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Heather's Compromise: How Young Women Make Their Way in a World of Wimps and Barbarians

Terrence O. Moore

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If we imagine that the decline of boys into wimps and barbarians has led inversely and categorically to the rise of girls, we would be gravely mistaken. In the new gender-blind world promising careers open to talents, young women have found unprecedented opportunities in science, medicine, academia, letters, and the law. Title IX has ensured that no stone is left unturned in allowing women to wrestle, play lacrosse, or bass fish competitively. But today, many young women are suffering from the aftermath of the sexual revolution and the extreme demands of the radical feminist agenda. These movements have made it far more difficult for them to find honorable men to love them. As the authors of the immensely popular The Rules contend, "many women we know find it easier to relocate to another state, switch careers, or run a marathon than to get the right man to marry them!" The truth is there are fewer "right men" around these days--in part because of the ways women themselves have compromised their natural modesty and the inmost promptings of their hearts. Though women can command higher salaries, they have ceased to be able to command men.

Many young women today look upon the world of dating with anxiety, hopelessness, disappointment--even dread. They express disappointment with young men's stubborn immaturity, with their own slim chances of finding love, and with the sad fact that whereas in the past, everyone expected women not to have sex before marriage, nowadays everyone, especially their boyfriends, expects that they will. And though they often don't say so directly, many young women are disappointed by their parents' advice or, more often, complete lack of it. Young women have, of course, adjusted to the world around them. In the vernacular, they aren't looking for Mr. Right but for Mr. Right Now. But looking for Mr. Right Now has taken an enormous toll on their lives and emotions. The decision to look, or settle, for Mr. Right Now might be described as Heather's Compromise. Heather, today's young woman, is tempted continually to compromise her ultimate happiness for the momentary attention of an undependable young male on his terms.

Young women respond to this temptation in roughly three ways. According to their different responses, we might call them party-girls, perennial girlfriends, and romantics: the first have lots of sex with lots of men; the second become continually "involved" in relationships; and the last are those women who hold out for something better.

Read the entire article on the Claremont Institute website.

Posted: 4/15/04

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