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Defining the role of the hook-up

For those tired of seeing women in Friday evening’s mascara on Saturday morning clanking down Commonwealth Avenue in four-inch stilettos on their walks of shame, this night was for them.’

Women of all ages refuted the ‘hook-up culture’ in an open panel discussion hosted by the Boston College Women’s Studies Center Thursday night.’

The ‘Hook-Up Generation’ was a part of BC’s ‘Love Your Body Week’ ‘-‘- a campaign that included a series of events designed to ‘promote body awareness and healthy body images.’

BC communications professor Pamela Lanutti and BC philosophy professor Mary Troxwell facilitated the discussion, which began with a student-made documentary featuring a woman asking students on campus to define a ‘hook-up.’

Audience members shared their respective definitions of a hook-up and, through a collaborative effort, defined ‘hook-up’ as exhibiting sexual behavior outside of a relationship with a mutual underlying understanding that no follow-up text message, call or email is necessary.

A level of sobriety or degree of former intimacy with the person were not ingredients of the audience’s college ‘hook-up’ formula.

‘Not hooking up makes you feel like you are outside the culture,’ Lanutti said.

BC senior Mariesther Knuth-Bouracee, who is writing her thesis on hooking-up, said she does not believe that casual sex is a negative thing.

‘It’s the social constructs that often give it a negative outcome,’ she said. ‘More communication between the males and females during sex would help clear up a lot of the negative issues related to hooking up.’

BC graduate student Autumn Parker said the rules of dating have evolved over time.

‘The expectation of dating is gone, it’s not like, the ’50s anymore,’ she said.’

The audience identified the disappearing date as the main frustration with the ‘hook-up culture.”

BC senior Chelsea Amengual said drinking fuels the tension between hooking-up and dating.

‘Alcohol erases the ability to care or feel bad about not caring for somebody you hooked up with,’ she said. ‘It is nearly impossible to engage in repeated sexual behavior with somebody and not have at least one person begin to develop romantic feelings.”

When the talk turned to allotting blame, most women in the audience were quick to lay responsibility on male immaturity. But Amanda Read, an intern for the Women’s Studies Program who helped coordinate the event, said it takes two to tango.

‘[Women] are responsible too,’ she said. ‘We need to take control and stop giving men what they want without getting what we want.’

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