Happy Valentine’s Day!

by Karin on February 14, 2013 · 0 comments

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One of the issues our chapters talk a lot about is relations between the sexes. This often leads into a discussion about dating on campus and then the hookup culture and then the lack of men willing to ask women out. A January New York Times piece, The End of Courtship?, sums up the dating culture that is prevalent on too many campuses.

Instead of dinner-and-a-movie, which seems as obsolete as a rotary phone, they rendezvous over phone texts, Facebook posts, instant messages and other “non-dates” that are leaving a generation confused about how to land a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Some college women I talk to are hopeful that the hookup culture is just a college phenomenon, but it has implications for post-college relationships.

Hookups may be fine for college students, but what about after, when they start to build an adult life? The problem is that “young people today don’t know how to get out of hookup culture,” Ms. Freitas said. In interviews with students, many graduating seniors did not know the first thing about the basic mechanics of a traditional date. “They’re wondering, ‘If you like someone, how would you walk up to them? What would you say? What words would you use?’ ” Ms. Freitas said.

That may explain why “dates” among 20-somethings resemble college hookups, only without the dorms. Lindsay, a 25-year-old online marketing manager in Manhattan, recalled a recent non-date that had all the elegance of a keg stand (her last name is not used here to avoid professional embarrassment).

After an evening when she exchanged flirtatious glances with a bouncer at a Williamsburg nightclub, the bouncer invited her and her friends back to his apartment for whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese. When she agreed, he gamely hoisted her over his shoulders, and, she recalled, “carried me home, my girlfriends and his bros in tow, where we danced around a tiny apartment to some MGMT and Ratatat remixes.”

She spent the night at the apartment, which kicked off a cycle of weekly hookups, invariably preceded by a Thursday night text message from him saying, ‘hey babe, what are you up to this weekend?” (It petered out after four months.)

Reading this, I am sad for Lindsay. The hookup culture has been written about in a number of the books on the NeW Book List. On this Valentine’s Day, I’d encourage our college women readers to celebrate the loved ones in their lives and also think about what they can do to change the hookup culture on campus. One way to do that is to nominate a gentleman on campus in the NeW Gentlemen’s Showcase.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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