Himika Akram reporter
With the plethora of options when it comes to the dating apps in todays world, hook-up culture is getting increasingly popular day by day amongst the college students. Hook-up culture is popularizing terminologies such as friends with benefits, one-night stands, no strings attached and so on. The issue is, women think hook-up culture gives them the freedom of their own body or their own choice via exclusively physical relationships; which makes them feel empowered when it comes to sexuality. And I won’t deny that it is true to some extent; but if you give it a deep thought, instead of empowering themselves, women are falling prey to a trap which is very much misogynistic in nature.
After reading to this point, if you feel offended, wondering this is a write-up from a regressive person, I would say take a pause and think neutrally. No matter it is the USA or any European country or any Asian country, we cannot deny that we live in a very much patriarchal setting. Every rule and norm are set in such a way, which is more convenient for men then the women. Hook-up culture is also not an exception. Firstly, there are some women who want a casual physical relationship and nothing beyond that; but then there is another group who do not want that; but still, they are involving into such casual-sexes because they simply do not have any other option. We are the ones who are making it a new-normal day by day.
Plus, the Hollywood movies are making it look like a cool trend as well which are directly or indirectly encouraging women to do so by glamorizing this practice. So how can you call it empowering when you are simply succumbing to the norm or a trend that the society and media; in other words, other people have set for you? Where are you exercising your freedom here? Many women do it not because they want it, but because they want to be seen as, ‘hot’ by men.
Secondly, many people have an idea of what fraternity parties are like. It is an unwritten rule that the number of girls have to be higher than the number of boys. Usually the ratio is 3:1, which means, for every boy, there are choice of 3 girls. So, he is getting to choose from the options, whereas women are just catering to their choice as options. Is not it degrading to think that men are given the power to choose here and women are just at the receiving end of that choice? That is how the society is formed, men are grown up disliking and disrespecting women. Even in many cultures, that is something which is even cheered.
Thirdly, think about the safety aspect. How safe is it? No matter how much of a strong feminist one can be, none can deny that women are more unsafe than men. What if she gets a sexually transmitted infection (STI)? What if she gets pregnant? After the baby is born (let’s imagine she is a pro-life) what is the guarantee that the men help take care of it? Let’s say he agreed to keep the baby at first, but then disappeared. What that woman would do after that? Single parenting is no joke let me tell you.
Most importantly, what if that woman gets raped? In hook-up culture, consensual sex and assault are becoming blurrier day by day. Many women, trying to look cool, do not talk about it and keep dying inside. The emotional pain, the guilt, lack of fulfillment, the feeling of being used it causes, nearly kill them.
These feelings also cause terrible married life later. One-night stands might sound fun, but let’s not forget that society has a very high level of double standard which is ever-lasting. Men get away with these casual-sexes earning the tag of a cool dude, but women get judged both by men and even other women once they start doing it.
Even though it is 2023, but no, in that aspect, we have not changed much. You can argue as much as you want to, but let’s face it. At the end of the day, young college girls who get into this culture, gets confused and starts defining their relationships with terms such as kind of or sort of. As an adult, if you have made a choice and then cannot even define it properly; then how can you call it empowering?
There are many more ways to express feminism, but getting drunk and disoriented, then going to a stranger’s home, and waking up to the utter shock and not being able to recognize who someone slept with, I am not sure what kind of feminism is that.
Chivalry upsets you, but this does not? Instead of empowering women, I feel hook-up culture is making them objectified. Instead of following the trend blindly, women need to step back the question themselves is this something they really want?
Instead of desperately trying to look cool, women and men may channelize that emotion or energy into something more creative, like, trying to explore different social circles, being honest to one’s self and to the community and reviving some old school values such as spending more time with parents, siblings and friends. Of-course women should have their own choice and hook-up culture might have some pros; but the bottom-line is, it stigmatizes emotional quotient in a physical relationship, which is unhealthy for both genders.