What a Difference 30 Years (Doesn’t) Make…

OK, I’m slow, I admit it. 

I completely missed the whole Jessica Cutler/Washingtonienne blog scandale back in 2004 when it was actually going on.  I must have been doing something else right then, like…oh, working for a living outside DC?

Now that I’ve emerged from my Cutler coma, I’m shocked, shocked, to discover that a  good looking, if directionless, twenty-something broad was having sex with multiple partners in our nation’s capital.  And maybe even the Capitol.  Da noive!  Why, that little hussy!

Not really.

I’m not at all shocked.  I’m appalled – but not by Ms. Cutler’s actions, her blog, or the román-a-clef novel, "The Washingtonienne" (cleverly eponymous with her original blog) she published in 2005.  I’m appalled that, thirty years since I was wandering the corridors of power (not DC, but NY), so little seems to have changed about how a young woman who uses her sex appeal will go from zero to whore in fifteen-minutes-of-fame flat.

I’m amused at the fact that simultaneous-partner guys are still viewed as role models by their peers – go ON, you dog! – but let a woman try that and she’s a slut.

We almost have media convergence on the web these days – can we finally admit that we’re out of the cave?  That it’s not even the 20th century any more?

Sex is how we all get here.  But procreation – organized religion’s opinion be damned – is not the only purpose for human sexuality.  If, as the aforementioned organized religion opines, the human race has dominion over the natural world, why don’t we have dominion over our bodies…and what we choose to do with them as consenting adults?

Here’s a revolutionary suggestion – how about we adopt the philosophy of Stella Campbell (formally known as Mrs. Patrick Campbell, and the first actress to play Eliza Doolittle in Shaw’s Pygmalion), who said of sex, "It doesn’t matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses."

Stella Campbell certainly knew the price paid for being a woman who colored outside the lines – as an actress in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, she learned first-hand that "actress" translated to "slut" in most people’s minds.

Thirty years – since my dewy ingenue days; or 100 years – since Stella Campbell made epigrams, and headlines…we’re still fighting for real sexual equality.

Jessica, I salute you for your 15 minutes – which is all you’re gonna get unless you come up with something other than "last night I got drunk and I think I got laid" – but you did strike a blow for equality…or maybe just equal time.

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