The hookup culture that has largely replaced dating on college campuses has been viewed, in many quarters, as socially corrosive and ultimately toxic to women, who seemingly have little choice but to participate.
Actually, it is an engine of female progress—one being harnessed and driven by women themselves.
Once, in high school, driving home from a family vacation, my mother turned to my boyfriend and me cuddling in the backseat and said, “Isn’t it time you two started seeing other people?
” She adored Brian—he was invited on family vacations!
One of the women had already seen the photo five times before her boyfriend showed it to her, so she just moved her pitcher of beer in front of his phone and kept on talking. I had gone to visit the business school because a friend had described the women there as the most sexually aggressive he had ever met.
That same year she appeared in the summer hit release Summer Lovers.You and Me (released the same year Title IX was passed, also the year of my birth).Marlo Thomas and Alan Alda’s retelling of “Atalanta,” the ancient Greek myth about a fleet-footed princess who longs to travel the world before finding her prince, became the theme song of my life.Women told me stories of being hit on at work by “FDBs” (finance douche bags) who hadn’t even bothered to take off their wedding rings, or sitting through Monday-morning meetings that started with stories about who had banged whom (or what) that weekend.In their decade or so of working, they had been routinely hazed by male colleagues showing them ever more baroque porn downloaded on cellphones. In fact, I found barely anyone who even noticed the vulgarity anymore, until I came across a new student. She and I stood by the bar at one point and watched a woman put her hand on a guy’s inner thigh, shortly before they disappeared together.