that women who spend 40–60 hours a week threatening opposing counsel in a courtroom also experience diminished estrogen levels. (I do not have data on this.)
With all that said, I am equally certain that almost anything in moderation is harmless. Obviously there are exceptions and obviously one has to define moderation. But I feel very certain that your wife experiencing part of a small flavored cigar once or twice a week is utterly harmless. For the unitiated I should point out that for the most part, nobody inhales cigar smoke as they do with cigarettes. I am also certain that the time you two regularly spend together in this fashion is of incalculable value to your marriage. Now let me begin to take this in for a landing with a subversive thought: I don’t rule out the possibility that your wonderful wife actually doesn’t much care for cigars or the smoke and aroma they produce. But what she greatly cares about is dedicated time together with you, regardless of whatever (vile 😀) habits in which you indulge during those times. You see, Jacob, to you and me, a cigar is just a cigar. But maybe to your wife, it’s far more: an instrument of connection with the man she loves. Just sayin’
In the same spirit of love, Susan Lapin has tolerated my occasional cigars (the aroma of which she genuinely loathes and to which she is preternaturally sensitive) For my part, I try to protect her from the worst of it by smoking out of doors and far from her.
So, go ahead and y’all enjoy those precious times together and give thanks for your marriage.
Cordially,
RDL

Susan Lapin says:

Jacob, I’m not going to attempt to add to my husband’s comments despite his encouragement to do so.

James says:

Despite my macabre invective against cigarette smoke inhalation by females (above) I share your affection for episodic imbibed tobacco. My preference is for the flavorful pipe (1,000 flavors!), which connoisseurs also do not inhale, but imbibe. I smoke perhaps 15 – 20 episodes per year and certainly not in the presence of respiratory insults (colds, cough, sinus infection). My conscientious family physician also does not raise an eyebrow at such blue-moon excursions into genus Nicotiana. Actually I find the practice aids focus and concentration in a pinch, and I am reminded of a study during the latter 1970’s that showed cigar smokers live longer than non-smokers. The pipe is perhaps similar, for like the old adage: ‘A pipe gives a wise man time to think, and the fool something to stick in his mouth.’

Susan Gilliland says:

Oh My Goodness! This is the truth beyond words! I remember the days when the gals were looked down upon in my class when they said a bad word, and you are right , NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE AT ALL ANYMORE! Even adult women are now spouting off and those annoying vaping things blowing smoke in every direction. I just don’t get it! I do however, love the use of the word, “y’all” in RDL’s previous response. Love y’all ! and just to say HERE! HERE! did not seem adequate to your much agreed upon post!

Susan Lapin says:

I know you spend time teaching women to enjoy being women, Susan. Lucky folks who come in your orbit.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Susan–
You know, of course, that I am a secret closet Southerner wannabe!
Regards to all
RDL

David Lawicki says:

Oh What Wisdom! Your musing has nearly brought me to tears, like a fine piece of art, in how it perfectly encapsulates my life experience. Thank You. I am old enough to remember seeing that ad on TV, and I see now how that “Revolution” affected my life and those of my family.

Susan Lapin says:

It was a brilliant ad campaign, David. But it promoted the wrong thing.

Edward Rubinstein says:

Dear Susan,

What a great column this week. I’ve been saying for years (unfortunately, it’s “not approved” to say publicly) that the women’s movement has been one of the most destructive movements in this country. Your column only proves it, once again.

I so liked your musing that I’ve posted it to my FB page.

Thank you, again, Susan. You’re the BEST!

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks for posting it. It does seem to have touched a cord.

Timothy Mauch says:

Susan,

Before you wrote about this, and I saw all of these comments, I didn’t realize how many people noticed the same things. I’m 60, and I noticed interesting things as this was happening, especially in the Navy.

Basically, when trying to be “equal”, for some reason, women chose to emulate male jerks. They thought that that particular aspect of male behavior was why men were successful. They did it, and found out that they STILL weren’t getting into the board room, so they invented the “glass ceiling” to explain it.

In the Navy, when they first started opening many fields to women (they could go to sea, but not yet on combatant ships), there were just a few changes made. Some acknowledged male mischievousness. For example, when marching in formation, the women were all put in the rear of the formation, specifically to eliminate the temptation of men to “cop a feel” of the females. Many terms for common equipment were changed because they may be offensive to women.

