How Hookup Culture Promotes Rape Culture

How Hookup Culture Promotes Rape Culture

An unfortunate truth we need to acknowledge.
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So I recently stumbled upon an article that disturbed and intrigued me called, "It's a Hookup Culture, Not a Rape Culture." At first, I was outraged. I wanted to find the author, shake him, and scream "HOW CAN YOU BE SO IGNORANT?" But then, I read his article. And while I do not agree with him, I found that I could meet him halfway. His argument that rape culture does not exist and what we perceive to be it is actually hookup culture is, in my opinion, wrong. However, I will say that after reading his article and thinking about hookup culture in more depth, I truly believe that hookup culture directly influences rape culture. And so long as it exists, so will rape culture.

After I read his article I realized that he was not alone in his belief that rape culture does not exist. Many other articles have been written expressing a similar view. However, the claim all of these articles give is that rape culture cannot exist in America because there are penalties for rape. This is correct. However, it is also correct that 97 percent of rapists receive no punishment. It is correct that the media has taken sides in rape cases, such as the case of Steubenville where various news sites showed sympathy towards the two teenage boys who raped an unconscious girl. So yes, the USA has laws against rape. And yet somehow the rape victims are still shamed and made to look like the criminal. Thus, creating a rape culture. However, rape culture is not an excuse for a rape, as one article claims. Instead, it just means that we live in a society that does not protect victims of rape and instead makes them feel ashamed.

Now, you might be wondering, well what does hookup culture have to do with it? In the media hookup culture (or casual sex) is portrayed as being a fun wild time where everyone is happy. Many shows and movies promote casual sex with alcohol. Think of American Pie where the guys want to find a drunk girl to loose their virginity to. The issue is that promoting casual sex and drinking promotes rape culture. It promotes the idea that women are objects and if they are really drunk they will be easier to get into bed. It promotes the idea that if a women is unable to consent, that is consent. That not a no is a yes. This needs to be changed. The idea that as a guy you go to a party to find a drunk girl to have sex with needs to change. The fact that this is part of hookup culture is disgusting. Furthermore, women need to know that they don't need to be drunk to be fun. Media portrays women as going wild at parties and being instantly more attractive and fun (example Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Pohler). It's a vicious cycle of wanting to drink to have fun and then the belief that if a girl is drunk, she is automatically going to consent.

The media also portrays hookup culture as being equally satisfying for men and women. Think of the show Sex and the City where Samantha always orgasms. In real life only 40 percent of women will orgasm during a hookup whereas 75 percent of women will orgasm in a relationship. Those numbers are depressing to say the least. Because of the lack of pleasure for the women this can lead to feeling objectified. And again, this is portrayed in the media. Think back to the last movie/TV show you watched with a sex scene in it. Did it end with the guy orgasming or the girl? You may say both. Have you ever then, seen a sex scene, where the girl came and the man did not? If you have, please let me know, because I certainly have not.

You may wonder what orgasming has to do with rape culture and the answer is simple: it creates the concept that it doesn't matter how the women feels as long as the man is satisfied. If sex ends when the man finishes, and that is all you have been taught, then why would the guy even try to make it good for the girl? Furthermore teaching girls that sex is only over when the guy orgasms tells them that you can't withdraw your consent once you give it, even if you are not enjoying it.

The fact is "90 percent of unwanted sexual encounters took place in the context of a hookup." I'm not saying that casual sex should be condemned. I'm saying that there needs to be equality in what we think of as a hookup. There needs to be a sense that there is mutual consent and mutual enjoyment. Because until we change what we view as a pleasant sexual encounter, how can we change how we view rape? By promoting hooking up under the influence and pleasuring only the men, our society will continue to promote rape culture.

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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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Dear Celebrities, You Are Not Politicians So Leave Your Political Opinions Out Of Your Media Feed

Don't let your favorite artist change your own opinion or your vote.

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The 2018 American Music Awards hit the lowest amount of viewers in the AMA's history. The three-hour long show received an average of 6.8 million viewers, which is about 3 million less than last year. This isn't the only year that the AMA's views have decreased and not the only award show as well. In fact, in January, the Grammys also hit their lowest viewers since 2008.

So, what could be the cause of these lower rankings? While politics have always been somewhat included in award shows, has it gone so far to drive viewers away?

Historically, award winners have pointed to specific issues affecting our current political climate or some cause the celebrity supports. However, within the last few years, it has become more pointed to specific people.

With viewers slowly decreasing while political slurs to politicians grow, it's safe to say that there's a negative correlation between them both. This could easily be a cause of shows receiving fewer viewers every year, along with the lower rankings.

Imagine, you're watching a three-hour show of celebrities making fun of your beliefs or the person you're planning on voting for. Would you keep watching? Would you come back next year to watch the same show with the same belief shaming?

Recently, Taylor Swift spoke out on her Instagram about not supporting Marsha Blackburn for Senate and how she will instead be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. At the end of the post, she encourages fans to go out and vote.

Blackburn quickly answered saying how she does support women and wants to end violence against women. She even states how she is active in abuse centers as well as child advocacy centers.

While there is no issue for telling fans to go out and vote, it's important to let the fans (of any celebrity) to do their own research as well as make their own opinions.

A voter should not be swayed by what their favorite celebrity has to say about a politician.

While this can hurt the celebrity by causing them to lose a fanbase (the Dixie Chicks for example), it can also make fans feel as though their opinions aren't important, invalid, or even wrong.

It's great that Swift caused such an uproar in voter registrations and that more peoples' voices will be heard due to that. Even so, her, and any celebrity really, could easily persuade their fans to simply vote without telling them who to vote for.

As a student, I hope that you do your research and vote for what you think is right for our society. Go to vote.org for more information on how to register.

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