The “Hook-Up” Culture- A Womanist’s Perspective

Many people have said that this current “hook up” trend is a direct result of the feminist movement. Blaming the liberation of women for the objectification and dehumanizing USE of women becoming a common practice in society. To them I say WRONG ANSWER. Feminism at its core is about erasing oppression and inequality. Nothing screams inequality more than the current “hook up” culture. Why unequal, when women can sleep with whomever they want just like men can? Well…..Because women CAN’T sleep with whomever just like men. There are several societal sanctions set in place to control female sexuality, these have not fallen with the rise of the “hook up” craze. And most feminists know what I am referring to. When a woman has no strings attached sex, sex with more than one partner, enjoy sex more than people thinks she should then a number of labels are used to control her behavior, labels like

Slut, Whore, Jezebel, Wench, Bop, Bitch, Tramp, Trollop, Hussy, Hooker, Bimbo, Tart, Floozy and Vamp….

I”m sure we could all come up with more terms, slang wise, to refer to a woman who has “loose sexual morals” but the tragedy is there are no serious labels to correct, guide or sanction male sexual behavior (heterosexual male sexual behavior) In fact in our society men are applauded for their sex number and women are SHAMED for theirs. Based on this alone the “hook up culture” is benefiting only men. It is now permissible to sleep with a woman you will never see again, it is even congratulated as a sign of virility and masculinity. For a woman, being a “night time girlfriend” brings shame, having multiple one night stands brings shame. yes of course this goes back to the virgin-whore complex. That idea that a woman is either a whore or a virgin according to society, and any woman who displays her sexuality is automatically labeled a whore. …..But what’s so bad about being labeled? If you know your not a whore than what’s it matter? Welp. That’s where the sanctioning comes into play.

When a man calls you a whore or any of the aforementioned labels then you are at risk of falling under social sanctions. If word gets around that your a slut/whore then your friendships with other women are in jeopardy, any potentially serious romantic relationship is in serious jeopardy, even potential employment opportunities can be jeopardized. Other women do not keep company with “whores” because they do not want that label, they feel it will hurt their chances with potential friends or partners, so they will judge you for it w/o asking YOU. And potential mates don’t want “whores” either not only because of the fraternization but because they think that any woman labeled a whore will cheat the first chance she gets.  And if she is a whore they would rather treat her like one (sleep with her) and dump her than start a relationship with her. Whores are sly, sneaky, untrustworthy, nymphos, also referred to as “nasty” by many. When you are labeled for your behavior, or perceived behavior for the same thing that your male counterparts do, how can you possibly have sexual freedom? Can you say yes to sex w/o consequences later? An even better question is can you say NO to sex w/o consequences later. Tsk tsk tsk a bad reputation can really fuck up your life, even if you define yourself outside of any assigned labels.

The hook up culture has made sex readily available for men and women alike but it has caused irreparable harm in our communities! When men can get sex whenever, wherever and however they want it, they start to feel entitled to it, as if it is their RIGHT to have sex with whomever they want. Along those same lines, men are often the first to initiate sex, at least more so than women. Women have fewer orgasms then men do and when women are raped, sexually assaulted……their bad reputation is almost always called into question. Meaning that the hook up culture has made rape easier for rapists, than it was before. The hookup culture gives rapists a social license to operate. And less than rape but jus as important is the phenomenon of compliant sex. Where an aggressor of any sex wants sex and manipulates or intimidates or ignores the other person until they agree to sex. WHERE IS THE FREEDOM IN THAT?! The hookup culture is supposed to be about sexual liberty. But it has only given more freedom to men to USE women at their disposal.

But beyond entitlement, bad reputations, rape, and the lack of sexual freedom…..there are other problems. For instance unprotected sex can lead to unwanted pregnancies, and if you’re a person having one night stands or drunken encounters with strangers or acquaintances or friends, you cannot be sure you won’t get preggers. Even with the use of birth control. The label slut can assist the man you slept with in shirking any responsibility pertaining to you or a possible child. And we see a lot of this in our culture right now! Society will not label a man a “dead beat dad” if he claims you are a whore (again for expressing your sexuality in the same manner he expresses his). Where is the freedom in that?! I met a man who slept with 483 women………I asked him how the FUCK he managed that, he said “most women are really sluts” ……and I said no…….you’re the slut, I bet their sex number was no where near the triple digits and if they would have known you were over 50 they wouldn’t have TOUCHED YOU. Women are labeled sluts so that some men can justify dehumanizing and objectifying them and that is why the hook up culture is extremely damaging to women. There is a definite CAP on sexual freedom when it comes to freedom. Our sexuality is pre-defined for us and monitored closely “good“ girls would never sleep with someone outside of a relationship………yet the demand for women to do just that is extremely high. There go those double standards. ………..so I hope I didn’t get too off topic with describing the ill effects on women in the hook up culture, I just want you to understand that there is no freedom in casual sex, not right now, not with the lack of sexual equality in our society

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2 thoughts on “The “Hook-Up” Culture- A Womanist’s Perspective

  1. Nice entry. The part about women being ostracized by peers, partners/potentials, (we can also add family here) and within the workforce is an angle that very few people are willing to accept as a reality. I also want to point out that women engaging in heterosexual sex are more susceptible to contracting STD/STIs than are men in the same type of engagement, and that we live in a society that defines sex around the penis, so whether or not a woman wants or receives any pleasure from penis focus sex, this is the type of sex most likely to occur when a male is one of the partners. So the fact that “hook up” culture is penis focused also puts women at a disadvantage.

    1. I completely agree with you , idk if i added in this the fact that , hook up sex itself tends to center around the males pleasure not the females pleasure, so that the sex is FOR the males pleasure and the woman’s sexual pleasure is overlooked, falling by the wayside, sex comes to an end once the male comes. so again the hookup culture tends to benefit, even in the realm of pleasure, the heterosexual male more than the heterosexual female. Also women are quicker to contract std’s and sti’s because they are having sex w/ men who have had a large number of sexual partners where they have had less, like the example about my male “suitor” that admitted to having 400+ sex partners, he may have been #15 to a woman who was #424, but by the time he sleeps w/ her she is sleeping with all 423people he had before her which is a terrifying thought when considering your own sexual health!Thank you so much for your comment and for joining the conversation!

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