Rupp et al & Froyum

Carly Ozarowski

In Queer Women in the Hookup Scene by Rup et al. there is an interesting dynamic in question as to if the women taking place in these female public make outs are doing so for the pleasure for themselves or for the pleasure of the males watching them. There is definitely this notion of college parties and life being this wild free time where people can almost not be themselves for 4 years. It is seen as a time for experiment that almost doesn’t count, or can be excused. For women who are questioning their sexuality, according to the article, this can be a place for them to experiment without being labeled anything yet. For women who self-identify as straight, that are saying they are making out with their female friends in public for themselves, I wonder if they are or if subliminally/ unconsciously they are doing so for the male gaze. This also goes along with discussions we have had about how if women are dressing to impress men or to empower themselves.

The article continues on to discuss how making out can help women who might be questioning their sexuality, and it is almost a safe way for them to do so. I found the threesome section to be very interesting. Threesomes are almost viewed by some college men as the ultimate college bucket list item. But for some women this could be a place where they can figure out if the other women involved is interested or not. What most of the quotes mentioned was the role alcohol played in these encounters. There is a notion that anything done will drunk is almost excusable and can be forgotten. I believe it doesn’t even matter how much one drinks, the role of how drunk someone is almost assumed, even if someone only had one drink throughout the night.

In Froyum’s “At least I’m Not Gay”, black teens’ sexuality is discussed as a platform for them to prove their manliness. If you just think about this, it in a creepy way makes sense. Young black men have many not-A categories they fill, and they do not want to fill anymore. By pushing away any notion of homosexuality, that is a way in which they can attempt to look more manly and fill more A categories. The problems with this, other than that there are A and not-A categories are that this goes way to far. This is how gay hate crimes are committed and stigmas/stereotypes are perpetuated. Froyum speaks about how, these men police themselves; this is in line with what Kimmel has found as well.

A line I found interesting on page 604 was “Girls and boys together created a mixture of essentialist, constructionist, and liberal ideologies to make sense of homosexuality and to assert the superiority of their own heterosexuality.” I’m not sure why but the line “make sense of homosexuality” really struck me. This article continues, and through some of the interviewees you can almost see how they try to justifies people’s homosexuality, like it needs to be justified at all.


10 thoughts on “Rupp et al & Froyum

  1. Sophie Furman

    I love that you pointed out the line “make sense of homosexuality,” and “…assert the superiority of their own heterosexuality” from Froyum’s article because it struck me too while I was reading the article. It disappoints me that people who know what being in love feels like could possibly stand in the way of someone else’s love, and try to make sense of it when the idea of love itself doesn’t always make sense and should never have to be justified (as long as it’s consensual, obviously). There doesn’t have to be a “right” or “wrong” or “better” and “worse” when it comes to love and who you want to love, and I think that’s something that needs to be realized more.

  2. Sophie Sharps

    I really like how you thought of Froyum’s article in terms of Lorber’s “A” and “not A” categories. When you think of it in terms of trying to occupy as few “not A” categories as possible, it does make sense that someone with numerous “not A” categories would go out of their way to ensure that they do not gain anymore undesirable categories and instead try to push themselves into the acknowledged majority. The extreme measures that these people are willing to take (especially threats and violence) are the truly scary component of this socially constructed reality because they have such harsh and dire consequences.

  3. Brittany Juliano

    I also thought about how much both articles attempt to ‘explain’ homosexuality. To me it was more alarming in Rupp’s article because she discusses solely queer women. Much of the study was dedicated to defining how and why women acted the way they did—either hooking-up or in a threesome. This was frustrating because they people should be free to express their sexuality without having to define themselves as a result; like some of the girls said, their same-sex experiences where not life changing. To me, this was just as bad as the excerpt you pointed out from Froyum’s article.

