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ERICA JONG                                            

Erica must live in a different world from me. She says that she has read many whining articles by men annoyed at the new independence of women. These men complain apparently that the new woman doesn’t want commitment; she wants to sleep alone, she treasures her privacy in her own home, enjoys her ability to run her own life. Jong says that though the new woman still wants a man for companionship and sex she just refuses to be faithful to one partner or compromise about money; she likes men but doesn’t want to be mastered by one.


Now, where are these women is what I want to know. I have never met one who was remotely like this. There were those who pretended they were and fancied the pose but when the crunch came they reverted to type - i.e. the dependent type who wanted a conventional man to settle with. I found this was the case in all the courting rituals and the expectations of commitment.


I read Jong’s Fear of Flying when I was seventeen and was well taken by it then. It was a time of liberation when I was shaping my values and setting out the course my life would take. That mythical independent woman didn’t show up. There were no “zipless fucks”. I understand it is supposed to be different now but I doubt it.

that mythical independent woman didn’t show up