You’re reading In Her Words, where women rule the headlines.
Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox. Let me know what you think at email@example.com.
“The whole concept of Generation X implies that everyone has lost hope.”
— Alanis Morissette, whose 1995 album, “Jagged Little Pill,” has sold over 15 million copies in the United States alone
Born in 1980, I am the oldest millennial... or the youngest Gen Xer. (Today is my birthday, in fact.) I was too young to understand what happened with Anita Hill, but understood acutely what happened with Monica Lewinsky. Nonetheless, with two older sisters firmly in Gen X, it is undoubtedly a generation that claimed me, and a generation that I claim.
When my family moved from Beirut, Lebanon, to the United States in 1984, I quickly became a glutton for all the American angst and ephemera I could stomach. And with few restrictions on the media I consumed, I was swept away on a wave of laugh tracks and Capri Sun.
By the time I became a teen in the mid-1990s, I had one goal: to look like Gwen Stefani and Kurt Cobain’s Arab baby. I succeeded.
This week, several of my colleagues came together to gripe about and celebrate the “gloomy, goofy club of forgotten middle children” — that is, the 65 million people who came of age in the 1980s and ’90s — in a project dedicated to Gen X.
Here are a few of my favorite bits from it, about women of the era.
“We wanted to understand men. Men, on the other hand, didn’t want to understand us.”
“It was the worst of times; just trust me on this,” wrote Taffy Brodesser-Akner in her monumental exploration (and takedown) of “The Rules,” a book published in 1995 that became a cultural phenomenon and guide to love for the modern woman.
“‘The Rules,’ at their best, presented a woman with a marketing plan,” Brodesser-Akner wrote. “If you needed ‘The Rules,’ you were almost definitionally incapable of keeping them.”
The book’s authors, Brodesser-Akner explained, were saying that “society may change, but men want to pursue; women are supposed to be pursued.”
“The independence women had achieved had alienated the men, and worse, women didn’t even know it,” she went on. “They may have evolved, but dating hadn’t. Men hadn’t.”
[READ MORE: Stuff Your ‘Rules’]
“Their songs were catchy, but would it last?”
I spent hours memorizing Left Eye’s rap in “Waterfalls” and continue to be shocked to this day that it was often cut for radio play. But I digress.
In an article that explores the music, style, trends and everything else of the era, Veronica Chambers remembers TLC, the hip-hop-soul girl group that adorned their colorful overalls with condoms.
“When they first came out in 1992, TLC seemed primed to be another one-hit wonder,” Chambers wrote. “Then, in 1994, the group dropped ‘CrazySexyCool’ and it was all over but the shouting.”
“‘CrazySexyCool’ made TLC more than a novelty group, more than a girl group,” Chambers wrote. “It made them artists that mattered.”
[READ MORE: This Gen X Mess]
______A step toward #MeToo
“Do not vote for them unless they work for us.”
Gen X might be small, but it made its mark — whether people believe it or not. That is Alex Williams’s point in his article on Gen X’s impact, which includes a look at women’s movements of the time — like in the wake of Anita Hill’s 1991 testimony during the Clarence Thomas hearings.
It was then, Williams wrote, that “a generation of Generation X women rallied to the call by the third-wave feminist Rebecca Walker: ‘Do not vote for them unless they work for us. Do not have sex with them, do not break bread with them, do not nurture them if they don’t prioritize our freedom to control our bodies and our lives.’”
Williams also touched on the influence of ’90s feminist punk and Tabitha Soren, who became a generational symbol when she interviewed the first President Bush as an MTV News correspondent.
Soren recalled how Kathleen Hanna of the Riot Grrrl band Bikini Kill “had the brilliant idea of moving male mosh pits to the back of the show, so that girls didn’t get pushed out of the way, combat boots in their faces.”
“It was a metaphor as much as a more ideal way of seeing shows for everyone,” Soren said.
