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Wade asks, "How do two people establish that an intimate moment between them wasn't meaningful?
" In three ways: by being or pretending to have been inebriated, only hooking up with someone once, and the most destructive way, by creating emotional distance through cold bordering-on-cruel behavior towards the other person.
Even the female participants of hookup culture tend to follow this hierarchy, making exceptions for black or other minority partners when the individual comes with their own social cachet, like being star athlete.
Unfortunately, hookup culture is inherently racist. And even though hookup culture was inspired by gay culture, its current iteration is also oppressively homophobic unless we're talking about two women kissing for the benefit of that white male gaze.
She describes how as people moved from a rural lifestyle in which men and women both equally helped run a household, urbanization created the false dichotomy of "separate spheres" that men were fit for the workforce and that women should tend the home.
It's a huge stretch to see how actively participating in a culture with its roots in fraternity hierarchy, toxic masculinity, exclusionism, misogyny, and white privilege often leading to the degradation and sexual objectification of women could ever be a feminist act.
The gay liberation of the 1970s provided the exact framework for the hookup culture we have today.
Further, until the late 1800s, the college experience was anything but fun. Wade explains: "Infused with a rebelliousness that was their birthright, fraternities incubated a lifestyle that revolved around recklessness and irresponsibility. Before the 1900s, fraternity men had sex mostly with prostitutes, poor women, and women they enslaved. The women they had sex with weren't their social equals, so they had little power to negotiate sexual terms.
Next came the economic devastation of the Great Depression, and the loss of a huge chunk of the American male population after World War II.
The male shortage after the war prompted the notion of "going steady" that was the go-to method for sexual relations until the 1960s and 1970s free love ideology came into play.
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It seems to me that opting of hookup culture would be the more powerful and rebellious political statement a person could make.