Fay Weldon has a
brilliant witty and self-effacing article in today's Daily Mail that seems to have escaped from the pages of National Review Online — "How the Spice Girls have killed feminism, subverted morality and embarassed us all":
It all seemed so empowering at the time: the idea that girls should take charge of their own sexuality.Read the full article.
But did anyone stop to think what would happen next?
Now, with the dubious privilege of hindsight, we have the answer.
For a start, we are now living in the Age of Easy Couplings.
What chance did formal sex education have when faced with the catchy lyrics - written by men, of course - that told young girls to indulge in such things as "weekend love" and encouraged "playing games"? What it did of course was to separate love from sex.
The Spice Girls killed romance.
Their singable, suggestive lyrics took away the innocence of the playground - or at least what was left of it. And it's never coming back.
They turned difficult love into temporary sex, and reduced female aspiration to a series of consumer choices.
They turned little girls into paedophile bait, and in doing so they helped destroy our concept of childhood. ...
... I'm saddened for the feminist movement because Posh, Ginger, Sporty, Baby and Scary were once meant to be Girl Power role models - independent, sexy, high achievers. And now look at them.
There's a feminist country-and-western song by Deanna Carter, "Did I shave my legs for this?" in which a young wife heads for the door, tired of her couch-potato husband.
Similarly, faced with what has become of the Spice Girls, I am inclined to say "Did I take off my wedding ring for this?" - which I did, back in the Seventies, out of fellow feeling for the way any woman over 30 was made to feel inferior if she didn't have one.
All those old gestures seem pointless in retrospect.
The inheritance has been squandered.
Thanks to Guillermo Bustamante for the tip.