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Sex on Campus - She Can Play That Game, Too - NYTimes.com
In interviews, “Some of them actually said things like, ‘A relationship is like taking a four-credit class,’ or ‘I could get in a relationship, or I could finish my film,’ ” Dr. Armstrong said.

Increasingly, she said, many privileged young people see college as a unique life stage in which they don’t — and shouldn’t — have obligations other than their own self-development.

In November of Haley’s freshman year, a couple of months after her first tentative “Difmos,” or dance-floor makeouts, she went to a party with a boy from her floor. She had too much to drink, and she remembered telling him that she wanted to go home.

Instead, she said, he took her to his room and had sex with her while she drifted in and out of consciousness. She woke up with her head spinning. The next day, not sure what to think about what had happened, she described the night to her friends as though it were a funny story: I was so drunk, I fell asleep while I was having sex! She played up the moment in the middle of the night when the guy’s roommate poked his head in the room and asked, “Yo, did you score?”

Only later did Haley begin to think of what had happened as rape — a disturbingly common part of many women’s college experience. In a 2007 survey funded by the Justice Department of 6,800 undergraduates at two big public universities, nearly 14 percent of women said they had been victims of at least one completed sexual assault at college; more than half of the victims said they were incapacitated from drugs or alcohol at the time.

The close relationship between hooking up and drinking leads to confusion and disagreement about the line between a “bad hookup” and assault. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, 10 to 16 forcible sex offenses were reported annually to campus security as taking place on Penn’s campus or in the immediate neighborhood.

When she went to Penn, she was surprised to see her elite classmates drinking, but even more surprised by the casual making out. She would go along with her friends to fraternity parties, but she refused to dance with strangers or to kiss anyone.

“Sharing that side of myself with a stranger just seems very strange to me,” she said in September. “I mean, if you break it down, it’s a very strange thing to do.”

Her unease was common among students from relatively modest backgrounds, said Dr. Armstrong, the University of Michigan sociologist. In one study, conducted with Laura Hamilton, now a professor at the University of California, Merced, Dr. Armstrong followed roughly 50 women from their freshman year at Indiana University in 2004 until the end of their college careers. They found that the women from wealthier backgrounds were much more likely to hook up, more interested in postponing adult responsibilities and warier of serious romantic commitment than their less-affluent classmates.

The women from less-privileged backgrounds looked at their classmates who got drunk and hooked up as immature.

At Penn, Mercedes said: “Everyone else seemed to live life, not really care about what they were doing. Like, ‘You’re only young once,’ they had that sort of mentality. And I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be, like, free-spirited, and not really care about the consequences of my actions.”

She added, “Nothing is stopping me from rebelling. I just didn’t rebel.”

Catherine, a Penn senior, had found hooking up in college to be a continual source of heartbreak. She had repeatedly made the mistake of thinking that because she was sleeping with someone, they were in a relationship, only to be disabused when the guy broke things off abruptly. The only glimmer of light had been a friendship with a guy she had met while studying abroad in Ireland, which blossomed into a romance just before she had to leave. Although, because of the distance, they ended up not pursuing a relationship, the experience had given her hope for the future.

In Catherine’s view, her classmates tried very hard to separate sex from emotion, because they believed that getting too attached to someone would interfere with their work. They saw a woman’s marrying young as either proof of a lack of ambition or a tragic mistake that would stunt her career.

But Catherine noted that a handful of young women are starting to question that idea. In an article on Slate titled “Marry Young,” the writer Julia Shaw, who married at 23, said her generation was missing out on the support that young couples could provide each other as they faced the challenges of early adulthood.

“Marriage wasn’t something we did after we’d grown up, it was how we have grown up and grown together,” she wrote of herself and her husband.


From the comments:
Susan Patton - “They have gotten such strong, vitriolic messages from the extreme feminists saying, ‘Go it alone — you don’t need a man,’

I'm not sure it's the feminists. I think the 'go it alone' message comes from Mom and Dad. It allows the parents to retain control over the child. Throw in a little spending money from Pops along with the paid-for college tuition and the control is complete. No need to upset the apple cart with a son-in-law in waiting. The hook-ups simply aren't discussed on the paid-for visits home. Good luck, girls.

What I hear in this piece that is not addressed is the use of alcohol to facilitate sex. It is my experience in life that we use substances when the better alternative-- close relationships that are actually intimate, meaning involve talking, sharing of self and emotion, are not reliable and to me this is not feminism at all but loneliness. Let's not return to the repression of my day, but on the other hand, using others as toys does not create happiness either. There is a middle ground and alcohol has nothing to do with that.
hookupculture  dating  drinking  partying  thedeathofmen  feminism  rapeculture  forthecomments 
october 2016 by kme
The real reason why women drink — Quartz
That’s the summer I realize that everyone around me is tanked. But it also dawns on me that the women are super double tanked — that to be a modern, urbane woman means to be a serious drinker. This isn’t a new idea — just ask the Sex and the City girls (or the flappers). A woman with a single malt scotch is bold and discerning and might fire you from her life if you fuck with her. A woman with a PBR is a Cool Girl who will not be shamed for belching. A woman drinking MommyJuice wine is saying she’s more than the unpaid labor she gave birth to. The things women drink are signifiers for free time and self-care and conversation — you know, luxuries we can’t afford. How did you not see this before? I ask myself. You were too hammered, I answer back. That summer I see, though. I see that booze is the oil in our motors, the thing that keeps us purring when we should be making other kinds of noise.

Have I mentioned that it’s morning when this happens? On a weekday? This isn’t one of those nightclub farmer’s markets. And the women aren’t the kind of beleaguered, downtrodden creatures you imagine drinking to get through the day. They’re pretty cool chicks, the kind people ridicule for having First World Problems. Why do they need to drink?
Well, maybe because even cool chicks are still women. And there’s no easy way to be a woman, because, as you may have noticed, there’s no acceptable way to be a woman. And if there’s no acceptable way to be the thing you are, then maybe you drink a little. Or a lot.

I don’t say she’ll have to work around interruptions and invisibility and micro-aggressions and a scarcity of role models and a lifetime of her own conditioning. My job on this panel is to make this place sound good, so I leave some stuff out. Particularly the fact that I’m drinking at least one bottle of wine a night to dissolve the day off of me.

What’s a girl to do when a bunch of dudes have just told her, in front of an audience, that she’s wrong about what it’s like to be herself? I could talk to them, one by one, and tell them how it felt. I could tell the panel organizers this is why you never have just one of us up there. I could buy myself a superhero costume and devote the rest of my life to vengeance on mansplainers everywhere.

Do you remember the Enjoli perfume commercial from the 1970s? The chick who could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a man?
I blame that bitch for a lot. For spreading the notion that women should have a career, keep house, and fuck their husbands, when the only sane thing to do is pick two and outsource the third. For making it seem glamorous. For suggesting it was going to be fun. And for the tagline she dragged around: “The 8-Hour Perfume for the 24-Hour Woman.” Just in case you thought you could get one fucking hour off the clock.

But knives and booze, yoga and booze, 13 mile runs and booze? What’s next to be liquored up: CPR training? Puppy ballet class? (Not really a thing, but someone should get on it.) Is there nothing so inherently absorbing or high-stakes or pleasurable that we won’t try to alter our natural response to it? Maybe women are so busy faking it — to be more like a man at work, more like a porn star in bed, more like 30 at 50 — that we don’t trust our natural responses anymore. Maybe all that wine is an Instagram filter for our own lives, so we don’t see how sallow and cracked they’ve become.
drinking  culture  alcohol  gender  mansplaining 
august 2016 by kme

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