Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pimping Out the Coeds

Certainly, it feels harsh to say, as I have been wont to, that young women, especially college coeds are being pimped out. Others prefer to use the slightly more glamorous name of the hookup culture. Whatever you call it, it seems decidedly disrespectful of young women.

I have also had occasion to say that the current furor over “rape culture” on college campuses seems to be an effort to shut down the hookup culture. One would think that raising the cost basis of random drunken sexual encounters would diminish their appeal and their frequency.

I may have spoken too soon. After reading Suzy Lee Weiss’s account of her freshman year at the University of Michigan, I am having doubts. ( via Maggie’s Farm) Apparently, the hookup culture is alive and well. One would like to call it drunken debauchery but it sounds like much less fun than that.

As Weiss describes it, that college administrators and the fraternity system have conspired to sacrifice the honor and dignity of these young women.

Even before these first-year coeds are thrown to the tender mercies of the fraternity system the university prepares them. Should we say that the administration, in a strange way, grooms them? Or that the administration, acting in loco parentis, is setting down guidelines for good sexual behavior… in a context that does not involve dating.

Weiss describes her experience:

During the first six weeks of my freshman year, I attended no fewer than four "safe sex" seminars. I've watched a sex educator slip a blue condom onto a dildo before a room of 200 18-year-olds; witnessed a 30-minute fight between a student and a peer advisor over whether a nod counted as consent; and participated in a mock date proposal to practice how to politely turn someone down. ("No, thanks.")

I've clicked and peer-discussed my way through myriad sexual scenarios, many of which explored the gray zone of drunken sexual encounters. What if it's happening late in the afternoon on a Sunday after four shots, but before a solar eclipse, and she said she didn't want to go too far but seemed really into it?

If the statistics and headlines are to be believed, never has there been more assault and rape on American colleges campuses. Yet the same time, never before in the history of the American college student has there been more open, and increasingly procedural, talk about how to have sex.

Of course, the statistics and headlines have been vigorously contested. Be that as it may, one comes away with the impression that the college administration is telling these young girls that it is good to have sex… consensual, of course… protected, of course… because it is the normal thing to do.

Since college freshmen are especially desirous of fitting in, of being like the other students, any official message that tells their vulnerable souls what they need to do to fit in, will exercise an outsized influence on their behavior.

Can there be any doubt that these young women are being told that they should put this knowledge to use, that it is normal to do so?

Somewhat timidly, Weiss suggests that the college administrators’ emphasis on the mechanics of sex and on which words might or might not constitute consent among drunken teenagers ignores the emotional side of the equation. Assuming that the emotional connection is especially important to young women, the lectures are treating these women as though they were men.

Or better, a caricature of men. By ignoring the relationship side of the sexual equation and failing to respect human beings as something more than organs and orifices, educators diminish and demean everyone, but especially women.

Weiss explains:

With free STD testing and countless free condoms lobbed down the stairwells of dorms across the country, there is doubtlessly more "safe sex." But dental dams don't protect feelings. I'm not talking here about sexual assault, but about sex of the consensual but haphazard variety.

Weiss continues to describe what is called the “date party.” She makes it sound more like choosing an escort for the evening than like what used to be called mixers:

Take the date party — a traditional rite of passage of [insert your favorite Greek letters here] — in which pairings are arranged through mutual friends. Everyone wants to get invited, but a girl will only be asked if she is all but certain to put out. Often times, a boy's profile picture will be posted in a sorority-wide group text, with a comment along the lines of: "Who's interested? His date party is this weekend."

Then, a few texts will be exchanged between the duo. "What type of alcohol do you want?" and "The pregame starts at 8" are among the vital logistical concerns. No one goes to date party to talk about their childhood dreams in a corner of a loud dance club or the basement of a frat.

Combine the unspoken promise of some sort of sexual encounter with a heavy pregame- and sometimes even a pregame to the pregame — and the result is exactly what you'd expect. Order your Ubers early, ladies; chances are no one is making you pancakes. And certainly don't expect a text the next day.

Call it the Walmartification of sex: It's cheap, quick, easy and not built to last.

“ … all but certain to put out…” about what kind of women would you use that phrase?

Naturally, Weiss finds someone to hook up with. She does not call it a friends-with-benefits arrangement, but clearly she is being used. Of course, this is what her sex educators and peers were encouraging her to do, so she keeps hoping that she is involved in a relationship:

The weeks proceeded, our awkward daytime interactions a necessary hurdle to get to the parties and late nights where our "romance" would flourish. Coming back from a suspiciously non-communicative winter break, I found him distant and brusque. A few days of nervously — and obsessively — checking my phone culminated in pathetic display of waterworks and pent-up hysteria on a frat house lawn.

