Women think they will find the same fulfillment men do in a job instead of a family, though the majority do not. In the realm of sexuality, women have also made an attempt follow in the footsteps of men.
An emerging and troubling trend is female college students who not only engage in casual hookups, but do so with the specific intent of staying unattached.
For an innocuous hook-up to happen as the result of alcohol, or in the aftermath of the dizzying excitement of a party, is standard. Maybe that’s not reassuring, but those sorts of encounters are not novel.
But for women to go to college and consider the men there only for the purposes of casual sex – that is new and frightening.
It’s one of the more startling aspects of the recent New York Times feature “Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too,” a lengthy piece published last weekend that chronicled the sexual activities of more than 60 female University of Pennsylvania students during the last school year.
These Penn women cited many reasons for keeping things casual. Some said it was a matter of time: they were so busy with school, work, and clubs that there was simply no time to invest in creating a healthy relationship.
But of course, there is time if you make time. If fostering a relationship were as important to these women as their careers, they would carve time out for one. This answer reveals something deeper – that women’s priorities have changed. They rank professional success over having a family.
It’s sad, because women have bought the line that their fulfillment comes from work. It’s simply not true: for the majority of women, their happiness will come when they have a husband and children to care for. But because women so badly want to emulate men, they imagine they will find fulfillment in the same places. Unfortunately, most women do not, and they end up feeling empty.
Some women said that the uncertainty post-graduation is what kept them from establishing a solid relationship. They do not know where they will move for a job or graduate school, and they worry about the strain it would cause.
One female co-ed told the Times such uncertainty is “just too much to even ask anyone to commit to.”
A person who says that has completely missed the essence of a relationship, which is something two people work on, and that sometimes involve sacrifices.
It seems women today expect the perfect man to be ready for them after they graduate. This would explain the female student who said of college relationships: “I don’t want to go through those changes with you. I want you to have changed and become enough of your own person so that when you meet me, we can have a stable life and be very happy.”
This view is not wholly realistic. Even if the man and woman are settled, a lot is going to change and need to be worked on, just by the nature of it being a relationship. But unfortunately, young people nowadays expect life to be handed to them ready-to-go. Work is a thing to be avoided at all costs – except as it applies to women working over creating a family. (Follow the logic? Me neither.)
The oddest reason that the women at Penn gave for avoiding commitment was “they assumed someone better would always come along.”
I wonder if they apply the same logic to any internship or job offer they might get. Imagine the conversation with friends. “Yeah, they offered me a paid internship and said there was the possibility of getting a full-time job afterward. But I turned them down, because something better might come along.” Her friends would probably slap her and tell her that she’s crazy to pass up such an opportunity.
So why is the attitude toward committed relationships so skewed?
Is it just that the sex is so good? It must be for the women who admitted that she and her hook-up buddy “don’t really like each other in person, sober…we literally can’t sit down and have coffee.” So plain sex with no attachments is okay, because you’re a woman! You’re strong! And if men can do this thing, this casual sex thing and be happy, then so can you!
It’s sad. It’s all just sad. Who is being honest with these women, and all other women at universities around the country? Who tells us that we won’t be happy this way, that (for most of us) our families and homes will bring us the greatest joy? The number of people doing so is dwindling. And it does not bode well for the future of womanhood.
The feminist movement hates male, chauvinist pigs so much that they want to be exactly like them.
Fix contributor Emily Yavitch is a student at San Diego State University.