The Hook-up Generation

Yesterday both Fausta and The Anchoress touched on a subject that is always on the top of my rant pile (sorry you’ll just have to read them both – excerpting them here wouldn’t do them justice). Why are most young people unable to have a sincere and loving relationship with the opposite sex? They use each other and then discard each other, like empty french fry wrappers. No courtship, no wooing, no anticipation. Some of my fondest memories are from the days of dating the man that would someday become my husband. Maybe only the mothers of these children are noticing this phenomena… but it is very distressing. What follows is a repost from last year, where I was wailing on the same subject. Seems we are always on the same page…

Carrie Bradshaw Did Not Write The Rule Book
Originally posted 11/1/2007

The last few days I’ve wandered around in flu shot fog (they usually don’t have this effect!) – but a conversation I had over the weekend continued to haunt me. It kept reminding me of something…somewhere…just out there on the fringe of some waking dream….that I’d read before. Then I realized it was a post from The Anchoress, of course, what else would it be? ;-)

It was a conversation she had with her boy about girls ….

Another problem, of course, is that intimacy has been defined downward, especially for our young girls, to mean little more than a “hook-up.” Children, especially girls, are being sexualized at ever-earlier ages. The sexual messages begin very young in television commercials and on the clothes-store racks, and most of Buster’s generation grew up watching Friends and Sex in the City and thinking that this was what life was: a series of sexual encounters with no emotional attachments, no repercussions, no pain, no loss of oneself.

Sexualized early, many girls are either overly jaded or mistrustful and remote. Buster says a troubling number of girls his age are sexually hyper-active, but unhappy and lonely – they cannot make good, healthy connections with respectable young men, because they don’t “get” the guys who open car doors for them and who look for a relationship to be about more than a “hook-up” or perfunctory oral sex. (A romance recently busted up because Buster wanted a real relationship, and the girl, a nice-enough kid, simply did not know what that meant!)

While the girls are untethered and confused balls of sexuality, too many boys are learning to see the girls not as young women to be respected, admired and (in a chivalrous sense) looked after, but as disposable spittoons for their disregarded and misunderstood sperm. I’ve heard my sons and his friends complain about it – that their generation is very screwed up about how to relate to each other, that too many of both gender have no idea what self-respect is, that they treat themselves, and each other, badly. They crave intimacy but have no idea how to achieve it when they’ve been raised to throw everything – their virginity, their standards, their drive to succeed (it’s not cool to get good grades) – their potential, their very selves away. You cannot learn or achieve intimacy if you’re busy conforming to the Culture of Now – what Flip Wilson used to call The Church of What’s Happening Now – you’re too busy just trying to keep up.

Lookin’ for love – in all the wrong places. She’s right…just throwing themselves away to the first person that shows the slightest bit of interest. What every happened to The Hunt? When a young man pursued a young lady, courted, wooed…. What? That doesn’t fit into your Speed-Dating Agenda? Then Fausta, yesterday, in the depth of my fog, said this l (I meant to comment, but everyone else had such thoughtful responses – who needed the wonked-out ramblings of a congested blockhead?)

My friend, whose second husband had just left her, also talked about The Rules. The Rules essentially says that women should live the best lives they can and let men chase them.

Sounds good to me. I’ve been married for decades so I wouldn’t know whether The Rules work in today’s convoluted courtship capers. The Rules has been accused of being manipulative but I would wager that the fact still remains that men still like to chase women and women still want to be chased.

The problem comes up when one is trying to control the other.

A lot of women want to dominate everyone around them. They are driven mostly by insecurity but also by anger, and sometimes the wish for power. Most men actively resent domineering women and can be driven to all sorts of crazy behavior out of spite. Some men want to dominate, too. While independent women like myself are not interested in domineering men, some domineering men see this as a bull sees a red cape and charge ahead.

So why do the youngsters of today rush things so? Siggy talked about the Abraham/Sarah/Hagar triangle that continues to rock the world, saying

Perhaps one lesson that can be learned here is that Abraham never attempted to assert control or dominion over that which he knew was in God’s purview. Each of his sons were promised great legacies and Abraham trusted enough in God to not interfere, despite what must have been clearly a great conflict within himself. Not to assert control or domination but to trust in God- really trust in Him- takes a kind of maturity, not so easily learned.

The Big Picture isn’t so easily recognizable, but what we comprehend is that control and domination serves to degrade and not elevate. Those who attempt to assert control over others simply for the sake of control and domination will find that destiny will in the end, not favor them….

When did the children we raised, steeped in music and love and faith and fun and silly words, lose their way? Not just a few Lost Boys in Neverland, but a whole generation of our best and brightest are falling into the trap of entitlement. Everything else has been practically given to them by either schools or governments or doting parents – so why should they have to work at any kind of relationship? I’m not just talkin’ about L-U-V, baby. Every person – every relationship. Not just boyfriend/girlfriend, but teachers, students, people in traffic, friends, the girl behind the counter at the coffee shop. Think that acting out like a spoiled three year old will get you that promotion? Go right ahead. As Siggy wisely noted, even Sarah found out that you reap what you sow, no matter what your original intention.

Every parent’s wants nothing but the best for their children. After all, their baby is perfect in every way, at least in their eyes. Their real nightmare is that their darling babies will take a bad turn in life and end up with less than their brightest dreams. Oh wait, let me rephrase that – every parent who has any values/morals and who tried to instill those values/morals and raise their precious babes to keep their knees together and/or their little soldiers to themselves until marriage – THEIR worse nightmare is that the apple of their eye will turn out like one of the trollops on SATC or the docs on Nip/Tuck. After all, they live by what they created – The Modern and Newly Abridged Rules.

What they don’t realize, because they haven’t had the kind of experience that years bring, the glamorous, enviable and free-spirited Carrie is really just another Britney, just with better shoes.

1 Comment

  1. February 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    [...] reason, adults who lived through the summer of love, and/or the disco beat and/or generation x are fretting about kids today and their questionable values. The Anchoress sighs: All of the old social safeguards are no [...]


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