In short, Hanna Rosin supports the sexual revolution because it allows women to use short term relationships as a way of delaying family formation till their mid to late 30s. She recognises that this causes a player culture to develop amongst men, which brings "heartache" to women, but thinks this is a worthwhile trade-off for women gaining power and autonomy through careers in their 20s and early 30s.
Here's part of her piece:
But now the sexual revolution has deepened into a more permanent kind of power for women. Young women in their sexual prime—that is, their 20s and early 30s—are generally better off than young men. They are better educated and earn more money on average. What made this possible is the sexual revolution—the ability to have temporary, intimate relationships that don't derail a career. Or to put it more simply, to have sex without getting married.
It's true that the new wave of girl sitcoms and single-girl memoirs these days are full of complaints about boys who won't commit. But you have to take these complaints with a grain of salt. These days the problem in the dating market is caused not by women's eternal frailty but by their new dominance. In a world where women in their 20s are, on average, more successful than men, dating becomes complicated. Women no longer need men for financial security and social influence. They can achieve those things by themselves. No one is in a hurry to get married, and sex is, by the terms of sexual economics, very cheap. When sex is cheap, more men turn into what the sociologist Mark Regnerus calls "free agents." They sleep with as many women as possible basically, because they can.
The result is that the women suffer through a lot of frustrating little dating battles. But this is only a small part of the picture. Women these days understand that their sexual freedom—even if it causes them some amount of heartache—is necessary for their future success. As an in-depth 2004 study of the hookup culture by University of Michigan researcher Elizabeth Armstrong showed, women are not, as the stereotype goes, always pining for marriage while the men turn them away; quite the opposite. Women use their temporary college relationships as a "delay tactic," Ms. Armstrong writes, because their immediate priority is setting themselves up for a career. Thanks to the sexual revolution, they can have relationships—and maybe some drama—through their 20s and early 30s and not get tied down with a husband and babies. If the price is a little more heartache, so be it. These days women have a lot more important things on their horizon.
It is important that women understand this clearly. Hanna Rosin is not offering a "you can have it all" scenario to women. She is being honest about what feminists value. She does not care if women do not experience love and motherhood when they are in their sexual prime. Family formation is to be delayed to the last moment, when women have passed their sexual prime, in favour of careers, as careers are thought to offer power (over men) and autonomy (from men).
Hanna Rosin is dismissive of the idea that a woman might prioritise the goals of marriage and motherhood; she writes that women have "a lot more important things on their horizon".
It is not a well thought out plan. If women pursue relationships as a "delay tactic," that means they are likely to favour inappropriate men (i.e. men who aren't marriage prospects). Young men will pick up on the fact that women are no longer favouring family man qualities. So if men are encouraged to ditch family man qualities, then who will these women eventually find to marry them when they are 35? Or 40?
And what will happen to the women themselves? If they sleep around with inappropriate men for 15 years, will they really still be capable of stable pair bonding when they are 35?
Will men who have been encouraged to be players in their 20s, and who have gained confidence in approaching the women of their choice, really be willing to settle down with older women? Won't they tend to favour younger, more fertile women?
And what will be left of "reproductive choice" when a woman starts to look for the right sort of man when she is 35? By the time she's found one, spent time with him, gotten engaged and married, she'll be in her late 30s. She'll then have to rely on luck that she's a woman who can still conceive at that age. Many women will end up missing out on the opportunity to have children, or to have the number of children they want.
Finally, most women end up scaling back their work commitments by their 40s anyway. So what was the great damage to relationships all for? What purpose does it really achieve? Should a woman really give up on love and marriage and motherhood just so feminists like Hanna Rosin can brag about women doing better than men in their 20s?
Hanna Rosin is inflicting serious losses on both women and men. Both women and men will be left to mourn the youthful love that will never be, the children that will never be and the grandchildren that will never be seen.
A traditionalist culture would decisively reject the values held by Hanna Rosin. It would put love - marital love and parental love - as a higher value than the autonomy or power gained through careers. It would encourage women to act in a timely way, when still in their sexual prime, to marry well and to have children.