A suburban bat mitzvah is flush with 12- and 13-year-olds in minidresses, push-up bras, high heels, and heavy makeup. Many moms not only permit their daughters to dress like prostitutes, but even fund it with their AmEx cards. "Why do we let girls dress like that?" asks Jennifer Moses in The Wall Street Journal. "It has to do with how conflicted my own generation of women is about our own past, when many of us behaved in ways that we now regret." Here, an excerpt:
We are the first moms in history to have grown up with widely available birth control, the first who didn't have to worry about getting knocked up. We were also the first not only to be free of old-fashioned fears about our reputations but actually pressured by our peers and the wider culture to find our true womanhood in the bedroom. Not all of us are former good-time girls now drowning in regret — I know women of my generation who waited until marriage — but that's certainly the norm among my peers.
So here we are, the feminist and postfeminist and postpill generation. We somehow survived our own teen and college years (except for those who didn't), and now, with the exception of some Mormons, evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, scads of us don't know how to teach our own sons and daughters not to give away their bodies so readily. We're embarrassed, and we don't want to be, God forbid, hypocrites.