He flirts and rapes her in the van. Silent. She did not say or respond anything. Tiffany’s face at that time, was empty of emotion and she was the look of a woman resigned but, she was so helpless. I love you said her boyfriend while having sexual intercourse with her. Consent is not a thing anymore as people did not see it as something important before they start do anything to their partner. They always act innocent, saying that they thought they were just having fun, which was what they ‘normally’ do. ‘Normally’ here means that they hooking up. In other words, having sex consensually and having mutual interest of both parties. But what if the other party not really participate in that? Is that what we call a rape? What is rape actually? As we know, rape is defined as a type of sexual offense usually relating sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person who is unable of giving valid consent. So, we know that rape is totally something else but it is somehow related to hook up. How it is related to each other? Rape is already existed in this world years ago, but the number keeps increasing with time. Does hookup culture really promotes rape culture?
I am arguing that hookup culture promotes and help normalize rape culture in this digital era, especially on a collegiate level. But this is not clear yet because some people agree with this and some are not. So, I will talk about the hookup culture first and see how they correlate. People have been practicing hookup as in casual sex and it is a norm for college students. It is because casual sex has many benefits including sexual pleasure, freedom, and desirability. College students want to fit in with everyone else; thus, they were depersonalized by hookup sex and they felt that they have to take part to get a full college experience. However, when we talk about ‘full college experience’ it means the hookup sex after party, or we can call it making love. This culture makes people think that sex is for fun which could lead to rape. Hookup culture promotes new relationship for people, but people who misuse it would take advantage of this culture by doing an inappropriate act to others.
I conducted an online survey, 60 percent of them agree that hookup culture promotes rape culture. The main reason would be our generation is not fully educated on what rape actually entails, what is consent, and how do they recognize it. Most of the time, people assume that their partners want to hook up before asking first and they thought it is okay to have non-consensual sex, and using the ‘hooking up’ term to describe it. This happened because the thought that hookup culture is a pass or invitation for sex and that all individuals desire to hook up at parties, often seems to lead to non-consensual intercourse which promotes rape culture. That is why 67 percent of sexual assaults are committed by someone that the victim known, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). This statistic is so alarming as people do not use consent anymore and anyone can be a rapist even though they are our best friend or brothers. Additionally, when two people want to hook up, there are times when those people are not on the same page, where someone might want to do more than the other person.
Furthermore, promoting casual sex and drinking influence rape culture. It promotes the sense that women are just sex objects and if they are really drunk, they will be easier to get into bed. It is like the idea that if a woman is incapable to give consent, that is consent for them. Media also always promotes casual sex with alcohol. For example, American Pie movie where the college boys want to find a drunk girl to have sex and lose their virginity to. The fact that guy goes to a party to find drunk women to have sex with is so sickening and needs to be changed. Besides, it is normal to get drunk at parties, but some people love to take advantage of others. People usually hook up with somebody they do not really know about and most of the time, alcohol is involved. While being unconscious, this could lead to a blurry line between consensual and non-consensual sex either with the person one hooked up with or some stranger who misread the signal and saw it as his or her opportunity to have sex.
Moreover, some people are just desperate. Thus, having sex without consent exists. Most of the people have been wondering if drunk sex is considered as rape. If two drunk people have sex and neither one files charges of rape, there will not be any case. But, what about if one party is intoxicated? The question here is does drunk girl can give consent? If no, then, no. According to a study cited by Freitas in her book, The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy, 90 percent of unwanted sexual encounters took place within the context of a hookup. This means that hookups and rapes are mostly occurring at parties. Frequently college parties take place at the frat house, leaving women in the less power situation. Some men willingly do anything to get hookup including intentionally plying girls with alcohol to get them intoxicated or incapacitated and blocking the girls from leaving the party. If they managed to get the girls to have sex with them, that is rape as they have been infused with coercive and non-consensual sex. Some people cannot control their lust and they think rape someone is the only way that they can release their pressure and have pleasure.
Last but not least, even though media, Greek Life and basically everyone promote hookup culture which could lead to rape culture, we can still prevent and stop this if people are aware about consent. Even for married couples, if a husband has sex with his wife without her consent, it is considered rape, regardless of the marital relationship. People should know that flirting is not consent, the absence of a ‘no’ is not consent and the silence is not consent. People should educate themselves about this because this is a serious issue and could affect someone else’s life and future. We always read or heard that if people follows certain guidelines like dressing appropriately, not walking alone at night and avoiding themselves from drinking alcohol and others, they can avoid themselves from being raped. Yet, the fact that no matter how cautious they are, rape can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere. All the guidelines are like blaming the victims. Whatever happens, it is never the victim’s fault.
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