I was googling around and came across some web site where HawthoRNe had been discussed. A young woman said: “For her age [she’s 36], Jada Pinkett-Smith looks really good.” My heart sunk and I just felt sick. I’m turning the big 4-0 and I already feel bad enough professionally and personally. Now I need to worry about Jen Aniston , Jada Pinkett-Smith and Sandra Bullock . Since when is over 35 or 40 old? Do we say the same things about Matthew McConnaughey , Brad Pitt , Will Smith  (Jada’s Husband) or Paul Rudd ? When was it ever considered to be old except when we were perhaps very small children looking at our parents? But for college students or 20-something women to say that Jada “looks good” now, ugh, ugh. How awful. Also, Jada is very accomplished. She’s executive producing the show, acting. She’s got a heavy metal band called Wicked Wisdom and two children plus Will Smith to contend with on a daily basis.
What is happening to FEMINISM today? It is virtually non-existent among college students. Even when I attended college in the early 90s [Simmons College, a small women’s college in Boston], hardly anyone dared label herself a feminist for fear of backlash from the fraternity boys at MIT or Northeastern.
I took a Women and the Media class when I was in grad school for journalism in 1993! and things have not changed since then. I still have the syllabus from the class. We read The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, The War Against Women by Marilyn French and Volunteer Slavery by Jill Nelson. But women do not make the same amount of money as men. Is there less activism because women think that there is less at stake? Glass ceilings exist, women are competitive, and catty with each other instead of joining together. I think women have gone backwards instead of forwards. More women now take their husbands names than keeping their own. When I graduated from college, hyphenated names were the big thing to do.
I attended a book reading for Don’t Cry where Mary Gaitskill said that she believed that most women aged 40ish and under did not believe themselves to be feminists. If you watch a show like NYC Prep, you see young 16-year old girls compete with each other over boys.