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Finally, Someone Says It: Hookup Culture Is Good For Women

Young_Chitlin YCN Chief/FCC Member/#RedVelvetSquad Member/IC Task Force GeneralASUville, PhoenixMembers Posts: 23,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 2012 in The Powder Room
By: Katie J.M. Baker

"To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture," Hanna Rosin writes in a new piece for The Atlantic, excerpted from her upcoming book, The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. I think she's right.

We hear a lot about so-called "hookup culture" because the idea of young people having premarital sex is sexy (for the media) and scary (for conservatives, some parents, Caitlin Flanagan, etc.). Our culture's obsession with the way "hookup culture" purportedly debases women, as if women have no say in the matter, has always made me frustrated and angry, because neither I nor any of my 20 and 30-something friends have ever felt 🤬 over by our ability to sleep with whomever we want when we want to.
"Hookup culture" — which essentially just means having a fair amount of sex without monogamy, right Patti Stanger? — is something most of my friends and I experimented with in our late teens and early 20s before realizing that, 9 times out of 10, we'd rather hang out with friends or eat pizza than have unsatisfying sex with people we don't care about. Since many (but not all!) women (and some men too!) eventually prioritize emotional connection over casual sex as they grow older, "experts" love to deduce that "hookup culture" has left us women feeling hurt, dissatisfied, and alone. (Men, as we all know, have no emotions, since they are biologically required to spread their seed wherever and whenever possible.)

Critics do an awlful lot of hand-wringing, but they never seem to come up with possible solutions to the "hookup culture" conundrum. Maybe it's because we've come too far to go back to "easier" times in which it was understood that a woman's virginity was a precious flower that must be protected at all times, lest she lose sight of her self-worth. And maybe because, as Rosin argues, "hookup culture" has actually become a great equalizer, allowing us to pick and choose when we want to have relationships and when we want to focus on academics, careers, or just figuring out who we are.

In her piece, Rosin sums up the main reasons why people love to fret over "hookup culture," such as how it's resulted in "ubiquitous porn, young women so inured to ubiquitous porn that they don't bother to protest, young women behaving exactly like frat boys, and no one guarding the virtues of honor, chivalry, or even lasting love." Much of this mindset is summed up in Flanagan's infamous Girl Land:
Girl Land, like so much writing about young women and sexuality, concentrates on what has been lost. The central argument holds that women have effectively been duped by a sexual revolution that persuaded them to trade away the protections of (and from) young men. In return, they were left even more vulnerable and exploited than before. Sexual liberation, goes the argument, primarily liberated men-to act as cads, using women for their own pleasures and taking no responsibility for the emotional wreckage that their behavior created. The men hold all the cards, and the women put up with it because now it's too late to zip it back up, so they don't have a choice.

But Rosin argues that single women in their sexual prime are for the first time in history more successful on average than their male peers because of their ability to "delay marriage and have temporary relationships that don't derail education or career."

...to a surprising degree, it is women-not men-who are perpetuating the culture, especially in school, cannily manipulating it to make space for their success, always keeping their own ends in mind. For college girls these days, an overly serious suitor fills the same role an accidental pregnancy did in the 19th century: a danger to be avoided at all costs, lest it get in the way of a promising future.

This question, each time, prompted a look of horror. Reform the culture, maybe, teach women to "advocate for themselves"-a phrase I heard many times-but end it? Never. Even one of the women who had initiated the [Yale] Title IX complaint, Alexandra Brodsky, felt this way. "I would never come down on the hookup culture," she said. "Plenty of women enjoy having casual sex."
Zoom out, and you see that for most women, the hookup culture is like an island they visit, mostly during their college years and even then only when they are bored or experimenting or don't know any better. But it is not a place where they drown. The sexual culture may be more coarse these days, but young women are more than adequately equipped to handle it, because unlike the women in earlier ages, they have more important things on their minds, such as good grades and intern­ships and job interviews and a financial future of their own. The most patient and thorough research about the hookup culture shows that over the long run, women benefit greatly from living in a world where they can have sexual adventure without commitment or all that much shame, and where they can enter into temporary relation­ships that don't get in the way of future success.

"Hookup culture" (🤬 , we really need another phrase for this, anyone have any ideas?) is a way for ambitious, upwardly-mobile young women to "dip into relationships without disrupting her self-development or schoolwork," according to Elizabeth Armstrong, a sociologist who has done extensive research on the subject:
Hookups functioned as a "delay tactic," Armstrong writes, because the immediate priority, for the privileged women at least, was setting themselves up for a career. "If I want to maintain the lifestyle that I've grown up with," one woman told Armstrong, "I have to work. I just don't see myself being someone who marries young and lives off of some boy's money." Or from another woman: "I want to get secure in a city and in a job … I'm not in any hurry at all. As long as I'm married by 30, I'm good."

The women still had to deal with the old-fashioned burden of protecting their personal reputations, but in the long view, what they really wanted to protect was their future professional reputations. "Rather than struggling to get into relationships," Armstrong reported, women "had to work to avoid them." (One woman lied to an interested guy, portraying herself as "extremely conservative" to avoid dating him.) Many did not want a relationship to steal time away from their friendships or studying.

That's why my favorite takeaway from Rosin's piece is her point about how admitting that emotions do matter, for both men and women, doesn't mean that hookup culture is a bust; it's all about figuring out what you want and what you need. "Hookup culture" gives us the means to do exactly that.


  • Meta_Conscious
    Meta_Conscious Hypocrite The BashmentMembers Posts: 26,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    didn't read lol...
    but does this "article" discuss the decreasing rates of 🤬 and single motherhood?
  • Ajackson17
    Ajackson17 On the shoulders of Giants and Elders in history UniverseMembers Posts: 22,501 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hookup culture is not godly and it is demonic on all levels and these women who prefer them are jezebel scums and do not deserve a ring and they are quite hateful and disgusting. Women are outta be able to pursue a career but not at the expense of creating a family. The woman is second in the family structure, but is a great essential being in this family mode of course. We need to destroy this preverse culture by all means.
  • Well Got Dam
    Well Got Dam Members Posts: 5,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2012

  • Bussy_Getta
    Bussy_Getta STFUMembers Posts: 37,679 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Smmfh hell no.
  • Well Got Dam
    Well Got Dam Members Posts: 5,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2012
    Smmfh hell no.

    @Pico Roscoe when you gonna send me them nudes
  • 5th Letter
    5th Letter Black Identified Extremist Members, Moderators, Writer Posts: 37,068 Regulator
    they're adults they can choose to do what they want to do.
  • Lost
    Lost Members Posts: 152
    Still don't make me anything but a romantic old-fashioned gentleman.
  • dallas' 4 eva
    dallas' 4 eva Dallas Cowboys 2016 NFC EAST CHAMPS Members Posts: 11,217 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What does the lady that wrote this 🤬 (which I actually read) look like?
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