The Thinking 

Rosin on the Hookup Culture

August 29, 2012


ONE THING I like about the feminist Hanna Rosin is that she admits, as many people do not, that sexual liberation and economic equality for women are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have the second without the first.

Conservatives who think that women can give up promiscuity, and at the same time equal men in achievement, are more deluded than the feminist Rosin.

Rosin, however, thinks these are both good. Women should be materialistic, callous faux-males who exploit others for gain and rack up sexual conquests. Power is good in itself and for itself. Exploitation of men is necessary for women to rectify inequality.

In her latest Atlantic piece, “Boys on the Side,” Rosin describes the calculation with which young women engage in serial relationships and postpone commitment because it will damage their career prospects. She is exactly right that this is what women do. They must do it in order to meet the standards of achievement they have learned since early childhood. They can’t afford to take care of men any too soon. They can’t afford to be selfless.

Rosin writes:

The hookup culture that has largely replaced dating on college campuses has been viewed, in many quarters, as socially corrosive and ultimately toxic to women, who seemingly have little choice but to participate. Actually, it is an engine of female progress—one being harnessed and driven by women themselves.

The abortions, the unwanted infertility later in life, the loss of any instincts for love and maternity, the failure to support men in the formation of their careers — none of these trouble a feminist apparatchik like Rosin. She sees all relationships as struggles for power and hasn’t the slightest concern for the survival of our culture in an era when the most intelligent women produce few children. The feminine soul is of no interest to her nor is the progressive loss of beauty, wisdom and intellect that its destruction entails.


—– Comments —–

Peter writes:

I have often with great consternation observed all too many an “intelligent” women sacrifice the future on the altar of today. I just wonder what all of the women through history who have sacrificed their bodies and often lives in order to transfer life for future generations would think of them. Perhaps it’s just a rebellious mockery for life itself, or a grotesque act of existential greed. Vindictive selfishness to deny the propagation of life by throwing it all away in a grand gesture of contempt.

But what else would you expect from a generation that thinks they created themselves?

Alissa writes:

 She sees all relationships as struggles for power and hasn’t the slightest concern for the survival of our culture in an era when the most intelligent women produce few children.

The phenomenon of intelligent women producing few children is depicted in the opening scene of the film Idiocracy.

Mary writes:

This article is not for the faint of heart.

Two things struck me upon reading it (necessarily skimming some of the cruder passages). First, that it is always the elite colleges that feminists turn to for fodder to support their viewpoints. They are not concerned with average women, only elite women who are already living privileged lives and will have big careers. Rosin agrees with the girls who mock the wise, less privileged girl who drops out to avoid the promiscuity, and celebrates the corruption of the less-privileged girls who engage in it. But the focus of her interest is on the Ivy League girls and the decisions they make. In the end she speaks only for this tiny demographic but even then not all of it, and we don’t see how any of it ends, as she is celebrating uncharted territory.

The second thing that occurred to me is that the girls she is describing – ones who use boys sexually to enrich their college experiences but stay unencumbered in order to pursue their goals, assuming they will marry well later – sound exactly like the men that were loathed by and inspired to some degree early feminists, men with coarse, hard-hearted attitudes about sex and women, who used them freely and tossed them aside and who were thought to be odius by any decent man or woman. This she celebrates and encourages in young college women, despite the pitfalls: the coarsening and hardening effect of such behavior. Most of these young women say they want marriages and children in the end. Rosin celebrates behavior that will be destructive to the ultimate goal of these young women, as hardened, coarsened wives and mothers the world does not need more of for obvious reasons.

This piece could do no better in illustrating to us what has been lost. It’s a celebration of all that is basest in us, of our tackiest, career-grapplingest, most vulgar selves. Women who are toughened over and hardened and enured to sexual depravity, who have nicknames for crude acts, who approach human intimacy as a chess game to promote their careers, will not, when they finally run things, make America better.

A truly honest piece would have included a report on where girls like these ended up in 20 years; what their regrets were; how many marriages, divorces, children, abortions, STD’s and anti-depressive prescriptions they had between them. Then we might be able to begin an real discussion.

Guilain writes:

I’ve read Hanna Rosin’s article. Even if I’ve found it repellent I’ve managed to read it entirely.

According to the author, the hookup culture benefits women greatly as it leads to “everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012—the freedom, the confidence, the knowledge that you can always depend on yourself.”»

When you think about it the idea that women can now depend on themselves only is crazy. This is an illusion created by the life in big American cities protected by police forces. Those cities are located in a country protected by a powerful and modern military. But one should remember that those forces are mostly composed of men. Moreover, they are equiped with weapons invented by men. Only men know how to use them properly and to improve them.

In one word, some women believe they are in a playground where they can do wathever pleases them and thus they conclude they are free from men. Ironically, without men to protect their dreamland it would be wiped out in a few days.

Here is a sad anecdote that illustrates my point. It happened in France a few weeks ago. The police were about to arrest a man at his home. Two women around thirty were chosen for this job. They were both killed. Was the man armed? No, but he managed to take the pistol from the belt of one of the cops.

