Ordinary language tells an evolving story.
Do you remember when women were shamed by having what was called "illegitimate babies"?
I also remember the days when many men used terms like "ballbuster" and "castrating woman" to describe a woman who wanted power.
These days, however, few even dare to call an unmarried woman a "spinster".
Economic independence for middle-class women has given birth to a volcanic power shift.
Women need men less and less.
Gloria Steinem's joke of the 1970's: "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" makes some sense now.
Thus the primal patriarchal guarantee that a man's property will be inherited by one of his own kids is shaky.
I remember the early 1980's when I was slugging it out in the workplace. It was before there was talk of "sexual harassment".
Of "abuse of women".
Now, we play in a whole new ballgame (as it were)
We're playing with new criminal laws and social conventions that inhibit patriarchal license.
Indeed, I remember the first time(it was October 7, 1991) I ever heard the term "sexual harassment." It was when Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas, then a Supreme Court nominee..
It put things in perspective.
I'd just stopped working for the actor and producer Michael Douglas. He'd made me grind my teeth when he described details of his solipsistic sexual life.
Michael used derisive words for women and for female genitals.
All I could think to do was remark on his poor behavior. And formally ask him to stop.
My protests tickled him. He laughed until he was red in the face. If other men were present he invited them to laugh too.
But that's all part of a longer story.
I just wonder what a guy like Michael's doing for kicks these days. I can't imagine how dull things are for him.
Hey, a power player like Chris Albrecht, the recently-fired HBO chief, can't even
slug his girlfriend in Las Vegas without getting his manhood caught in a tangle of female-centric laws and conventions.
I'm thinking it's part of a revolution. Call it a feminist revolution. Or the feminization of our culture.
Or maybe it's the victory dance of us castrating women. At least we're getting some of them to zip it up.