The Success of Feminism

(Or, rather, the “success” of feminism.) An article in The Atlantic examines how good the hookup culture has been for women. No, seriously, that’s what it says:

But this analysis downplays the unbelievable gains women have lately made, and, more important, it forgets how much those gains depend on sexual liberation. Single young women in their sexual prime—that is, their 20s and early 30s, the same age as the women at the business-­school party—are for the first time in history more success­ful, on average, than the single young men around them. They are more likely to have a college degree and, in aggregate, they make more money. What makes this remarkable development possible is not just the pill or legal abortion but the whole new landscape of sexual freedom—the ability to delay marriage and have temporary relationships that don’t derail education or career. To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture.

Yes, women have enjoyed a great deal of success lately. But the unstated assumption of the article and of modern feminism in general is that “success” equals “being more like men.” Relationships, family, things that women have traditionally sought… these are not success; they are obstacles to success. Women who make an effort to achieve these things are failures. Success is only measured by the standards of men, and not just any men, but the coarsest, basest men: money, status, sexual conquests.

The success of feminism is that it has eliminated the concept of femininity. And this is considered a great achievement. If feminism were a conspiracy by men to make women give them everything they want with no strings attached, it wouldn’t look any different.

Update (and bumped): Hey, The Anchoress says–kind of, sort of–the same thing:

How utterly depressing. The sexual revolution and its illusory notion of “having it all” has folded in upon itself to forge a chain-link of perfect irony: 21st Century women have become precisely the shallow, insincere, career-fixated, corporate people-users that early feminists decried. 

Women were going to teach men how to be human, remember? Instead, they’ve become everything they claimed to hate.

If feminism was secretly a conspiracy run by men, it wouldn’t look any different.

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