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Opting out of hook-up culture

This essay from Lisa Wade at Sociological Images (responding to this article in The Atlantic) sums up nicely my own concerns about “hook-up culture”, and explains why I wasn’t quite as enamoured with its supposedly feminist merits as the author of the original piece:

But what young women don’t control is the context in which they have sex.  The problem with hook up culture is not casual sex, nor is it the fact that some women are choosing it, it’s the sexism that encourages men to treat women like pawns and requires women to be just as cunning and manipulative if they want to be in the game; it’s the relentless pressure to be hot that makes some women feel like shit all the time and the rest feel like shit some of the time; it’s the heterosexism that marginalizes and excludes true experimentation with same-sex desire; and it’s the intolerance towards people who would rather be in relationships or practice abstinence (considered boring, pathetic, or weird by many advocates of hook up culture including, perhaps, Rosin).

Fundamentally, what’s wrong with hook up culture is the antagonistic, competitive, malevolent attitude towards one’s sexual partners.  College students largely aren’t experimenting with sexuality nicely.  Hook ups aren’t, on the whole, mutually satisfying, strongly consensual, experimental affairs during which both partners express concern for the others’ pleasure.

Then again, by the standards I observed around me in college, I was practically a prude, so you may not want to take my word for this.


One thought on “Opting out of hook-up culture

  1. john verdon says:

    I posting here because there is no reply box in your most recent post.

    First you are not sharing too much – next I don’t think you could ever be apathetic and complacent.

    But most important I think you are right and wise to think that more focus on writing and art in the pursuit of your own voice and passion will lead to both to do more good and to find a truer form of happiness.

    I always enjoy reading your writing – you are a good writer – even when I did not always agree with you. You have a fine mind and that always comes through clear and fresh in your writing. I think the mind and heart are always best served and end up serving best – when they are integrated in the pursuit of a positive expression their passion.

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