The first few months of my sophomore year have been surreal, to say the least. My primary introduction to the social scene of high school came this past November. It seemed as if every weekend, there was at least one party where people from all grades were put into the same room.
With this introduction to high school parties, it was also my first time seeing how students interacted with each other sexually. What I found was––to my horror––that students are casually swapping saliva at parties, either with new people each time or the same person. While I do recognize that students also date, based on a recent survey of 138 students, 92 percent believe that casual hook-ups are most prevalent at ASL.
While I understand that a casual “hook up” relationship is fine if that is what both parties want or are comfortable with, I see this casual type of relationship to be degrading towards both young women young men.
When looking at it from a woman’s point of view, I have seen that the man is usually the first to make the move. Simply put, why is it that often a woman has to wait for a man to decide when it is the right time to take action? While this may just be a social norm that has evolved over the years, it has left me wondering that our young community believes women are so weak and submissive that they have to wait for the man to make up his mind.
While it is true that in some cases women are the first to initiate, in most cases I find myself hearing- and seeing that young women are told to “wait” until the guy thinks it’s the perfect time, or that if they make the first move they’re “over-eager” or “aggressive”. Has it ever crossed anyone else’s minds that men can be branded by these words also, but yet in most cases they are not?
Casually hooking up in party settings yields to a larger problem for many young women: young men think that because it is not a “serious” relationship, they don’t need to speak with the woman. Many young men surveyed said that they did not want the commitment that comes with a relationship. Casual hook ups, whether being a one-time occurrence or happening multiple times, take the pressure off the “leader” of the relationship to communicate with their counterpart.
Lack of conversation, while seemingly insignificant to some people, degrades both parties to being sexual objects for each other’s pleasure, with one young man surveyed saying “people date when they like the person, they hook up when they like the appearance of the person.” This inevitably degrades young, smart women to being objects to service men. Whether women like to admit it or not, the second that they commit to being in a “fling” with a young man, they are being objectified. At our ages, young men are more likely to expect sexual acts compared to women. In turn, this leads women to feel pressured and give into young males’ demands to go farther than they are comfortable with.
It is necessary for women to take back some of the power in their relationships. There is no doubt that while these casual relationships are consensual, it is important for women to feel that they are also leaders and important in their relationships. When in a relationship, both young men and women should be participating on a leveled playing field, where both are equal and significant in the eyes of their counterpart.