But let's look at the paragraph where she allows herself to says something that doesn't fit quite so neatly into her praise for the wonderful, hypercompetent women of today:
On some deep level, there's a generalized feeling that women's vulnerability equals the guarantee of receiving a reliable supply of their love and care. There's an anxiety that if women become too strong, too independent, we won't be able to count on them to nurture and they won't need love. Because men, children and (not to put too fine a point upon it) the whole edifice of human civilization depend on women's willingness to nurture, it's scary to take a step into the unknown -- to see if women will continue to love if they're really free to choose whether to do so. (We will, of course, but it will take a generation or so of proof for everyone to calm down about it.)Oh, no! A scary thought! Wolf immediately inserts a parenthetical denying that the liberation of women could actually upset something significant. And don't think she's the one who's scared by the cause and effect she was able to envision.
It's your problem: Calm down. Surely, you don't want to be among the retrograde characters who are going to take "a generation or so of proof." What's with these people not instinctively seeing how good progress simply must be? They actually need to see and observe the consequences of social change before they can join me and all the other good people who know that this will all work out for the best?
But let's think about these deep feelings. What if many of the most competent, strong, and independent women choose to not to form families? What if the ability to do everything for yourself gives rise a preference for remaining free of all of the extra burden of taking care of the needs of others? What if ambition to excel in public life causes many women to embrace the simplicity and freedom of an independent private life? These are perfectly rational questions, not mere hysteria or antifeminism. Wolf tries to package the questions away into the matter of whether women will "continue to love," which is a crude simplication. Oh, yes, Naomi, love, love, love. We'll always want to love.
And then it's back to the boosterism: Women are soooooo competent.
Of course, there's a much easier way to explain our obsession with celebrity screw-ups. Why do we stare at a car wreck instead of constantly marveling at all the cars that proceed expeditiously along the highway without incident? What's with all this news from a war zone when there so many peace zones? Why does the newspaper have an obituary page instead of running notices telling us that people are not dead yet?