Sex in the News: A Reaction to a Reaction to "Sluts"

This month, Lisa Belkin, a writer for The New York Times’ Motherlode blog, wrote about her own disbelief and utter shock towards the following message sent by the Sigma Nu fraternity of Duke University: “Hey Ladies, Whether your dressing up as a slutty nurse, a slutty doctor, a slutty schoolgirl or just a slut, we invite you…” Lisa Belkin admitted to being stunned by the message.  Adding it to her already established education of college relations, she concluded that “in social settings and in relationships men set the pace, the rules, and act as they had in the days when women were still “less than.”  It might as well [be] the 1950s, but with skimpier clothing, fewer inhibitions and better birth control.”
My initial reaction: Now, I am in no way going to defend this obviously sexist Facebook message, but I am also not going to say I was as shocked as Lisa Belkin when reading it. Being the recipient of several variations of the same message, I felt indifferent — if not completely unmoved — by the evident sexist remarks. If anything, the message was just some boys being immature…
Lisa Belkin provides several other examples of “after-class sexism” that exist at other universities. From the Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter at Yale, chanting, “No means yes, and yes means anal,” to Kappa Sigma fraternity of Southern California who refer to women as “targets” who “aren’t actual people like us men,” there were many examples to pick from. Princeton junior Jared Griffin adds to this general feeling by correctly observing: “When the guys go [out] they are laid-back, casual, like they are going to class. But the women come in, in short cocktail dresses, makeup, high heels…”
Alright, now it is time for some self reflection. The more I read Lisa Belkin’s article, the more it sounded like my own university’s campus. It is true that women still dress up much more than men, that guys tend to throw the parties and thus have the control of the situations, and that direct sexism is still all around us. This does not make me feel proud. Maybe the worst of it is that I wasn’t shocked by the Sigma Nu Facebook message, or that I don’t give it a second thought when I witness someone doing the “walk of shame” early in the morning. Perhaps Lisa Belkin had the right reaction to all of this information after all: it really is wrong that we, as woman, submit to this type of treatment.
What do you think readers? Is sexism on college campuses still explicit and real? What can we do about it? Share your stories here. 

He Said She Said — Dirty Talk
He Said She Said — Dirty Talk
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