The more humorous (to us) outcome was that many women sailors felt they needed to swear, just to fit in,and be “one of the guys”. Of course, in their ignorance, they took it to extremes. Sailors, especially back then, have always been foul-mouthed, but NOTHING compared to what these women were doing! I said “humerous” because, to us, nothing was funnier than hearing such degrading language coming out of the mouth of an otherwise beautiful woman! It just cracked us up, and the women couldn’t understand what was so funny!

The way the Navy chose to handle all of this was two-fold. Once authorized by Congress, they put women EVERTWHERE (including my submarines, starting a couple of years ago. ), and greatly raising punishment for even slightly “sexist” behavior.

That hasn’t worked very well. It’s akin to training a dog to be a guard dog, and then beating it, every time it barks. All you get is a confused dog.

So, once again, Susan, you have surprised me with your insight! I’m sure your Rabbi isn’t, but he’s been around you a lot longer!

And don’t forget to come watch the Orcas while boating in Puget Sound!

Peace.

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks for the interesting inside look at the Navy, Timothy. I did know that pregnancy was a huge issue. It never made sense to me to put gender equality ahead of national defense when talking about the military.

Peter B. says:

Hi Susan:

My wife and I attended the Money and Marriage seminar in Dallas almost 5 years ago in October 2013. It was an unforgettably great experience.

Your musing brought to mind a passage from David Kupelian’s 2010 book “How Evil Works” which I had found particularly fascinating and which I think you may as well:

“Meet Edward Bernays, the acknowledged “father of public relations.” A nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays capitalized on his uncle’s insights about people’s unconscious motivations – not by helping people become conscious of them, as a psychiatrist would attempt to do, but instead by perfecting the art of exploiting those unconscious motivations to benefit his corporate and governmental clients.

Setting up shop in New York City in 1919, Bernays pioneered mass public manipulation over the next several decades. One of his many campaigns, for example, helped the American Tobacco Company end the taboo against women smoking. He paid young models to march in a high-profile suffragette parade and, on a given signal, take out their hidden cigarettes and light them up – he had already informed the press that women’s rights marchers would be lighting “Torches of Freedom.” Result: a whole new market for cigarettes …

Bernays liked to describe his work as “propaganda” (the title of his 1928 book), a word that didn’t yet harbor the negative connotations it does today. That changed when he found out his methods had been employed by the Nazis to shape the mind-set of the German people. “In his memoirs,” write John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, “Bernays wrote that he was ‘shocked’ to discover that [Nazi propaganda minister Joseph] Goebbels kept copies of Bernays’ writings in his own personal library, and that his theories were therefore helping to ‘engineer’ the rise of the Third Reich.” Oops. After that, Bernays avoided the now-tainted word propaganda and used a much more neutral-sounding term: public relations.” – How Evil Works, pp 232-233 by David Kupelian (2010)

My dearly departed mom started smoking cigarettes during those ‘several decades’ and try as she might on numerous occasions, found it impossible to quit. Impossible, at least, until she was diagnosed with lung cancer in the late 1990s. Ironically, she did manage to stop for the last months of her life. Perhaps based upon this personal experience, I’ve always thought that there was something about cigarettes whereby they were able to get their “hooks” planted deeper into the body and soul of women. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit to learn that there is a biochemical and or physiological explanation for this.

I’ve really enjoyed reading your musing and the comments. I particularly enjoyed Jacob’s ‘cigar’ comment/question along with Rabbi Lapin’s reply. I can relate to both Jacob and Rabbi Lapin, perhaps more so to Rabbi since my wife, too, is particularly repulsed by even the faintest whiff of cigar smoke. I, on the other hand, find the aroma of a fine cigar one of the most pleasurable of fragrances. Different stokes for different folks. All of that said, I can see out my window that there’s just enough Southern twilight remaining to enjoy one of my occasional Padron cigars out on the patio. And since my wife doesn’t care to be around the smoke, it’s a great opportunity to listen to Rabbi Lapin’s latest podcast. 😉

All the best,
Peter B.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Hello Peter–
just a quick hello to you and a thank you for your comments about cigars! Also your reminder about Edward Bernays–very important. I know David Kupelian well and I think I gave him a jacket blurb for How Evil Works. I know I had him on the show when the book first came out. He’s a good guy.
Cordially
RDL

David J says:

I know the feminist push for women generally to adopt the bad practices of BAD (IMO) men. But I wonder do any of them really want their OWN daughters AND sons to behave that way? In my parents’ household and in my own household, the standards of decency were exactly the same for everyone, and everyone was expected to observe common decency and traditional Judeo-Christian sexual morality.

