‘Feminist Progress Right Now Largely Depends on the Existence of the Hookup Culture.’
Hanna Rosin lays down the new orthodoxy.
August 29, 2012 - 10:55 am
Emily continues in fisking the troubling arguments of a celebrated Atlantic senior editor:
To Rosin, the hook-up culture is good because women enjoy it and it frees them from the shackles of having a relationship. So the hook-up culture, as Rosin and most feminists argue, empowers women:
At Yale I heard stories like the ones I had read in many journalistic accounts of the hookup culture. One sorority girl, a junior with a beautiful tan, long dark hair, and a great figure, whom I’ll call Tali, told me that freshman year she, like many of her peers, was high on her first taste of the hookup culture and didn’t want a boyfriend. “It was empowering, to have that kind of control,” she recalls. “Guys were texting and calling me all the time, and I was turning them down. I really enjoyed it! I had these options to hook up if I wanted them, and no one would judge me for it.”
Tali may be the exception. Occidental College sociologist Lisa Wade, who did a qualitative study of the hook-up culture among 44 of her freshman students (33 of them women), concludes that most of them “were overwhelmingly disappointed with the sex they were having in hook ups. This was true of both men and women, but was felt more intensely by women.” The psychiatrist Miriam Grossman reports that the vast majority of women who have a hook-up experience later regret it. Wade confirms that the women she interviewed felt “disempowered instead of empowered by sexual encounters. They didn’t feel like equals on the sexual playground, more like jungle gyms.”
Read the whole thing. Emily untangles Rosin’s twisted logic, revealing the cruel, dehumanizing premises that make up the basis of her call for a life of animal sexuality.
Reading through Rosin’s article at The Atlantic, a few other telling word choices and admissions jump out:
So there we have it. 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?
Armstrong and Hamilton had come looking for sexual victims. Instead, at this university, and even more so at other, more prestigious universities they studied, they found the opposite: women who were managing their romantic lives like savvy headhunters. “The ambitious women calculate that having a relationship would be like a four-credit class, and they don’t always have time for it, so instead they opt for a lighter hookup,” Armstrong told me.
It’s “feminist progress” to return women to the “world’s oldest profession” and the primitivism of head-hunting?
Rosin — who happens to be living married and with kids herself — surely doesn’t believe this nonsense and is just cynically making dumb, trendy arguments that she knows will sell briskly to her spoiled, hedonistic readers at Slate’s Double X and The Atlantic. She concludes her piece:
Young men and women have discovered a sexual freedom unbridled by the conventions of marriage, or any conventions. But that’s not how the story ends. They will need time, as one young woman at Yale told me, to figure out what they want and how to ask for it. Ultimately, the desire for a deeper human connection always wins out, for both men and women. Even for those business-school women, their hookup years are likely to end up as a series of photographs, buried somewhere on their Facebook page, that they do or don’t share with their husband—a memory that they recall fondly or sourly, but that hardly defines them.
“Sourly?” “That hardly defines them”?
Maybe for some. But as I near 30, cherish my wife and the married lifestyle more and more every day, and my embarrassing college hook-up years fade further away, I know the unpleasant reality the Rosins of the world want to ignore: just because we were lucky enough to escape that moral sewer and take refuge within a traditional marriage, it doesn’t mean everyone does.