Grinding & Hooking Up

Sophie Furman

Being a college student, Ronen and Kimmel’s articles talk about very present topics. Again, just like with most of the articles we’ve been reading they brought up ideas that I see/experience all the time but never really sit and analyze into a deeper meaning. Not because I don’t care, or don’t think about it ever but because they’ve become something so prominent in our culture that they’ve almost turned into a “norm.”

In Shelly Ronen’s article Grinding On the Dance Floor, she brings up the idea that grinding is simply not just dancing it is, “a kind of sexual act that carries significant, socially constructed mean- ing and may influence behavior in other settings (356).” When grinding your being watched because it’s in a social setting. Therefore you’re being judged. Whether it’s people watching thinking to themselves that the two grinding are going home together after, or congratulating the guy for making it happen, looking at the girl thinking she’s a slut, looking at them both thinking thats great for them etc. the bottom line is that you’re being watched. As a result grinding is a constant battle between protecting your self image, so you don’t damage what people think of you, but at the same time showing of what you’re doing because you are doing it in public.

Ronen’s observations stated that most girls had their backs facing the guy while dancing, so in reality there’s nothing intimate about the act at all. One of the quotes in Ronen’s article that I found really interesting was, “grinding provides insight into implicit gendered inequalities within scripts that govern sexual interaction (363).” In most of the cases she observed, it was the guy that went up to the girl to start the grinding, it was the guy that asked for the number later on, and it was the girl that felt like she was being judged and thought of as a “slut” after grinding that lead to hooking up. Honestly, that’s the part that bothers me the most, the fact that this act is another way of shining women under this unwanted spotlight of room for more judgement and critique. If anything the grinding culture is just for show.

The idea of “hooking up” is so complex because it doesn’t just hold one meaning it, “defines the current form of social and sexual rela­ tionships among young adults (190).” It can be the entire definition of the “social” and “sexual” relationship between “young adults.” It’s not just making out, and it’s not just having sex. In the beginning of Kimmels article, the boy that he is talking to makes it sound like a whole new form of dating completely, which I guess there is. Instead of people saying that they’re dating, now a lot just say “we’re hooking up” well what does that mean? I guess their isn’t one clear answer because everyones idea and outlook on it can be different. What I find most disappointing is that fact that people just result to that as the only way they can be with someone, Kimmel states that young adults have accepted the fact that it’s actually the only way they can be with someone, while in college. He brings up a lot of points that are more than accurate, and I actually found my eyes widening while reading. The question I have though, is how can the culture be changed? How do we make it so guys no longer “run the scene”? And how can women explore their own sexual desires without being judged? When I hear the words “hooking up” I think of two people that are not committed, don’t really know each other that well, and if they did probably wouldn’t be together but enjoy the benefits of having the other person around at the right time. One of the points I found most interesting in Kimmels reading was the fact that “hooking up” is such a vague term for a reason. It’s a social blanket. If a guy tells his friends he hooked up with a girl than he can potentially lead them to believe that he had sex with someone and that’s fine with him, even if he didn’t actually. While when women tell someone that they hooked up with someone else, they hope the person doesn’t interoperate that as sleeping with them. Is that simply because they’d be judge for sleeping with someone they aren’t dating? While a man would be congratulated?

It’s interesting because the ideas that are brought up on the dance floor while grinding are the same concepts brought up while explore the hook up scene. Either way you’re trying to promote your self image, or find a way to protect it. So at what point is it just for the people involved and not for show?

 

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3 thoughts on “Grinding & Hooking Up

  1. Carly Ozarowski

    Grinding is like most PDA’s where you question why the individual is doing this out in front of everyone. At what point does PDA and grinding become closed door actions verses being on display for potentially anyone in the school to see. The phrase hooking up is so interesting because there is no deffiniton, it reminds me of “I don’t kiss and tell”. It is leaving a vagueness while also confirming that some sexual action occurred.

  2. Sophie,

    I think you bring up an interesting point in that these articles we read constantly make us reevaluate things that we do that we’ve never previously thought of as abnormal. There are things that go down at Cro dances that we’ve started to think of as normal that would otherwise be quite ridiculous. It reminded of a time when earlier in the year in preparation to go out on a Saturday night, my roommate advised that I wear a “tight skirt rather than a flowy one because that way it would be harder for a guy to put his hand up your skirt.” The fact that this advice is given, and actually relevant, is pretty disturbing. At any other point a guy trying to put his hand up your skirt is absolutely not okay yet at a Cro dance while you’re grinding with someone, that somehow becomes acceptable? I’d like to think not

  3. Luis Ramos

    I agree. Why is it that we find these things “normal” when they’re actually not? The whole hand up your skirt can typically be seen as sexual assault and can result of rape, but because we’re all too drunk to notice it or even speak out, it goes unknown and becomes right to keep doing it every Saturday night at the Cro dances. These things are not acceptable, and shouldn’t be acceptable in any hookup culture. It’s crazy to learn that within a hookup culture there can be no limitations.

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