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Friday, August 24, 2012

201

"feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture"

"In my country, a girl like this would be desperate. Or a prostitute."
—USA! Have you read Hanna Rosin's Atlantic piece, "Boys on the Side," about feminism and the hook-up culture?



201 Comments / Post A Comment

annejumps@twitter

While reading this I couldn't help thinking about the stark, stark contrast between the way young women want to live their lives and the way the GOP would rather they live their lives, for example, without contraception.

Jill_Tata

Wooow OMG ur soooo great@k

Decca

Business students (of any sex)? The worst.

SarahP

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.

Oh for crying out loud.

OhMarie

@SarahP Hanna Rosin gets on my nerves--I understand that she does it on purpose, that her articles are more conversation pieces than actual opinions/facts, etc, but come on. I mean, her book is The End of Men? Please.

SarahP

@SarahP This article seemed to use the most melodramatic way possible to write about college-aged women and hook-up culture, and the extremes it employed to show how "college women" think and behave filled me with a dull rage.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@SarahP Seriously! I'm only one page into the article so far, and already I'm getting angry.

Marquise de Morville

@SarahP There's so much wrong with this article. It is illogical and manages to be condescending while claiming to be concerned.

Ophelia

@werewolfbarmitzvah I think what bugged me the most is this imagined dichotomy - either you're "in" the "hookup culture" and want to stay there, or your not. That seems totally false/ridiculous.

Ophelia

@Ophelia also, "you're." Gaah. Pet peeve.

stuffisthings

@OhMarie When the title of a Maureen Dowd book sounds more reasonable and serious than yours, you have a Problem.

Poubelle

@SarahP I was going to write an angry/annoyed comment, but "oh for crying out loud" pretty much sums up my thoughts.

yeah-elle

@SarahP Agreed, ones of the main logical downfalls in this article was the idea that somehow being in a relationship—or even dating, rather than hooking up!—somehow completely derails a young woman's academic and career ambitions. How what now?

Danzig!

@OhMarie Ooooooh! This woman shows up on Pop Culture Happy Hour (or was it Slate Political Gabfest?) and when the name of her book was mentioned I said "hack!" out loud, to no one.

BoozinSusan

@Danzig! Guys? I have to warn you: do NOT read the comments. They are terrible. A bunch of men lamenting all the "sluts" and saying none of these women with past sexual histories has hope for marriage. Ugh.

yeah-elle

@BoozinSusan AGREED. I made the mistake of reading only a few of them and I am so mad, I feel like there is fire inside my face.

WaityKatie

I have a lot of Thoughts about this, as I just finished reading "Majorie Morningstar" (which is amazing btw), and was struck by the depiction of dating in the 50's, for an early 20's woman. On the one hand, anyone who had sex was ruined, damaged and deformed, but on the other hand, it was perfectly acceptable and expected to go around dating multiple guys at a time, like, a different one every night, and "necking," which was never clearly defined, but I am interpreting to be pretty much everything short of intercourse. With multiple guys, and there was no possessiveness or anything like that until you were actually engaged. It actually sounded pretty fun. Like, you got to go out on real dates to super fun places, make out, semi-hook-up, whatever, and then do it again the next night with another dude. Now I feel like, if you hook up with someone and you actually like them, you're either on the fast train to Exclusive Relationshipland immediately, OR it's "no strings attached" sex, blah blah blah, which usually ends up being totally on the guy's schedule and according to his needs.

Decca

@WaityKatie "necking" is when you stretch your neck out like a giraffe and chew thoughtfully on your partner's ear

WaityKatie

@Decca Well now I'm even more envious of it.

SarahP

@Decca Stretch far enough and you may even be able to get a cud of hair.

NeenerNeener

@WaityKatie
I have a lot of thoughts about it, too, that I have a lot of trouble articulating. Am I really going to say I think dating should be like it was in the 50's? Yeah, the part where you don't make a commitment to someone until you actually make a commitment to someone, I am.
I find the way we do things now with all the pre-commitment commitment kind of fucks with my head.

NeenerNeener

Oh, and I thought "necking" was equivalent to "making out", which I thought was French kissing with maybe a little groping. But I'm really not sure.

dj pomegranate

@WaityKatie Yes! This is the dating culture my mom grew up in and she does not understand our current dating culture. She's always shaking her head saying, if you're not married, WHY SO EXCLUSIVE? Dating is fun! It is where you get to hang out with lots of people you're not married to! It should not be so serious all the time!

WaityKatie

@NeenerNeener I always thought this too! (about necking), but then in the book there were all these references, like..."they started necking, and then she came to a half hour later with all the buttons of her shirt undone."

WaityKatie

@WaityKatie Or the male characters saying things like "I would be fine with no necking, but why do you keep coming at me like an octopus?"

themegnapkin

@WaityKatie right? I like dating a lot of guys at once, but the idea of sleeping with them all stresses me out. I just want to make out promiscuously until I find someone I really like.

NeenerNeener

@WaityKatie Interesting. Perhaps it's a secret kept by the old Olds to make themselves seem more reserved than they were.

H.E. Ladypants

@WaityKatie I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks our dating culture is currently weird like that! Hell, even in the Victorian age you could be courted by multiple dudes before beginning a romance with one of them. Our serial (and never simultaneous!) dating habits are actually a bit weird, you know?

WaityKatie

@H.E. Ladypants It certainly doesn't seem like the best way to weed through options and make an informed choice.

MissMushkila

@WaityKatie I know a lot of people who date several people at once casually in my early-20s peer group. I also dated several people at the same time all last summer, until it got serious with my current boyfriend (who I just signed a lease with). I'm with themegnapkin in that I don't particularly want sex with multiple people, but I also don't really want sex until I'm sure of someone.

I don't know, maybe I live in a weird peer group, but I went on lots of fun dates! I went to fancy cocktail bars, out dancing, to haunted houses, and spelling drinking bees one-on-one with guys whom I was not in an Official Relationship.

I do have a few friends who would always be like "hooow do you do that????" and I know this is a terrible thing to say, but I think they just sort of accepted the cultural dating status quo. Like, I was never afraid to ask a guy out to something I wanted to go to, and I had no problem telling a guy up front that I was dating lots of other people and not necessarily looking for a serious relationship. And I pretty much shut down no-strings sex (not that I have a problem with other people having casual sex, I just couldn't be sexually involved with lots of guys personally). I really did find that guys gave me what I was asking for when I made it pretty clear that was the way I rolled. Not all, but lots. Because guys also like going to haunted houses and casually making out?

TheDragon

@WaityKatie I've been ranting about this for years! It seems like, even in high school where dates were much more common and hooking up was not, if you went on TWO dates with a guy, everyone accepted that you were "taken" and you were considered trashy if you dated more than two people.
I makes no sense.

wharrgarbl

@WaityKatie Oh, man. My now-husband had this huge uncomfortable discussion with his mom when we first started getting serious, and she was all "I don't understand why you don't play the field a little and date more girls, nobody just dated one person when I was in college!" and he was like "Because we can fuck now, so that's what happens when you date someone for a while, and if you date a lot of people, you get a reputation as a huge player and nobody wants to serious-date you, they just want to fool around." Also, now we can just hang out instead of going on dates, so you can get your meaningless make-out sessions in at parties on weekends if that's what you want a lot of. Though I have a feeling that would get lumped into "hook-up culture" even though no sex is had, because college-age women can do no right.

Lily Rowan

@WaityKatie Oh yeah, I've heard some great stories from my grandmother about dating in the 30s-40s -- visiting a different boy at a different college every weekend, the friend who always got too drunk and went upstairs with a boy, etc.

