Freud famously exclaimed that he did not know what women want. It was not the only thing that he didn’t understand, but that is neither here nor there for now.
If you yourself are wondering what women want, feminist author Hanna Rosin has the answer: women want to hook up.
Rosin believes that hookups advance the cause of feminism. Women who hook up are more likely to be immune to the siren song of husband, home and family.
If we ask what feminists want women to want, the answer is clear: feminists want women to repress their feminine mystique, the better to be good feminists.
They do not just want women to adhere to feminist ideology, but they want women to live their lives as feminists want them to live their lives.
Women’s liberation seems merely to be a way for feminists to run women’s lives. Having thrown off the shackles of the feminine mystique women are supposed to do what their feminist masters tell them to do.
Young women are more willing to submit to random sexual encounters with men they barely know because feminism told them to do so.
If these women are exposing themselves to repeated sexual traumas, then clearly the hookup culture is throwing women off of the family track and putting them squarely on the career track.
Rosin states it clearly:
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.
Rosin would have been more accurate if she said that it is feminists like her who are perpetuating this culture.
By warning women against serious suitors feminism is telling them to choose between hooking up or dating bad boys who will never cut it as husband material.
Like most of the Pied Pipers of feminism Rosin sees a “promising future” only in career. She is not against eventual marriage but she is fantasizing when she claims that women who have spent their twenties in a relationship daze will wake up one day and jump right into a wonderful relationship with a wonderful man.
In so saying, she is lying to young women.
If a woman has developed the skills necessary to navigate the hook up culture she will not be developing the skills necessary to conduct a relationship, no less a marriage. Better yet, if she had learned that suitable suitors are toxic she will not suddenly decide that she wants one of them to ravish her.
The psychic malformation she has suffered by living the feminist nightmare will preclude that kind of happy ending.
Interviewing a woman who spent her first college years hooking up, Rosin asks her what she wants.
She reports the conversation:
When I asked Tali what she really wanted, she didn’t say anything about commitment or marriage or a return to a more chivalrous age. “Some guy to ask me out on a date to the frozen-yogurt place,” she said. That’s it. A $3 date.
Apparently, Rosin lacks empathy. She misses Tali's point completely.
No one has ever accused me of being especially empathic, but, allow me: Tali is saying that she is tired of being used as a sexual object and longs for a return to “a more chivalrous age” where a guy would ask her out on a date.
Everyone but Rosen knows that the simplest date puts her on the courtship path and leads to the commitment and marriage paths.
Moreover, Rosin does not understand that Tali is saying that hooking up has made her feel cheap. She seems to hold Tali in contempt for wanting nothing more than a cheap date. Rosin does not notice that a girl who sets her value at $3.00 is saying that she feels near-worthless.
The hooking up culture makes women feel cheap, worthless, lacking in value. This is what feminism has wrought.
Tali would like to be taken out on a date. She would like to learn how it feels to be courted. She would like to feel valued for something other than sexual favors. She would like to learn how to get along with a guy when its not just about the sex. She is tired of having sex like a man.
Tali is telling Rosin that hooking up has undermined her self-respect, her self-confidence and her self-worth. Rosin did not hear it.
Good feminist that she is Rosin dismisses the psychological fallout of hooking up. She believes that women no longer care about their reputations; they only care about their careers.
In her words:
Zoom out, and you see that for most women, the hookup culture is like an island they visit, mostly during their college years and even then only when they are bored or experimenting or don’t know any better. But it is not a place where they drown. The sexual culture may be more coarse these days, but young women are more than adequately equipped to handle it, because unlike the women in earlier ages, they have more-important things on their minds, such as good grades and internships and job interviews and a financial future of their own. The most patient and thorough research about the hookup culture shows that over the long run, women benefit greatly from living in a world where they can have sexual adventure without commitment or all that much shame, and where they can enter into temporary relationships that don’t get in the way of future success.
Rosin wants us to believe that women who have their eyes on future career success are more than capable of handling the stress of hooking up.
It is just as likely that young women have numbed themselves to the shame that they feel and no longer care what other people think… because it’s too painful.
Girls who hook up are not respected, even on college campuses; they are treated as cheap sexual objects.
Rosin believes that these women need to figure out what they want.
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.
The problem is not figuring what they want. It’s rediscovering that they want marriage and family. Why do they have to reinvent the wheel? Because feminism has beaten those normal desires out of them.
If Rosin believes that the reputation a girl gains for having spent “years” hooking up is something that will just disappear as soon as she gets married she is deluded or dishonest.
Reputation is about how other people see you. It is not something that you can change by flicking a little mental switch.
Rosin minimizes the importance of a woman’s “personal reputations.” Her real concern is a woman’s “professional reputations:”
The women still had to deal with the old-fashioned burden of protecting their personal reputations, but in the long view, what they really wanted to protect was their future professional reputations.
Subtly, Rosin is confusing women with men. True, men do not, for the most part, have to worry about their personal reputations, but a woman’s place in the world depends very largely on it. To say otherwise is dishonest or disingenuous.
As Susan Walsh points out, many of the women who want to have sex like men also want to live their lives like men. And that means, Walsh says, that they are unlikely to marry.
That is their choice. God bless them. More power to them.
Just, be honest to young women. Don’t tell them that after a decade of hooking up and abusive relationships they are going, magically, to be attracted to a man who would make a good husband and will then morph into a good girlfriend or a good wife.
For my part I was struck by a conversation Rosin had with a woman who was visiting from Argentina. Witnessing sexual aggressive young women coming on to men at a bar, the woman from Argentina declared that they were either desperate or prostitutes.
Trust me, Rosin did not register the least awareness of the fact that this woman was telling her that the American feminists have gotten themselves in the business of pimping out young women... for the cause.
It’s not just that desperate people do desperate things. It’s more important to understand that desperate is as desperate does.
A young woman who behaves as though she were desperate, will end up feeling desperate. She will not be riding off into the feminist sunset, her dashing beau at her side. She will dashing off to her neighborhood psychiatrist to get a new prescription for Zoloft.