Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hook Up Trend Promotes Female Objectification

OUTSIDE THE BUBBLE Hook Up Trend Promotes Female Objectification By: Katie Vezeris

Last month I could not help feeling a sense of unease when my 12-year-old sister confidently strutted into the living room in a tiny white tank top and shorts with the word HOYAS written on the bottom. Based on new research, her struggle to attract boys with her body is not so shocking.

Last July, the Independent Women’s Forum released a lengthy study regarding the prevalence of a “hook-up culture” in college and its demeaning effects on young women.

While women have certainly improved their status in society, the IWF’s study entitled “Hooking up, Hanging out, and Hoping for Mr. Right – College Women on Dating and Mating Today” reminds us that the gap between the genders still exists. The study summarizes the responses of women from 11 college campuses including Yale University, Howard University, the University of Virginia and Rutgers University to questions concerning dating, relationships and sex.

Questions centered on the definition of dating, hooking up and boyfriends. The study also explored the emotional confusion women face after sexual encounters and the common methods of social interaction.

Researchers conclude, not surprisingly, that as dating has become an increasingly extinct phenomenon, emotionally void sexual acts have come to dominate the weekend party scene. Why go through the awkward ordeal of a date when we can get drunk and end up in someone’s bed anyway? The study also notes that relationships are either “joined at the hip or hanging out,” with little in between. The study depicts a very narrow pool of dating options, far from the old-fashioned nights of courtship and swing dancing from man to man.

Should we be complaining?

The general conclusion is that young women are not content with the hook-up culture that prevails at colleges from Georgetown to Stanford. While the sexual revolution of the 1960s suddenly opened doors regarding free sexual expression, the “hook up culture” only serves to objectify women and reassert the message that women are objects of sexual conquest. Without the intimacy of a budding relationship, sexual encounters are more degrading than empowering.

How can someone feel liberated after hooking up and then turning a blind eye to one’s partner in the exploit? I challenge any female to completely draw a line between sexual behavior and emotional repercussions.

The IWF conclusions suggest easing social despair with a backward movement toward a more traditional 1950s-style dating scene. While dating certainly improves the chances of personal communication and understanding before sex, the implausibility of a milkshake and burger date is all too evident.

Rather, we must all call for the reinforcement of mutual respect for oneself and others. Successful women should have confidence in their personal as well as social lives. We must stop compartmentalizing and distinguishing between love and physical attraction. Girls who sit by the phone in futile hope of a call after a crazy Friday night have certainly not succeeded in separating the two.

So long as women are objectified and exploited by the media, can we ever be

seen as body and brains in one? When advertisements depict women’s scantily clad bodies with their heads cropped off, is it any wonder that society has come to divide the body from the person? My sister should walk in confidence due to her endearing traits, not her resemblance to a Delia’s model. Maybe after she braves the path of college applications, the HOYAS written on her rear will stand for intelligence and school pride rather than long legs and a trim waist.

Outside The Bubble appears every other Tuesday in The Hoya. The author can be reached at outsidethebubblethehoya.com.

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