I’m glad we got assigned to read “Queer Women in the Hookup Scene” by Rupp et. al because hookups outside the heterosexual norm were all but ignored in the article by Kimmel. I appreciate that this article actually goes into that because clearly not all college students are heterosexual so the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans students are a part of the hookup scene as well. It was interesting to hear their take on it and if they interact in the hookup culture in different ways than heterosexual students do. My only complaint is that we have yet to read anything about gay college men in the hookup culture. As the article stated, lesbian, bisexual, and questioning women can at times hide behind the male fantasy of girls hooking up with each other but gay men don’t have that.
One part of the article I found to be particularly fascinating was the way that lesbian, bisexual, and questioning women use the socially acceptable drunk girl-on-girl hookups to experiment with their sexuality or to hookup with a member of the same sex they are attracted to without the threat of being immediately labeled as lesbian. I think we were all obviously aware of the male fantasy of girls hooking up with each other and how girl-on-girl hookups are considered socially acceptable and ‘hot’ by guys before reading this article so it was nice to hear how these kind of hookups could be beneficial to college women who are questioning their sexuality. These hookups mostly occur at parties when people are drunk so later it can all be blamed on the alcohol without the actions being labeled as homosexual. Several of them women interviewed who labeled themselves as bisexual or lesbian seemed to enjoy this part of the hookup culture so for them it’s great that something good could come out of it. On the other hand, it makes me question the fact that some girls are just doing it for the pleasure of the men surrounding them and have no interest in actually being with girls. If they were doing it just for themselves in order to have fun, I would have no problem with it. But if this class (and intro to soc) has taught me anything, it is that things like this are rarely done for the pure enjoyment of the participants, instead these girls belong to a male-dominated hookup culture where they are constantly looking for ways to be more attractive to men.
Several of the openly lesbian and bisexual women also seemed to have a few issues with the women who hooked up with other women non-seriously. These women were less likely to want to label themselves as bisexual because they felt as if the heterosexual girls who hooked up with girls for fun took away trivialized the bisexual label so instead they took on the label of ‘queer.’
The “At Least I’m Not Gay” article seemed to signify everything that is wrong with our current cultural understanding of people who fall outside of the heterosexual norm. The last line of the article (which was also used as the title) was especially tragic. The fact that the seemingly only positive thing these low-income black teenagers can say about themselves is “at least I’m not gay” is not only sad because of the situation that they are in, but also because they automatically think that to be gay is wrong. Some of these kids even had relatives who were gay yet they were still not fully accepting of it. One teenager shared that his mother told him to never talk to a gay person or even sit next to them in the fear that somehow this contact with them would then turn him gay, as if homosexuality was a sort of disease that could be caught like the common cold. It is hard for this younger generation of kids to get over the negativity surrounding homosexuality when so many of the adults in their lives are not supportive of equality for everyone. Even one of the teachers at the program insinuated that one of the male students was a ‘lady’ because he was gay and spoke in a slightly high-pitched tone. Another problem is the continued belief that homosexuality is a choice and that some kids are ‘behaving in this manner’ because they want to draw attention to themselves. Clearly America has a long way to go until people outside of the heterosexual norm are accepted for who they are.