Friday, September 7, 2012


HELEN GURLEY BROWN, famous for being the editor of COSMOPOLITAN magazine for many years, passed away recently. The editorial decisions she made for over 30 years informed women that they could be sexual before they married, if they married at all, that they could have not just jobs but careers, and that it was great to be independent and self-supporting.

Helen was famous also for writing SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL, a book that was considered to be a part of the sexual revolution years ago (think early 1960's) when society began to change the expectation that a woman would wait until she was married to have sex.

Our lifestyles have changed a whole lot since then.

Contraception and Abortion are available like they never were in the days when becoming pregnant without marriage could ruin your life. (Unwed women were sent away to maternity homes to have babies and were often forced to give them up for adoption. Abortion was illegal and often unsafe enough to kill a woman. You had to be rich and connected to get the name and address of a doctor who knew what he was doing. Contraception choices were more limited and just for married women, so young unmarried women would fake an engagement when they went to the gynecologist. Most women did not have careers. Even if they went to college, their employment usually ended with their motherhood. Men usually made enough money so that their wives could be stay at home moms. Being a wife and mother were thought to be the great aspiration for any woman.

I wonder, but will never know for sure, if mistresses were more prevalent then than they are now. Helen tried it, with a man she did not love, for a short period of time, and hated it.

(Click on title to get to link!)

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