[READ MORE: Actually, Gen X Did Sell Out, Invent All Things Millennial, and Cause Everything Else That’s Great and Awful]
Here are five articles from The Times you might have missed.
“The time is now.” New laws across the United States, including a near-total ban in Alabama, are setting up court battles that could reshape abortion access. [Read the story]
“Bigger than a party of old white men.” After the disastrous 2018 midterm elections, some Republican women trying to right their political ship. [Read the story]
“Only few step into it, even fewer are taken seriously, and even fewer actually make it.” In India’s elections, female candidates still need men’s blessings. [Read the story]
“There’s this lady-power that happens.” An art show for hundreds of women. And that’s just the artists. [Read the story]
“This is the first job I’ve ever had that wasn’t entirely dependent on and connected to my looks.” Olivia Wilde discusses her directorial debut, “Booksmart.” [Read the story]
With World Pride approaching, The New York Times wants to know how you identify yourself. Tell us here!
______From the archives, 1992: ‘All subcultures speak in code.’
It was a hoax for the record books — or more accurately, for a paper of record.
In 1992, The New York Times Styles section ran a story on the mainstreaming of grunge. Interviewed for the piece was Megan Jasper, then a 25-year-old employee at Caroline Records in Seattle, who shared some lingo of her era for the article — slang like “big bag of bloatation” (drunk), “lamestain” (uncool person), “swingin’ on the flippity-flop” (hanging out) and “bound-and-hagged” (staying home on a weekend night).
Yeah, no. Jasper made up those phrases and more.
But why? In 2017, in an interview with The Ringer, Jasper blamed the coffee. “I was,” she said, “totally overcaffeinated.”
Read past articles here.
Sign up here to get In Her Words delivered to your inbox!
Are you on Instagram? Follow us here.B:
天书单双王【晚】【上】【七】【点】【整】，【正】【在】【喝】【酒】【的】【城】【卫】【军】【统】【帅】【杨】【凤】【宓】，【几】【乎】【是】【同】【时】【得】【到】【了】【两】【个】【消】【息】： 【首】【先】【是】【城】【主】【已】【经】【同】【意】【所】【罗】【门】【王】【要】【的】【一】【百】【枚】【灵】【石】【的】【请】【求】，【但】【是】【这】【灵】【石】【却】【没】【同】【时】【带】【过】【来】，【并】【言】【明】【让】【杨】【凤】【宓】【自】【行】【筹】【措】。【杨】【凤】【宓】【刚】【准】【备】【骂】【娘】，【紧】【接】【着】【她】【的】【亲】【兵】【就】【带】【来】【了】【第】【二】【个】【消】【息】：【唐】【丁】【越】【狱】。 “【那】【你】【还】【在】【这】【站】【着】【干】【嘛】？【赶】【紧】【去】【加】【固】，【不】【行】【再】
【所】【以】【说】，【叶】【琉】【郁】【到】【底】【在】【做】【什】【么】【竟】【然】【真】【的】【没】【过】【哎】。【难】【道】【画】【的】【比】【慢】【慢】【还】【差】【吗】，【但】【是】【慢】【慢】【都】【过】【了】，【狼】【千】【言】【感】【觉】【评】【判】【的】【标】【准】【可】【能】【不】【是】【画】【的】【好】【不】【好】【看】，【而】【是】【有】【没】【有】【用】【心】。 【果】【然】，【叶】【琉】【郁】【这】【种】【人】【不】【会】【特】【地】【用】【心】【去】【画】【一】【个】【人】，【无】【论】【是】【什】【么】【人】【吧】。 “【走】【吧】。”【叶】【神】【回】【头】【朝】【几】【个】【笑】【了】【笑】，【意】【思】【是】【不】【要】【管】【叶】【琉】【郁】【了】，【他】【们】【直】【接】【走】【就】【行】【了】
【大】【家】【面】【面】【相】【觑】【着】，【陌】【琴】【风】【举】【起】【杯】，【淡】【淡】【的】【说】【着】“【敬】【瑶】【瑶】。” 【白】【鹭】【满】【意】【的】【笑】【了】【笑】“【对】，【敬】【瑶】【瑶】。【感】【谢】【你】【让】【我】【再】【次】【遇】【到】【陌】【琴】【风】，【有】【四】【个】【可】【爱】【的】【孩】【子】，【有】【这】【样】【奇】【幻】【的】【经】【历】，【还】【有】【一】【群】【爱】【我】【的】【朋】【友】【们】。” 【陌】【琴】【风】【举】【起】【杯】“【敬】【瑶】【瑶】，【感】【谢】【你】【让】【我】【和】【白】【鹭】【最】【终】【终】【成】【眷】【属】，【一】【度】【以】【为】【自】【己】【就】【是】【男】【二】【的】【命】【运】【了】，【没】【想】【到】【还】【能】【陪】【在】【鹭】天书单双王【塞】【克】【斯】【检】【查】【了】【一】【番】【之】【后】，【发】【现】【维】【克】【多】【的】【背】【包】【跟】【她】【的】【身】【体】【连】【接】【在】【一】【起】，【根】【本】【取】【不】【下】【来】，【不】【过】【看】【到】【儿】【子】【完】【好】，【也】【就】【没】【有】【在】【意】，【反】【而】【安】【慰】【道】：“【放】【心】【吧】，【你】【的】【身】【体】【应】【该】【没】【有】【问】【题】，【而】【且】【有】【这】【个】【东】【西】，【你】【会】【很】【安】【全】，【就】【像】【你】【喜】【欢】【的】【托】【尼】【斯】【塔】【克】【一】【样】。” “【是】【吗】。”【维】【克】【多】【松】【了】【口】【气】，【随】【后】【抬】【头】【看】【着】【瑞】【雯】，【停】【顿】【了】【一】【下】【说】【到】：“
【忽】【然】【想】【起】【来】，【还】【没】【有】【介】【绍】【自】【己】【的】【这】【个】【好】【友】，【于】【是】【洛】【老】【爷】【子】【又】【指】【着】【坐】【在】【他】【对】【面】【的】【这】【个】【老】【头】【子】【说】【道】。 “【其】【他】【人】【一】【般】【都】【是】【叫】【他】【齐】【老】【的】，【你】【跟】【那】【两】【个】【孩】【子】【一】【样】，【都】【叫】【我】【们】【爷】【爷】【就】【行】【了】。” 【通】【过】【这】【么】【一】【段】【时】【间】【的】【缓】【冲】，【沈】【书】【楠】【也】【总】【算】【是】【回】【过】【了】【些】【神】【来】，【对】【着】【两】【个】【老】【人】【家】【点】【了】【点】【头】:“【那】【个】【我】” 【大】【概】【知】【道】【沈】【书】【楠】【是】【在】【意】【和】
【母】【麒】【麟】【点】【了】【点】【头】，【似】【乎】【非】【常】【的】【认】【同】【司】【徒】【锦】【轩】【的】【说】【辞】，【那】【穹】【苍】【鼎】【确】【实】【是】【个】，【非】【常】【有】【主】【见】【的】【家】【伙】。 【就】【像】【她】【要】【与】【幽】【然】【契】【约】，【宁】【可】【低】【下】【她】【高】【傲】【的】【头】，【也】【不】【退】【缩】，【也】【要】【坚】【持】【自】【己】【的】【决】【定】。 “【那】【么】【这】【次】，【是】【穹】【苍】【鼎】【特】【意】【带】【着】【你】【们】，【来】【找】【我】【们】【的】【吗】？”【幽】【然】【轻】【声】【的】【问】【道】。 【母】【麒】【麟】【点】【了】【点】【头】，【继】【续】【说】【道】：“【我】【们】【一】【路】【被】【穹】【苍】【鼎】