I imagined an enthusiastic reunion. Or at least a wave. He simply walked away, leaving in his wake the girlish monster we had both created.

The sad part is that he technically did nothing wrong. We weren't dating and hadn't even defined ourselves as exclusive for fear that if either of us assigned a label it would indicate that we wanted to go stroller shopping for our future child the next day.

One friend was similarly stung when she found out the boy she had hooked up with was in an open relationship with someone else. Another slept with someone all year who would only commit to the cringe-worthy expression "hanging out." The vast majority refused to be tied down in any way, citing a desire for "the real freshman experience."

Are we talking about a real freshman experience or a girlfriend experience?

I do not think that we are stretching things to say that Weiss might very have come away from her initiation and grooming feeling used, abused, disrespected and even violated.

Since she was fully consenting she does not see it that way, but she is right to object that her initiation into college sex was a transaction where she gave herself up and got nothing in return, not even a nod of recognition.

But she is not correct when she writes this:

Sexual assault-and various shades of not-totally-consensual episodes — is a real problem on college campuses, including my own. And I don't think that a return to old-fashioned mating rituals would do away with the problem.

In truth, the current college sexual scene, which resembles something that used to be called a meat market, came about because certain people decided that old-fashioned mating rituals were disrespectful to women. Would a return to the latter solve the problem? It would certainly go a long way toward that end. Compared to today’s hookup culture, old fashioned dating rituals were a model of decorum and respect.

Be that as it may, Weiss ends her essay with a cri de coeur to her feminist foremothers:

As a feminist, I ask: Is this the victory feminism imagined for itself?

I am confident that this is not what feminism imagined. And yet, as the old saying goes: you broke it, you own it. Feminism overthrew the old mating rituals. Even though feminist opinion is sharply divided on these questions, feminism bears some responsibility for the way Suzy Lee Weiss and her fellow coeds were pimped out in college.

If you prefer not to think such thoughts, you can also ask yourself whether Weiss-- had she not been a feminist-- would have done what she did.


priss rules said...

In a way, this is the result of contraception and antibiotics.

Before there was effective/reliable contraception and antibiotics(for treatment of various VD's), sexual acts led to CONSEQUENCES. Pregnancy or disease, often painful and deadly. Horrific in the case of Syphilis. Also, there were cultural consequences in a society where shame and honor mattered. Shotgun marriage for young men who get ladies pregnant. But culture of shame and honor are gone. Men are not brought up to be like Vito Corleone.

So, people in the past had to think of not only sex but of the consequences of sex.

Now, contraception and better medicine are a good thing. With low infant mortality in the modern world, we don't need women having lots of kids. In the past, even a rich women could have 5 kids and lose 3 or even all of them. Today, very few babies die in infancy. Also, as VD's are terrible, it's good to have medicine to treat them.

But the downside is people approach sex more casually, thoughtlessly, excessively, trashily, wantonly. They know they can indulge in it without worrying about pregnancy and disease. Also, there is no moral stigma for sexually loutish behavior.
The New Pride is associated with men who do sodomy and with cops who act like this in public:


So, there is no counter-balance against out-of-control sexual behavior. End result is the gross culture of Lena Dunham and Seth Rogan.
There used to be a time when porn culture(red-light district stuff) and mainstream culture were kept separate. Now, they've merged.

Imagine what would happen to food culture if someone created a pill that negates the harm of over-eating. Though there are lots of fat people(partly due to loss of stigma to being grossly fat), many people still control what they eat and exercise because they know that over-eating has CONSEQUENCES: it leads to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, ugliness, and etc.
But imagine if a certain pill prevents all the harm resulting from over-eating. So, a woman can eat a whole cake, two chickens, a box of donuts, drink a case of Coke, and etc, and then take the pill. She remains slim and healthy. The pill negates the consequences of over-eating, just like the Birth Control Pill negates the consequences of sex.
But what will become of her eating behavior? She will now think it's okay to eat like a pig since she can always just take the pill afterward and avoid the consequences of over-eating. The pill may be good for her health but encourages her to eat like a glutton.
In a way, the contraceptive and antibiotics have turned women into 'sluttons'. Sluttony is what prevails in society with garbage like Sex and City, Desperate Housewives, Girls, and tons of other trash programs that says INDULGE, INDULGE, and INDULGE since technology now negates the consequences of excess and wantonness.
It saves the body but coarsens and rots the soul.

Sam L. said...

This is what the Feminists wanted, and what they've demanded that the colleges support. Sex weeks. Dildo demonstrations. Live sex demonstrations. One wonders why anyone would let a daughter go to college these days.

David Foster said...