When I read an article such as Hanna Rosin’s, I sometimes feel like the situation is hopeless. Ugliness is everywhere, and too many people devote their life to it. I’m tempted to think that standing up is useless. But then I imagine how the world would be without the few people who defend beauty. It would be hell. This is a sufficient reason to stay strong and keep on fighting.

Thank you for promoting beauty, it makes a big difference in your readers’ life. I’ll do my best to encourage beauty as well.

Kevin M. writes:

At this rate, in ten years parents will go to their daughter’s college graduation and a slut march will break out. But it’s reassuring to know that women are leading society straight into the sewer and journalists [suppresses a dry heave] like Rosin are cheering them on.

Laura writes:

The editors at the Atlantic specialize in this kind of thing. They like to admit the worst of feminism and yet celebrate it too, as we see in Rosin’s pieces, as well as articles by Anne-Marie Slaughter and Sandra Tsing-Lo.

They know people lap up these stories, which create anxiety and division. No matter which side you are on, these writers give the impression that nothing can be done and that we are helpless in the face of these immense changes in the roles of men and women, a conclusion which is utterly false.

SJF writes:

Rosin wrote:

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.

What is missing from this article is any discussion of the PURPOSE of these “more-important” things. What is the purpose of good grades if they do not reflect gaining true knowledge? Assuming the purpose of good grades is merely to get a good, high-paying job, then, what is the purpose of having that job? Financial freedom? OK, but then what? What do you do with all the money? Do these women all want to be a desiccated Helen Gurley Brown? At some point, no one is going to want to hook up with you! (I guess they can pay for it with all that money, though.) Finally, contrary to the author’s assertion that the hookup culture is an “island” that these women visit “mostly during their college years,” other articles suggest that this mentality continues even into marriage. See this article, which is more vulgar than Rosin’s and probably not suited to your site. (Note it was linked from a mainstream conservative website.)

In the end, these people are choosing lies over truth, glamour over beauty, lust over love, the self over the other. Readers of your site know how this will turn out in the end.

Laura writes:

If a woman is habituated to promiscuity, the transition to monogamy and motherhood is not as simple as turning off a switch.

Jeff W. writes:

A good way to argue with Hanna Rosin is to attack her religion. She worships the idols of wealth, status and pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. Her idolatry should be forcefully attacked.

In worshiping wealth, she is worshiping a dead thing: money, and the inanimate things that money can buy. Even the pagans of classical times knew that money worship is degrading, and that a person who focuses mainly on money is an inferior human being.

In worshiping status, especially that status which is conferred by Ivy League colleges, she is giving way to a primitive lust, the desire to be the leader of of the pack, to be an Alpha instead of a Beta, the desire to view others from a standpoint of social superiority. The desire to reach the top of the pecking order is inherent in all social animals. But the question is whether we, as humans, want to live on an animal level.

Jesus said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35). The idolatry of status seeking leads to a world of dog eat dog.

In worshiping the false god of pleasure through promiscuous sex, she invites sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, and increasing loneliness as she grows old. Again this is life on the animal level.

Rosin should be asked: Why should women worship money? Why should women focus their efforts on status-seeking? What evidence do you have to recommend promiscuous sex when religious leaders and philosophers throughout the ages have condemned it?

Christians should express their disgust with the worship of dead things, of social status, and of orgasms, to the exclusion of the worship of the living God. God made you and God loves you, and God deserves to be worshiped. Hanna Rosin’s idols are not worthy of worship, and worshiping them can only lead to human degradation.

 Laura writes:

Rosin sees high-placed careers for women as satisfying and intellectually fulfilling. It is not simply about status and money but the fulfillment of a woman’s intellectual potential.

Unfortunately, on this point, she exhibits willful ignorance of most careers and of the opportunities for fulfillment outside those spheres of paid employment. One wonders whether she has any idea what it’s like to be, say, a patent attorney.

Jane S. writes:

Guilain writes:

“Here is a sad anecdote that illustrates my point. It happened in France a few weeks ago. The police were about to arrest a man at his home. Two women around thirty were chosen for this job. They were both killed. Was the man armed? No, but he managed to take the pistol from the belt of one of the cops.”

Two female cops were called to the scene when a North African immigrant named Abdallah Boumezaar stole a purse from the lady next door. He shot one cop twice in the face. The other cop, apparently not trained to return fire, ran into an alley, where he chased her down and shot her six or seven times in the back.

You have to admit, there’s a certain ironic justice to it.

Media coverage of the incident, as usual, has been zero.

Eric writes (regarding Rosin’s piece):

Egad! Now women are cads.

Mary writes:

Yes, these young women are cads. Let’s celebrate that women are now abased to the point that they are happily acquiring the vices of men. One wonders if Rosin will celebrate when women commit most of the murders.

I wonder if less privileged women will thank her for the freedom she won them to ride on the backs of garbage trucks, dig graves, pump out septic tanks and slay in slaughterhouses. Oh, sorry, I forgot – women will get to pick and choose which man’s job they will do. My mistake.

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