You were asking the woman who wrote the article? I think she offers a couple of different answers to the question in the course of the article. One of which was that when she broke up with her guy that she was devastated by the result. This says to me, perhaps incorrectly, that her primary focus was on the dialogue of women with women at that time, and that she may still be. The dialogue of women with men or of women with a particular man may be something entirely different for her. Her feelings about her own mother appear mixed. That's traditionally a hard boundary to draw.
At times she seems to blame her mother and the women's movement for her difficulties, at times she blames her self, at times and to a lesser extent, men in general. I don't think she ever actually blames women's expectations of men in general or men's expectations of women. She seems to try to be honest about her confusion and to try to dish up some political history and some sociology on the way.
I like to think that I'd be able to write that directly about these issues, using myself as a skeleton to hang an article around, but I think I'd get all tripped up in trying to make myself sound like a better guy than I am in the process: Kinder, more insightful, more forgiving, more loving, less offensive.
I dunno, John. An acknowledgement of how the woman's narcissism overcame her wish to connect to the guy who mattered most to her so far in her life — the way I read it — is a degree of honesty I'm not sure I'd have in writing about something so basic. I like to think I'd have it, but I can't be sure; and somebody with that degree of honesty won't always be able to muster it for the questions we want them to answer.
What I think is that she didn't think about what the guys were supposed to do at that time. I think she was pretty much completely obsessed with what a woman's job was, and what she was supposed to do with her life. I think it's her generations gender equivalent of the old John Wayne line, "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."
It was basically nonsense when some scriptwriter had Wayne say it, and it's nonsense when a full grown woman says it in all seriousness about a life choice like the one the author of the article was talking about. That doesn't mean that a generation of people or more didn't take either line with absolute seriousness. I forget if it's Marx or Engles who talks about the concept of "mystified oppression." Even if you aren't a lefty like me, it's still a brilliant idea. It means the way people are taken in by cultural norms and obsessions and allow them to take over what's meaningful in their lives rather than the things that are more dependably meaningful.
In one of our American Traditions, for example, it means getting caught up in whose Christmas gift cost more rather than whether or not the other person was able to make you feel valued and loved. Getting baffled by the BS, in other words.
What do you think the actual question here is between men and women, that if if we're able to put aside the BS and focus on what we miss from each other, what we'd like to get and what we'd like to give?
If this is too much a stretch from what you're trying to look at, forgive me, and try to reframe the question in some way that I can perhaps address more directly with you. It's something I could learn from talking about.