Jane Farley Isherwood
We welcome Jane Farley Isherwood to the Brits Abroad website who will bring us a few thoughts each month on how todays new young woman views the world, whether it be from her London base or from her travels as a correspondent for a British journal throughout Asia, Europe, Australia, the U.S. and South Africa.
EVERYONE IS DOING IT, AND OFTEN, SO WHAT'S THE BIG PROBLEM
Who hasn't had some adult fondle them a little too personally when a child. Who hasn't played 'kiss-chase' or 'doctors' when they were young. Who didn't return some of the more 'exciting' cuddles and touchings our elders gave us as we grew up from about our sixth year to our sixteenth year. Who among us can honestly and truthfully say an encounter with an adult did not happen, and that we didn't get something exciting out of it. Oh don't go off on a do-gooder rage, I'm talking about real life. The life of the child growing up in a sex dominated world. Our emergence from innocent childhood into trembling adulthood where sexual encounters, often brief and harmless, gave us our first taste of sex.
I grew up in the 1970's and reached my teens in the late 1980's. I remember a song by Gary Pucket that went on about 'Go away little girl - my love for you is way out of line - you're way too young little girl,' and so on. It was a big hit, yet no one went off the deep end about its content. Hear it again. It's about a man wanting to be with a very much younger girl. I had a teacher who really liked me. Trouble was I liked him too. He never did anything inappropriate but he did put his arm around me often and gave me a few hugs now and then, and it made me feel good. I had my first proper kiss at eleven years old, up against a tree! I played a game of kiss chase at a campsite where the kissing was not your innocent kind. I began dating boys seriously at fifteen, had my first close sexual experience at sixteen, and a full blown no holds barred sexual relationship at seventeen. At that same age I was 'taken,' not forcibly, by a man twice my age and loved every moment it lasted.
My father was in the Metropolitan Police until he retired, and like all policeman the passing of time on the job and the witnessing of everything from murder to molestation brings on a lot of learning. He learned that not all prostitutes are on the streets because of being taken advantage of at a young age - by no means. Most are there because it's easy work (£25 to £50 for five minutes!), all the time off you want, you get to dress up a lot, and last but by no means least, it's constant sex, some of it really good. And hookers like their sex, that's why they do it (think - about it) so why not get paid for it. Sure there's the nasty little stories about being interfered with through your youth, but they're few and far between. Dad worked his beat near a nightclub where several young girls hung out. They actually sought out well built and well endowed men, any age, and spent a whole night with them, partly for the money but also for the 'action.' No, not all hookers are desperate souls, lost because of the molestations of adults in their bedrooms when they were young.
There are sick bastards out there that do take advantage of kids and they do need dealing with, but there are more important things dragging this world down than those perverts in dirty raincoats. Sex, unfortunately brings with it the desire of all kinds of people to want to do sexual acts. The porno movie business is a multi-billion dollar business and not all watchers are perverts. Love, close-up and personal, is happening right now, all around us, and most are legitimate acts of sexual pleasure between two adults - not always of the same age or gender. Perverted adults are compromising children. Sexy looking mother-in-laws are doing favours for son-in-laws. Men are with men, and women are with women, and those two latter groups of odds-n-sods are now getting the law on their side, so don't think the act, the desire, or the want is the problem. It's all about sex and we foster that need - we, us women, in the way we dress, the way we act, the way we make-up, our hair, our shoes, and if we like you you're in, if not - get your dirty hands off me you weirdo! It's an unfair world, so get to used to it. Sex is here to stay.
MA's AND BA's ARE OK, BUT 80% OF PEOPLE WITH THEM DON'T GET A JOB.
Stop being so feminine. Beat the men at their own jobs. Get a skilled trade and you'll never look back, because getting your BA and MA might give you some eye-squinting, face-smiling satisfaction but if you do not pursue your profession to its fullest then you're wasting your time and, all that money. Getting your BA and then your MA can cost you a quarter of a million dollars, whatever way you slice it. It'll also take up one quarter of your prime learning life. And the chances are you'll fall by the wayside of those 'drop-out' degree holders that now runs as high as 80% in some parts of the US and Canada. Nearly four years ago two of my friends both received their MA's after years of study, working at menial jobs to help pay fees, and neither have taken any major steps forward in their chosen arts and professions. On top of that their student loans run both of them into six figures owing.
Let's look at another group of people, those pursuing 'skilled trades.' It might not sound as arty and professor'ish as Batchelor of Arts and Master of Arts, but its buying the houses, the SUV's, the big fancy holidays, and paying to raise a bunch of happy kids. Again I'll refer to two friends I know who decided 'skilled trades' were the way to go. One is in commercial electronics and the other is in the 'building' trade. Both left technical college after a few years with their certificates and now one is a highly regarded and highly paid sub-contractor, and the other just started her own house building company. And neither are over thirtyfive.
