I can officially say now that I'm completely out of touch with feminist culture... and I do mean completely.
The last time I came across the name Hanna Rosin was when I tripped over a piece she'd written blaming Christianity for the economic woes the country was in, and this back in November of 2009.
So given that as background, I guess we can't be too surprised by her latest piece of deductive reasoning:
America has unseated the Scandinavian countries for the title of Easiest Lay. We are, in the world’s estimation, a nation of prostitutes. And not even prostitutes with hearts of gold.
Is that so bad? Or is there, maybe, a different way to analyze the scene that had just unfolded? Admittedly, what the Argentinean and I had just witnessed fills the nightmares of those who lament the evil hookup culture: ubiquitous porn, young women so inured to ubiquitous porn that they don’t bother to protest, young women behaving exactly like frat boys, and no one guarding the virtues of honor, chivalry, or even lasting love. It’s a sexual culture lamented by, among others, Caitlin Flanagan, in the pages of this magazine as well as in her nostalgia-drenched new book, Girl Land. Like many other critics, Flanagan pines for an earlier time, when fathers protected “innocent” girls from “punks” and predators, and when girls understood it was their role to also protect themselves.
Girl Land, like so much writing about young women and sexuality, concentrates on what has been lost. The central argument holds that women have effectively been duped by a sexual revolution that persuaded them to trade away the protections of (and from) young men. In return, they were left even more vulnerable and exploited than before. Sexual liberation, goes the argument, primarily liberated men—to act as cads, using women for their own pleasures and taking no responsibility for the emotional wreckage that their behavior created. The men hold all the cards, and the women put up with it because now it’s too late to zip it back up, so they don’t have a choice.
But this analysis downplays the unbelievable gains women have lately made, and, more important, it forgets how much those gains depend on sexual liberation. Single young women in their sexual prime—that is, their 20s and early 30s, the same age as the women at the business-school party—are for the first time in history more successful, on average, than the single young men around them. They are more likely to have a college degree and, in aggregate, they make more money. What makes this remarkable development possible is not just the pill or legal abortion but the whole new landscape of sexual freedom—the ability to delay marriage and have temporary relationships that don’t derail education or career. To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture. And to a surprising degree, it is women—not men—who are perpetuating the culture, especially in school, cannily manipulating it to make space for their success, always keeping their own ends in mind. For college girls these days, an overly serious suitor fills the same role an accidental pregnancy did in the 19th century: a danger to be avoided at all costs, lest it get in the way of a promising future.
I honestly don't know if this sort of thinking best represents typical feminist thought or not but supposing that it does, can there be little doubt as to the cultural divide that separates this country? And can we understand a little better why Sandra Fluke is seen to be a leading spokeswoman for progressive women today?
I envy not any father of a young lady on her way to college. My heart would break to think that a daughter of mine would buy into any part of Rosin's twaddle.
As an uncle to six beautiful nieces, all of an age to make their own decisions as to how to live and as to who they are becoming, I hope and pray they see Rosin's piece for what it truly is.
A delusional discourse on depravity.