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By contrast, in the chapter "Steadies," Weigel suggests that a better economy favors serial monogamy.
"It was the promise of affluence [in the post-World War II era] that had made the spread of going steady possible," she writes.
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.
Yet probably only a Millennial would compare dating to an "unpaid internship," another precarious energy investment with an uncertain outcome.
The book's central tension is between detailing change and showing commonalities over time.
But she tries to have it both ways, by hypothesizing that today's widening economic inequality and the threat of global warming are somehow goads to steadiness, even as marriage rates decline.
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.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.The hard part, predictably enough, is achieving those aims without exploiting, wounding or disappointing the women involved.