Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hooking Up and the Rape Culture

Oft times it appears that the hookup culture was invented by adolescent men as a way to talk women out of their clothes. It appears that these boys invented hooking up by persuading women that they really wanted sex as much as men did. They added that, since the apotheosis of male sexual behavior lay in random sex acts with anonymous people, then women, in the name of equality, should do exactly the same thing.

In truth, in the world of prostitution men are currently seeking what is called the “girlfriend experience,” not exactly hookup territory.  Since young feminists certainly do not want to be girlfriends, someone had to fill the gap.

To be less facetious, the hookup culture was not invented by adolescent males. It was encouraged, implicitly and at times explicitly, by feminists who resented the fact that men were having more mindless and meaningless sex than women were. Besides, if women must defer marriage and childbearing, they will want more than what the Rabbit can provide.

Feminists are the masters—or mistresses—of bad advice, of advice that hurts women. So they had to deal with the unpleasant fact that when women hook up men are less likely to respect them in the morning, and far less likely to ask them out on a date. If a woman does not respect herself, why should a man respect her? And, don’t forget, his mother will never approve of his having a committed relationship with a hookup.

Of course, feminists had the perfect antidote to the anguish women felt on the walk of shame. Why do men not respect women who hook up? Feminists explained that it was yet another sign that men are takers, not givers and that they are inveterate sexists. A man might reply that if she wants to give it away for free, it would be insulting to refuse.

In truth, feminists give out bad advice. When women take it and are traumatized, feminists exploit the pain to recruit them for the cause.

Obviously, hookup culture is so detrimental to women that someone, somewhere, somehow had to stop it. Since feminists were not going to admit that they were wrong and were certainly not going to appeal to male honor—haha—the solution was “rape culture.” Otherwise they would have been lobbying for the return of parietal rules... and that is clearly out of the question.

If you raise the risks for men, risks involving either ostracism or prosecution, they will pull back from the hookups. It’s a lot better than to suggest that feminists were offering young women as sacrificial lambs to predatory males in order to advance their cause. It is certainly better than thinking that feminist were just plain lying... or, so blinded by their ideology that they had lost touch with being women.

A recent college grad, Leah Fessler, described the hookup scene at Middlebury College:

Far more frequent, however, were pseudo-relationships, the mutant children of meaningless sex and loving partnerships. Two students consistently hook up with one another—and typically, only each other—for weeks, months, even years. Yet per unspoken social code, neither party is permitted emotional involvement, commitment, or vulnerability. To call them exclusive would be “clingy,” or even “crazy.”

I soon came to believe that real relationships were impossible at Midd. I convinced myself I didn’t want one anyway. It wasn’t just the social pressure that drove me to buy into the commitment-free hookup lifestyle, but my own identity as a feminist.

The idea that sexual liberation is fundamental to female agency dominates progressive media. True feminists, I believed, not only wanted but also thrived on emotionless, non-committal sexual engagements. 

Of course, I have been saying this for quite a while now. I quote Fessler just in case you thought that I didn’t know what I was talking about.

She continued:

With time, inevitably, came attachment. And with attachment came shame, anxiety, and emptiness. My girlfriends and I were top students, scientists, artists, and leaders. We could advocate for anything—except for our own bodies. We won accolades from our professors, but the men we were sleeping with wouldn’t even eat breakfast with us the next morning. What’s worse, we really thought of the situation in those terms: “He didn’t ask to grab breakfast, so I walked home.”

In another text Fessler wrote about the connections between hookup culture and rape culture. In her mind hookup culture fosters confusion and misunderstanding. A woman who might think that she wanted X might decide in the aftermath that she had not wanted it and had not even consented to it. At the least, it’s confusing. At the worst, it creates a set of expectations that allow men to believe that women are consenting because women always consent.

Fessler explained her thought:

Is campus rape sometimes an extension of hookup culture — the far, disturbing end of an increasingly fluid "sexual culture spectrum"? I think the effort to reduce rape, sexual assault, and unwanted sex could benefit from debating that question. When environmental influences on rape and sexual assault are discussed, the focus is often on alcohol, binge drinking and Greek life facilitating excessive intoxication. But what about the less understood role played by social pressures that push students to have and promote emotionless, casual, “meaningless” sex?

This debate does not imply that all instances of campus sexual assault are potentially affected by sexual culture on campus; crimes like that of Brock Turner, to me, evidence sociopathic behavior and crystal clear lack of consent, not confusion partly caused by environmental factors. Nor should this debate be a gateway to blaming rape victims, claiming that alcohol turns people into rapists, or suggesting that hookup culture ought to be replaced by collegiate abstinence. The ultimate goal should be helping people have the sex they want in an intentional, communicative way.  

Actually, as Fessler noted, the goal should about more than sex. It should be to allow young people to respect each other and to form relationships in order to reach the seemingly unattainable goal: sex with someone you know.

The better you know the person, the better you are communicating with the person. If you do not know the person you are currently rolling around with the chances for misunderstanding multiply.

In Fessler’s words:

Yet when discussing what to “do” about campus rape, I seldom hear open-minded debate on the deep reasons why these blurred sexual lines exist, why consent was incomplete or absent, or why students get into situations where miscommunication, or even abuse, is most likely to occur.

This analysis has to go beyond talking about intoxication. Do aspects of our noncommittal, emotionless hookup culture discourage or even stigmatize sober, intimate conversations about sexual and romantic preferences?

Curiously, she blamed it on porn, because she believes that porn focuses on the male orgasm. This tells, in a charming way, that she knows very little, if anything about porn. The highest paid porn stars are female and their pleasures and orgasms are central to most porn scenes. What do you think that Deep Throat was about? Or even The Story of O?

Fessler wrote:

Does pornography that centers on the male orgasm, ignores female pleasure, and sometimes strays into acts that many would perceive as abusive normalize abusive sex? It stands to reason that inexperienced young people are most likely to have their views of sex shaped by porn, especially as America's inadequate system of sexual education fails to educate many of them about what wanted, pleasurable sex looks like for all genders.

Surely, porn has an influence, but Fessler was correct to note that feminism bears responsibility for the hookup culture and for the misunderstandings that allow more sexual assaults to occur.

We will note, yet again, that feminists have had nothing to say about the prevalence of rape in European countries that are being overrun by Muslim refugees. Sadly, the feminists who are running these countries—and most often these enlightened nations are being run by feminists—seem more concerned with their multicultural ideology than the well-being of young women.


Trigger Warning said...

I Am Charlotte Simmons

sestamibi said...

"To be less facetious, the hookup culture was not invented by adolescent males. It was encouraged, implicitly and at times explicitly, by feminists who resented the fact that men were having more mindless and meaningless sex than women were."

No, no, no, no!! A HANDFUL of alpha males were having a lot more mindless and meaningless sex, and for them feminism was the greatest thing that ever happened. The vast majority of the remainder could now look forward to criminal charges if they looked at a girl the wrong way.