The man drought has sent our mating rituals into orbit and given all the power to men.
It goes against the natural order of things. Men are supposed to hunt and pursue, not be lazy, badly behaved schmucks who can take it or leave it whenever they fancy.
And women are supposed to be alluring and hard to get in order to attract the best mate they can, not throwing themselves at any mate they can.
We're supposed to believe that there are so few men in Melbourne that hapless women are forced to accept whatever they can get:
At the moment men are blissfully coasting along in "I'm-so-hot-right-now" mode - picking, discarding and picking again with ruthless abandon. And women are quietly petrified, competing against each other for a scarce resource.
I don't buy it. There are heaps of single men in Melbourne. And if women were selecting and rewarding men for decent behaviour, then men would quickly adapt and behave decently.
I'd interpret Sally Bennett's article differently. The sexual revolution has meant that women haven't selected men for qualities needed for marriage or even for romantic relationships. If women are selecting men instead for sex, then they are free to select men who come across as bad, dangerous, cocky, needy, unpredictable and unsuitable.
So, what if you are by instinct a reliable good guy type? You might be lucky and marry early, thereby dropping out of the field of candidates. Or you might marry overseas. Or you might get demoralised and resign yourself to bachelorhood. Or you might adapt and begin to care less about how you treat women, thereby gaining an advantage of sorts.
So the field narrows to men who confidently play the game, who are no longer oriented to treating women in an old-fashioned respectful way, and who perhaps really do find themselves with the upper hand.
Sally Bennett is now tired of it. Perhaps she's reached an age where she wants a relationship and so is looking for other qualities in a man. Or perhaps the dynamic has gone so far that it's lost its appeal; maybe the remaining single men in Sally Bennett's social circle can afford to be so cavalier that women like Sally Bennett are now having second thoughts.
Her solution? A traditional one of playing harder to get. The problem is that if she alone plays harder to get, nothing will change. So she suggests that women play harder to get en masse:
Men, never forget that the bond between female friends runs thicker than blood. Once women have caught on to the fact they are being royally conned, you can expect a drought of your own...
So, single ladies, be brave and call their bluff ... Choose quality time with the girls over mediocre experiences with men and hold out until the level of decency has been restored to its former glory.
Interesting that the feminist sexual revolution should come to all this. Sally Bennett isn't feeling the empowerment it was supposed to bring her; in fact, she thinks empowerment might come in the opposite direction - in holding back a bit sexually.
The problem is you don't get women acting together in this way through a call to arms by a newspaper columnist. The sisterhood is not as cohesive as this.
There's a better solution, at least for young women. If women really don't want to end up in Sally Bennett's position they can be ready to partner a bit earlier in life. They can then catch the wave of men who are ready to settle down in their mid-20s.
This is the trend I've noticed amongst my own acquaintances. Whereas the over 30s women are still doing the sexual revolution thing and chasing bad/damaged/needy boys who don't ever quite commit, the under 25s are already married/engaged/partnered.
And these are highly educated, attractive women who have found some impressive men to settle down with.
I suspect that is how the sexual revolution ends. Not with older women attempting to reform Hugh Grant types by threatening to date amongst themselves rather than with men. But with younger women choosing something else while they can.