Hammitt

@Dragon SO LITTLE SENSE.

And its annoying. Because the rules are so so unclear. And so there are people who are like one hookup = relationship and some people for whom it does not at all, and because that shit is unspoken, so one is clear. So for one side of the duo it can be lurve and commitment and the other side assumes its casual and then everyone hurts everyone.

Danzig!

@H.E. Ladypants They are kind of weird. And inconvenient! Like I'll date a girl and it won't work out and I'll be all "well back to square one", which generally means I get too tired to date anyone for a week or two. Were it that I had a multitude of arrows in my quiver. I certainly don't date seriously enough that it would matter to anyone.

TheDragon

@Danzig! Ok. I don't want this to come off as braggy, but having a full quiver doesn't always do much either. Just cause they are there, it doesn't mean they will fly straight.
@Hammit I usually am the one who after a few times is like "Yo, dude. What are we?" then they call me a clinger and leave. It's complicated

charmcity

@WaityKatie Ugh GOD this is so true! There seems to be no civilized, in-between space between just sleeping with someone and having no relationship outside of sex AND couplehood on the road to living together/marriage. Which is a challenge if you are a single person who likes being single, but would also like to have sex with someone who isn't terrible, particularly since the culture is absolutely not designed for singles to participate in any way other than Sad Single or Slutty Single Everyone Assumes Is Covering Up Her Sadness With Sluttiness.

MissMushkila

@Hammitt SPEAK! When the rules are unclear, it is immensely helpful to talk about them, and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. I feel like, part of the whole dating culture, is that women are continually made to feel that they need to change themselves to follow the guys' rules.

I keep repping these articles I love, but there is a hilarious one by Kate Harding called Hook-up Culture's Bad Rap wherein she says:

"Except maybe, I don't know, find a guy you like and ask him what he wants, on the assumption that he is not, in fact, completely interchangeable with every other man in existence? And tell him what you want, recognizing that if your desires and needs aren't going to be met, he is probably not the guy for you. And if that doesn't work, find an entirely separate human being and try again with the talking about what it is you both want."

It seems basic, but I don't think it's obvious to women who have been raised being told What Men Want as if the male species is a monolith. And when I read that, and started thinking about that in my dating, it made a huge difference.

(Again, for me personally, and maybe you've already tried that and this has no relevance for anyone....but still read the article because it is very rewardingly sarcastic and I'm always looking for opportunities to talk about it with people)

Danzig!

@Dragon Oh certainly not! It's just, it would help with the whole dejected feeling, it would be easier to realize there are plenty of fish in the ocean when you've got a few more specimens in your current catch, right?

Alright it's your turn to bring up a new dating metaphor

TheDragon

@Danzig!
You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince(ss)?

Hammitt

@MissMushkila Yes! That is the right answer. And not what I did! And it doesn't matter in many ways because three years later I am with this guy still, and love him, and am really pretty unlikely to need that awesome advice again, which is great. But it wasn't great for a while, because not talking does NOT work!

But I assumed he was Every Other Guy, and so kept my distance and my "whatever, man, casual is cool" attitude and then discovered that he is wonderfully, disastrously not AT ALL like the guy or two before him, and by then I'd already caused the hurt, which caused me hurt, and it was a whole big hurt cycle that, honestly speaking? only really started to sort out about two years later.

Man, talking would have been a lot easier.

Danzig!

@Dragon You have to land a lot of interviews before you get a job!

themegnapkin

@MissMushkila I feel like what I want (casual making out with lots of guys, no sex until I really like someone) is ... Strange? For a 33 year old woman? That is why I have trouble asking for it, I feel like I have to default to the status quo, which for me has been, date someone exclusively, before I'm ready to be exclusive, because that's what the guys I date seem to expect. . . As I type, I think I'm seeing the problems with this. . .

theotherginger

@themegnapkin but that is exactly. what I want.

themegnapkin

@robyn.andrews how is it working out? I'm seriously curious - I tend to end up in (brief) relationships with super nice guys that I'm not crazy about.

Springtime for Voldemort

@dj pomegranate Oh, see, "dating" really stresses me out. Partly because I just don't tend to like enough people (in general, romantically, and sexually) to constantly be finding all these new people to date all the time. And I'm much better with the hangout (someone's house, a movie, some food, general talking) than the date (dinner at a restaurant, spending so much money, so much effort to look special and not girl-next-doory). But I also find that the things I want to do in the sack tend not to work particularly well with barrier methods, so unless everyone's getting tested like once a week, having tons of sex with various people and not being explicitly or by default exclusive sex-wise with someone will either lead to a lot of sexual dissatisfaction or to tons of STDs. Relationships, I can do, hookups and FWB, I can do, but dating makes me want to jab my eyes out with a fork. I actually feel lots of pressure now to date, specifically, before getting into bed or a relationship with someone, even though it's not really a method that works well for me. (I also tend to be conflicted about the "older" vs "college" girls thing - if I'm 26, but only halfway through undergrad, which one am I?)

KatnotCat

That Argentinian girl sounds pretty bitchy, and not necessarily like someone who can authoritatively compare and contrast two populations as a whole.

"In my high school, that girl would have been such a skank..."

Decca

@KatnotCat But nowadays it's a new Argentina...

parallel-lines

@KatnotCat How do you say "Regina George" in Spanish?

Ophelia

@Decca You are very much on today.

Plant Fire

@KatnotCat Interestingly, I remember talking to a guy (he was Polish and German) when I was in Argentina who was complaining to me about how Argentine women are so sexually agressive and they just come up to you and grab your crotch and try to make a move on you and will go home with anyone who hits on them and how he just wanted a nice girl to have a serious relationship. I mean, I don't exactly think his opinion was worth listening to but I think it's interesting to see two completely different points of view on this.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

I am so fucking exhausted of hearing about "the hook-up culture" BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA, especially this bullshit "but but but those poor women with no boyfriends or intimacy!" slant. Oh my god you guys! Sometimes women don't want to get married and/or have babies immediately upon becoming fertile! Sometimes they want to go to school or just have their time and space be their own! What will we dooooooooo?! Society will crumble!!!

SarahP

@sudden but inevitable betrayal And equally frustrating is the other side of the coin, for Rosin: "Young women realize that relationships are prisons! It is impossible to be with someone and be free!"

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@SarahP Relationships are prisons and men are juvenile sex-fiends! AM I RIGHT LADIES!

cosmia

@sudden but inevitable betrayal I wait in hope for the day that a concern trolly article about how male hook-up culture will destroy society, instead of four thousand ones about women.

Marquise de Morville

@sudden but inevitable betrayal I think the real issue is that it seems to be divided into "hookup" or "fast-track marriage." What about the infinite possibilities in between?

mysterygirl

@sudden but inevitable betrayal : Didn't you read this article as sort of pro-hookup culture, though? I thought that the main points were that 1) hookup culture works well for a lot of ambitious women who see relationships as detrimental to their career trajectory, and 2) the point that Marquise de Morville made above.

ETA: I'm just repeating what I viewed as the author's points, but I thought that the article was pretty illogical, with lots of false binaries.

TheBelleWitch

@SarahP The important thing to remember is that you're a woman, so you can't possibly be doing anything right.

apb
apb

@sudden but inevitable betrayal This is, largely, the point made in the article - that the hookup culture, rather than the "settle down in a long-term relationship ASAP" culture, is borne largely of women prioritizing study/work/friendship over romantic relationships. She missed some things here and there, but overall I think it was really well done.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@mysterygirl No, I agree. I guess I wasn't responding to this article so much as the many many others full of hand-wringing and terror.

leonstj

I feel like...the article kind of got it (and I'm a big Rosin fan) but...kind of missed it too? The beauty of women finally being (more) able to embrace "hookup culture" is that, shit is all a choice. I hope it's freeing for women, because I, as a dude, love it.

