The men hold all the cards, and the women put up with it because now it’s too late to zip it back up, so they don’t have a choice.But this analysis downplays the unbelievable gains women have lately made, and, more important, it forgets how much those gains depend on sexual liberation.“I would never come down on the hookup culture,” she said.“Plenty of women enjoy having casual sex.”hookup culture tend to emphasize the frustration that results from transient sexual encounters, stripped of true intimacy: “A lot of [boys] just want to hook up with you and then never talk to you again … ” one woman complains to Kathleen Bogle in Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus.Girl Land, like so much writing about young women and sexuality, concentrates on what has been lost.The central argument holds that women have effectively been duped by a sexual revolution that persuaded them to trade away the protections of (and from) young men.On a mild fall afternoon in 2011, I sat in a courtyard with some undergraduates at Yale to ask about their romantic lives.
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. Wall Street culture had socialized them to tolerate high degrees of sexual crudeness, and they were also a decade past the tentative explorations of their freshman year.But they are merely the most purified sample of a much larger group of empowered college-age women.Even freshmen and sophomores are not nearly as vulnerable as we imagine them to be.One of the women had already seen the photo five times before her boyfriend showed it to her, so she just moved her pitcher of beer in front of his phone and kept on talking. I had gone to visit the business school because a friend had described the women there as the most sexually aggressive he had ever met.He’d already suggested twice that night that they go to a strip club, and when their mutual friend asked if the two of them were getting married, he gave the friend the finger and made sure his girlfriend could see it, so she wouldn’t get any ideas about a forthcoming ring. Many of them had been molded on trading floors or in investment banks with male-female ratios as terrifying as 50-to-1, so they had learned to keep pace with the boys.