I recently read an article on Thought Catalog entitled “25 men discuss the difference between the girl they want to date and the girl they want to hook up with.”
Now. I mean this as no discredit to the author, because she simply posed the question on the website Reddit and recorded twenty-five of the responses. To her credit, it is an interesting concept in essence. The subject alone has the potential to become a really provocative peek into the so called “toxic hook up culture” and get an interesting conversation started. But by the time I finished the article, I was completely appalled.
Before you close out of this article, thinking that I’m some bra-burning hippie who thinks that all men are the anti-christ, please know that I’m not. I consider myself rather moderate on most gender-related issues. I believe in choice and using birth control, but believe that these issues shouldn’t be government regulated. So.There you go. In fact, I consider myself politically right-of center, so, please don’t disregard this as another feminazi manifesto. However, if we’re speaking of feminism in its essence: the fundamental equality between men and women, then I believe in it wholeheartedly. And that’s why I have a problem with what I saw in the article.
I have no idea who these men are and what their relationship history has been. I don’t know how exactly what they constitute as “hookup”, their sexual successes, where they are in their lives, and whether they gravitate more towards “hookups” or “dating.” However, I know what thing they have in common: in all of their answers, they consider women completely powerless in the relationship.
ALL of these men discussed the discrepancy between “hookup worthy” and “dating worthy.” The first issue? Most of them discussed the women in primarily physical terms. For example, one man cited that he would hook up with a woman who had a “hot” body and “okay” face, while he would rather date a woman with an “ok” body and a “beautiful face.” Others spoke of these women in completely terms of how she is sexually. One man said that the more “anal and ATM” the woman is into, the less he wants to date her.
Now, there is an entire objectification dialogue that I could get into here, but there’s nothing I could say that could bring this issue into an original perspective. Of course it’s not ideal to judge a woman (or man) solely because of physical attributes that are partly out of her control, or what she physically finds pleasurable. However, it is a completely natural, human method of classification. Even though I don’t agree with this physical objectification, I understand why some people would use aesthetic means to classify whether they would like to date someone or not.
What really got me, though, was how some of these men discussed the level of respect they had for women they would only hook up with vs. they would date. One man said he would date the girl he would introduce to his mother, he would hook up with the girl who his mother would be “appalled” by. One man said that a girl he wanted to date needed to have a “vagina and a brain”, but the hookup only needed a vagina. A few said that they would want to date the girl who didn’t sleep with him right away, because, in their words, they had less respect for women who “put out.” And, the kicker, one man said “the girl I want to hook up with has no respect for herself, and neither do I. The girl I want to date makes me a better person.”
To ALL the above men, and any man who thinks in this way, I say: what. The FUCK.
You have absolutely no right to disrespect a women who you randomly hook up with, for several reasons. 1. If she’s a random fling or even a casual hookup, it’s intrinsic to the relationship that you don’t know much about her other than what is visceral. You don’t know her emotionally or cognitively. You haven’t spent enough time with the casual hookup partner to believe that she doesn’t merit your respect. Since she is a HUMAN BEING, she is entitled to be treated as such: with decency and yes, respect, even if you see her as some sort of sexual plaything.
How can you say that she doesn’t have a brain, especially if you’ve just met her? A girl is going to act differently at a bar or frat party than at her internship at Goldman Sachs. How can you gage someone’s intellect if your relationship with them is purely physical? Answer: you CAN’T. You’re making an ostentatious judgement about a woman’s mental capacity from very limited interaction with her. ESPECIALLY if she is inebriated. I’m sure you don’t exactly come across like a Rhodes scholar when you’re drunk either.
I can chalk a lot of this up to a lapse in judgment, or simple immaturity. However, the man who said that he has “no respect” for a woman that he just hooks up with, and that she also has no respect for herself, is another story entirely. This can be extended to any man who says he doesn’t respect a woman as much if she “puts out”, after he’s hooked up with her.Why? BECAUSE HE IS SAYING HE DISRESPECTS HER AFTER HE REAPS THE BENEFITS. Do you understand what a hypocritical, base judgment that is to make about a woman? What has she done to make you not have any respect for her, except give you EXACTLY what you intended to get from her in the first place? Do you understand what you’re even saying? That she did what you wanted her to do, and now you don’t respect her for it? What sort of sick, reverse psychology do you operate off of? Also, just a general PSA making the assumption that a woman doesn’t respect herself because she chose to sleep with you, says a lot more about you than it does her. Food for thought. You have no idea what regard she holds herself in. Hell, she might not even know. But she doesn’t need you to assume that for her.
I’m not saying you need to genuinely have feelings for every person you hook up with. Of course you don’t- the rudiment of every casual hook up is that you these feelings don’t exist (at least not initially.) However, to make such sweeping and objectively harsh judgments about these hookup partners, well, that’s just uncalled for. Especially if you’re judging a woman based on things that really give you no insight into her real character.
What essentially am I saying? Of course you can have a different standard for dating and hookups. But don’t dehumanize the people you do choose to only interact with on a casual basis. Don’t disregard them as people just because you didn’t see them as dating material-chances are they don’t see you as “couple worthy” either. Don’t shame or scrutinize a woman if you only know her in the context of a one time (or even multiple time) casual hook up. Women shouldn’t do this for men, either.
Basically, why can’t we all play nice and take casual relationships with a grain of salt?
*zero bras were burned in the writing of this article