And I'm not a 'hookup' dude. So few casual things ever in my life - by choice, somewhat, by not being chosen sometimes too. Ultimately, I guess I'm more conservative than like, "Lax Bros" in terms of what I like in a woman, but less than, you know, the 50s. And so I go out, and meet people, and try to find women who are into the same kind of thing I am.

I have female friends who have lots of casual dude acquaintances, who for whatever reason don't want a "LTR", so sometimes when they want some physical fun, they just hook up w/ one of those dudes who they think will be a good...match. And it's awesome for them that they can make the choices they want. I know other women who won't makeout until the close of a 2nd "proper date", and won't get down w/ a dude unless they think there's a chance of a long term thing. And I know plenty of men who prefer either kind of woman.

I think there's two big challenges to this from real "social consevatives" and GOP types - and shitty dudes. The first is that, it really does "jeopardize the traditional family structure". Which is to say, neither women or men who don't want to do that whole suburban house / 2.3 kids thing just don't have to, they can make some new way they like without it, if that is their choice. Which is actually kind of great, isn't it? I don't understand why a country, and especially a republican party, so big on "Personal Choice" hates it so much in the lifestyle sphere.

The other is just that some dudes know they're terrible in bed and hate the idea of a woman they want to be with having enough experience to know it. I'm convinced that this is happening with about 2/3rds of men who think women need to be more like women in the 50s

(Which like - does women in the 50s mean my grandmother, who when she was 16 & a catholic school 'good girl' started hooking up with my 5 years older and by all accounts I'd heard a handsome, kind of leather jacket, fistfighting, kind of a 'player', paratrooper grandfather to be? What has even really changed, other than acceptance. Everyone of both genders wants to have awesome sex with people they dig, since forever. We're finally just not being assholes (as much) when people say it out loud.)

Peanut

@leon s Your grandfather sounds like a BOSS.

dj pomegranate

@leon s "Everyone of both genders wants to have awesome sex with people they dig, since forever." This is fact.

parallel-lines

@leon s hooking up with my casual dude acquaintence friends was once of the worst things I ever did. They all worried about me behind my back and wrung their hands over me ruining my reputation (yeah, I slept with a few dudes who knew each other--what a cardinal sin, I bet guys never do that!), and you know what's funner than getting slut-shamed by a bunch of dudes who say they're you're friend just looking out for you. Well...pretty much everything. When I explained it wasn't a big deal and I wasn't looking for anything (it was during some rather long dry spells) I just got a lot of mansplaining about how I should be more concerned about my reputation and people may think bad things about me and blah blah blah. So as much as ladies may want to get their liberated slut on, dudes are not always 100% on board.

packedsuitcase

@parallel-lines UGH. I got that lecture from dudes and from my religious friends. I could take it from the girls who only kiss guys they're super serious about, but dudes? Who do you think is going to fuck you if you don't want a girlfriend and there aren't sex-loving ladies who don't care about relationships?

tales

@parallel-lines I swear it is possible to have a social circle without slut-shaming. I've been there! It's beautiful! If someone is pulling that shit, don't bother explaining anything to them, just never speak to them ever again. Seriously, cut sex-negative motherfuckers out of your life.

H.E. Ladypants

@tales Yes, totally. It is, in fact, even possible to have dude friends who will high-five you for getting your swerve on for no reason other than they are happy you had a good time.

fondue with cheddar

@parallel-lines I'm a female former slut in a LTR with a male former slut and it's the best relationship I've ever had. Neither of us feel like we have to hide or downplay our experiences because there is no slut-shaming. Telling each other sex stories from the past is fun!

And I agree with @tales and @H.E. Ladypants, there are definitely dudes who don't slut-shame ladies, and they are the best.

leonstj

@parallel-lines - The one thing I think I'd say is like, while it is not people's job to make other people get right, and adults have a responsibility to be decent on your own...

...if you have people who are good friends and honestly well-intenioned, but just have a kind of bad worldview (especially on this) - it's worth talking to them.

I was a dude who would get all "emo-patriarchal" when I was young. "Why can't this chick just like me for being a nice dude," and "It sucks women don't dig me now, but once they're mature enough to be thinking about which guys are marriage material, they'll realize I'm the man for them" - which, all of that, woh, gross.

But I also didn't just get magically cooler on my own. One of those female friends who was interested in hooking up - and not with me, despite a ridiculous crush - explained to me that like, she just wanted to have fun. That the 'jerks' she liked - well, some of them weren't jerks, they were just aggressive but not in a line-crossing way and being blunt about their sexual desires wasn't a problem, and that some were jerks, but I certainly wasn't being a "nice guy" by assuming that she didn't know that, that she didn't know better, and that she wasn't fully capable of making the choice to use them for what she wanted just as much as they might have thought they were using her.

And I mean - it took me a long time between mentally accepting that and ACTUALLY being cool with that. But because women I knew and respected told me I was wrong, I knew I had to work on that.

A lot of shitty things some "otherwise great" dudes hold worldview-wise, it just hasn't been challenged. But people calling each other on their shit, whether it is madonna/whore dumbassery or stopping a friend from going to a ron paul rally, that's one of the best things true friends can do for true friends.

*(also, some 'friends' are just judgey assholes who can't be helped, and from all of your comments I've read before, I'm sure i'm not talking about your situation at all - this isn't meant to be 'directed' at you, more just inspired by your thoughts, in hopes that some of the college-age kids here - the age when actually talking really does open up friends worldviews - try to learn from their friends and help their friends learn too.)

tales

@leon s I think probably everyone's benefited from friends calling them out at one point or another. I've considered myself a feminist since about 7th grade, but at age 21 a friend pulled me aside and talked about how my use of "pussy" as a derogatory term was messed up. I totally agreed with his points! I haven't used it since. I do think that if someone is really the sort of person you want to be friends with they shouldn't really need - call it "re-education". Like, if I call a friend out on language or an opinion, we can discuss why it's problematic and have some back and forth there, but if they keep saying "what a slut" or whatever around me then that person is not my friend.

Sometimes when reading about/listening to accounts of what assholes people's "friends" are, it feels like watching someone close to you in an unhealthy relationship. Just so incredibly frustrating because you know they deserve better and you just want them to see it, too. Which is part of why I default a lot of times to "your friends are assholes, ditch them". Because, yeah, maybe what actually happened was your friend said "don't be a pussy", and you said "please don't say that, here's why" and they've listened/at least respected your wishes around you. But the stories that I see a lot of times end up being more "my friend keeps calling people pussies UGH". If you can't have that conversation or your friend won't listen, get out, that person is a jerk.

fondue with cheddar

@tales Agreed. Sometimes you grow up saying certain things and don't realize what they actually mean. I heard "gay" used as a slur long before I had an understanding of what it meant, and I didn't realize until recently that getting "gypped" was a slur. Everyone makes mistakes. If someone calls you out on your mistake and you change, that's great. If you don't, you're an asshole. But I think if you care about someone you should call them out on what they're saying and give them a chance to not be an asshole, because they might not even realize what they're saying is wrong.

cosmia

While I am totally on board with women doing whatever the fuck they want and sleeping with whoever the fuck I want, I feel like...I'm missing out/I should actually be sleeping with MORE boys to be a sexually positive lady? I mean, out of the 4 people I've slept with, 3 became long-term boyfriends, 2 of which less than a month after we first started having sex. I feel so traditional, which I dunno if I like/means I'm not helping feminist progress!

