Before that, the middle-class norm was chaperoned courtship, with suitors visiting young women in their homes.
With men now tasked with initiating and paying for dates, the distinction between romantic encounters and sex-for-money exchanges could seem murky, she writes.
But this newly liberated woman, intent on fanning men's desires, was not necessarily an " agent of desire" herself.
Here, as elsewhere, Weigel contends that the feminist revolution did not go far enough."Labor of Love" also touches on cyber-dating and cybersex; the AIDS crisis, with its residue of "safe sex and the new culture of explicitness;" and the media fixation on the female biological clock and the related imperative to "settle" before it is too late. "And, to snare such a dubious bonanza, must otherwise strong women acquiesce in the retro credo of the "Rules Girl," embracing passivity and subservience? "The prospect of a long-term partnership is dangled in front of women as the prize of a lifetime of self-denial,"she writes skeptically, while men are simultaneously emotionally infantilized and obliged to be decision makers.
In her mid-20s, with her mother warning of "the drumbeat of imminent spinsterhood," Weigel is struggling with both a failing relationship and the crucial question of what exactly she should seek in romance.
Her generation of women, she says, grew up "dispossessed of our own desires," trying to learn how to act "if we wanted to be wanted." She realizes that similar concerns have dogged previous generations of women, pressured both to satisfy and police the desires of men.
Weigel is writing a history, but with a thematic bent.
She uses chapter titles such as "Tricks," "Likes" (on taste, class and personality), and "Outs" (about going out, pariahs, and new social spaces).
"In an age when so much feels precarious," she writes, "serial monogamists cling to their partners for comfort."In "Freedom," Weigel draws a parallel between sexual revolutionaries and free-market advocates, both apostles of "a laissez-faire approach." She describes the 1960s as the era when the Playboy man met Helen Gurley Brown's Single Girl.In the chapter "School," Weigel puts the hookup culture in context, comparing the recent media frenzy to a similar panic over "petting" in the 1920s.Both eras, she says, had their varieties of dirty dancing, as well as worried parents and peer-enforced norms.It's been fun watching Ethan Hawke grow up on screen.He registered with moviegoers early on as a soulful, passionate youth in "Dead Poet's Society" (1989) and "White Fang" (1991) and came of age in "Gattaca" (1997) and "Training Day" (2001) before settling into maturity in "Boyhood" (2014). It's been fun watching Ethan Hawke grow up on screen.