They had decided that family formation was something to be shoved off to their late 30s. It seemed crazy to me - why would you imperil something that was so important by leaving it to the absolute last moment?
Tory Maguire is an Australian writer who has a column in today's Herald Sun in which she finally acknowledges that she and her friends were mistaken in wanting to delay things for so long:
I remember when I was at school having conversations with my girlfriends about how we were all going to wait until our late 30s to have kids. That gave us a whole 20 years to have a great time before starting a family, which we thought would be as easy as saying "OK, now it's time".
Of course, nothing is that simple.
Just ask Virginia Haussegger, one of the first to sound the alarm on this topic, with her 2002 column "The sins of our feminist mothers".
Haussegger argued women who were raised to believe they could put off children until their career was established were sold a lie. At the time it caused a storm and spawned a book.
Now it seems so obvious as to be ridiculous.
It's interesting how political ideas change over time. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, at the height of third wave feminism, the emphasis was all on female autonomy. What mattered was propping up female independence of men. That's one reason why the single girl lifestyle was pushed so hard for so long; it's not that women wanted to abandon marriage, but that a long delay allowed independence to be drawn out for much longer.
It wasn't easy to criticise feminism at the time - if you raised objections you were labelled sexist or misogynist. There was a lot of pressure brought to bear to suppress dissent.
Nonetheless the orthodoxy eventually cracked. I was a one man opposition on campus at the time, when a conservative documentary maker, Don Parham, made a film called Deadly Hurt which criticised feminist attitudes to domestic violence. (Don Parham has a website here)
Parham's documentary came at the right time. It allowed others to speak up and make criticisms - feminism was no longer untouchable.
And then some years ago the men's rights movement took off. Instead of just a few scattered critics of feminism like myself there was now a small movement.
The political atmosphere when it comes to feminist type topics is now very different to what it once was. For instance, Tory Maguire also published her column at an independent opinion site called The Punch. It's not, as far as I'm aware, a conservative website, but look at the cartoon and the comments accompanying the post.
That cartoon would not have been published in 1990 - it would have been thought too subversive of the political projects then underway. And though the comments aren't particularly traditionalist, nor are they written from an ideologically feminist perspective either. The conversation about whether or not to delay family hasn't been strangled as it would have been 20 years ago.
So what happened to propel the men's rights movement into existence? I am guessing that the attitude that men were supposed to adopt, that they were privileged oppressors who should devote themselves to propping up female autonomy, just became too far distant from the reality of men's lives and from what younger men were able to endure.
Another factor, perhaps, was the disruption to relationships that happened to Generation X. It became harder for men to do the normal thing of finding a female partner and then having the motivation to commit to careers. The feeling that "things aren't what they're meant to be" would have been strongly present for many men.
And there's a lesson in this for traditionalists. We shouldn't presume that Westerners will forever assent to the idea that their role is to identify with the other rather than having a collective life of their own. It might seem now that this type of belief is so orthodox that it's impregnable, but so did feminism seem to be in this position just two decades ago.
As the position of Westerners declines, the idea that we are a privileged social construct might well lose its hold on some members of the political class. That could happen particularly early in Australia, as the professions here are likely to be held increasingly by other groups.
And if that point of "unendurability" does happen, having even a small group of traditionalists would be a tremendous advantage in pushing things along. For instance, when the men's rights movement first appeared it was relatively open to suggestion. But there were too few traditionalists active in the movement and so it gradually veered toward "reimagining liberalism" rather than rejecting it. I suspect that if there had even been 20 traditionalists early on the outcome might have been different.
Is it really impossible to imagine getting a layer of traditionalists ready for opportunities that might arise in the coming years?