Decca

@cosmia pffft go back to Argentina

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@cosmia You get back out there right now, missy, and don't come home until you've fucked a whole football team AT LEAST!

WaityKatie

@Decca She's slept with four whole people, though! Too much for Argentina!

SarahP

@Decca You are nailing it today!

(But are you nailing enough dudes? FOR THE CAUSE!)

cosmia

@Decca I HAVE A HEART OF STEEL OR SOMETHING

Emby

@cosmia It's OK, I do a bad job representing the patriarchy, what with my tendency to enter into long-term relationships and general comfort with commitment to people whose company I enjoy.

Ophelia

@cosmia As long as it's not a chastity belt of titanium, you should be fine.

Decca

@SarahP Unfortunately I have zero interest in banging dudes. Sorry, feminism. :-(

teaandcakeordeath

@cosmia
A heart of steel but not a heart of gold apparently. There's probably a distinction. I guess that your heart wouldnt melt in a fire?

packedsuitcase

@cosmia I'm totally claiming I have a heart of steel from now on. I love it.

SarahP

@Decca Sorry, no non-heterosexual hook-ups in Hanna Rosin's world! It is all about banging dudes, Decca, don't you get it?

Decca

@SarahP According to this article I'm failing Feminism, business studies, and Spanish.

Ophelia

@Decca Maybe you should've spent more time in Argentina.

SarahP

@Decca Hmm... Maybe you're in a relationship and you didn't notice? Because we know that being in a relationship sucks as much time and energy as a four-credit class, leaving you with little left to devote to your studies/future.

Judith Slutler

@cosmia which I dunno if I like

hey you could put some thought into that and ask yourself whether you could start having more dates just for fun!

means I'm not helping feminist progress!

this on the other hand, basically no woman in the history of ever should worry about this unless she is fanatically slut- or virgin-shaming other women, keeping women down in the workplace, or something else egregious.

PistolPackinMama

@cosmia Hey, according to Kinsey, you're average. YOU ARE AN AVERAGE FEMINIST!

(no, but really, that right there is the Ur Doin' It Rong, Whatever Ur Doin', If You Are A Laydee, NO NO WAY CAN YOU DO IT RIGHT! NOT EVEN IN ARGENTINA!)

@Decca- agreed. You're on today.

Stacy Worst

@cosmia I felt this way in my mid-20s after my first long-term relationship ended and consciously decided to participate in "hookup culture" (though I didn't have that term for it). Friends were doing it and they looked like they were having fun.

I don't regret it exactly, but, for me, it was an utter waste of time. I like doin' it with people I love, or maybe love, I guess. Weird how that has almost become not-okay. So if you don't have the itch, I'd say don't bother.

mangosara

@cosmia The only pangs of regret I experience about being with my current boyfriend is the fact that he's also my first real relationship, and how am I supposed to be a real feminist if I stick with the one guy for all eternity? So... I feel you.

maybe partying will help

I can't decide if I'm more irritated by the article itself or by the idea of Caitlin Flanagan's "nostalgia-drenched" new book. *shudder*

cosmia

@maybe partying will help Oh my god right, what is this:

Like many other critics, Flanagan pines for an earlier time, when fathers protected “innocent” girls from “punks” and predators, and when girls understood it was their role to also protect themselves.

Ialdagorth

@cosmia What if punks and predators are totally your type, though?? I don't want to protect myself against them, I want to rub my face on their face!

To be clear re: predators, I'm referring to the kind that (SPOILER ALERT) killed Carl Weathers and prompted Jesse Ventura to say he ain't got time to bleed.

maybe partying will help

@Ialdagorth

I'm more into Xenomorphs but I will defend anyone's right to hook up with Predators. They usually have pretty great hair.

Beatrix Kiddo

@maybe partying will help If you really want to be irritated, read the comments on the Atlantic article. Horrifying.

maybe partying will help

@Beatrix Kiddo

No. Nooooo. I read exactly one and was like OK TIME FOR OTTER GIFS

Beatrix Kiddo

@maybe partying will help I read lots of them, hoping someone would finally convince all the misogynists that they were wrong. It only got worse, though.

City_Dater

@cosmia

The accomplishments of our foremothers become even more impressive when we consider how much of their time had to be spent ducking out past all that well-meaning "protection."

wee_ramekin

@maybe partying will help

#Otters that look like Benedict Cumberbatch

Sorry guys: it's Friday. Time for the obligatory wee_ramekin Cumberbatch post.

PistolPackinMama

@wee_ramekin OMFG. I KNEW THE OTTERS PLANNED TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD AND THIS IS JUST PROOFFFFFFF!

MoonBat

@PistolPackinMama LET THEM, DO NOT PUT UP A FIGHT!!!!

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

"Gallery: A History of Hooking Up, From the Wife of Bath to Ke$ha"

um?

WaityKatie

@josiahg That is amazing.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@WaityKatie
I think I figured out why it's so weird: the photo gallery posits "hooking up" (scare quotes because I won't say I even know what that means) as something stretching back centuries, while the article posits it as a new phenomenon! Get it together, The Atlantic!

parallel-lines

I have super mixed feelings on the whole notion of hook up culture, being A) an unapologetic reformed slut who slept with whoever she wanted and B) a married old. I did my share of sleeping around and sleeping with whoever the fuck I wanted for a long time, but sometimes I'd WANT guys to take me seriously and see me as more than a hook up partner and it was impossible and frustrating. Like, from day one they had decided that was how things were and would be with the women they encountered. And don't ever tell guys you want to be in a relationship because ew ew desperate clingy yuck time. After awhile I just got tired of getting fucked (and not always fucked well) by dudes who didn't give a fuck about me. So I guess, ladies, get what you want from it and make sure you get what you need from it but if you're not, get the fuck out and take care of yourself first. More isn't always more, y'know? Or maybe it is. I don't know. I'm a less is more lady now.

Ophelia

@parallel-lines Word.

WaityKatie

@parallel-lines Exactly. In theory, "hookup culture" is great for women, meaning that we are free to have sex whenever we want, with as many people as we want, and not get sucked into some codependent caregiver relationship if we don't want to be. But in practice, at least in my experience, it just gives a lot of guys a license to openly denigrate and abuse women. I'm not saying that prehookup culture men didn't do those things, because obviously they did in so many ways (patriarchy), but I feel like the denigration is still with us, but is now covered by a thin veneer of "freedom and equality." Guys still get away with being assholes, and terrible in bed, with multiple women, and women feel like they have no bargaining power to demand anything different. If you reject a guy for treating you like garbage, there are 10 other women lined up wanting to give him everything he wants sex-wise, and expecting nothing in return, not even basic respect or consideration. Basically I would love hookup culture if I got to dictate when and how the hookups happen, but it never seems to be that way at all.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@parallel-lines I had a sleeping around period, and for me it was really liberating, like I was able to make demands of the men I slept with in a way I hadn't been when I'd been in a relationship. If the sex was good, great, I'd be all-in. If it wasn't, or if they didn't seem to be interested in being a good partner to me, I had zero qualms about using them like a dildo with a heartbeat.

And I think now, having had that, I'm able to be a lot better with my partner (who, don't get me wrong, I love and want to marry eventually), both more open to his needs and more clear about mine. I love monogamy and having a steady partner, but hooking up turned out to be pretty great too. I think if we broke up (eek!) I would go back to that.

