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June 17, 2015

So, Narcissitic Women and Social Attention Warriors Now Want to Be Praised for Being Too Lazy to Shave Their Hairy Armpits

Before getting to that, that's remember this classic Onion piece:

Women Now Empowered By Everything A Woman Does

OBERLIN, OH—According to a study released Monday, women--once empowered primarily via the assertion of reproductive rights or workplace equality with men--are now empowered by virtually everything the typical woman does.

"From what she eats for breakfast to the way she cleans her home, today's woman lives in a state of near-constant empowerment," said Barbara Klein, professor of women's studies at Oberlin College and director of the study. "As recently as 15 years ago, a woman could only feel empowered by advancing in a male-dominated work world, asserting her own sexual wants and needs, or pushing for a stronger voice in politics. Today, a woman can empower herself through actions as seemingly inconsequential as driving her children to soccer practice or watching the Oxygen network."

Klein said that clothes-shopping, once considered a mundane act with few sociopolitical implications, is now a bold feminist statement.

My problem is not that women aren't shaving their smelly armpits.

They're not my daughters, I'm not dating them, and this is entirely none of my concern. Even on an aesthetic level, I could make the case for it. Men of a certain age will recall being briefly scandalized by decadent European chantrueses showing off Armpit Bush and then getting over it, figuring, "Ah well, she probably does a lot of dirty stuff to make up for the Shoulder Muff."

My problem is cadre of solipsistic, decadent, bubble-headed and empty-lived womanchildren who wish to be Praised and Affirmed for their every single minor beauty-oriented purchase, politically-charged grooming decision, or status-quo-disrupting shopping choice.

When I was a kid, I was unreasonably proud of my pop culture raves and faves, like most kids are. I was proud I liked this band or that; I was proud I hate this other band over here (like, for example: Rush).

This is what children do, because there is virtually nothing at all to them. Most are very average -- the standouts will begin distancing themselves from the pack in time, but that will in fact take time.

In the meantime, with nothing really to be egotistical about, children go about making up silly childish rules that establish they're "better," in some vague way, than others.

First New Kids on the Block were ROXXOR, then SUXXOR. It doesn't matter which; either way, branding a like or dislike of them as some kind of identity-building self-definitional Statement of Personal Excellence is what useless, unaccomplished tweens do to convince themselves they're Somebody-- and they do this precisely because they're pretty sure they're Nobody. (At least, not yet.)

We excuse this in children because we condescend to them.

What should we say of the allegedly "empowered" and strong "women" doing so at the advanced ages (for this kind of crap) of 25-30?

The human animal is an egotistical, vain one, always searching for reason to believe herself to be superior than the others. And when there is no real reason for this belief of superiority -- no real accomplishments, no victories in contests, no test scores, no promotions, no awards at work, no generally-acknowledged superiority in a virtue or field -- she will go making up her own fantasized reasons for believing in her own superiority.

She will begin making up Ribbons, Medals, Trophies, and sundry other Marks of Distinction -- Best Armpit Non-Shaver; Most Conscientious Whole Foods Reusable Bag Mom -- and then festoon herself with them and march them up and down the parade grounds.

Adults do not behave this way, or at least did not behave this way, in years past, not because adults were previously not vain, but because adults were previously too ashamed to go prancing their made-up self-granted Certificates of Awesome! around, too ashamed to behave like craving, needing, yearning, insecure 8th graders.

But no more. This is the new adulthood.

Now, no matter what minor aesthetic choice one makes, one must to post it on to Tumblr to let the world know I've Finally Made It, Ma, and to let that affirmation and praise come rolling in.

Here's the sad part: the people chasing the dragon of affirmation won't get it, because people are pretty selfish, especially the egotistical. (Why should I waste my praise on you, when I can shower it upon myself?)

So they'll keep posting their Selfies and Stuff I Like lists and Shopping Manifestos on Instagram, waiting for that Celebrity Buzz they so crave to come rolling in.

But it never will come rolling in. They will keep on behaving as shamefully immature children in hopes of a payoff of Affirmation that will never, ever come.

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posted by Ace at 08:15 PM

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