There are still double standards for women

There+are+still+double+standards+for+women

Natalie Wilson

In a previous issue of the Old Gold & Black, a column explored the “economics of sex” in an attempt to pinpoint the cause of the apparent hookup epidemic running rampant on college campuses — including this one. 

Using the concept of the “walk of shame” as its primary example, the column asked why hookups are acceptable when they supposedly cause “feelings of regret, embarrassment and self-loathing.”

I have a better question: why is a “walk of shame” shameful?

Or, really, why does it exist at all?

On the surface, that column simply seemed to be shining a negative light on the proposed hyper-sexuality of contemporary college campuses — on the role of technology in relationships, decreased interest in exclusive or long-term commitment, etc. Effectively, however, it did not condemn “hookup culture” — just the women involved. 

Disapproval toward the walk of shame is a glaring embodiment of the double-standards in expected and accepted behavior for men and women in terms of dating and sex.

In the kinds of encounters often associated with the trope, men are supposed to want sex, and tipsy women are supposed to appease them before waking up ashamed by this dynamic.

Then, men get to lie satisfied and proud in the privacy of their rooms while women make a highly visible walk back to their dorms — obviously dressed from the night before and vulnerable to the judgement of their peers.

While this definitely isn’t always the case, it is often the expectation. Why is it more acceptable for men to want and enjoy sex more than for women? It takes two to tango — literally. Unfortunately, this power dynamic is a common thread underlying any discussion of romantic or sexual relations between men and women. Virginity, for example, is a socially constructed measure of worth, and a woman is devalued when it is “taken” from her.

The column on the economics of sex also argued that the danger of a woman hooking up with a man before she was in a relationship with him is that she never would be “because she has already given him her only bargaining chip.”

The only reason men enter committed relationships is to be able to have sex with those who wouldn’t have it before, right? If you’re already having sex, why even date?

I definitely agree that the “economics of sex” has evolved. The disassociation between reproduction and sex permitted by access to contraception combined with the effects of increased communication through technology has augmented hookup culture.

I believe it is certainly valid to argue against this shift; however, shaming women for what they choose to do with their bodies is inappropriate.

There is no shame in a “walk of shame.”