So, do you want to 'sound' good (BA & MA) or 'look' good (Master Electrician & Master House Builder). What's the point of going through all that university learning if you end up wearing a paper hat at a fast food joint. Yes, some of you will make it into law, and teaching, and medicine, and financial institutions, but most of you won't. While you're sitting around wondering what went wrong you'll notice the want-ads are all about people with skills - not degrees. Want all the bells & whistles of a fully paid up life then get thee to a technical college, get a trade, and in a few years you'll be fending them off from your own gravel driveways and your in-ground swimming pools! And you won't owe anyone a red cent.
JACQUES CHIRAC IS BACK - BASHING OUR BANGERS AND MASHING OUR MASH.
Oh dear. Jacques Chirac - is back. Back to making more little sinideyisms about Britain, the British, and, of all things - our food! Coming from the man whose own cuisine doesn't boast a breakfast other than the French substitute for brekky being a butterey hollowed out roll that's all very sticky and more fattening than bacon & eggs! This latest jibe leaves most of us with raised eyebrows, and doing a little head-shaking. French cuisine is excellent, but it's not everybody's cup of tea. Little coloured things, covered in runny lines of sauce, with green leaves on top, is not in any way a good square meal. It might look good (like most French women with their hair-blown, talcum-powdered, dusty makeup look), and it might taste nice (like red wine, French bread, and brie) but it is art masquerading as food, and without any form of substance.
It would be normal to defend oneself against these continued snidey remarks from old Jack, but like all criticism that is continually regurgitated it gets tiresome, and finally it has to be dismissed as some form of sour grapes. I will restrain myself from going into a diatribe of French foibles and mention only that other country with solid French ties, being Canada, where nearly a quarter of the population boast French heritage, and where the French language is placed on everything from the stamps and the money, (next to The Queen's portrait no less) to the imported US wine and imported Indian curry paste! My colleague in Vancouver, Sharon, informs me they recently banned large firework displays (endangers children watching) and where a $33 million refitted ferry lost all power and wiped out a large part of a marina, tells me the recent British Battle of Trafalgar celebrations were purposely omitted from Canadian TV coverage in reverence to the French, and where the recent anti-British remarks by Chirac brought many TV news commentators into rolling guffaws of near hysterical laughter. As it is well known it takes a lot to make Canadians laugh, so in one sense we have to thank Jacques for that! JULY 2005
REQUIEM FOR THE VILLAGE IDIOT.
Just as I was beginning to accept the fact that todays young man is supposed to look like the village idiot - they're going to change the rules. A survey by New Women magazine puts a much different slant on what women are looking for in todays eligible young man. Close to 90% of the over 1,000 women who answered the survey said they prefered a man who was 'down to earth' rather than looking 'of the earth.'. They want a more mature man intellectually, not one who is into buying 'crumpled clothes' that make him look 'trampish' and not a man who spends too much money on male cosmetics and all that goes into maintaining the 'hacked hair, bearded face, sloppy clothes' image. In other words, look 'lived-in' but not 'died-in.'
The British men who make this 'new young man' list are Clive Owen, Daniel Craig and Colin Farrell, but Jude Law, Hugh Grant and Orlando Bloom come across as just too 'manufactured' and locked into that 'metrosexuality' popular look that took off in the 1990's and is now fading. A new British film, 'Closer' that puts Jude Law up against Clive Owen highlights the very difference todays 'young new woman' is talking about. Jude Law is a slight, tiny, ruffled, but less than sexy young man, who'd be a size 10 if he was a women, whereas Clive Owen is a bear of a man who is raw without being untidy, and sexy without being 'boyish.'
Go into any department store where cosmetics are sold, female and male, and you'll see an aisle or two of cosmetics strictly for men. From the days when my grandad had just two items, Brylcreem and Aqua Velva, there are now countless aftershaves, deodorants, bodywashes, body creams, and even small 'man sized' hair dryers that are not too bulky but still do their thing - froth up the hair. Macho men are turning to more personal grooming and shedding the 'village idiot' look, and metroman is doing less self-primping and posturing and getting more in line with the total 'new young man' look. Whilst we women continue to transform ourselves from pre-breakfast reality to post-breakfast glamour our opposites are shaping up to take us on yet another ride of male expectantcy that will leave us wondering if they'll ever change, mentally that is, because even without the 'village idiot' look they'll still convey that same message!