Suzanne Fields

The victimized intern is typical of young women today who are confused over how to manage their sexuality as they move into a larger world where they're taught to act "just like a man." In an Atlantic magazine cover story, "All the Single Ladies," Kate Bolick writes about the downside of the "hook-up" culture where high-status men still exercise the power of sex. She describes the diminishment of men in the current culture, but the men who still call the shots for the sexual slots, first in college and then in the work world, are big enough.

The captain of the college football team morphs into the successful man about town (in politics, business, entertainment) often with an official girlfriend, or even a wife. But he maintains a "soft harem" on the side. Kate Bolick visits the popular blog HookingUpSmart.com, which tracks the current dating world of young singles where casual sex is the norm and young women are subject to a sultan-like exploiter with "neo-concubines who service him in the barroom, bathroom or wherever the beer is flowing." Such young women are always willing, no matter how demeaning.

"There used to be more assortative mating, where a '5' would date a '5,''" she writes. "But now every woman who is a '6' and above wants the hottest guy on campus, and she can have him -- for one night." Such hook-ups are powered less by the liberation of lust or sensual pleasure than by a narrow social conformity that reduces women to objects, as in the old patriarchy. This makes the rewards of marriage and children even more elusive and difficult to attain -- and maintain.

Since we began by quoting "Julius Caesar," it's only fitting to recall another famous line of the Bard: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."


Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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