warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Is "USC Hook-Ups" Really So Bad?

Jordan Gary |
March 11, 2013 | 1:20 p.m. PDT


Is USC Hook-ups a forum for rape culture or a forum for laughs? (Screenshot, Jordan Gary)
Is USC Hook-ups a forum for rape culture or a forum for laughs? (Screenshot, Jordan Gary)
Let me make one thing clear. Rape culture is a very real thing. It is a very real thing in this country and it is a very real thing at the University of Southern California. However, fully addressing all that is wrong with rape culture, even just at this school, would take an entire book (maybe two) and that is not something that I have either the time or the patience to write. I would like to address something related to rape culture, though: the USC Hook-ups Page.

When the page first started, I saw that my roommate had liked it on Facebook and I immediately asked why she would like what sounded like the most inane page I had ever heard of. "Look at it, it's funny," she told me. So I did, and my suspicions were confirmed. It was definitely one of the most stupid pages I had seen to date. Most of the posts were gross, only a few funny, and almost all were so obviously fake. Nevertheless, by the end of the day I had "liked" it, just to stay up to date with what everyone was talking about. Thus far, the only valuable thing I have taken away from it is identifying the creepers I want to stay away from (I'm looking at you frequent commenters).

Suffice it to say, I was surprised to find out that there was an uproar surrounding the page. I was even more surprised to find out it was because people thought the page promoted rape culture and sexism, and that there was so much being done to try to stop it. Naturally, I went through all of the posts to see if that could be true and I found it rather difficult to agree with. I was a lot more grossed out than before, but I didn't feel like anyone was justifying rape. As far as the sexism argument goes, there were just as many nasty posts from girls about guys as there were from guys about girls. I don't understand how a guy can call a girl a "slut" and everyone gets angry, but a girl can call a guy "small" or "inexperienced" and everyone just laughs. They're both equally rude, and everyone has an equal opportunity to be rude to everyone else. Maybe we need to have lessons in manners, mutual respect, and double standards instead of immediately jumping to calling everyone sexist.

USC Hook-ups does not act as a place to promote rape culture and deleting the page isn't going to stop rape culture. Rape culture will continue to exist with or without this one page. If anything, it is exposing the problem, offering you a forum, or at least the chance to create a forum (which has been done), to discuss and try to change that problem. Pages like it have been popping up for other schools, and they, too, have either been embraced or have instigated an attempt to change the culture people thought it created.

USC Hook-ups does act as a place for some of us to go and laugh at other's funny hook-up stories. It also serves as a place for some of us to go and feel better about ourselves, because luckily our stories aren't bad enough to make it on the page, nor do we feel the need to post on the page and partake in whatever disgusting things people are doing or making up. We all are entitled to our own opinions, and have the ability to voice those opinions (thank you, First Amendment).

I personally don't see very much of a problem with the page in the context of rape culture, but some people do and that is fine. However, attacking each other is not going to solve anything. Hypocrisy and negativity are not going to get anyone anywhere they need to be. There was one wonderful suggestion that if you have a problem with the hook-up stories you see, you can always submit your own positive hook-up stories. I think that is a very constructive way to change people's perceptions about what hook-up culture is like, and separate it from rape culture.

Or you could always just not like the page and be significantly less disgusted every day.


Reach Contributor Jordan Gary here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.