Monday, April 1, 2013

Susan Patton Threatens the Hookup Culture

By now everyone knows about Susan Patton. A Princeton graduate herself, mother of two sons, one a Princeton graduate and one a Princeton undergraduate, Patton had the temerity to offer some advice to Princeton coeds in a letter to the Daily Princetonian.

Had the reaction to the letter not crashed the paper’s website, I would link it.

Her advice went viral. True believing feminists were horrified. They threw themselves into such high dudgeon that you thought they had seen a witch.

If you had ever been tempted to believe that contemporary feminism is about giving women the freedom to choose the way they conduct their lives, this episode will hopefully cure you.

If demonstration were needed, the Patton kerfuffle shows unmistakably that feminism wants to dictate the way women live their lives. In less flattering terms, they want to own young women’s lives.

Feminists are happy to allow young women to participate in all manner of self-destructive behavior as long as they do not commit  the greatest crime against the feminism. That would be: marrying young.

Patton addressed herself to the daughters she never had and told them that their years at Princeton were a golden opportunity to snag a great husband. To her mind, Princeton men were great husband material. Nearly all of them are available.

A bright and nubile young coed should take advantage of the fact that the younger she is the more choice she will have. Thus,  the younger she is the more power she has in the dating marketplace.

Suggesting that as women age the pool of eligible men shrinks, Patton recommends that these women make Princeton a happy husband hunting ground.

Patton chose to express herself because she was disturbed to see young women receiving only one message about a proper life plan. They are receive the message that their feminist masters want them to receive.

She explained her reasoning in The Huffington Post:

I sincerely feel that too much focus has been placed on encouraging young women only to achieve professionally. I understand that this can be seen as retrogressive, but for those women who aspire to what used to be thought of as a traditional life with home and family, there is almost no ink addressing personal fulfillment outside of the workplace. Specifically, finding lifelong friends and the right partner with whom to share a life and raise a family.

Obviously, feminists flew into a frenzy. They have no tolerance for anyone who would try to loosen their control over young women.

Writing on Gawker, Caity Weaver launched an intemperate rant. I assume that she wanted to show that being a feminist means kissing sobriety goodbye.

For those young women who might be tempted to follow Patton’s advice, Weaver labeled it: “batshit crazy and extremely offensive. Also, embarrassing!”

That means that if you bring it up in polite conversation with a feminist you are risking your life. She is warning you that if you voice such opinions you will be subjected to mindless abuse and eventual ostracism.

For reasons that it needs to explain, feminism is severely threatened by the notion that young women in college should approach dating from the perspective of finding a mate. Are they worried that a new sense of purposeful dating would threaten the hookup culture.

Now that we know what feminists find offensive, let’s take another look at what feminists do not find offensive.

A while back I commented on a piece that philosophy professor Nancy Bauer wrote for the New York Times.

Bauer described the alternative to the Patton approach:

Visit an American college campus on a Monday morning and you’ll find any number of amazingly ambitious and talented young women wielding their brain power, determined not to let anything — including a relationship with some needy, dependent man — get in their way.  Come back on a party night, and you’ll find many of these same girls (they stopped calling themselves “women” years ago) wielding their sexual power, dressed as provocatively as they dare, matching the guys drink for drink — and then hook-up for hook-up.

I’m sure they are making their parents proud. In case you missed the point, Bauer continued:

When they’re on their knees in front of a worked-up guy they just met at a party, they genuinely do feel powerful — sadistic, even.  After all, though they don’t stand up and walk away, they in principle could.  But the morning after, students routinely tell me, they are vulnerable to what I’ve come to call the “hook-up hangover.”  They’ll see the guy in the quad and cringe.  Or they’ll find themselves wishing in vain for more — if not for a prince (or a vampire, maybe) to sweep them off their feet, at least for the guy actually to have programmed their number into his cell phone the night before.  When the text doesn’t come, it’s off to the next party.

Feminism has succeeded in keeping women on their knees. It has duped them into thinking providing sexual services for “worked-up” guys they just met makes them powerful.

You can see why feminists are so upset with Susan Patton.


Lastango said...

I skimmed the comments at Jezebel, and came across one offering Susan Patton's personal email address.

Inciting a pack swarm to invade someone's personal life and do as much damage as possible is the Jezzie/campus/elitist, progressive-as-thug mentality. At the end of the day, they are a Stalinist collective -- and proud of it.

Anonymous said...

Weaver is calling someone "batshit crazy?" Curious. I'd also like to know what Weaver is "offended" by. What is so offensive? Patton is offering another point of view, one that offers happiness and security in the long term.

Interesting what you pointed out, Lastango. I find it so interesting how the feminists who took over student campuses during the 1960s and 1970s were seeking "freedom" and "liberation" and now want to deny it to everyone else. Right to privacy begins and ends in the bedroom. It's not available anywhere else.

In the end, I think it is wise to consider independence and freedom as two totally different concepts. Independence holds one in opposition to something else. If you are "independent," ostensibly you are comparing yourself as separate to that thing that you've left or are staying away from. America has it's Declaration of Independence from Great Britain and, by definition, it exists in the context of desiring and claiming independence from its former master. It cannot exist without Great Britain in context. Freedom, on the other hand -- true freedom -- does not require anyone or anything to act. There are no barriers in freedom. So I am suggesting that people like Weaver are not really free, but are asserting their independence in a very adolescent way.

In concluding, I will share with you an observation from Easter brunch yesterday. Please know that I am in my early-40s and no prude. But I must say that even the dress-up clothing that young women are donning today is over-the-top sexual. It's Easter for goodness sake, and we're not animals parading around for spring mating season... and it's not to attract a suitable mate. I really was stunned at the form-fitting outfits. And yes, it was distracting. I am amazed at how sexualized young women are, and it is clearly for the "power" that Bauer talks about here.

I asked my wife about it, and she said she was equally surprised, saying "my mother would never have let me out of the house looking like that!" So it makes me wonder about the parents, and the culture that Gino points to. And Bauer is correct, it does seem "sadistic," and that pain/humiliation is inflicted on everyone, including the girls themselves. I find it so interesting that we have this sexually provocative clothing amongst high school (even middle school) girls, when we know they're not going to be mating until much later in age. So, if we condone it, we are condoning the hookup culture, whether overtly or vicariously.

I wonder if the mothers of these girls actually take the long-term well-being of their daughters seriously. Who's going to tell them otherwise? Their fathers? Yes, fathers have a place, but turning them into the house policeman without support is a recipe for resentment.

I am sad about this. I remember girls at my high school proms looking quite beautiful and quite happy. It was fun and exciting. In my case, it was quite innocent. College is a time for exploration, finding your wings, and making adult choices. But "priming" these sirens in high school at Easter brunch seems unnecessary, even dangerous.


Anonymous said...

Nancy Snyderman on the Today Show this morning(April 2)went ballistic on the Today's Professionals' panel discussion. As a radical feminist, she won't allow any deviation from the feminist position.
The discussion of Susan Patton's letter starts at the 4:42 mark.

Rob said...

I find it so interesting how the feminists who took over student campuses during the 1960s and 1970s were seeking "freedom" and "liberation" and now want to deny it to everyone else. Right to privacy begins and ends in the bedroom. It's not available anywhere else.

Tip, I would actually argue that this is an example of "the personal is the political" thinking that has utterly swallowed most species of feminism since at least the 1960's. Women aren't allowed to actually make their own choices, because OMG that threatens the tastemaker's position as queen bee.