THE SANTA CLARA
February 8, 2016
College girl gets too drunk, college guy takes advantage of too drunk girl—somewhere in that interaction, college girl gets raped.
We’ve all heard this narrative before. I am not discounting any story, I am suggesting that there is something more to the issue of rape than a mixture of excessive alcohol and misjudgment.
Guys don’t know they are raping and girls don’t know they are being raped.
I am completely aware that men are raped too and it would be foolish to ignore this reality. But for the sake of conversation about rape on college campuses, I will focus solely on the problem of men raping women.
Hookup culture is rooted in apathy. Students want to have sex, but they do not want the emotional responsibility associated with intimacy.
Hookup culture is a result of the desire to disconnect emotions and sex. Through hooking up, students can have sex void of commitment and attachment.
Because of this culture, rape happens more than people want to admit. “The problem with (rape on college campuses) is that the hookup culture is asking you to be ambivalent,” said dating and sex specialist Donna Freitas.
In other words, you can’t be casual about sex and gain consent. If you say yes to sex, then that means you care, and if you are involved in the hookup culture, then you just can’t care.
California law states that affirmative consent is required in the case of sex. One must agree with a clear “yes” without having consumed any mind-altering substances previous to the sexual encounter.
If you aren’t rolling your eyes a little at this unrealistic expectation for explicit consent, then consider yourself lucky that you have enough common sense and self-respect to distance yourself from hookup culture.
But to me, these black and white legal lines are just too unrealistic when defining consent. Hookup culture has made the idea of rape far more abstract than it should be.
Ideally, when one person forces sexual acts upon another, the perpetrator would be punished so that the injustice would not happen again.
Yet the way Santa Clara prepares its students to deal with campus rape is not sufficient to combat these issues. Requiring students to take a short, mundane course about drinking, drugs and sexual assault is inadequate.
I am not blaming a specific gender for rape. I blame all of us for not educating ourselves more about all aspects of sex and intimacy.
If you’re trying to fall in love in a culture like this, it’s going to be exponentially more difficult than in life outside of our college bubble.
I am not down on love or even against it, but meeting someone through a hazy encounter full of curiosity and confusion, leads to a misrepresented version of one’s self and, well, rape.
We’ve all read countless rape pieces, but there is always something missing (at least from the ones I have read). No one talks about what it means to consent to having sex. Not just the clear yes and no situation, but what it really means to say yes to wanting to have sex with someone.
Saying yes means you care. Maybe not caring so much that you want to marry the person, but none the less caring about the person you are choosing to be intimate with.
In order to halt this issue, we need to be clearer on what it means to have sex with someone—caring is okay, having an opinion is okay and wanting to have sex is okay. We just need to think about what consenting means before we find ourselves in a situation where we are unaware of what to do.
I am not going to even begin to suggest a call to action that could potentially uproot the entire hookup culture. All I have to suggest is for students to seek that self-respect somewhere deep inside and expose it a little more. Allow yourself to have expectations with your partner.
Before you make a mindless assumption about a girl who forgot how to say no or an overly aggressive guy who had too much to drink, think again.
Taking back control from a spiraling situation is not as simple as health class makes it seem.
Lindsey Mandell is a sophomore English and psychology double major and is the editor of the Opinion Section.