Which is not to try to argue against or diminish your experiences! I just love talking sex and over-sharing, haha.

parallel-lines

@WaityKatie Afuckingmen. I wish I could say that I walked away from a lot of my hook up experiences feeling awesome and ready to high five the world, but like you said--a chunk of these dudes did not give any fucks if I came or not. What's the point of sleeping with someone who doesn't care if you get off? F that noise, dudes--YOU raise the bar!

timesnewroman

@parallel-lines Yes I think you've nailed it. I'm with you, I'm 22 and like "hooking up" or whatever because it's fun, I like the fact that I can drunkenly text a boy at 2am and go to his house rather than have to sit by the landline for days or whatever people did (????) but sometimes - only sometimes! - when it comes down to it you realise you want more and you have no idea how to ask for it. And society doesn't necessarily move that fast, you worry that boys are putting you into categories subconsciously, "oh I've slept with her a few times she's not girlfriend material" even if they don't mean to ... This article was ok but I don't think it really got it.

parallel-lines

@sudden but inevitable betrayal No, I think you agree with me (I might not have voiced my thoughts all that great). What I'm saying is I think it's great to be sexually open but women can't always get what they need out of it because too many dudes approach it like "oh, I can get laid a lot" and not like "oh, I can get laid a lot and the other person should have fun, too." I had a number of long term fuck buddies who were awesome and fun and mutually respectful. But they were few and far between, and that's what bums me out.

H.E. Ladypants

@parallel-lines I had a real similar thing and I've decided it's all context. I hooked up with dudes and had a real good time with it until I was tired of it and wanted a serious thing. And it wasn't like it was totally easy shifting gears but I ended up with a lovely dude who was coming from a similar place and in a similar place in terms of wanting to chill out and find a real partner, so it all worked out.

Anyway, I've spent a bit of time thinking about this and the conclusion that I've come to is that maybe there isn't a one fits all standard for sexual needs and behaviors, even with one person in the space of one lifetime. I slept around a lot and had a lot of short term relationships when it was what I wanted, abstained from relationships for a bit when I needed some time to get myself straight and got into a LTR when I was ready. All in all despite the speed bumps and broken hearts (and of course there were a ton of both) I think it's pretty okay!

Anyway, all this is to say I think maybe it would be great if we could start looking at stuff in a "what's right for me NOW" sort of way? And maybe sometimes it's going to be "bang all the dudes/ladies" and other times it's going to be "find someone to buy a dog with and snuggle." But mostly we should be talking about rather than talking about what is good or bad behaviour, encouraging ladies and dudes to continually check in with themselves and say "What do I need now?" and to be aware that as life changes, that will change as well!

WaityKatie

@timesnewroman YES on the 'girlfriend material' thing. I feel like guys meet you and make this instantaneous determination as to whether you are 'girlfriend material' or not, before they even know you at all, and there's nothing you can ever do to change it. Even months and months of going out on dates, hanging out all the time, hooking up, will never change that. So you go along thinking you're in a relationship, and then at some point they're like, "haha! No we're not! We're just friends with benefits!!!"

parallel-lines

@WaityKatie That shit was infuriating. Fuck that Virgin/Whore bullshit. Fuck it all and fuck the patriarchy while we're at it.

H.E. Ladypants

@WaityKatie True story that has absolutely no baring on anything in terms of larger trends because I totally know what you are talking about and this is an outlier. However, I find it hilarious:

I was totally in that situation with a dude who was gaining obvious feelings for me. (But, he insisted, we were just BFFs!) I finally gave up, looked him straight in the eyes and asked him point blank, "Are you in love with me?"

I still can't believe that actually worked.

Ophelia

@H.E. Ladypants WHAT DID HE DO?? Did he just admit it, right there on the spot? Teeelllll uuuussssss.

WaityKatie

@parallel-lines Yeah, honestly, this is the primary thing that deters me from casual sex. (other than just being a big ol' freaking introvert generally). The times I have hooked up with random strangers have not been satisfying! It's like, the guy always gets off, right, but how often does do I get off in these situations? Not very often! And then it's just, "ugh, I have to get this guy out of my house so I can sleep, etc. etc. etc." NOT WORTH THE TROUBLE.

TheDragon

@parallel-lines YES. I feel like I have been thinking about this rather a lot lately. I've apparently slept with more guys in a year than most girls do all four years of college. (SLUT! SLUT! SLUT! Desperate. Or prostitute.)
Anyways, it's starting to get old, and I'm getting tired of it. I'm right there with Tali, thinking that a date to fro-yo sounds pretty great. (Especially if we go to local custard place instead.) But, I am also much picker about my boyfriends than I am about my hookups, so it's hard to find a guy that I actually wants, who also want's me. Actually, it hasn't been hard. It's been impossible.
I think I've especially been thinking about it, because the guy who is on my radar right now has been a friend for awhile. I know he was a virgin two years ago. I don't know if he still is, but I can almost guarantee that he's not experienced. I worry that if we do have a 'thing' he will be totally judgy of me, or just horrified.

As for fulfillment after hookups, it's gone both ways for me. There are times where I feel invincible afterwards, and times where I just feel lonely.

H.E. Ladypants

@Ophelia Well, he stuttered and said "I... I think so." And then we went back to making out.

And then there was a bunch of drama and some bad things over the next couple of weeks that weren't really about that but I sort of decided that maybe that instance didn't matter and I ought to try to move past it.

But! Then the night before I was due to go on a two week vacation he got me to come hang out with him and gave me this speech about how he was aware that he had a lot of internal work that he needed to do but that he was going to work very hard and be good about going to therapy and getting his emotional life in order because he was in love with me and that he really hoped that I would still be around...

At which point I cut him off and said, "Wait go back. What did you just say?"

"Oh," he said. "I said I loved you."

And then I kissed him a bunch and made him stop talking.

The day I flew back from the two week vacation he showed up at my aparment wearing a nice suit with a bunch of flowers and asked if he could take me out on a proper date. It was pretty great.

WaityKatie

@H.E. Ladypants Oh! I was actually totally sure this was going to be a story of "I scared away this annoying guy by accusing him of being in love with me." Kind of shows where I'm at re: relationships.

Cat named Virtute

@Dragon Man, this is so interesting to me, your worry about him potentially being judgy because of your sexual history. Maybe it's a regional difference, or a social circle thing, but after age 20 (I was a virgin til I was 22), I was petrified that no one would want to sleep with me because of my LACK of experience. I still kind of worry about it! Maybe it was because I had a lot of very sexually adventurous friends who were constantly hooking up with people, or each other.

WaityKatie

@Cat named Virtute I had the same thing! I was a virgin into my mid-20's, and I felt so, so shitty about it and never told anyone except my friends who already knew about it because they had known me for so long. And all the guys I met or had the potential to sleep with were so CASUAL SEX ALL THE WAY NO STRINGS LA LA LA that there was no way they were ever going to "deflower" me even though that is what I wanted - to just be rid of it. It's such a catch-22.

TheDragon

@Cat named Virtute There is just no winning.
In theory, I am fine telling a guy to go fuck himself if he judges me for it. But most of those guys are ones who I've just met, and I'm interested in purely romantically. I don't think I'd be able to be that tough when it's a friend who I've known for five years and liked for over two years.

MissMushkila

@Cat named Virtute I think everyone feels stressed, no matter their amount of experience, because for women there seems to be no win. Wait too late/do too little and you are a cold prude. Do too much, have sex with several guys, and you are a slut. NO ONE wins that dichotomy, because it's all about policing behavior.

Cat named Virtute

@Dragon It's so tough! I remember the first time I got slut-shamed, telling a friend about the hometown booty call I was orchestrating and her (male, early thirties) friend standing with us got super weirded out by it. My friend dressed him down for it, but my mind was so blown that I could have slept with a grand total of two people, and yet I was getting slut-shamed for taking charge of my sexual desire.

