Let’s start with a definition: according to Urban Dictionary, hook-up culture is “The era that began in the early 1990s and has since prevailed on college campuses and elsewhere when hooking up has replaced traditional dating as the preferred method of heterosexual liaison”.
I think this ecard says it nicely:
There have been a few high profile articles about this so-called hook-up culture circulating around the internet lately, mostly focused on the women who participate in it, and then predictably, complain afterwards that they hate being treated like interchangeable blow-up dolls by men who don’t find them particularly appealing as people. Women interviewed (anonymously, which is telling in itself) at Penn State recognized that they were not going to succeed in their desires for a boyfriend, and decided to just join the blowjob party in exchange for what they COULD get:
“It’s kind of like a spiral,” she said. “The girls adapt a little bit, because they stop expecting that they’re going to get a boyfriend — because if that’s all you’re trying to do, you’re going to be miserable. But at the same time, they want to, like, have contact with guys.” So they hook up and “try not to get attached.”
Now, she said, she and her best friend had changed their romantic goals, from finding boyfriends to finding “hookup buddies,” which she described as “a guy that we don’t actually really like his personality, but we think is really attractive and hot and good in bed.”
Haley describes how the hook-up culture works in practice:
“You go in, and they take you down to a dark basement,” Haley, a blond, pink-cheeked senior, recalled of her first frat parties in freshman year. “There’s girls dancing in the middle, and there’s guys lurking on the sides and then coming and basically pressing their genitals up against you and trying to dance.”
Dancing like that felt good but dirty, and like a number of girls, Haley said she had to be drunk in order to enjoy it. Women said universally that hookups could not exist without alcohol, because they were for the most part too uncomfortable to pair off with men they did not know well without being drunk. One girl, explaining why her encounters freshman and sophomore year often ended with fellatio, said that usually by the time she got back to a guy’s room, she was starting to sober up and didn’t want to be there anymore, and giving the guy oral sex was an easy way to wrap things up and leave.
Not all women embrace the hook-up mentality, but those who don’t feel insecure about their choices.
“Am I allowed to find the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with when I’m 19?” she said. “I don’t really know. It feels like I’m not.”
Susan Patton, that “Princeton Mom” thinks women at colleges have heard the message loud and clear, even though it goes against what most of them actually want:
At one point, she asked the young women if any of them wanted to marry and have children. They at first appeared shocked by the question, then looked at one another for reassurance before, she said, “sheepishly” raising their hands.
“I thought, ‘My gosh, what have we come to that these brilliant young women are afraid to say that marriage and children are significant parts of what they view as their lifelong happiness?’ ” Ms. Patton said.
“They have gotten such strong, vitriolic messages from the extreme feminists saying, ‘Go it alone — you don’t need a man,’ ” she added.
So basically, young women are given a message that men, children, marriage and families are unimportant, they are entitled to sex, and they should happily engage in random acts of swallowing (or spitting, I suppose, depending on your preference) with men they barely know and don’t even necessarily LIKE.
“We don’t really like each other in person, sober,” she said, adding that “we literally can’t sit down and have coffee.”
And gosh, they need ALCOHOL to get through this disaster of a dating scene?
There’s a shock.
(all of the above from the NYT article)
Much of the response to the hook-up piece in the NYT has been to moan about “where the men are”. Why aren’t men being interviewed about all this? How do the men feel? How are we supposed to blame the men if we aren’t even engaging them in the conversation?
Oh, now, don’t you worry your pretty little head about that. Actual men are not required to blame all men. Amanda Marcotte can blame men for everything, at all times, with no evidence of any kind because EQUALITY FAIRNESS PATRIARCHY FEMINISM VICTIM SNOWFLAKE!
Responding to Tina Brown, who thinks young women are making a big mistake to play along, Marcotte has this to say:
Brown’s understanding of this situation is that the boys these young women are encountering are selfish in bed, treat women like they exist to serve them, and are crass and rude. But the young women are nonetheless supposed to make these young men their boyfriends or else they’re “editing out tenderness, intimacy, excitement, somebody respecting them”. I don’t mean to be an asshole here, but how? If a guy treats you like a blow job machine whose pleasure is irrelevant, then he’s not going to be a source of tenderness, intimacy, etc. He’s just a dick, and trying to make him your boyfriend is a waste of your time—and these women are clear they have better things to do.
Did we get that?
Men are selfish dicks who treat women like blowjob machines. Apparently, it has not occurred to Amanda that perhaps the reason men treat women like blowjob machines is because the women are ACTING LIKE BLOWJOB MACHINES!?!?
I wonder why Amanda can’t see that?
Girls who buy the line that there’s something wrong with them if they don’t have or want a boyfriend at that age end up spending a lot of time sitting around a messy college apartment, being ignored by their “boyfriend” while he plays video games with his bros. I saw it. Hell, I did it. It sucks.