Perhaps I am very “old fashioned”, but are parents today really ok with their OWN sons and daughters casually using profanity or casually having sex? My point is that I believe that everyone has a pretty good basic sense of what is right and wrong. Even though they tolerate certain actions from others, I hope parents have a higher standard for their own immediate family. While their children ultimately might not live up to their hopes, I hope parents have high hopes for their children.

Susan Lapin says:

David, I think more people used to fall into the category you’re describing than do today. The education that profanity and vulgarity are inoffensive (which takes away their original value, of course) and that intimate relationships belong anywhere two adults think they belong has been so complete that I think well-intentioned people truly see no problem with it. The problem is with repressed you and me.

Lisa says:

Bravo! Well said! Exposing another false idol, this idol call feminism. Feminism comes off as very well meaning and very empowering and yet so delusive. Like young women utilizing their intelligence and talents in producing and distributing their own nude images on social media. So much a booming business that the previous false revolutionary god, Playboy magazine, is no longer thriving

Susan Lapin says:

If you and other people see it so clearly, Lisa, why do so many not?

henry says:

I don’t know if you have ever heard of the “Princeton Mom,” but her letter to the “Young Women of Princeton—the Daughters I Never Had” set off a firestorm that resulted in the letter’s removal from the university website. I am 67 years old and I have seen the truth in what she shared with the exceptional young women who followed in her footsteps.

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks, Henry. We did remove the link, but using the information you gave, it’s easy to find the letter and subsequent book online. I do remember the big controversy when this came out.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

I didn’t know they removed her famous letter, Henry,
but not surprised. A year or two ago Forbes did a story on why men shouldn’t marry ‘career women’ and had to apologize and remove the article. Remember when freedom of speech was a controversial idea? That was in the 70s. Well, those days have returned–with a vengeance. The New York Times recently ran a story that the First Amendment (free speech) has turned into a tool of the ‘far right’! All hard to believe
Cordially
RDL

Michael says:

Annie Oakley (played by Betty Hutton) in the 1950 musical “Annie Get Your Gun” sang to Howard Keel “Anything you can do, I can do better.” Little did Annie know how many women she would be speaking for.
I would like to see you focus on another manifestation of YOU’VE COME A WRONG WAY BABY. I am referring to women in the military, and particularly women in combat.

Some time ago I was watching a fund-raising commercial for Wounded Warriors, a well-known and popular source of support for wounded veterans. The technique of these commercial is to include a narrative by a wounded veteran. One day I was watching a commercial that featured an articulate young woman, a combat casualty. As she spoke the camera panned back to allow the audience to see that her leg was missing.

My reaction to these commercials is usually what the producer is hoping for- shock, sympathy and the urge to donate, which I have done many times. This time, however, my reaction included other emotions- anger and shame. Certainly I felt deep sorrow for the veteran, but the second thought was, “Is this what this country has come to?”

When did our military mission drop its long-honored standard of protecting our women? Now in order to please those in our society who see no separate roles for men and women, and certainly no obstacle to women engaging in most any activity they wish, we give the eager girls a rifle, military training, combat gear and thrust them into combat zones so that they too might one day appear on a Wounded Warrior commercial.

I do not appreciate seeing scenes of numbers of women as cadets in our military academies. Am I the only vet that would not want a woman serving in my combat unit? Not because she cannot fire a rifle as well as I. She can. But because I know I would instinctively watch out for her. Such instincts can cost lives.

I see society’s role as including the protection of women, not because they are weak and helpless, they are not; but because their historical role in our society as wives, mothers and teachers, etc., etc., is essential and irreplaceable. So is the basic role of men as the physical protectors of our women essential to the self-confidence and sense of duty of our boys and men. Women have a place in the military, our history is full of women serving vital, supporting roles. But that place should not include combat.

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