Bad for Women?
by Dani Phillips
June 4, 2018
Since the rise of the current hookup culture, many are wondering if hooking up is in fact bad for women. The definition for what hooking up entails is tricky. Basically, it can include anything from a kiss to sex without any promise of a romantic relationship. Although there is no pretext implying that a hookup will lead to anything more serious, these relationships will often become rapidly complicated, as one party might develop emotional feelings for the other. Studies have been conducted proving that women are more often hoping for a relationship than men. This gives men an abundance of power which can be harmful to women.
Nowadays, many believe that if they want a guy to date them, they first have to hookup with them several times. This pressure can lead women to do things, which they will later regret with men who have no intention of taking the relationship any further.
Some see the hookup culture as a positive evolution for women because they can embrace their sexuality without ridicule, as a result of the popularity of casual sexual encounters, but this is far from true. Today, a sexual double standard exists in which women are judged for having casual sex. Women are labeled words like ‘slut’ and ‘whore,’ while men are patted on the back for ‘scoring’ another girl. In this way, the hookup culture only further objectifies women because men start to believe they can be used for their own gratification and then ignored.
Nevertheless, the hookup culture is extremely popular, especially on college campuses. Many women simply go along with this culture and hookup with men whom they do not see potential with because they believe this is the way they are supposed to behave. Women also are aware that their options are limited considering many men are fixated on keeping their relationships casual.
Ironically, when women do conform to this culture, they are often met with criticism and judgment. There are conflicting messages that exist today for women due to the media and the people around them. Women feel as if they have to lose their virginity at a young age because if not, they will be judged and thought to be prude and abnormal. An alarming number of women report that their first sexual experience was negative and sometimes even horrific. This is incredibly disconcerting because it goes to show that women are being pressured by a culture governed by male dominance to engage in behavior for which they are not ready.
The Hookup culture allows male hegemony to persist. Men are more likely to benefit socially and sexually from casual hookups and typically control the terms of the relationship as well. Furthermore, by urging men to think of women as objects, it unintentionally fosters a greater rape culture. People wonder why so many sexual assaults occur on college campuses and many believe that the hookup culture is in part to blame. It endorses false beliefs and prejudices that people hold toward rape survivors and offenders, such as the good guy could never rape, the woman wanted it, or she shouldn’t have gotten so drunk.
Women need to take the power back from men and refuse to give into a culture that is setting women back despite seeming to benefit them on the surface. Women have every right to freely express their sexuality, but when doing so it puts women at risk of being abused and taken advantage of by men. Something needs to change. Unfortunately, we live in a world where men think it is okay to assert dominance over women and force themselves on them. Until men learn to stop objectifying women, the hookup culture is in many respects doing more harm than good.
Moreover, it often leaves women feeling ashamed and regretful. This implies that there must be a shift in the way women are persuaded to think about sex. If the media is going to promote the notion that sex can be done casually, people need to stop calling women offensive and demeaning names when they embrace their sexuality and do as they please with their bodies because after all, it is their body and no one else.