The hook-up generation

No-means-No-300x172We have all read about the escalation of rapes that have taken place on college campuses.  There are so many conversations to have on this topic.  Are college campuses educating incoming freshman about safe sex and rape.  It is refreshing to see that women are actually coming out and saying this person raped me vs sweeping it under the carpet.  Unfortunately most campuses are not equipped to deal with the aftermath of these abuses as they would prefer to continue to sweep a rape under the carpet.

Education is obviously key. Sexual education should begin at a very young age and in many schools it does where as in other schools there is none.  Sex is one of those topics that parents rarely talk about.  They realize that they should talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol but when it comes to sex many just want to know if they are using birth control.

The reality is that once your kid reaches a certain age they are more than likely going to become sexually active because of the hook-up culture that is essentially the long tail aftermath of the sexual revolution.  Birth control has given women the same opportunity as men when it comes to having casual sex.  Because both men and women are having one night hook-ups there seems to be this broken communication around when no means no.  What is incredible is because so many women are now empowered to have casual sex and feel comfortable about the one night hook-up that they also feel powerful enough to say I have been raped.  They are not holding back but putting it out there because they realize that they were raped, it is a crime and it is not ok.  I applaud every single one of these women who have come forward.  However the system has to get better at gathering information and investigating rape.  After all, in our country you are innocent until proven guilty and you have to prove a crime in order to prosecute those individuals.

Let’s go back to the importance of education.  Young men ( and women ) have to understand that no means no.  Make sure that you are both consenting to having sex.  Communicate and if  someone is so wasted that they can not communicate I would take that as a no.  Second is use protection.  Third is sex is a two way street.  These are conversations that should be taking place at home not only at school.  Respecting each other when it comes to sex is an important lesson to learn young.

Colleges should be talking about rape, educating incoming freshman about no means no and understanding that there will be repercussions, prosecution and immediate suspension if someone was found to have raped another individual.  Colleges should be safe places where you can go wild among friends and are free to have a one night hook-up without fear of being raped.

Comments (Archived):

  1. lisa hickey

    Thanks for this Joanne. It’s such an important subject, but a difficult one for most people to talk about. But as part of the work I am doing (I run a website that is actively talking about the changing roles of men in the 21st century) — this comes up a lot and is very important to our community. So let me just add a couple of things that we have learned as part of our conversations:1) Not only does “No Mean No”, but in California, at least, there’s a new law that says “Only Yes Means Yes”. When we talk about consent, we talk about “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.” It needs to be explicit. And how do we make sure it’s explicit? Make sure it’s enthusiastic. Enthusiastic consent should be the norm.2) This leads to—what I’ve found—is the best way to talk to our youth about consent. Consent is sexy. Consent is not something that you should check off your list to make sure you don’t get in trouble. Enthusiastic consent is the best way to great sex, period. When I have gone to college campuses to talk about this, the people in the audience aren’t fidgeting and rolling their eyes. There is rapt attention, they hang on to every word—and they ask amazing, difficult questions about the sexiness of consent. I then explain to the students how they can practice asking for and giving enthusiastic consent in everything they do—“May I give you a hug?” “Can I borrow your pencil” “Will you let me walk you home?” If you can’t make asking for or giving consent a part of your everyday vocabulary, you are never going to be able to do it in the heat of a sexual moment.3) Men get raped too. This is one of the things we REALLY have to change about the cultural conversation (and I was so glad you mentioned “Men too!”). There was a story in the NYTimes today that talked about a study of sexual assault at MIT. 17 percent of the women and 5 percent of the men reported being sexually assaulted while at MIT.… Just because men get sexually assaulted at a lower rate than women does not mean it doesn’t happen. And if you think it is hard for women to come forward—-how hard do you think it is for men? Men have been culturally conditioned to “man up”, “shake it off” and worse “oh you got lucky.” We barely have the vocabulary to men to talk about this.And the same way the sexual revolution is causing the changes you speak of—it is my belief that the percentage of men who experience sexual assault will rise. In the past, men have been culturally conditioned to see a lot of sexual partners as a part of their identity, and women are conditioned to be the gatekeepers, the withholders of sex as part of their identity. That is slowly changing. Also, the number of people open about same-sex relationships is rising rapidly. That is why it is important— imperative—that we have this conversation so that both men AND women know how to ask for and to give enthusiastic sexual consent.Thanks again for this important conversation.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks for this info. Great additionSaw the MIT piece this morning. Excellent that they did that

      1. pointsnfigures

        I don’t like the new bureaucratic methods to stop campus rape on college campuses. I am mentoring a company right now, which is in in Chicago that has a tech way to stop rape (and other crime). Totally agree with GG on education. But, it starts in the home. Parents shouldn’t abdicate this responsibility to a classroom.

        1. Gotham Gal

          it absolutely starts at home.

          1. pointsnfigures

            should be see what you think.

    2. TanyaMonteiro

      Such important and needed work your doing Lisa! Thank you for sharing this

  2. TanyaMonteiro

    “I didn’t do anything because it didn’t seem like there was anything to do” read this line in an interesting article this morning. I think it’s a key factor in the perpetuation of this crime. A very important conversation to keep having, Thanks Joanne.http://www.huffingtonpost.c

  3. LE

    I’m going to say, perhaps naively, that this type of things stems from what happens at home and how someone is raised by both mother and father to view women. What types of things they “drop”into their head.For example in my family (had two sisters) my father never ever said anything disparaging about women although he did say disparaging things about certain minorities and people of other religions for that matter. (My point being he was no saint he just wasn’t negative on women..) As a result my view of women was quite different than my peers (although of course times were different then as well obviously).My ex wife on the other hand, well, I remember very early when we were married my ex brother in law making a lewd comment at a family dinner (when women had left the table) and I looked at my father in law to see his reaction and he laughed and enjoyed it. I couldn’t believe he actually thought it was ok that he said what he did (after all he was married to his daughter, right)?My ex father in law came from a different time and place. To him women were “broads”. If a women was a hard worker he would say “she’s one of those broads that hustles”. He also would make lewd comments about his own step daughter. He called his wife “babe”. Every women was “so and so ‘babe'”.I think it’s pretty hard for “education” and school to unring some of these bells.