Hanna Rosin: Feminists and the Hook-up Culture

Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, commented on Ann Romney’s speech at Slate. Her article ends with this:

But it’s not her particular marriage that gets in the way of reaching certain women, it’s her entire worldview. In Ann Romney’s world, high-school sweethearts are to be trusted, and women should give in and trust them. They do not fail women and they do not let women down, as she said of Mitt. It’s a little bit like Paul Ryan’s imaginary world where men trek off to the tire plant every day and come home and fix the screen door.

But this is not a world that Obama negated with his economic policies; it’s a world that has been slowly disappearing for decades. Most children born to women under 30 now are born to single mothers and in their world, the men are not really to be trusted and they do let people down.

Compare that to her recent article Boys on the Side, which extolled the hook-up culture as liberating for women.

There is no retreating from the hookup culture to an earlier age, when a young man showed up at the front door with a box of chocolates for his sweetheart, and her father eyed him warily. Even the women most frustrated by the hookup culture don’t really want that. The hookup culture is too bound up with everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012—the freedom, the confidence, the knowledge that you can always depend on yourself. The only option is what Hannah’s friends always tell her—stop doing what feels awful, and figure out what doesn’t.

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.

How she can not see the contradiction between these two modes of thinking is beyond me, especially given how these two articles were published only about a week apart.

How can the hook-up culture be both something that is liberating to females and supported by females, yet at the same time be something in which women are let down by men?

It can’t.


As one commenter at Slate named TheDude commented:

“Most children born to women under 30 now are born to single mothers and in their world, the men are not really to be trusted and they do let people down.”

I don’t sweat this. Double X has taught me that single motherhood is a fine lifestyle to choose, many women choose to do it voluntarily, and that women don’t need men anymore. Who exactly are these guys letting down?

I’ve also learned from Double X that it is in fact men who need women, so the question should be, why are these women letting down the men who need them?


The hook-up culture is bad for women (and for men for that matter) but it is a necessary implication of the feminism. Women do not really want the hook-up culture. In fact, except for a minority of high testosterone women, most women do not want most of what feminism is selling.

But the hook-up culture is the natural end-game of feminism. Once traditional marriage, an “oppressive patriarchal” family system, declines, men, no longer constrained by patriarchy, revert to their more primitive instincts. One of the of these instincts is consequence-free sex, the hook-up culture.

The hook-up culture leaves women unable to commit and leaves men unwilling to commit. Given that most women want commitment, at some point, this hurts women.

So, feminists like Rosen know the hook-up culture is the necessary consequence of feminism and is necessary to feminism, but they also know it hurts women. So what do they do, they try to pretend that women like the hook-up culture. Some do, ie. high testosterone feminists, but the rest have to be convinced. So, you speak out of both sides of your mouth: you poison gender relations by blaming men for being unreliable while supporting the very system that makes men unreliable, then tell women that they actually like the system that’s destroying their ability to gain what they actually desire: love, a husband, motherhood, and family.


So you get this:

But then, sometime during sophomore year, her feelings changed. She got tired of relation­ships that just faded away, “no end, no beginning.” Like many of the other college women I talked with, Tali and her friends seemed much more sexually experienced and knowing than my friends at college. They were as blasé about blow jobs and anal sex as the one girl I remember from my junior year whom we all considered destined for a tragic early marriage or an asylum. But they were also more innocent. 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.

But the soda-fountain nostalgia of this answer quickly dissipated when I asked Tali and her peers a related question: Did they want the hookup culture to go away—might they prefer the mores of an earlier age, with formal dating and slightly more obvious rules? This question, each time, prompted a look of horror. Reform the culture, maybe, teach women to “advocate for themselves”—a phrase I heard many times—but end it? Never. Even one of the women who had initiated the Title IX complaint, Alexandra Brodsky, felt this way. “I would never come down on the hookup culture,” she said. “Plenty of women enjoy having casual sex.”

Women whose emotional being has been so warped that she wants more emotionally but can’t conceive of an emotional connection beyond going for yogurt. These emotionally scarred women then turn around and defend the system that withered their emotional being because “plenty of women” enjoy it. Note, not because she personally enjoyed it, but because “plenty of women” enjoyed it. Most of these “plenty of women” didn’t really enjoy it themselves, but acted as if they did, because who wants to be the weird person out who don’t enjoy it.

Now some women probably do like the hook-up lifestyle, and some more women probably enjoy it in the moment, but most do not, simply defending it because it is expected of them because others enjoyed it. In the long-term most women suffer the female version of the player’s curse.

Then, instead of blaming the feminism-created system that has left women alone, divorced, and emotionally-scarred, feminists blame men for being unreliable, poisoning gender relations further.


The old family system is dying, purposefully killed by minority ideologies of progressivism and feminism. The right knows what is missing and rages at what it is losing, while not being able to free itself from the symptoms of the sickness. The left can not acknowledge that it is sick, because doing so would shatter their ideological myths.

