I know this is a long post..and I’m sorry. But it has just been weighing on my heart and mind all day.
I’m not even sure how to write this post, because there are SO many angles, topics, thoughts on this topic. Woman, femininity, sex, careers, life.
I didn’t even think of writing this blog post, but I can’t help myself. I fell across this article on NYTimes.com “Sex on Campus — She Can Play To”
Until recently, those who studied the rise of hookup culture had generally assumed that it was driven by men, and that women were reluctant participants, more interested in romance than in casual sexual encounters. But there is an increasing realization that young women are propelling it, too.
I’m a huge believer that woman actually set the bar in how they are treated (yes, I get that there are cases of rape, abuse, etc. and I’m NOT at all saying that women ‘bring this upon themselves’.) However, in instances where the playing fields are ‘equal’, in the most cautious way I can say that, I think that women have a lot of power.
“It’s kind of like a spiral,” she said. “The girls adapt a little bit, because they stop expecting that they’re going to get a boyfriend — because if that’s all you’re trying to do, you’re going to be miserable. But at the same time, they want to, like, have contact with guys.” So they hook up and “try not to get attached.”
I yammered on to my former American Sophomore study abroad students, when they arrived in Australia mostly as a group of wide-eyed, sexually and dating inexperienced, often-times virgins, that they (men and women) should try and keep the bar where you want it.
I’m not here to say that we should go back to the pre-feminist movement of women being slaves in the kitchen, lacking education, choice, voice. I’m also not here to say that I didn’t have some alcohol induced make-out sessions in college, because I didn’t. I’m not free of that judgement. However, I didn’t think of sex as a scheduled weekend de-stress activity, and I choose to maintain my sexual commitments to a relationship. In fact, I was almost 25 years old when I lost my virginity and was 21 for my first kiss. None of it was driven by religion. It was driven by a desire to cherish it. It was driven by a desire to be ready for it. It was driven by a desire to engage in things when I felt it was right for me and not because..as one girls said..I had become a liability.
But over the course of the fall, as she saw very few students forming relationships, she began to lose hope about finding a boyfriend and to see her virginity as a hindrance. […] “I’m like, ‘O.K., I could do this now,’ ” she recalled thinking. “ ‘He’s superhot, I like him, he’s nice. But I’m not going to expect anything out of it, either.’ ”
I remember deciding to lose my virginity as something that I stewed over for years. I was in a committed relationship..and I felt I was ready. He wasn’t a random. I wasn’t drunk, stoned or pressured. I remember the whole time thinking how odd it felt. I remembering after it was all over thinking “that was it?”. Looking back, I didn’t love him. We were exclusive and committed, but there wasn’t love.
Having sex with someone who you love is absolutely magical. Sex isn’t always fabulous…but when you love someone…it gives sex something that random hook-ups will NEVER ever give. I think that hooking-up randomly and setting that as a foundation for relationships makes one approach to life with such a disposable, self-indulgent, self-absorbed mentality. I think it’s both dangerous for men and women. You are simply pawns in self-gratification.
“Guys don’t seem to care as much about women’s pleasure in the hookup, whereas they do seem to care quite a bit in the relationships,” Dr. England said. By contrast, women “seem to have this idea they’re supposed to be pleasing in both contexts.” In hookups, women were much more likely to give men oral sex than to receive it.
Another aspect of this article which fascinated me..is the mentality that “I a’int got time to set a bar…and I’m ok with that!”
Instead, she’ll talk about “cost-benefit” analyses and the “low risk and low investment costs” of hooking up.
“I positioned myself in college in such a way that I can’t have a meaningful romantic relationship, because I’m always busy and the people that I am interested in are always busy, too,” she said.
Well, perhaps it’s just a casual business transaction that women now feel empowered to put into their Google calendars. After their busy week of school obligations, practicums, mid-term studying…11pm Friday night “Call Joey and get laid”. Saturday 7am ‘Go for a Run’. I mean, we as women can actually make a new category in our Google calendars to delineate visually when we have ‘time’ to get laid and when, where, how it will fit into our lives. Men become pawns. Human vibrators.
I am not going to say that people should wait til their married and abstain completely. What worries me is that women are becoming detached, emotionless, and strategic with sexuality.
I do, however, understand the pressure that women feel in balancing their career aspirations, family, kids, relationships. We are expected to cram A LOT in before our uterus is unable to bear children. In the past 18 months of being with Andrew I have had a lot of moments of doubt about my choice to settle down. I had all hopes and dreams of getting out into the country of Australia, gallivanting around and becoming a nurse married to a rancher in the middle of nowhere. Now I live in suburbia, in a small-ish town centre working at a medium sized hospital. We have a typical suburbia lifestyle. I don’t know my neighbors, I run on pavement, I go to the developed shopping centre.
I was really pissed off about it at first. I have three degrees and I’m making a home in the place I absolutely didn’t want to be in. I didn’t want to be tied down. I had career dreams, aspirations, etc.
Then I relaxed. And realised that I had to make some sacrifices. I want children. I want to be in a relationship. I’m 30 this year. I don’t want to have my first child at 40. I have to make sacrifices. I have to look at my blessings. He has had to make sacrifices as well. We both have. We’re in a relationship whereby it’s not just a platonic, glossy partnership. It’s a relationship…that we work on.
“I thought, ‘My gosh, what have we come to that these brilliant young women are afraid to say that marriage and children are significant parts of what they view as their lifelong happiness?’ ” Ms. Patton said.
I’m NOT saying that women should hold their careers off because women are made to have children, be married etc. I don’t care if you have kids or are a lesbian couple or a defacto relationship.
Even if they did meet someone they were interested in, some women said the logistics of a relationship were just too hard. Some described extracurricular commitments — running debate tournaments for local high school students, or organizing Model United Nations conferences — that took up 30 to 40 hours a week, and came on top of going to class, doing homework and, in the case of less-wealthy students, work-study jobs. Some relationships ended, or never got off the ground, simply because schedules didn’t align.
What I’m saying is that when we women ‘grab the bull by be the horns’ and forget to be engaged in life at a humanistic level…I think that we desperately rob life of its innate beauty.
I nurse people every single day..and the thing that runs throughout all of their last days is the relationships which they make. The character they had outside of their profession. Their relationships with their partners, children, families, community. It’s a sobering reminder to me, every single day, that I can have what I want. But at the end…your character and the relationships which you nurture in life are what matter most.
thoughts? experiences? wisdom?