Feminism as a Basis for Equality: last concept analysis

which is the most important or influential concept to understanding the relationship between sex and society that we covered in the class and why?

I believe that the most important concept to understanding the relationship between sex and society that we covered in class is feminism. I believe that feminism is the most crucial concept covered in this class because of the common misinterpretation of the term. Feminism, as we have defined in class, is the movement for political, social, and economic equality for men and women alike. It has been noted by people including stars such as Emma Roberts and Taylor Swift that to many people in this society, the term feminism is perceived in a negative manner. According to Taylor Swift, many girls “think it means something angry, or disgruntled, or complaining, or they picture rioting and picketing. It is not that at all. It simply means you believe women and men should have equal rights and opportunities.” This quote highlights the lack of understanding of the term that exist in this society and its aggressive connotations.

As a society that is steadily progressing in women’s rights and opportunities in all aspects, this term should not be one that is misunderstood. Still today, women face discrimination simply because of gender and organizations such as “He for She” aim to eliminate that discrimination. This concept was brought up multiple times in class and is connected to many of the other concepts we discussed in class as well.

Equality for men and women is progressive and long-awaited for Americans and should continue to be addressed publicly and with efforts to raise awareness. Discrimination can take many forms and along with gender discrimination, we discussed discrimination based on sexual orientation and race. All of these forms of discrimination allow for an intolerant and unjust society. I believe all of these are crucial in understanding sex and society because they expose the major issues that lie within our society’s ability to exist and feel accepted by others. One’s sexual experiences and choices should be unique to each individual and those choices should not be left for judgement of others.

Feminism means equal opportunities for both men and women but also implies that there not be a double standard regarding sex and society. While it is quite obvious in our culture that men are applauded for having multiple lovers, it is also known that if a woman has multiple lovers she is more likely to be labeled as promiscuous. This is an example of gender inequality and remains a major issue in today’s society and affects the sex culture we live in. Along with hook-up culture, this makes for a difficult and confusing social script for women to live by and follow.

Spreading the ideas of feminism and promoting the equality of the sexes, I feel, would eliminate many of the issues we face in society relating to sex and would be the basis of reform for acceptance. Once we can establish equal opportunities for men and women alike, maybe we can extend that form of equality to acceptance for sexual orientations and race.

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What’s Sex Got to do With… My Final Blog Post

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Throughout this semester, I have learned a lot more than I actually thought I would. There is a huge relationship between sex and society and the two connect in many more ways than just one. Above everything else we discussed about in class, I think one of the most important things we talked about regarding the relationship between sex and society is hook up culture and how it affects rape culture (especially on college campuses). This topic is incredibly relevant to myself, as I am a college student. It is also very true in the sense that college campuses thrive from the hook up culture. And along with this, the hook up culture that involves drugs and alcohol and partying—contributes to the existence of a rape culture on college campuses.

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Everyone knows that while college is very grueling academically—the weekends can be pretty fun. College campuses are filled with frat parties, house parties, sports tailgates, and bars. To go along with these, there is always an abundance of both alcohol and drugs available and easily accessed. When all of these things come together they create an environment that a hook up culture thrives inside of. After every weekend (or night that students go out) you hear various stories about who hooked up with who and what they did. As young teens begin to grow up and become more sexually active, the hook up culture continues to become even more popular.

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My first week of college reinforced the idea that dating barely exists anymore. Perhaps it does exist outside of college for the graduated generation, but it is irrelevant and absent in college life. There is something about college that largely encourages a hook up scene opposed to a dating culture. If two college students are to start a relationship with one another—it will most likely emerge out of a hook up. Students will usually start “hooking up” before anything else. Then, after they become exclusive, or realize they like each other—they may switch from “hooking up” to being in a relationship. Typically, that is how college (and even high school) relationships form—nobody starts out by dating.

Alcohol is also a huge factor in the hook up culture. A lot of students feel the need to consume alcohol in order to feel more comfortable, outgoing, and not as shy—when going out to parties. Without alcohol in their system, some students fear possible rejection and think it is necessary to drink in order to have fun. Once alcohol gets into the mix of things, sexual assault can become more and more common. While I do think sexual assault and power based personal violence will also happen without alcohol being involved—it can definitely increase the chances. Another thing about alcohol is that when people start consuming it and grow to be intoxicated they can no longer give sexual consent. This can cause a lot of problems. Although I don’t think there is any chance that dating will ever take over the college hook up culture, college students do need to be careful and be aware of what could possibly happen at parties once alcohol and drugs are involved.

