Dirty Talk: You can’t talk about hookup culture and not rape culture, you fools

Chapman W. and Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board.

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We have a hard time when older generations critique hookup culture and talk about how lewd and loose younger people are.


It’s uncomfortable. And wrong. According to research by Lisa Wade, a sociologist at Occidental College, college students aren’t even having more sex than their parents.  

But, because we are finicky and easily annoyed (mostly Tatiana, and all of her women’s studies), we’re also annoyed by young people who talk about hookup culture like it’s perfect and not problematic.

Our issue isn’t with hookup culture, it’s with rape culture – but here’s the thing; hookup culture is existing in a rape culture, so hookup culture naturally deals with all the ailments of a rape culture. Take a journey with us.

Let’s first define hookup culture. In this context, we’re talking about a culture in which people are free to be with each other in sexual ways, without any long-term commitment or romantic connection. So far it sounds a-okay.

Let’s define rape culture. It’s quite the task to boil down something so complex and ubiquitous, but we like the definition from Everyday Feminism. They define it as cultural practices that tolerate sexual violence by trivializing, ignoring and normalizing it. Need some examples?

In 2012, 1-in-5 women and 1-in-71 men reported experiencing rape, according to the CDC.  Only 3 percent of rapists serve time in jail, according to RAIN.org. Despite all this, rape jokes are often casually made and defended.

A culture of sex-free-for-all wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t layered on top of a culture that doesn’t seem to understand how to do sex consensually. A friend of a friend once tried to laminate their floor to make the floor look better, but they didn’t clean the floor first (our friend’s friend is admittedly kind of stupid and lazy.) That’s kind of what we’re getting at here.

Shiny laminates are cool, but you know, maybe clean the floor first. Hookup culture could be great if we knew how to like, um, respect people.

Checkout the full episode on iTunes or on KCSUfm.com.

We’ll be discussing rape culture, hookup culture and how the two intersect. Tune in.


Collegian Managing Editor Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick can be reached at managingeditor@collegian.com or on Twitter @tatianasophiapt.