I guess what I'm saying is, yeah, it can always hurt. And just because he's your friend doesn't mean he gets it sugar coated for him. Is he just part of a more sexually conservative social circle? Because I almost wonder if, especially in dudes, that slut-shaming of girls with higher numbers is sometimes a tool of self-defense against embarrassment. I wonder if there's a way to get that across if/when you decide to talk about it.

Cat named Virtute

@MissMushkila Right?! Like I said above to Dragon, I think sometimes it's a function of embarrassment, but also majorly about controlling women and their pleasures and choices. You know, the main premise of the GOP today.

In a mostly different direction though, I have noticed in young urban queer circles there tends to be a current of virgin shaming that I think really sucks, especially given that many of us queers spend a while figuring out where we exist in the sexual world. Or maybe less general shaming and more being dismissive of people as potential partners because they lack experience, which I think is really shitty. But I also live in Canada, which seems, at least in cities, to lack a lot of the shameyness that I hear about from friends in the US.

MilesofMountains

@Cat named Virtute For much of my early and mid 20's I had only slept with two guys, so I totally inflated the number out of embarassment. Now I just won't tell my number, partly because it's no one's business and partly because it's still embarassingly low.

TheDragon

@Cat named Virtute That is an excellent point. Realistically, there's not a great chance that anything will come of my crush, so I'm trying to ignore it, and probably won't even have to worry about it.

Cat named Virtute

@Dragon Well, best of luck either way, dear Dragon.

TheDragon

@Cat named Virtute Thank you! I am sure you will all know, with my chronic inability to hold my tongue. (hold my fingers??)

Jaya

"Men tally “fuck points” on their frat-house bulletin boards. Women who sleep with “too many” men are called “houserats” or “lax­titutes” (a term of art denoting women who sleep with several guys on the lacrosse team) or are deemed “HFH,” meaning “hot for a hookup” but definitely not for anything more. "

A few girls on my floor freshman year had a fuck point tally. Fuck you, double standard?

beanie

@Jaya ...freshman year, I put notches in my bed post for any hookup (and by hookup, I mean anything makeout or beyond...I was a virgin at the time). I'm trying to decide if this makes me an asshole or awesome..

entangled

@Jaya My hall freshman year (which was co-ed, with a disproportionately high non-straight contingent) had a tally wall where we tracked this. It was actually kind of awesome, but mostly because we were a really sex-positive group.

Jaya

@arrr starr I would love if this had been a sex positive thing in my hall, but it seemed more like a competition, which weirded me out. Like, yes, go you for being open with having sex! But also don't do it just because you want to "beat" Becky?

entangled

@Jaya I think we had a couple things that made it more of a "yay look at us getting some action" versus a competitive thing. First off, we defined hooking up as starting with french kissing, and one girl went to visit her sister at Stanford during Full Moon on the Quad. She ended up with 20-something tallies when she got back which pretty much ended the competition right there. After her, I'm pretty sure the people with the most hookups were me and two gay guys (with very different taste in guys) so we weren't really competing for the same partners.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll
Ophelia

@josiahg Wow, that is a really great and insightful piece. The last paragraph? Right on. And I think "In history, there is no such thing as equilibrium. Every time a society solves one problem, a new one presents itself...most of the new problems we face today arose in the process of resolving old problems that were worse." Could apply to almost every front in today's "culture war" in a really useful and positive way.

werewolfbarmitzvah

The suggestion in this article that being in a steady relationship automatically condemns you to being barefoot and pregnant by age 25 is really giving me the rages this morning. On what planet does being in a relationship mean that you can't pursue your educational goals and a good career??

Ophelia

@werewolfbarmitzvah Didn't you know that once you're in a relationship you automatically take a time machine back to 1905?

(but yes, seriously. WTF?? Maybe in a relationship with an immature dude with a serious reluctance to join the 21st century, but wouldn't you WEED THOSE GUYS OUT?)

timesnewroman

@werewolfbarmitzvah Yeaahhhh I'm in my early 20s, just left college, and I do not know a single woman who has ever said "I don't want a boyfriend because I'm focusing on other stuff/not ready for marriage yet". I know plenty who have said "I don't want to go out with him because I'm not that into him". I know a lot of picky women, but no one that would turn down a relationship with a man she was really attracted to because she was "too young"!!

timesnewroman

@timesnewroman To add, if it isn't clear, my connection to your point is that I don't know anyone who would think that a relationship isn't compatible with having a life. Maybe people who would use that as an excuse to not go out with losers though!

Marquise de Morville

@werewolfbarmitzvah Don't you realize that being in a relationship means you end up married at 25 and you can't work anymore because your man will bring home the money?

WaityKatie

@timesnewroman Although, I do think getting into a serious relationship at a young age can restrict women's career choices. It doesn't have to, but oftentimes women will end up making career decisions based on following their partner's career around, or will make changes to accommodate what city the partner needs to be in for his career, etc. They sometimes don't feel free to say, "hey, I'll just take this amazing internship in NYC, even though my boyfriend's job is in Cleveland! We'll work it out!" And even less frequently, "I'll just see if my boyfriend is willing to move to NYC with me so I can have this amazing internship, even though he doesn't have a job out there!" But it goes the other way, a lot.

Poubelle

@werewolfbarmitzvah I mean, if we're making overly broad generalizations based on relationships, I'm going to say that being in a serious relationship helps you achieve goals since all the classmates of mine who've gotten married in the year-and-some-months since graduation either have quite good jobs or are in enrolled in great programs. (True for a lot of unmarried but in LTRs folks I know, too.) Yay support systems?

TheDragon

@WaityKatie I will say, I know that a serious relationship would be a bad idea for me to get into, even though I want one.
It's my senior year, and I'm graduating into a field with few job opportunities, spread throughout the country, mainly in small towns. I am excited to move to said small towns, and know that I'm doing what I love. But I also know that the chances of my hypothetical boyfriend being able to move with me are slim to none.
That was actually a (minor) factor in my breakup with the hated ex, two years ago. He was always very clear that when we graduated we would move back to his hometown. No discussion, no flexibility.

WaityKatie

@Poubelle I think my career path has been pretty good, and I've never been married or in an LTR. So it's possible these things are just unrelated!

fuck fuck fuck

@WaityKatie i've been dealing with this with my fiance a lot recently. we're both graduating this year, but i'm graduating a semester earlier than he is. my career plans are sort of up in the air, mostly because i'm waiting for him to decide where he wants to go to school (i want to do an alternate route teaching program, but i can't start that until i can say for sure what state i'll be in for the next couple of years). i have made it clear that it seems unfair to me that i have to put all my plans on hold and wait for his approval of them, or that his grad program automatically takes precedence over my career path, and he understands that, but we're both sort of stuck at this point. especially since I'M the one who's unwilling to do long-distance again. i feel like because of that, and because i could technically do a teacher education program in any state while he's going to be attached to a certain program, even though i only WANT to be in one of two places, the onus is on me to just follow him. ugh, when i write it out, it sounds totally reasonable. but i don't want to live in pittsburgh! or colorado!

fuck fuck fuck

@i'm a self-rolled man in other news, i complain a lot!

Ophelia

@WaityKatie So...you're saying correlation is not causation? Mind = blown.

Perhaps we should explain that to the commenters at The Atlantic.

Mira

@WaityKatie For me that's the main thing. I've been in a serious relationship since I was 20, and it honestly hasn't really held me back from anything - my partner is super supportive of my career, my traveling, etc. But looking at my friends, I think that's unusual. Serious relationships can be great, but I wouldn't advise younger friends to tie themselves to anyone at the college-or-just-out-of-it stage if they want a professional career. The two-body problem is a real thing.

