It’s natural for us to expect men to protect women, and for women to expect some
level of physical protection....The women interviewed in the article appear to
want someone to take charge a bit — there is an attraction to, if not a need
for, some hierarchy. And in a culture in which masculinity — well, at least in
men — is so often suspect, some women seem to be looking to reinvent the
Women want society to be divided between male and female roles because it's our nature to want to be subordinate to men, in exchange for their protection. We want to submit. It's a convenient lie, imposed on women by their parents first and society later, to force them to submit to parental authority.
Maggie Gallagher has been writing a long series of posts on why divorce should not be legal. She appears to believe that women, since they insist on having sex outside of marriage, will inevitably end up pregnant and without anyone to take care of them. Married women are vulnerable too, since men can leave them. They need and must have protection, as child-bearing vessels.
Moreover, I came to understand in an immediate, personal way that the happy talk of the cultural elites around the visible decline in marriage was not (as
they liked to tell themselves) rooted in science; it amounted to a new sexual
taboo — a polite way of avoiding big, obvious truths by covering them up with
pretty-sounding words. A society in which marriage was weakened was not simply a
society where women had more freedom. It was a society in which women were more vulnerable and millions of babies are less protected.
Mona Charen is worried that college campuses do not discourage sexual activity. Young adults having sex is a recipe for disaster, since sexual activity outside of marriage is promiscuity, and hurts one's self-worth.
Our liberal universities are officious about warning kids of the dangers of STDs, pregnancy, and date rape. But sadly, those are the only dangers they perceive in sexual license. If they cannot imagine that “sex workers” are degraded by their work, how can they begin to understand that promiscuity compromises self-worth? Many college campuses today seem bent on satisfying nearly every imaginable sexual appetite in a “non-judgmental” environment. In fact, the only people who today feel judged are those — and there are many — who reject the casual “hook-up” culture in favor of modesty, old-fashioned dating, and even (gasp) chastity. George and Londregan suggest that colleges have a duty to fund student centers for those students just as they fund centers for gay and lesbian students. It’s a good idea. But it’s sad that sexual restraint has become an alternative lifestyle.
The Faustian bargain here is pretty clear. A woman must marry for male protection during child-rearing. If she has sex she'll have a baby, and if she has a baby she'll need a man to take care of her. In return she'll receive special status as something too weak to protect itself, softer and weaker and more moral than men, treated with special consideration. She gets to feel special--just as long as she is fertile.
Our ladies never get into the rest of the story. Women age. The ideal of young, fertile womanhood needing support and protection is less appealing in an older woman. The lure of beauty is gone, the emotional tug of small children has become the insolent voice of the rebellious adolescent. Hence the need to eliminate divorce. The gender roles are not kind to older women, who must trade on their status of mothers for the rest of their lives, an eternal nightmare of reminders of dependence and need to compensate for the loss of physical attractiveness. After all, reproduction is all conservative women have. They admit they are inferior in mind and mettle; what is is left? A few superior Galtian women might transcend their limitations, but most conservative women aren't wealthy, and they feel and think that they have nothing to offer.
When your desire to be special and wanted, the same desire we all have, male and female, is subverted to control you, the advantages can be fleeting and the disadvantages galling. The discarded wife is too large a part of social myth to be ignored, no matter how hard the conservative women try. They gave up a tremendous amount of personal freedom to submit to gender roles, and their fear that it might be for nothing can be overwhelming. So we are bombarded with messages that liberal sexual freedom is bad, when the simple truth is that conservative authoritarian sexual roles and rules are subverting women's feelings of self-worth and driving them mad with insecurity and fear of abandonment. Which is where we came in.