  4. Olivia Rabbitt

    Carly I really appreciate your question of the role of the threesome. While women may use this as a method for “safe” experimentation, men are not afforded this same luxury. Threesomes are almost exclusively assumed to involve two women and a man, hardly ever two men and women. Regardless of how drunk a man is, that kind of hookup would almost always illicit judgement from his buddies – not something he would be bursting to share before it’s even over as other hookups are often described. The question then becomes what are the “safe” ways for men to experiment? Why are men expected to choose immediately while women are permitted more freedom to explore without judgement?

  5. Gina Pol

    I like how you mentioned that some of the hookups that occurred between women were for the male gaze. While there were plenty of hookups that occurred due to women’s interest in actually experimenting with their sexuality, there were other women who did it for fun or to attract males in their direction. I find this to be very disturbing as women are making out with other women just to get the attention of men. And even women who were not interested in men were partaking in this hookup culture to use impressing a guy as an excuse to kiss other women. In actuality, these women made out with other women as a way to conveniently experiment without being judged as a lesbian. The article mentions that some women would even enter into a threesome when they were specifically interested in sex with a women, but needed a man to be present to help make the queer interactions possible.

  6. Sarah Wills

    Just like Carly, I found it very interesting when the article pointed out how drunken college parties are a safe way for girls who are questioning their sexuality to experiment with girls. Since it is socially accepted and encouraged by some men, women feel comfortable making out with other girls at parties. I had never thought of girl-on-girl make outs serving this purpose. I have always thought of this action just as a way for girls to seek out attention from guys. I never thought about how the woman could be receiving pleasure from it as well. I think that there is definitely a mix of reasons as to why girls make out with other girls at parties. However, when men make out with other men, they do not benefit from such freedoms. Rather then it being considered fun and “hot”, when men make out with other men, their sexuality is questioned and they are considered to have deviated from the norm.

  7. Karen Cardona
    “Hook-ups between women for the male gaze” this idea that you brought up becomes very interesting because then it can be seen as almost a performance for the women to please the viewer in this case a male. The hook up scene tends to have an idea of gender roles very well set or stablished what i find interesting is how certain stereotypes are so easily to be bent. The idea of the ‘gentleman who is supposed to protect the woman’ can go away immediately if its for his own benefit. Something that i find really interesting when it speaking to my guy straight friends is that they mention that they love seeing women hook up with one another and they love when women are open to hooking up with them , but that they would never take these women seriously because that means that ‘they have been around’. They consider these girls simply to have fun but to have nothing serious with.

  8. Bianca Scofield

    I think it’s very interesting how you mention the use of alcohol in these girl-on-girl make out sessions as well as in threesomes. I think it alcohol is so important to these hookups because without it, the hookups would not be considered socially acceptable. Just as grinding would not be acceptable without the right type of music. I also think that the combination of alcohol and girls making out for entertainment is sort of making fun of lesbian culture. Its almost a thing that straight women can do for fun or as a joke when that is what lesbians do as a way of showing love. I just find it in a way insulting to lesbian and gay culture.

  9. Gracie Hall:

    Like Bianca, your post also encouraged me to look more deeply at the role alcohol plays in these scenarios. It seems that in both the heterosexual and queer hookup culture, alcohol works as a tool to help women (in some ways, clearly not ALL ways) behave outside of gender norms. As Rupp et. al states on page 5 “women’s same-sex desires and sexual behavior did not pose a threat to the gender order”. I think that this is not only because they were performed for the enjoyment of men, but also because it is assumed that the women were drunk and therefore were just doing it “for fun” instead of it being fueled by sexual desires. In an interesting way, alcohol seems to work the opposite way for men, as they use it as a tool to maintain and emphasize their masculinity.

  10. Zoe Halpert

    Carly, I liked how you described the need to assert power and masculinity when you fill more not A than A categories. Men in power in America (straight, white, able, and wealthy) don’t need to assert their masculinity because they already have those privileges, and are often in positions of power in their careers. Boys and men who don’t have these privileges need another means. For example, the machismo culture, and hypermasculinity. This inevitably leads to devaluing what is not masculine. Namely, the feminine. Homosexuality is often viewed as more feminine, and therefore it is seen as inferior.

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