Shopping Is the New Feminism; Forget about the Quest for Multiple Orgasms and Equality. the Daughter of Pioneering Feminist Erica Jong Says It's the Buzz of a New Pair of Shoes That Is Truly Liberating LIFEstyleFashion, Glamour, Gossip . . . the Brilliant New 16-Page Magazine for Women That Everyone Is Talking About

Daily Mail (London), December 6, 2004 | Go to article overview

Shopping Is the New Feminism; Forget about the Quest for Multiple Orgasms and Equality. the Daughter of Pioneering Feminist Erica Jong Says It's the Buzz of a New Pair of Shoes That Is Truly Liberating LIFEstyleFashion, Glamour, Gossip . . . the Brilliant New 16-Page Magazine for Women That Everyone Is Talking About


Byline: CHRISSY ILEY

HER MOTHER revolutionised how women feel about sex.

Back in 1973, Erica Jong's bonkbuster Fear Of Flying was a feminist anthem for liberated, guilt-free, emotion-free sex - sex on the same terms for women as men.

Through her writing, she helped change the sexual mores of a generation, encouraging women to believe that they could be sexual predators as well as men and that they would enjoy it.

Heralded as a champion of female freedom, Jong received letters in their thousands from women who'd been inspired to leave their marriages because of her. She also introduced the phrase 'zipless sex' into the lexicon of the onenight stand - a sexual encounter between strangers that is free of remorse and guilt.

But three decades later, Erica's 26-year-old daughter Molly is far more interested in talking about shopping than her mother's feminist principles.

As far as she's concerned, it's the buzz of buying a [pounds sterling]200 pair of shoes or a designer handbag which she finds truly liberating.

Forget the quest for equality and multiple orgasms. The buzz of retail therapy or bitching and joking with other women over a latte is far more of a bonding experience than the fight for equal rights and sex on tap. In short, shopping is not only the new sex but the new feminism - and women shouldn't be afraid to enjoy it.

'Feminism is definitely shifting towards consumerism,' Molly says stridently.

'Women today can be frivolous every now and again and not feel ashamed.

'There was so much that was repressive about the old feminism - having to wear overalls and worrying all the time that men were trying to humiliate you. It was all too bound up with anger and rage.

'But my generation don't need to believe that we should be the same as men in every way, because we know that we're not. It means we can wear makeup and buy a new bag and just enjoy the moment, without having to feel that we should be playing a man's game - competing with them and trying to be them.'

She is bitterly scathing, too, of the sexual liberation her mother and her generation of feminists fought so hard for. 'Sex is so boring. My generation is just sick of it,' she declares. 'Sex on TV, sex in stores, sex in ads, sex in music, sex in magazine and sex in books - it's too much. We're tired of Britney Spears dancing around in a microminiskirt and pigtails.'

CERTAINLY she is not afraid to admit that she is monogamous and, unlike her mother who married four times, takes her marriage extremely seriously.

She met her husband Matt Greenfield, a 40-year-old college professor, on the internet. They have been together for three years and have an 11-month-old son, Max. Molly is devoted to them both.

'I was too embarrassed to tell people how we met at first. Back then, it wasn't so common to meet someone through the internet and it had connotations of being desperate, even though that wasn't the case with me. Then, of course, Matt told everybody. That's the greatest thing about my husband - he's never embarrassed.

'My mother was delighted when I told her. Matt and I married 18 months ago and we are very happy. It's not a restrictive relationship at all. He helps out 50 per cent with the childcare and it's a very egalitarian marriage.

'Having Max is the thing that defines me more than anything else. I never felt there was someone I was 100 per cent so in love with like that. You love your husband, but it's not even close to the feeling you have for your child.

All of a sudden there's someone you would die for. It's the weirdest thing.'

In her own way, Molly is a pioneer for her sex, just as her mother was back in the Seventies. For a start, she is proud to sing from the rafters that she finds marriage and motherhood more fulfilling than meaningless casual sex.

'In the Seventies, my mother was like Joan of Arc. …

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Shopping Is the New Feminism; Forget about the Quest for Multiple Orgasms and Equality. the Daughter of Pioneering Feminist Erica Jong Says It's the Buzz of a New Pair of Shoes That Is Truly Liberating LIFEstyleFashion, Glamour, Gossip . . . the Brilliant New 16-Page Magazine for Women That Everyone Is Talking About
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