Minus the City: The S-Word



Recently I got involved in a conversa­tion about Colgate’s hook-up culture. I know it’s a subject we’re all super sick of (we even talked about banning it from the Maroon-News last year, sorry Wick!), but this conversation really made me think.

One of the males in the discussion in­formed us that the problem with Colgate girls is that they don’t respect themselves enough. He said that in high school he would take a girl out to dinner, to the movies or to plays, before he would ever try to date them or sleep with them. But here, of course, things aren’t quite so difficult. On any given Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, Broad Street and downtown Hamilton are teeming with girls (even cute girls, as this boy noted) willing to go back to dorms, frat hous­es or apartments with boys they barely know. One might even say that the girls here are … slutty. So why would boys put any effort in?

Well that’s where we’ve got a problem. Who says that a girl who will go home with someone she doesn’t know that well doesn’t respect herself? Popular culture may have taught you that all girls want to find a nice boy, settle down, marry and have 2.2 perfect children. And while I’m not saying I don’t hope that a similar scenario is in my future, I’m not going to sit around waiting for that to happen.

Why is it shocking that a girl wants to have fun in college? No one worries that the boys lurking around downtown don’t respect themselves when they take home a relative stranger. And if you’re reading this saying that you do judge those boys, well good for you and equal opportunity slut-shaming! The rest of you are probably rolling your eyes; we’ve all heard it before: there’s a double standard when it comes to the hook-up culture. What are you going to do?

Acknowledging that something is a dou­ble standard isn’t enough. It’s kind of a step in the right direction, but nowhere near close enough. This is a double standard that idolizes one gender’s behavior and disdains another’s. While bros get lauded for hook­ing up with a different girl every night, girls are discussed in whispers as their reputation steadily falls. We need to examine why this double standard still exists in the year 2010 and make an actual effort to combat it.

Try this little exercise: next time you think about a girl who you may or may not even know, and you’re discussing her rumored pro­miscuity, make an effort not to call her a slut. Remove that word from your vocabulary the same way you’ve worked to remove “retard­ed,” “fag” and the n-word. Taking away the word might not change your attitude. But it does reinforce a certain opinion of women. And if that word’s not around, then maybe someday that opinion won’t be around.

Besides, let’s think of where that term slut comes from. It means whore, right? You know what a whore is? Someone who has sex with others in exchange for money or other favors. It seems to me that being wined and dined before you put out is a little closer to that definition than making a conscious deci­sion that you want to sleep with another con­senting adult without any perks beyond a fun night. Just something to think about.