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1979: an age of sexual decorum - The Ex-Communicator

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December 8th, 2009


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11:55 am - 1979: an age of sexual decorum
Someone called Jonathan Zimmerman berates young people nowadays for their promiscuous ways:
I’ve heard plenty of my 40- and 50-something male peers complain that they were born several decades too early. But I have never, ever heard a woman say she’d prefer today’s hooking-up system to the dating rituals we grew up with.

It's a complex area, and there are obviously good and bad things about various sexual arrangements, for men and women. I know these are valid things to discuss, but that isn't why I link to this.

No. It's something else that I've noticed lately, which is that people now talk about my generation as if we grew up in the good old days. I'm 48 and I didn't grow up in a world of formal dating and restraint. Men in their 40s and 50s were young in the 1970s and we went at it like nobody's business. We aren't bloody Victorians. We used to sniff glue and stick pins through our faces. Well, to be fair I didn't do that, but you know what I mean.

So I guess what I am posting about is that my generation - the punk generation - are now being held up as the good old days when men were men and women didn't have casual sex. How old is Zimmerman. I could tell him stories that would make him blench.

(21 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:dfordoom
Date:December 8th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
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I'm 48 and I didn't grow up in a world of formal dating and restraint.

You mean you went out with men without a chaperone! Next you'll be telling me that our generation (I'm 52) invented the sexual revolution or something!

Maybe it's just a sad commentary on the decline of journalism. Journalists will never let their complete ignorance of a subject prevent them from pontificating about it!
[User Picture]
From:nancylebov
Date:December 8th, 2009 12:28 pm (UTC)
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In the good old days, (1910 and thereabouts), reporters made things up and they knew it. (Ben Hecht invented an earthquake.)

[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 8th, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
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In my day we had the Hitler Diaries.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 8th, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
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I know, what a joke. He should talk to his mum.
[User Picture]
From:dfordoom
Date:December 8th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
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He should talk to his mum.

I can't help wondering if he's ever actually talked to a real live woman. Or perhaps more to the point, I can't help wondering if he's ever actually listened to a real live woman. He's not only out of touch with his own time and with the "good old days" he's also totally out of touch with reality. I think he's formed his ideas abut the world from reading the rubbish written by journalists like himself!
[User Picture]
From:hawkeye7
Date:December 8th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
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He's a baby boomer. He may have talked to a real live woman but probably has never listened to one.
[User Picture]
From:dfordoom
Date:December 8th, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
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Having just read the whole story - how on earth did this guy ever get a job as a journalist? If you're going to just waffle on about things you know nothing about, at least try to waffle convincingly. This guy just strings a few cliches together, adds the bare minimum of anecdotal evidence, and then gets paid for writing this stuff?

And on a slightly different note, what is it about Twilight that causes people to talk and write absolute nonsense?
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 8th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
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'In one survey at a large northeastern university, 78 percent of students had "hooked up" at least once. But among those students, only 38 percent reported a hook-up that culminated in sexual intercourse. The rest had kissed, groped or engaged in oral sex without going all the way.'

Rather undermines his point. The dreaded 'hooking up' is snogging? Blimey. Better put on your safety trousers.
[User Picture]
From:nineveh_uk
Date:December 8th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
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Crikey! There were school trips that involved snogging!

Edited at 2009-12-08 09:36 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:archbishopm
Date:December 8th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
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what is it about Twilight that causes people to talk and write absolute nonsense?

It's like one of them evil books that's so evil that just reading it will make you evil too.
[User Picture]
From:dfordoom
Date:December 8th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
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I sometimes think it's just because I'm getting old and curmudgeonly, but there does seem to be a frightening lack of historical perspective these days. Anything that happened more than a decade ago is lost in some misty "olden days" netherworld where all previous historical epochs are hopelessly jumbled together.

And this guy teaches history! Be afraid. Be very afraid.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 8th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
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You - curmudgeonly? - never! :-)
[User Picture]
From:dfordoom
Date:December 8th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
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You - curmudgeonly? - never! :-)

I know. How could anyone possibly think that? ;-)
[User Picture]
From:executrix
Date:December 8th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)

Pardon Me, Miss, But I've Never Been Kissed By a Real, Live Girl

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I'm 56, myself, so I didn't start having sex until the 1970s, which were renowned as the hideously immoral era of sex clubs and Key Parties.

communicator, I'm glad you weren't a Victorian, when allegedly one out of every eight houses in London was a brothel, and when feminists agitated for imposing the legal age of consent at 12, as an improvement over the previous standard of "post-natal."
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 8th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Pardon Me, Miss, But I've Never Been Kissed By a Real, Live Girl

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Well, yes, there is that. But at least women were guilty about their own sexuality, which seems to be the main point of nostalgia.
[User Picture]
From:happytune
Date:December 8th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
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What the hell is a 'dating ritual' that isn't covered by what happens on, say online dating sites? Plonker.
[User Picture]
From:executrix
Date:December 8th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
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happytune asked:
What the hell is a 'dating ritual'

Now I'm having an "Eyes Wide Shut" flashback...
[User Picture]
From:sallymn
Date:December 8th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
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It's something else that I've noticed lately, which is that people now talk about my generation as if we grew up in the good old days. ... and it's rather disconcerting to see the 70s held up that way...
[User Picture]
From:splodgenoodles
Date:December 9th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
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Men in their 40s and 50s were young in the 1970s and we went at it like nobody's business.

Yes, but they were being wild and webellious! Parents did not approve.

(Mind you, he is American isn't he? I'm guessing they did things differently there.)
[User Picture]
From:emeraldsedai
Date:December 9th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
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Thanks for sayin'.

Man, I get tired of being cast as the Victorian era--as if every generation verging on grandparenthood was by definition far more conservative in its youth than the current, juicy, exciting generation.

Or, in this case, than the current wicked, promiscuous generation.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 9th, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
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The other one I hear is 'twenty (or whatever) years ago women didn't aspire to have a career, they just wanted to be a secretary'. Hello? Your doctor probably started her career twenty years ago. We even had the vote then.

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