Saturday, March 6, 2010

"A Flurry of Flustered Feminists, Finally"

This post's title is in quotation marks because I borrowed it from Susan Walsh's blog, Hooking Up Smart. Under that title Walsh wrote a long and detailed post about how feminists are beginning to disapprove of the hook up culture. Link here.

I was especially interested in her analysis of the so-called studies that are supposed to have shown that hooking up is an innocuous experience. Walsh has considerably more experience than I do in analyzing such data and she shows decisively that the studies show nothing of the sort.

The next step will come when feminists start taking responsibility for the hook up culture. No man or group of men could ever have succeeded in convincing so many women to make casual sex a life choice, and to think that there is something good about it.

Back in the old days, men who wanted to seduce women often said something like this: What do you mean you don't want to take your clothes off. Are you ashamed of your body?

When a man makes such a statement, a woman knows that it is self-interested. Thus she is less likely to comply.

But when a woman makes the same statement, there is no apparent self-interest involved. Thus women are more likely to take it as words to live by.

I agree with Walsh that hooking up violates a woman's biological and emotional nature. Very, very few women, left to their own judgment, will assert that they want to have as many random sexual encounters with as many men as possible, regardless of the emotional connection or larger commitment.

As Walsh says, quoting Dr. Helen Fisher, we are dealing with women's biological makeup, not some social construct. Have feminists no respect for oxytocin?

And yet, feminists find that womanhood, in this sense, threatens their ideology. As Jessica Grose suggested that if women are left to their own devices and are allowed to live their sexuality according to its own imperatives and their own desires, before you know it, they will become domesticated.

And that would undermine the feminist cause.

While some feminists believe that hooking up is very often traumatic, others justify the trauma because it will make it more difficult for women to have long term relationships with men and to succeed at marriage.

How better to make a woman into a feminist than to cure her of her womanly desires.

At the very least, hooking up teaches women to distrust men. Even if it is controversial to say that hooking up is not good behavior for women, we all agree that hooking up does not bring out the best in men.

Given a sufficient number of hook ups a woman will begin to have difficulty trusting men. She will find that they are constantly disappointed by men who act like "losers and perverts" and do not care a whit for them after they have finished having sex.

But why, you will ask, do men accept offers to hook up? Doesn't their willingness to participate in this collegiate rite show what they are really made of?

Yes, and no. It takes an extraordinary amount of forbearance to refuse such an offer. Men are hard-wired to respond to feminine cues. Besides, if a man refuses a woman's offer of what we will, with all gentility, call "free love," the woman who is making the offer will feel offended and insulted.

Surely, he does not want to make her feel unattractive. And he does not want anyone to think that he is less than a real man!

I do not know how many disappointments it takes before a woman looks askance at anything a man is offering, but it is inevitable that her experience of hooking up will lead her in that direction.

Beyond losing her sense of her own self-worth a woman who hooks up will also be seeing men at their worst, at their most predatory, at their coldest. If she has been taught that men really want to use women as sexual objects, then she, by hooking up, has proved the point.

As we know, feminism has often trafficked in caricatures of men. Not only as oppressors, but as beings who merely want to use women for their own sexual pleasure. If a woman hooks up she will discover how easy it is to bring out the worst in any man.

This does not prove that men are intrinsically morally degenerate, any more than a wave of casual sex proves that women like to have sex as men do. It does show that when a woman thinks the worst of herself and acts accordingly, she will, by a principle of do-unto-others, bring out the worst in a man.

If you are trying to cure women of their propensity toward home and hearth, of their ability to conduct happy relationships and marriages, you could not have invented anything more effective than hooking up.

Hooking up serves the feminist cause. Hopefully, the flustered feminists will begin to recognize that they have led women into harmful behaviors. I trust Walsh when she says that this beginning to happen.

Surely, it is a good thing.

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