But the left see some who have not been inflicted, and they rage against them, seething at what what they are missing and rage at having it shoved in their face by those like Ann Romney and Sarah Palin, who have and are everything they can not acknowledge they desire.

Meanwhile, the average women laments how she can’t find a good man, while the average man laments how he can’t find a good women. Both emotionally scarred, with their ability to have a loving marriage crippled by the system they support (because its the politically correct thing to support) but don’t understand. They wonder why they just can’t find the love they so desperately want, not being able to see the system that is taking it away for what it is.

They exchange love for pleasure, but in their deepest being they know the pleasure always leaves them feeling hollow. They yearn for love, but are unable to find it because the continual quest for the pleasure necessary to stave of the void in their heart destroys their very ability to experience that love.

The “gender war” continues, pushed by the hurting and the ideologues who need someone to blame for their loneliness and emptiness, but either can not see or can not acknowledge the system that is doing this to them.

Is it any wonder why women’s happiness has been steadily declining?

15 responses to “Hanna Rosin: Feminists and the Hook-up Culture

  • Hun909

    Please do NOT mention Sarah Palin. She’s a fake conservative and a greedy narcissist obsessed with herself. She’s a neoconservative, a right-liberal, NOT a reactionary nor a traditional conservative.

  • Mann Deville

    One of the host of reasons America is in free-fall decline is that our culture spends too much time worrying about what women want, and not enough time worrying about what women (and men) need.

  • SouthronGent

    The sickness in “modern” society has been eating at me for about 20 years. My level of obsessive observation of the disease is probably unhealthy. Still I pick at it like an itchy scab. I know I shouldn’t, but there is a wound beneath the scab. And I wonder, if I pull back the scab will I see new, pink skin, or a puss laden festering sore? Hope (for new skin) wars with reason (nope, it’s worse than ever in there).

    I left the Republican Party for a conservative constitutionally based political ideology over a more than 16 years ago. And I was totally anti-Romney, until last night. I’m a Roman Catholic convert from protestantism. I’ve learned some (by no means all) things about Mormonism (many of which bother me REALLY-a-lot). I’m southern, and conservative. So, I was surprised when Romney’s words didn’t make me want to run the other way. But that wasn’t enough to change my mind. What changed my mind was seeing his family and Paul Ryan’s family on stage. That did it, for me. This is what “it” is about. A unified family that actually functions. It isn’t a fantasy. It actually does STILL happen. And the unified families are better than this what-ever-you-call-this-crap-non-family thing being inculcated by degrees in western society.

    So many thoughts I’d like to write down and explore in depth: family, community, nation, race, economics, religion, freedom (of will, association, THOUGHT,) political-correctness, liberty (as opposed to freedom – not the same), media. With time, I think I could show that the web of the west’s problems is made of a single string – all the different issues are really the same issue. Selfishness.

    Whether by luck or by wit, Romney (or his handlers) found the solution. Family. All politics is local, and everything is politics. I think the Romney/Ryan families’ duo is just what America needs,and by extension the rest of western society. That is, an example of what things are supposed to look like, and how they are supposed to work, and how they actually do work, when everyone does their part.

    So, congratulations, Mr. Romney. Against all odds, and perhaps my better judgement, you will get a vote out of a guy who was dead-set against voting for any Republican, ever again, much less a New England Mormon. Don’t get a big head! It wasn’t you that pulled it off. You only set the stage with the workman like speech. That was never going to be enough to sway me on its own. Not even close. Your family pulled it off. The credit for this one vote of mine goes to your family unit. As a married guy with kids, I know how hard it can be to hold it all together. Let your wife serve as an example to the women of America, and all western women. May your family inspire our families.

  • Free Northerner

    I know she’s not a reactionary, neither is Ann Romney.

    The reason I brought her up is Palin really does “have it all”; she has everything the feminists say they desire and will not admit they desire, but without kowtowing to the feminist line or participating in the gender war. They rage at her for having everything they can know they not have while showing the hollowness of their own ideology.

  • Free Northerner

    Absolutely. We have exchanged need for desire and it’s eating us alive.

  • Free Northerner

    Exactly right. I was never very keen on Romney until I read this:

    That picture speaks so much. Romney may not be everything, but the maintenance of family and culture are far more important than whatever political decisions he may make, and Romney has it so right in this area.

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  • Will S.

    Re: Hanna Rosin’s weird jab: “It’s a little bit like Paul Ryan’s imaginary world where men trek off to the tire plant every day and come home and fix the screen door.”

    Ah, married men do that kind of thing every day – slug it out for eight or twelve hours at work, then come home to wife and kids and things that need fixing.

    As a bachelor, I don’t know how they do it. But I know they do.

    Hanna Rosin is full of shit.

  • Free Northerner

    It’s probably easier to do that kind of thing when you have a reason to do it.

    Odd though, how they destroyed that world, then call it imaginary, then advocate a world that hasn’t existed and flies in the face of biology.

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