Monday, January 30, 2006

Quo vadis?

The death of feminist playwright Wendy Wasserman (The Heidi Chronicles) at age 55 marks passing of a key social and intellectual force of the Baby Boomer feminist movement. Her generation transformed feminism into a national and international social, political and economic force.

In my mid-60s I belong to what I call the "The Silent Generation"--born before WWII but too young to fight. Sandwiched between the heroic "Greatest Generation" and the postwar babyboomers we've remained invisible.

We are unique because we identify with the values of our parents' generation but came of age under the cultural influence of the Boomers who brought us the "The 60s", political feminism and the topsy- turvy transformation of conventional notions of sexual identity.

Was very disorienting for my generation. Raised to believe the ideals to strive for in adult life were responsibility, maintaining a marriage through "thick and thin", sobriety, hard work, sexual fidelity, and thrift. Still shocked by the Boomers' scorn for all that to this day.

When my generation is gone, there will be no one left with a living memory of an America when divorce was rare, working class folks like my parents enjoyed affordable housing costs, most children and adults had normal weights, and thrift, sexual fidelity, and avoiding serious gambling were virtues not vices.

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