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.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.google.it/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiFvd3ksunLAhXCOQ8KHcXTCzEQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.quora.com%2FDo-you-think-we-hype-up-the-hookup-culture-too-much-in-American-universities&bvm=bv.118353311,d.bGg&psig=AFQjCNE0qfDCLJMtK94JLKa9JZN0KkLirA&ust=1459461182229450

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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