A Plan to Reboot Dating & End the Hook-Up Culture (And Revolutionize Feminism While We're At It)
Maybe I've been reading too much Camille Paglia, but I have a new vision of feminism for young women inspired by ancient Greece. My feminism--Lysistrata Feminism--is meant to reboot dating and end the hook-up culture (as I explain further in the excerpt below and also at the Atlantic):
Is it possible to move beyond the hook-up culture? Not back to 1950s-style courtship, parietal rules, and early marriage—but forward, to sex founded on friendship, dating, and relationships?
Most of the women I spoke to have resigned themselves to the fact that the hook-up culture is here to stay. They don't see the social and cultural landscape of college campuses changing anytime soon.
One friend tells me that the girls on campus would prefer a culture of dating to one of hooking up, but they would never admit it or ask for it. If girls demanded dating before hooking up, guys would be unmoved, she explained. "There are always going to be other girls for them to hook up with so we'll just get left behind."
These women are looking at the problem the wrong way, I think. They need to realize that, in spite of campus sex ratios and prevailing cultural trends, they hold the power when it comes to the hook up culture. They hold the power when it comes to sex.
This was the insight of Lysistrata, the shrewd heroine of Aristophanes' marvelous play by the same name. Lysistrata was able to diagnose a problem in her society and to take actions and overcome obstacles to solve it.
In the heat of the Peloponnesian War, Lysistrata gathered the women of various Greek city-states at a meeting and proposed that they withhold sex from their husbands until these men end the war. The women, though reluctant at first, agree. Throughout the play, though they desire sex just like the men do, they resist the temptation to break their oath with Lysistrata. The Athenian and Spartan men eventually become so desperate for sex that they begin peace talks. The women's strategy works.
Lysistrata, a tough and independent woman, understood how the sexual marketplace works, and harnessed that knowledge to get what she wanted. Many men want sex with women. As Lysistrata knew, women have the power to say yes—or no (assuming men respect their wishes, of course. There are far too many examples of times men disregard women's "no"s). They set and execute the terms to which the men surrender.
Today's American women have reached a stage where they can be sexually free, and also selective and strategic in how they deploy their sexuality. But many of them are missing this critical second piece.
If women refused to spend time with men who disrespect women, if they refused to hook up with guys who don't acknowledge them the next day—then they could begin to resurrect a culture where dating and romance, not casual sex, are the norm.
The question is, will they?
Rather than let the left define the feminism debate--and take advantage of the manipulative "war on women" trope--I say we start our own movement, grounded in the innate sexual power that all women have! What do you think? Who's with me?