You did it? I’ll bet you did, sweetie.
The reality is that many of the young men who are all caught up in masculine posturing in college mellow out afterwards and become completely eligible bachelors who are totally capable of offering love and support in return for getting it. Part of what helps a lot of them on their journey is realizing that you can’t actually keep a girlfriend if you don’t treat her well. They are not even remotely helped, therefore, by encouraging women to cling to them like life rafts, lest said women get accused of being cold-hearted bitches. By having some fucking standards and not trying to turn “texts you for a beej and boots you out the door” guy into your boyfriend, these young women are probably speeding up the process that turns a belligerent young man who is afraid that intimacy will make him grow vaginas to a young man who puts all that behind him to enjoy the pleasures of actually hanging out with and enjoying the company of women you have sex with.
That’s just too funny. Yeah, hand out blowjobs like party favors at a McDonald’s restaurant opening, because that will make men eventually grow up and love you!
I sincerely feel sorry for any woman who takes Marcotte and her ilk seriously. Embrace your slut! Accept those booty call texts! Go down on as many randoms as you can! You’re actually helping them understand the value of women! Make sure you’re good and trashed when you do it, too. And if it doesn’t work out quite the way you hoped, you can always accuse him of raping you.
Competing with sluts is actually really, really easy, and Marcotte’s advice makes it even easier! Any young lady that takes my advice will have her pick of men, who will be devoted to her, as long as she is devoted to him. And if it requires alcohol to carry out my advice, he’s the wrong guy. Or you’re an alcoholic. Either way, it’s wrong.
The conversation took an interesting turn today at Jezebel, where the ladies proclaim that hook-up culture is a rich, white girl thing. All the other ladies have the whole relationship thing worked out, and know how to encourage intimacy and attachment and establish meaningful connections with their sexual partners.
…many young black kids have a desire to disprove the historical assumption that black people are “hypersexual” and therefore are more careful about their sexual activities.
I’m reading a very fascinating book by a man named Tom Burrell called “Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority”. Tom is not some liberal arts trained PhD student desperately trying to wade through the stickiness of post-modernist/feminist/heteronormative/cis-gendered/bullshit theory, like so many other people who write on issues of race and class and gender.
No, Tom is one of the founding partners of Burrell Communications, an incredibly successful and profitable advertising agency that specializes in targeting black consumers, so his words are written through the lens of what works in practice, not in theory.
I’ll take an adman over an academic, any day.
Burrell’s chapter on black sexuality and family formation is disturbing, to say the least. He charts out how the legacy of slavery and early emancipation was deliberately designed to fracture black families and make it incredibly difficult for black men and women to see each other as fully realized humans.
A common, modern critique of black culture is that plenty of other groups have had a rough go in terms of being dehumanized, vilified, and outright murdered throughout our long, sad history, and have still managed to maintain their basic orientation towards family and community. Most notably, Jewish people, subjected to the Holocaust, mass murder and plenty of anti-Semitism across the globe have still managed to be productive, functional members of civilized society.
The Holocaust lasted 12 years.
Slavery lasted 250 years.
That’s a whole lot more time to destroy the foundations of a culture. And the reverberations have carried across a wider gulf of time.
The effect of slavery on families is pretty much a no-brainer. Children could be, and were sold away from their families. Marriages were either outright forbidden, or destroyed at the will of the slavemaster. Once it became illegal to import new slaves, existing slaves were used as breeding stock, and the bonds of family were completely and utterly irrelevant.
What I found very interesting was how early welfare laws STILL acted to destroy black families. In order for a woman to be eligible for benefits, she could not have a man in the house. She had to choose between her children and her husband.
Here is how Burrell lays out the historically rooted dysfunction in black families:
Disrespect: words of mutual contempt, ridicule, wide mistrust of mates
Roots: Black family life, not conducive to a slave based economy, was disrupted, disrespected, and destroyed. Black men and women were stripped of their roles as parents and protectors. Soceity, through the welfare system, dismissed black fathers
The beat-down: disproportionate rates of physical, verbal, spiritual, and psychological abuse in black families
Roots: Slaves and descendants were conditioned to accept physical and psychological abuse. Emulation of slave-era dominant males norms continues today with a misplaced sense of “manhood” and reaction to powerlessness
Can’t be true to my Boo: the acceptance and expectation of infidelity
Roots: Result of male slave emasculation and bearing witness to misogynistic, humiliating crimes against black women. Black men portrayed as unreliable and unable to protect. Black women portrayed as the property of white males. Unquestioned belief in black male and female unworthiness.
Icing: Emotional shutdown and distance that fosters unhealthy relationships
Roots: Slaves learned to endure conditions outside their control. Protective mechanisms to provide family safety fractured during slavery. Generational acceptance of trauma and instability of black life.
