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  1. It’s funny that you should ask that question just now — because it’s a damn important one, and I believe it desperately needs to be answered. In this particular case, I think things *are* changing — just very, very slowly. However, that shouldn’t be cause for depression; cultures are constantly changing, but it’s generational.

    That being said, in the US we’re seeing some really fascinating changes which I think are only now just barely beginning to register. For the first time in our history the median income of women is *higher* than that of men! Also, a third of US households are now woman-headed, and the number is growing rapidly. Men are no longer automatically the center of the universe! You can read more about this strange and fascinating social change in either my review of Rosin’s “The End of Men” here: — or read the book itself! It’s quite thought-provoking.

    So to answer your question: when an idea is an avalanche, it looks like individuals just have to keep pecking slowly and determinedly away at it little by little… and then when something else dramatic occurs within the culture (such as the recession here) you’re already in position to take full advantage of it. :)

  2. Absolutely belting! I couldn’t have put it better myself.

    I took the time to read parts 1, 2 and 3, and found nothing but a wealth of commonsense and honesty. It’s very true that women are “socialized” into this belief, as are men. It’s very true that society is at the root of said problem, and that the constant bombardment of men and women with messages about who they should be, how to behave, what to wear… is the means by which society conveys its messages. True, too, is the fact that “nice” girls probably go for “bad” boys because they are made to feel they deserve little better.

    Bear in mind, though, that it is not just the media responsible for bombarding us with such notions. They are internalized by many – out parents, peers, teachers – and promulgated by all.

    So, is the unanimous answer to be that constantly whining “Why do women seem to prefer bad boys to nice guys?” is pointless, counter-productive, and accomplishes nothing? Where does that leave us?

    I’d say, kind of right back at the start! If, as you have so rightly identified, the aim of society is to firmly establish the requirement that all girls be “good girls”, then one could deduce that the “bad girl” is a) potentially pretty thin on the ground, and b) at risk of hostility and vilification, should her “badness” become known. Besides, I’d argue that the definition of “bad girl” is not merely one in control of her sexuality, and who refuses to be a nurturer at the cost of her own personality. A “bad girl” is a genuine THREAT. She is the woman with no qualms about excelling in academia. She is the woman striving for promotion at work. She is the woman competently juggling the challenges of motherhood, and setting up her own home business. She is outspoken, opinionated, vivacious, perceptive, intelligent, courageous, intuitive… She has the potential to achieve. And believe me, just as you say that women have been brought up to act submissive, to nurture, to “altruistically” sweep aside their own hopes and dreams to concentrate on furthering those of others; men have been brought up to fear and to loathe the woman who does not do this. A woman striving to achieve, in her own right, and according to her own wishes, is an anomaly. An aberration. A freak!

    Whilst women are conditioned not only to be subordinate, but also to view strong women as aberrant, they will not have the power to question. Whilst men are brought up to believe that they are the superior gender, and to denigrate the strong woman, labelling her “bad”, or “unacceptable” or “freakish”, they will not see the need to question. Yes, individuals can begin to make incremental changes within the sphere of their own lives. They may, through this, touch others. However, we also need a radical change at the heart of society. A change driven by those who have the power to affect many. Whilst the media, parents, pedagogues, doctors, nurses, counsellors, the health services, the educational system, the music scene, the fashion indistry… whilst ALL such collectives have the power to influence, but continue to influence negatively, we are at a stalemate.

    True, individual ideas start with one person. But what do you do when the idea is “out there”, ingrained in the heads of many? You cannot simply strip it out and start afresh. Again, Collie, you have hit hard at the heart of a very perplexing mystery. What DOES one do when the snowball is now an avalanche?

  3. This is a good closing summary, and I must say I agree; whining, as I babbled about in my comment on the previous part, accomplishes nothing. It’s just annoying, and people just need to start acting on ways to improve their life and society rather than complaining and expecting everyone else to do something about it.

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