In this depressing self-reflection, a Yale senior comes out as “Tali,” the pseudonym Hannah Rosin assigned to a jaded college girl she interviewed for her epically deluded opus to feminism, The End of Men. Tali, aka Raisa Bruner, stands on the promises of “female empowerment” and falls flat on her face:
We all know that college is as much about self-discovery as it is about academia. Bring together 1,000 high-strung young adults. Add the pungent kick-starter of alcohol, splash on some loud music, stick these bodies together in a dark room. Stir.
When I was a freshman, I took full advantage of that scene: I certainly thought there were plenty of fish in the college sea. Plus, all the attention was fun. Then, like many of my friends and peers, I slowly realized that “fun” wasn’t enough for me.
“Sometime during sophomore year, her feelings changed,” [Hannah] Rosin writes of Tali. “She got tired of relatioships that just faded away, ‘no end, no beginning.’ … 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.”
All Raisa Bruner wants is to be asked out, to be shown respect by a man, for him to buy her a $3 treat without being obvious about wanting to get into her pants. The college pricks cavorting about the margins of Bruner’s life can’t muster even that. That says as much about Bruner and her female comrades at Yale than it does about men. When it comes to women, respect isn’t so much earned as asked for. Don’t demand respect, don’t get respect.
The Rosin narrative suggests that feminism exists most progressively and positively when women just stop caring about having serious relationships with men. At Yale, where success is more highly valued than probably anything else — where ambition is a given, achievement an expectation and hard work a mantra — participation in the hookup culture might be a way of liberating oneself from the constraints of the traditional boyfriend-girlfriend mumbo-jumbo. Not caring is a form of empowerment, one that we use more and more often.
Not caring. Simple as that!
“I would be so happy with myself if I could just feel nothing,” [my friend’s roommate] says. She just wants to not care anymore — to be able to get to some kind of a Zen, SWUG state of mind. But is that even a thing? If that’s what being a SWUG is supposed to be providing me with, I’m not so sure it’s living up to its own reputation. I think back to Hanna Rosin’s thesis of female empowerment through not caring.
The truth is, I still care. And everyone I know still cares.
Since she brought it up, indifference to how much your life sucks because it’s built on a contradiction of human nature is kinda hard.
SWUG, by the way, means Senior Washed-Up Girl. SCOF is better: Suffering Consequences of Feminism.
When feminism’s mythological foundations collapse under the weight of reality, and we fall back to earth as Raisa Bruner has, as I have, as millions of Millennials have, it’s an opportunity to assess how we really should be living. May I suggest we look to the pre-’60s past, which miserable people tell us over and over was terrible, and yet people were happier then. May I suggest what sustained a people for thousands of years: fearing God, and following the way He sets for us.
Related reading: “The logic of ‘choice.’”