 

 

 

Wait, What’s Hooking Up?

Sociologist Kathleen Bogle, a woman who experienced the early stages of the hookup scene herself in the early 1990s, found herself intrigued after trying to explain the hookup culture to a fellow member of the sociology department who was a member of the dating-era. Upon this episode, she was urged to follow up and do a study on it. To do so, she conducted a series of interviews throughout northeastern college campuses, and began to collect data. All of the information that she gathered was organized, forming her book, Hooking Up. She seeks to reveal many aspects of the current hookup scene on college campuses today, including what hooking up is, the shift from the dating scene, the existing double standard between men and women, and life after the hookup scene. the most interesting aspect of all of the studies to me personally is the question of what it means to hookup.

The main assertion in Bogle’s chapter about what it means to hookup is that there is no concrete definition; the definition can change based on the people involved, the situation, and the environment. This chapter features an interview with a man named Tony who attends a State University and helps explicate this idea further. In the interview upon being asked to define a hookup, he said that it could be taking someone home, spending the night with them, and having intercourse- but it could also mean just kissing, having sex, or other sexual acts. In Bogle’s dissection of this interview and others, it became clear that the term, “hooking up,” is very ambiguous. It can refer to multiple things, such as having sex, oral sex, making out, sexual touching, and just kissing. Students are aware of the ambiguity of this term, and it is clear that different people use the term differently. Because of this, saying that you have “hooked up” with someone begs follow up questions to clarify exactly how far the hookup went.

This is the problem with the term “hooking up”. The obscurity leaves room for people to make assumptions and form ideas of what happened when they really cannot be sure unless follow up questions are asked. Because of this obscurity, it is easy for people to blur the lines of hooking up, embellish stories, and downright make up stories of what happened during a hookup. The issue with this term is not what constitutes as a hookup, because clearly, the definition will shift based on the person that is asked and the situation, but it is the uncertainty that follows the term because of the ambiguity of the term itself. A person saying that they hooked up with someone is normal, and expected of college students; however,  problems can begin to arise when others make assertions about someone else’s hookup.

In class when asked to define hooking up, most everyone had different answers, similar to Bogle’s interviews, yet some were the same. The definitions really do vary based on a student’s age, friend group, environment, social scene, upbringing, etc; agents of sexual socialization could also play into this. The definitions also shifted between males and females. From these discussions, it has become evident that the “bases” metaphor to hooking up no longer stands and has shifted, and that there is a disparity between what these terms and ideas mean whether you are a man or a woman. It seems as if the bases are beginning to go further than they have previously. What is now “first base (making out accompanied with sexual touching” is what used to be second, and what is now “second base (oral sex)” used to be third. Some might even argue that oral sex comes with first base, but not necessarily both male and female oral sex; oral sex performed on males is now expected to happen prior to oral sex performed on females in heterosexual relationships.

Relating all of the assertions made in Bogle’s book, formed and class and made by me, myself, proved to be very interesting when relating them to the social groups I am involved on here on Vanderbilt’s campus as well as other college campuses across the country. Once again, the definition of hooking up varies based on the person. In my friend group here, hooking up seems to mean having sex to the more sexually experienced girls, whereas to the less sexually experienced girls, it could mean kissing, making out, or possibly oral sex. To those who are more sexually experienced and hooking up means sex, they would say they just made out if that is all that happened rather than saying they “hooked up.” This is very normal here on Vanderbilt’s campus, but compared to other schools, there are disparities on the hookup scene and definition of hooking up. My three best friends go to Arizona State University, University of Kansas, and University of Portland. At Arizona State, my friend said that the hookup scene is so prevalent that hooking up, regardless of who the person is, almost means sex. The same goes for at Kansas, yet not quite to the same level ASU. However, at Portland, the scripts are much like here at Vanderbilt.

Why do think that the hookup scenes vary from campus to campus? Why is Vanderbilt’s so unique? Does region and prestige play in a role in this? How influential are the agents of sexual socialization in someone’s definition of hooking up?