Title IX & The Hook-Up Culture

Yale University is facing a Title IX lawsuit about sexual harassment.  The lawsuit was filed by 16 students claiming that university has not addressed the environment that causes women to feel intimated and creates a hostile learning environment.  While no person should be made to feel harassed or intimated, it does make one wonder if part of the problem is the hook up culture. 

Part of complaint is from a list called the Pre-season report which described the incoming freshman based on looks and how many beers they would have to drink before having sex with them.  While this type of behavior is vile and totally uncalled for it shouldn’t be surprising.  The hook-up culture is a way of life on most college campuses.  One of the incidents occurred at an off campus “Naked Party” where the women have said they were force-fed drinks and some were sexually assaulted, some students were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.  There is no excuse for a person forcing themselves on another sexually.  But these type of things are much more likely to happen in environments where there is a great deal of drinking going on.  Your sense of judgement becomes impaired if you are drunk or using drugs.  Going to a “Naked Party” is probably not the best of ideas.  You are putting yourself into a position that bad things can happen to you unnecessarily. I am not trying to blame the victim here, no man has the right to force himself upon a woman, but at the same time why put yourself in a position where these kinds of things are more likely to happen? 

One of the lines that women are being fed is that they can behave like men.  The chances of being sexually assaulted when you are a man is considerably lower, therefore they feel safer in engaging in these type of behaviors.  The thinking for young guys then becomes that they can go to these parties with few if any consequences.  Many college parties are very crowded and a mob like mentality starts to take over. 

Another incident that is in the complaint is the incident of fraternity plebes standing outside The Women’s Center on campus with placards and yelling “No means yes, and Yes means anal”.  This was caught on videotape and made its way around the internet.  Most people were disgusted by the display.  While it was really nothing more than fraternity prank, it is just another example of the mentality that women are nothing more a sexual object. 

We have created this atmosphere for our kids.  We live in society that more and more has become acceptable.  The fact that these young men thought they could get away with this without rebuke is a sad statement.  We have pushed the envelope so far that kids don’t see anything wrong in behaving this way.  Sadly, Yale has added to the problem by actually doing next to nothing about these incidents. 

But ultimately many of problems start long before these kids reach the college campus.  We have a society where more and more children are growing up in single family homes, where it is likely they are watching different partners coming and going in and out of the lives of their parents, the train wreck of Charlie Sheen and his “goddesses”,  and a pop culture where sex without consequences is glamorized on television and movie screens.   They listen to music that contain lyrics with the themes of misogyny and see how these songs top the charts. 

Is it really any wonder that these kids think that they can get away it?  These are things that we are teaching our children.  We then expect college administrators to dole out punishments for the very same behavior that we, ourselves, have taught them is acceptable.  We, as a society, are all to blame.