So, if the message is "Steve's date party is this weekend. Who's interested?"....and no one responds favorably...isn't that a microagression? Or even a macroaggression?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I know that a solid plurality of people believe that the Roman Catholic Church is almost medieval in its outlook, behind the times, foolish in its expectations of the "real world." "Humanae Vitae" (1968) was the last papal encyclical by Pope Paul VI during his pontificate, that he was scarred by the rebuke and consternation in the church -- a widespread revolt.

But I have to say that Pope Paul VI was correct in his teaching, in the dangers he saw in contraception for relations between men and women. Virtually all the predictions/prophecy he offered have come true. He said women would be devalued, and men marginalized. The sex act and reckless pursuit of pleasure would win the day. And they have.

His four core predictions:
1. Infidelity and moral decline (Widespread contraceptive would "lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality.")
2. Lost respect for women ("the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.")
3. Abuse of power ( "dangerous weapon... in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies.")
4. Unlimited dominion (that the individual is in control of their own body and can alter it at will, leading to a belief that we can alter human life in general)

The sex act has been separated from the gravity of its procreative consequence, and is now primarily viewed as a source of pleasure -- and a committed relationship is now a wholly dispensable option... if it is considered at all.

What is described here in this post is not sex education at freshman orientation to protect the wicked Bible hillbillies from their ignorance. This is rapid, intentional indoctrination into a value system that devalues men and women and empowers the base desires we all have. This at an age where human bodies and minds are still forming, while thinking of little else than the basest desires.

This is part of my concern about the secular value system that is either postured as (a) materialistically objective; (b) inclusive to people of all faiths; or (c) devoid of religion because of the possibility of imminent theocracy. Well, what is to fill that void of values, morality, ethics and spirituality of what it means to be a human person? What we see here is an evangelization movement to convert young people to an anything-goes value system. This isn't a discovery/seeker path, this is telling young people what they represent for each other. You are changing how they view each other, and it is hardly humanistic, it is animalistic.

This is what we've gotten at the end of this rationalist desire for secularization and freedom of conscience for the unbeliever, couched in the noblest, most emotional terms possible. We now have the non-believers' value system, morals, ethics and materialist worldview endorsed by college authorities. We've taken a suspicion of clerics and religious division over dogma and replaced it with a dogmatic secular materialism. It is a faith like any other: it is faith in its own rigid dogma, it's absolutist secularity and its unquestioned materialism. This leads to relativism or nihilism. This is willful temptation, followed by callous abandonment.

My point is that religion is being run out of the public sphere and being replaced, not removed. There are physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual consequences to this movement, and we are not having a conversation about it.

Instead, we are met with vacant questions like "Whose values?" Yes, indeed... WHOSE values ARE we following now? hat is infuriating to me is this laissez-faire, faux intellectual attitude about the freedom gained by driving religious views out of the public sphere. That's a void that some worldview is going to step into. The idea that secularity is somehow releasing people from coercions of conscience is nonsense. It creates an opening for new standards of right and wrong.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

We need a better definition of what a "religion" is. If we are thinking of a god, rituals, rites, clergy, doctrine, symbols, etc. then there are lots of things that could meet all or many of those factors. Hell, a university with a football team would suffice.

I don't understand how believing in nothing -- that the material universe and its natural forces are all there is, and the rest of life is a vacant, meaningless wasteland with us in it -- because your personal sense of "reason" informs you. I'm not clear why that is not itself a religious viewpoint in some way. In that sense, many of these cases about religious symbols on public property are just fights between dogmatic metaphysical materialists advancing their own views. Atheists are strident in their contemptuousness for religious views of the dignity of the human person and his conscience.

What we're really talking about is metaphysics, and the rationalist/materialist view is very clear: there is no metaphysics beyond what our senses tell us: what we can see, touch, smell, taste, etc. That is itself a dogmatic view. Therein contained is a very clear concept of who man is and his role in the universe: we are mere carbon lifeforms; and silly ones at that. In the more immediate sense, we're just another animal fighting it out in our ecosystem. So while we're at it, I'd like to be informed on where their ideas on human rights come from. Otherwise, we have Nietzsche's nightmare of the "superman" and power for its own sake. But that seems adequately meaningless for people, and supports their nihilistic worldview, which is a dogmatic refutation intended to demolish any other cosmology and replace it with nihilism. To quote old Friederich, we killed God.

So there is no escape, and there is no reasonable, rational human on a white stallion -- beating back the forces of religious darkness -- to leave man in s a state of freedom to fend for himself. Holding such a belief informs a metaphysical dogmatic materialism, which is its own article of faith. Advancing it to clear another perspective out of the public square is similarly an act of faith intended to deliver a desirable (for some) result that reflects an ideological worldview. How is that different than religion?