What I find most compelling about Tom’s book is that he is not offering EXCUSES for how black culture operates, nor is he asking for ACCEPTANCE. He is offering an EXPLANATION, and using his analysis of how and why certain aspects of the culture came to be as a means of charting a way out of the mess that exists now.
And he very clearly points out that white, especially liberal, thinkers are a key part of the strategy to CONTINUE to represent black people as inherently inferior all the while pretending to be sympathetic and understanding.
The Jezebel article about hook-up culture is a perfect example. By claiming hook-up is a white thing, the writers can pat themselves on the back for NOT engaging those nasty racial stereotypes about “hypersexual” black folks just wanting sex and popping out babies willy-nilly. Of course, they still have to make sure the stereotype gets engaged by mentioning how they are NOT engaging the stereotype, but they conveniently put the words into the mouths of black students themselves.
It would be racist for Jezebel to say such a thing directly.
It’s even more racist to ignore it.
By only focusing on the elite, the successful black college kids who keep it in their pants, Jezebel ignores and therefore allows all the young black men and women struggling through a massively dysfunctional culture to seem normal, natural and ultimately responsible for their own predicaments.
And ultimately, they are. But that doesn’t mean there are not a whole lot of structural and psychological factors that come into play. Again, those factors are NOT excuses, they are explanations and they offer a road map for how to tackle the issues facing the black community.
Seven out of every ten black children are born out of wedlock, into families that have no fathers present on a permanent basis.
How does that sneak by the “hook-up” culture radar? The real headline on the Jezebel piece should have been “White girls better at birth control and abortion”, which leads to a whole different set of critiques. Or maybe it should have been “White girls better at blowjobs”, since it’s pretty hard to get pregnant from a blowjob.
I have often pointed out that feminism, upon closer examination, appears to actively hate women. Marcotte’s advice to engage in casual, meaningless oral sex as a means to teach men to value women falls right into that camp. Women need to be drunk to override their basic impulses NOT to do that, but feminism still goes all rah-rah-blowjobs-for-everyone! Rather than treat women’s basic instincts as right and proper and valuable and worthy, feminism seeks to get women to deny their most simple needs.
Articles like “hook-up culture is a white thing”, while superficially appearing to be race-progressive (tee hee – only white girls are sluts!) is an active part of the dialogue to ensure that black families continue to be subject to the pressures that make their formation so damn difficult. Black women are right to be very suspicious of feminism.
Feminism isn’t just about female superiority: it’s about WHITE female superiority. The vast majority of white, college-educated women will go on to marry and produce children within the legal bonds of matrimony, because white women aren’t stupid. There are enormous advantages to being married, and it remains one of the very best ways to create wealth and transfer it to the next generation. Marriage is what allows the divorce industry to flourish, so even when those smart, white ladies decide it’s time to trade in for Husband 2.0, they still keep most of the families accumulated wealth.
And there is a competitive advantage to keeping the number of married, stable families limited to white ones. It’s pretty easy to compete against the single mamas and fathers paying child support to six different women when you’re a rich white lady married to an equally rich white dude.
Pointing out that hook-up culture is NOT a white thing, and that it is having a devastating effect on black families is not racist.
Ignoring it, all the while congratulating oneself on being so liberal and progressive, most definitely IS.
The problem is not what a bunch of drunk white sorority girls do during their downtime at college. It’s how that culture takes an already problematic idea and makes it so much worse for everyone who is NOT a drunk white sorority girl. The empowered slut trope makes it virtually impossible to discuss subjects like fidelity and kindness and intimacy and connection and attachment and commitment and marriage without coming off sounding like some Bible-thumping Puritan intent on shutting down all fun forever.
By and large, white folks don’t NEED to discuss fidelity and kindness and intimacy and connection and attachment and commitment and marriage, because we haven’t been subject to centuries of social engineering to make sure those things are almost impossible to achieve.
There are, however, some people who DO need to openly, actively, proactively and strategically discuss those topics. By shutting down that conversation, we ensure black culture continues to flail around in darkness. Feminism doesn’t want black men and women to have that discussion.
Why not, ladies? Are you afraid to compete? Afraid that a culture coming out of such turmoil and devastation might discover what younger white women, having lived through the nuclear devastation of their mother’s feminism are coming to understand in ever increasing numbers?
We are meant to live in harmony with one another. We are meant to have children and raise them in loving, stable families. Men and women are meant to complement, and not compete with one another. Humans are social creatures. We are meant to live in families.
And the more of those families that are black, the better off we will all be. Keeping black culture in turmoil by engaging white liberal guilt is a key part of denying that families matter. That children matter. That men matter.
“Go it alone — you don’t need a man”
That’s a message far more black women receive, and act on, than white women. It’s not racist to point that out.
It’s racist NOT to.
Lots of love,