Sixties feminist and child MGM collaborator Jeannette Kupferman notices the emotional emptiness she helped to create for women today. Watch out, she'll realize she's stiched men up to an even greater degree next, ...in about another 60 years.
***By Jeanette Kupfermann: The moment I held Amber Ann in my arms — just minutes after her birth — an unexpected cocktail of emotions nearly floored me; what can best be described as a mixture of unbridled joy mingled with apprehension.
My first grandchild was so perfectly formed, her eyes blinking in the bright hospital lights, her little fingers intertwined with mine. Of course, every baby is an individual miracle — but Amber was something of an actual miracle too, as my daughter-in-law Ewa, who suffered from endometriosis, had never believed she could conceive. Then, suddenly, she’d fallen pregnant, announcing it on my 75th birthday in a West End restaurant. I almost fell off my chair with excitement.
Much as I’d always longed for grandchildren, when I turned 70 I’d almost given up.
Both my son, Elias, a historian, now 52, and daughter, Mina, an editor and photographer, 50, married late in life, and I knew the chances were diminishing. Yet here was Amber Ann, my son’s first child, snuggling into my arms.But as she did so, the emotions were more complex and bittersweet than the straightforward joy I’d anticipated. Of course, for now we can hold her safe, nurture her talents and encourage her development — but what will her future hold?
Just that morning another headline had caught my eye about schoolgirls feeling pressured to sleep with boys before they are ready. Not to mention the endless stories about the increasing numbers of teenagers experiencing depression, self-harming, eating disorders, atrocious bullying, sexting and gender uncertainty.
It makes me wonder what happened to the Brave New World we’d envisaged for our daughters and granddaughters. A world of unlimited possibilities, choices and equality for girls to become or do anything?
A world I — like many women — fought for in the Sixties.
Has feminism made life worse, not better, for today’s generation of girls?
Certainly, women have never existed in such a bleak emotional landscape.