We created the modern, post-Repormatipon separation of church and state as a fix for the years of terrible religious war that tore apart Europe. We are now employing that "fix" to rid society of religion, not just pacify its sometimes dark consequences. But by doing to we are also sweeping aside its positive possibilities, which are well-documented yet ignored by opponents. When we move beyond a display of a creche or the Ten Commandments on public property, and take the secular crusade into purging religious thought, we are toying with mind control, brainwashing and re-education. In short, indoctrination. Just like the communists did. This is the logical outcome of a secular humanism without limits or boundaries, and it becomes a threat to the dignity of man himself. But that's metaphysical nonsense, right? Just don't use your next breath to bore me with impassioned pleas of human rights and social justice, because there's nothing objective that says we have to have them. Individual dignity? Well, well... where'd that idea come from?

This is a battle of ideas regarding the most powerful existential questions we have. And the game is increasingly being rigged by secular humanism and absolute materialism as a counter to other traditional concepts of metaphysics. Sounds like a pretty rigid, close-minded view of those who differ with you. Isn't that what the atheists say about religious people? Sounds like a replacement strategy. A new religion, of sorts.

Back to the joys of pimping out our girls...

Ares Olympus said...

On the positive front, I went to a cousin's daughter's high school graduation open house on Sunday, and talked to another cousin's daughter who started college last year out of state, and I met her boyfriend who goes to a different college.

I was surprised by their devotion, that they apparently plan to keep their long distance relationship going, but thinking afterwards it made a certain clever sense. At least it makes for an easy answer if someone expresses interest in them, they're both "taken", so no pressure, and they can focus on school, and no-pressure friendships of any gender, where they can be themselves. On the other hand, it wasn't clear what they plan to do if suddenly they find they don't want to have an excuse to decline flurting back.

I remember in college getting pressured to drink, or specifically a friend was a bit uncomfortable making a fool of himself under the influence and exposed to people like me who were not, and I didn't know why I didn't drink so I said my parents didn't drink, and he accepted that. But really I was probably too proud to want to make a fool of myself, or at least I wanted to be aware when I was doing so, so I'd stop it sooner than later. Or maybe I was cheap, and why pay for something that tastes bad?

You'd think with a legal drinking age of 21 that alcohol wouldn't be a problem through the majority of college, but I never met a single young person who felt being underage was a reason not to drink if they wanted to. And since it was illegal, and sneaky it also means that youth are only intoxicated when they are completely outside of adult supervision.

That would seem to be something to address. If you're going to make something illegal, you'd better make the costs of being caught high. And if you get rid of the intoxication, perhaps bad decisions will be reduced? I wonder if we could test that hypothesis?

Anonymous said...

This is not what feminist wanted or asked for. Many feminist are deeply saddened by the hook up culture and the increased objectification of women involved in it. Ask any over 40 feminist. Unfortunately, many words regarding empowerment used by the early generations of feminist were effectively co-opted by mass media and advertising. Women being truly equal and thinking for themselves is no good for mass consumerism which needs to package "woman" so they packaged "empowerment" to include stilettos, makeup and cosmetic surgery.

In general I agree with your conclusions. Just please don't peg this disaster on feminist without at least asking some over 30 women who identify as such what they think of this. You could just as easily blame hippies.

I'm single. The day a man properly asks me out on a date I'll consider dating again. It'll feel so novel for a man to do so that unless I see some red flags I'll say "yes". Yes, if we bring back some of the traditional dating rituals we would be better off. We'd be better off as long as we incorporate some of the things we've learned along with. No one that wants an equal partnership really wants to return to the days where a woman can have her social standing ruined by the perception of being a slut or days when men were told to hide their feelings lest they be considered weak.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I agree that most feminists did not want or ask for the current state of affairs in colleges. And yet, as the old saying goes--you broke it, you own it-- when you militate to change customs and mores, to the point that you succeed in teaching people that the old rules of courtship and dating are a plot against women, you are effectively responsible for the fallout. When the Bush administration invaded Iraq it believed that the outcome would be quite different from what it became in the immediate aftermath. The Bush administration did not want or ask for the insurgency, but it was responsible for it and needed to deal with it.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I think the committed feminists did want the the present state of affairs. It creates more angry women, and thus more lesbians. Most committed feminists are ugly, academic or artistic lesbians who aren't interested in men anyway. They're Leftists, which means. They seek destruction. They are destroyers. They're not willing to own anything they break. They wanted to break it in the first place. The Revolution needs dead bodies to raise the stakes and gain more recruits. Cynical? I don't think so. The anger is the furnace, and it needs more shattered lives to fuel it.