I discovered this meme and was struck not only by the situation proposed, but the question asked:
On the left you have a dashing male character with a charming smile and a gun. Underneath him, you have a woman in a highly sexual performance. That was “Back Then.”
On the right you have a young female who is either in love or dazed and confused and underneath her, a smiling boy who looks he would be tons of fun for the young female. That is “Right Now.”
The question “What the !@#$ happened?” insinuates that Back Then was better than Right Now. Well, what did happen?
Back Then, you have men with masculine charm and strength, capable of violence, and with that masculinity, you have the women who are willing to make themselves sexually available to those men. Men were heroes who handled situations and took care of problems and women chose to give themselves sexually to these heroes because they were heroes. The name’s Bond, James Bond.
Right Now, you have women who are sexually unavailable (girls) and men who lack masculine strength (boys). They both function in a plutonic relationship as Best Friends Forever, though the girl is probably endued with magical abilities to handle situations and solve problems and has to rescue her cowardly best-boy-friend (it’s complicated) whenever bad things happen, kind of like this:
Two groups that have long fought against the heroic masculinity and sexualized femininity of Back Then are feminists and gays. The result is that Right Now, empowered-but-vulnerable women are teaming up with their asexual best-boy-friends (it’s complicated), making story-telling shallow and unrealistic.
That’s what the !@#$ happened.