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.