It's worked out for me so far, but nearly all my friends from high school who married their churchgoing freshman-year boyfriends are in their mid-20s, already have kids with their husbands, and will probably never leave the suburb where we grew up. Which is wonderful if that's what you want, you know? But I think they've missed out on a lot of life experiences that are immensely valuable, just because they've never had the space or time to themselves to know that those things are even out there.

MissMushkila

@i'm a self-rolled man
I entirely relate to this, because I have a very specialized major, and my boyfriend is currently enrolled in a phd program that ties him here, and I'm the one most opposed to going long distance.

I DO get some judgment for this, especially from my girlfriends in my major who are working in Cairo and Dubai, traveling frequently, and generally taking opportunities that require a high degree of location flexibility. And I sometimes want to bang my head against a wall due to the frustrations of my current job search. Arabic is not a high-demand skill in my corner of the Midwest. All of my interesting interview opportunities were a year ago when I was looking more globally.

Yet I made this choice. I don't think I knew when I chose my area of study how hard it would be on developing a lasting romantic relationship or someday have a family. But when I was finishing my degree I talked with a lot of older women in travel positions and government work who were like "I have loved my job, it has been very exciting and has been my life, but sometimes I'm sad that it made it too hard for me to establish a family". Not just one or two, but MANY women and men said this (the men said it about the women - there is a saying that you can tell a man's first posting with the State dept by the nationality of his wife). There still is a lot of sexism regarding relationship roles, and it's difficult to find a guy who will move to follow a woman's career.

And I will say that none of my friends with those travel-based jobs (one is a UN-interpreter and Middle East sales manager, another just finished a fellowship at AUC, a third is working on water and environmental causes with USAID) have had any serious relationships or been in one place for longer than a year.

Also, when my boyfriend talks about looking for a postdoc position elsewhere when he graduates, and then pursuing an academic position, we get all stressed out. Because HIS career also requires moving. I've threatened to make him move to the Middle East for awhile first, and he said that would make him feel better, since he really doesn't want me to sacrifice for his career.

But I still don't feel like Rosin puts it very well. (I don't think she expresses anything very well). I don't know anyone who is consciously making a decision to favor hookups over intimate relationships. A lot of what happens to everyone seems mostly to be chance.

MilesofMountains

@werewolfbarmitzvah Apparently if you're in a relationship, you're incapable of prioritizing anything higher than that relationship and must be at home every day by 4:30 to make your man dinner, or something. And breaking up with your boyfriend when you decide you want to move is impossible, even though that's been a theme of my romantic life so far.

Although I have to admit, I'm currently stuck in a job I'm not hugely excited about because I am prioritizing my current relationship and moving is not in the cards right now, so maybe the article is right and my lack of one-night stands has doomed me to career failure (it hasn't).

Ophelia

@MissMushkila Yeah - working in that industry, the people who make it work long-term are those who are BOTH in the industry, and take turns with their postings (the other spouse either volunteers or finds quasi-relevant work on the off-years). There is also, sadly, a very high rate of divorce.

H.E. Ladypants

@MissMushkila That was why I was determined to get out of diplomacy. I was super excited about it when I was 24 but then a) I got to know a lot of high ranking female diplomats and realized that almost none of them had partners and that their family lives were very difficult (this is not as true for the men, as you noted) and b) I got older and grew into someone who actually wanted that stuff for herself. I had to make a very pragmatic choice and in the end I decided that for me, the price of admission was just too high. And I wasn't even in a relationship at the time!

MissMushkila

@H.E. Ladypants It helps even hearing it on here, just because I feel like my friends and family do not get that there is a trade-off any longer. But I knew so many people in a range of those travel fields who kept telling me and my peers that there were costs to pursuing that work as a woman. I clearly am struggling with a great deal of ambivalence over not pursuing the jobs for which I trained and think I would have really liked if they didn't make other things so difficult. So I will just be sitting over here in the corner with my issues.

Sensory Homoncula

@werewolfbarmitzvah "why should we hire a young married woman, go thru the trouble and expense of training her, when she's just going to start having babies and taking maternity leave. And after she comes back, she'll have high absenteeism because of baby sickness or nanny no-show. Better to hire a man, more dependable."

cosmia

In another, Adam spins a ridiculously degrading fantasy about Hannah as an 11-year-old hooker with a “fucking Cabbage Patch lunch box.” Hannah plays along, reluctantly. But when they’re done, she doesn’t feel deep remorse or have to detox with her girlfriends or call the police. She makes a joke about the 11-year-old, which he doesn’t get, and then goes home to rock out with her roommate to Swedish pop star Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own.”

Wasn't there like a whole lot of discussion about how gross Adam was in between the lunch box fantasy and the Robyn, though

BoozinSusan

@cosmia Yeah, but that would've have proven Hanna Rosin's point. :P

ohyeahmetoo

This is just the reminder I should have given myself for not reading the comments in the linked article. I hate being reminded how many people think it's cool to hate women.

waltzedout

@ohyeahmetoo You just said perfectly what I was thinking.

Beatrix Kiddo

@ohyeahmetoo Those comments were shocking. I don't know why I ever expect internet commenters in general to be as sane as Hairpin commenters.

Ophelia

@ohyeahmetoo There's one really good comment (that of course all the trolls are attacking):

"

Uh okay. First off, please don't generalize feminists as women who wish they had been born men. I proudly consider myself a feminist simply because I feel women deserve to be treated as human beings and not property. I don't want to and never have wanted to be a man. It has nothing to do with living the fantasies of a teenage boy. It's about not being denigrated, consdescended to or looked down upon because of your gender.

"And if you don't want kids, why should some guy marry you, when he can hook up with younger and prettier women? What do you offer to get him to settle down with you?"

Well, my husband of 8 years (together for 14) and I do not want kids, yet we married each other (note difference- it wasn't something one of us did to the other) because we enjoy each other's companionship and make good partners in our life together. I didn't have to "offer" him any thing to persuade him to settle down with me. Were you perhaps referring to a dowry? Or that prize that virginity used to be?

And your question of if you haven't really dated and haven't had any long-term relationships, how can you be capable of forming one, I hope certainly applies to the young men out there as well, although I'm beginning to get the faintest flavor from your comment that you expect all the work in a relationship or marriage to rest upon the shoulders of the women.

Where's the worry been for men who have lived this hook-up lifestyle for far longer than women have? This line: "Now you're ready to settle down, get married, have kids. How long do
you think it's going to take you to find that special someone?" certainly applies to nearly every man who has been involved those in hook-ups as well."

HatGirl, whoever you are, kudos.

Baby Fish Mouth

@ohyeahmetoo If you ever need to point to a good example of mansplaining, point them in this direction. I love how many men (assumption based on their usernames) are explaining what women want in sex and relationships.

MissMushkila

@Ophelia One of my favorite articles on hookup culture by Amanda Marcotte points out that the GOP seems excessively worried about hookup culture in college somehow making women incapable of dating - even though most people eventually enter dating and monogamy. She puts it like this:

"Critics of the “hook-up culture” quietly tend to accept that while these dynamics dominate the college years, even most of them accept that something shifts when people hit their 20s, and suddenly dating and commitment become the norm. Of course, the fact that it all evens out in the end isn’t going to stop the critics—those from the religious right figure that since women aren’t virgins, they’re spoiled, and the less conservative (but still pretty conservative) ones like Laura Sessions Stepp have some vague concerns that you don’t know how to date if your career in monogamy starts at 21 instead of 17."

The whole article is here.

Ophelia

@MissMushkila I generally love Amanda Marcotte, and this article makes me love her even more.

Dear 19-year-old me,
I'm glad you finally got rid of all those tube tops and started wearing a coat.
Signed,
31-year-old me

teaandcakeordeath

@MissMushkila
If you dont legitimately date, then your whole romantic life gets shuts down.

ohyeahmetoo

@Ophelia I liked that one too. Almost redeemed things?

ohyeahmetoo

@Wiscowhitney Totally. "Let me explain to you how women don't really like sex." - some dude.

Ophelia

@ohyeahmetoo I feel like we should find HatGirl, and bring her to the Hairpin.

MissMushkila

@Ophelia It made a lot of sense to me, because I do think I didn't really even want a boyfriend in high school/early college, but I think I felt like hooking up when they didn't want to date you was sort of a social comment on your worth? And it wasn't until I became more confident in other parts of my life that I was able to say to guys "this is what I want, if you don't want it that's fine, but then we just will look for other people to date" early on, without feeling like wanting different things was somehow a personal judgment or that I had to fit the mold of what THEY wanted with no mention of my own, god forbid, feelings.

dj pomegranate

@ohyeahmetoo I once heard a dude explain to a woman how "all women are able to have multiple orgasms if they just concentrate the right way." The woman was doing the McKayla the entire time.

ohyeahmetoo

@dj pomegranate haha, phrase and photo bookmarked!

waltzedout

The comments on the Atlantic piece largely make me sad for the future of humanity. I can't even.

BoozinSusan

@waltzedout I thought Atlantic readers were supposed to possess SOME kind of intelligence. These people are seriously the bottom of the barrel. And the most hideous comments of all get 20+ likes.

WhiskeySour

What was up with the idea that being anti-rape is somehow at odds with "hook-up culture?" Maybe I missed something, but how is being incensed with frat boys chanting pro-rape slogans somehow discordant with participating in hookup culture? I see that Rosin is comparing the reactions of the undergrads with the business students, but how does making light of rape (by the business students) connect with hook-up culture? Is Roisin implying that they are the same thing? Different things, but deeply intertwined? If so, why is it referenced so off-hand and not really explored further? I'm confused.

Heat Signature

@WhiskeySour The other issue I had was her assertion that a decline in reported rape/sexual assault correlates to the benefits of hookup culture. Another way to look at this is that hookup culture actually inhibits reporting of rape, because naming forced sex as such goes against the tenets of said culture.

TheDragon

@WhiskeySour I hook up all the time, and I'd be chucking heavy books at frat boys chanting that. Just cause I don't "guard" my vagina as much as some other girls does NOT mean it's ok for anyone to stick anything in there without my permission.

timesnewroman

@WhiskeySour Good point.

fondue with cheddar

@Dragon Exactly. Just because I have a big party at my house every weekend doesn't mean that anyone is welcome to barge right in whenever they damn well please.

Judith Slutler

@WhiskeySour Yeah I really wish she had bothered to look into that a bit more. Does "sexually liberated" actually mean "forced to put up with raunch culture at work" always? I doubt it.

wharrgarbl

@WhiskeySour An actual "hook-up culture" needs to be inherently anti-rape. Rape culture and the threat of rape acts as pressure against full participation.

Mira

@WhiskeySour I generally liked the article, but that part made me really crazy. Hooking up: casual sense between consenting partners! Rape: not the same thing! How is this difficult?

(Also the Yale administration has been, for years, completely fucked about rape reporting processes, punishing rapists, and substituting bullshit "disciplinary action" for, you know, actual police involvement. And they have totally failed to get that fratty/rapey vibe that led to DKE chanting "No means yes" in front of the fucking women's center, where lots of women go to try to report sexual assault because they don't even know where the right office is, under control. That, not "hookup culture," is what contributes to Yale's hostile environment for women. Did not appreciate that conflation!)

WhiskeySour

@wharrgarbl Yes, exactly.

mooseketeer

@Heat Signature I didn't get that from the article, I thought she was saying that women are safer now than ever. And that largely they don't stand for sexual harassment (ie, Yale students protesting frat hazing). That business school rape culture is an outlier to a largely safer existence for women today.

Jawnita

Ugh, I hate how this article conflates hookup culture (the all-fine-and-good stuff about people feeling comfortable with casual sex) with rape culture and workplace harrassment (the bit about being "routinely hazed by male colleagues" and "no means yes; yes means anal"). These are two totally different things. One is great, if you're into it, and one is a terrible blight on humanity. Is this really so difficult?

TheDragon

This article gives me the same kind of bad feelings as arguments that women who are raped deserve it do.

yeah-elle

I don't understand what being sexually liberated has to do with experiencing sexual harassment, hazing, general lack of respect and rape culture. They're two entirely different things but this article just throws them together.

mooseketeer

@yeah-elle I think she was saying most people fear the business school party ending to hook-up culture (rape culture), but the data isn't there to support it except in this one extreme example.

mooseketeer

I had such a completely different reaction to this article than so many of you that I wonder who read it wrong. I thought she was saying that largely "hook-up culture" isn't a thing, I mean shit, most people in college only hook up with 5 people? that's one a year plus and extra! that's just regular dating. And that it can be fun to have casual sex for women? and that if you don't want to be in it you don't have to be?

I think she started off by showing what people fear hook-up culture leads to- sexual harassment and women banging dudes in bars who could otherwise get married in Argentina, then she showed that actually in college sexual harassment is being dealt with and women stand up for themselves and women are more powerful now than ever. And sometimes they hook-up.

TheDragon

@mooseketeer I read that statistic as her being horrified that that's how many people college girls are sleeping with. It seems.... dramatically low to me. Maybe I go to a more free wheelin' college, or maybe I just have a "more sexually-liberated" group of friends, but most of us go through that many boys in a year, on average.

mooseketeer

@Dragon I thought she was saying that a quarter of people are skewing the average high, but if you look at the median you see how few people are actually sleeping around. The thing about how fewer teens are having sex too. The moral panic is ridiculous when you look at how prudish young'ins are today

entangled

@mooseketeer I read it the way you do. I think there were some things she was saying that didn't really seem to be getting at the whole story. In my experience, though, the women I know tend to be way, way, way more sexually aggressive than the men. idk, maybe I just know unusual people. We would sit around in college and have "girl talk" sessions where basically we would complain about guys not putting out. I really liked seeing an article that didn't automatically assume that guys want sex and girls give it up to get relationships because in my experience that has not been the case (in fact, it's been kind of the opposite).

klemay

I thought this was interesting because it was a different but still very, very wrong take on "hookup culture." Usually it's all about women being the victims, being deprived of intimacy, etc etc, but in this case they're manipulative harpies who are perpetuating said hookup culture.

Either way, it's always about women being the "gatekeepers" of sex, so to speak. Never do we examine the behavior of young men and ask ourselves whether it's appropriate or moral or the reason why our world is going to shit. It just baffles me that NO ONE is looking at that part of the equation.

Springtime for Voldemort

Is anyone else often confused about what exactly "hooking up", "hookup culture", and "dating" are in these kinds of conversations? Where you just wanna be like "define your freaking terms, for the love of Kathleen Hanna!"

Dana Tang-Gavitt

@papayalily It's whatever Rosin wants it to mean for the sake of her ill-defined topic. I get the feeling that she just didn't have enough sex when she was young and is now regretting that fact.

Megasus

Whoa, what, "coarser sex" what does that even MEAN?
I mean "corsair sex" makes sense, but I don't think it's a typo.

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