Monday, August 22, 2016

Are My Sons Really Safe From Your Daughters?

It's back-to-school time. This means that over this past week, a lot of parents have dropped their offspring along with their boxes of stuff off on college campuses across the country. Lugging mini fridges and ramen noodles and boxes of crap up narrow residence hall stairways can be exhausting, but even more exhausting than the physical moving in, is the dropping off. Every parent already knows that college is often characterized by underage binge drinking and casual sex. It's an unfortunate part of the culture. When we add in the fear of sexual harassment and assault, it's enough to bring on a parental apoplexy of Biblical proportions. A lot of parents will need some seriously strong anti-anxiety medication after freshman drop off just to maintain a shred of sanity.

Of course, the college students don't make it any easier.

Last year, it was a bunch of dudes from Sigma Nu fraternity with snarky and inappropriate banners at Virginia's Old Dominion University. The white signs draped over the balconies of an off-campus house read "Rowdy and fun, hope your baby girl is ready for a good time," "Freshman Daughter Drop Off" and "Go ahead and Drop Off Mom Too."

Source: Twitter

Of course, everyone and their grandma was offended. ODU's Sigma Nu chapter was suspended. School administrators condemned the messages in two separate official statements, and ODU's Student Government Association called the signs in their own statement "unwelcoming, offensive, and unacceptable." And social media lit up with rants about rape culture and feminism and rampant acts of sexual assault on college campuses. 

The hammer came down hard on those boys. This sort of disrespect and objectification of women just will not be tolerated. I mean, we are supposed to be "teaching our boys to not rape" right? Signs like these are like the gateway drug to sexual abuse. Give them an inch and they're liable to violently take a mile.

Basically everyone was gasping and clutching their pearls (and rightly so). Fear for your daughters, everyone! Men just cannot be trusted!

This year, it's the women having their turn. A group of sorority girls at West Virginia University have taken paint to bedsheets to create their own snarky and inappropriate banners. "Freshman son drop-off," one sign reads. And right next to it, "You can drop off daddy too." And while those are more than slightly suggestive, these ladies (term very loosely applied) went even farther with some verbiage that is even more vulgar and crass than their frat boy counterparts. "We hope your son's pullout game is strong" and "We burned our couch so you can sit on our face" should be enough to leave the masses desperately clutching their pearls, right?


In perhaps the greatest example of the double standard the University scene has ever seen, not one person has been suspended or reprimanded or slapped on the wrist or even given a stern talking to. And social media is busy with their virtual high fives of congratulations to these tasteless young women.

Why? Because apparently strong sexually suggestive signs by men are considered "creepy" and "offensive" and blatant violations of zero tolerance policies regarding sexual harassment. However, if the same content is painted by people lacking a Y chromosome it's just "tongue in cheek" and "lighthearted" and even "truly inspirational". (If you don't believe me, check out these two very contradictory accounts of the two events that were published in Cosmopolitan almost exactly a year apart: West Virginia Sorority Trolls Sexist Fraternity Signs With Giant Daddy Posters versus College Bros Hang Creepy Banners at Off-Campus House)

I'm confused. If women throw around sexually crass vulgarities on a campus of higher learning they are somehow innocent, even inspirational, because they are sexually liberated. They aren't afraid to show the world that they are sexual creatures, that drunken uninhibited promiscuity is almost an act of gallantry for them. 

But when men throw around the same crass language, they are pigs and potential rapists and taking advantage of women (which is apparently a horrible, nasty, inexcusable thing even if the women really, really, really want to be taken advantage of).

I'm sorry, strange liberal media weirdos, if language like that isn't appropriate for our sons then it isn't appropriate for our daughters either. It cannot be acceptable to objectify men if it is beyond reprehensible to objectify women.

I know, I know. I should be afraid for my daughters. Some sketchy statistics tell me that they have a one in five chance of being raped while attending college. The media is constantly reminding me that we live in a culture of rape that is incredibly dangerous for young women. Men are just waiting for an opportunity to rape them and they must be constantly vigilant.

But truth be told, I am far more frightened for my boys than for my daughters. In today's culture, my sons must walk on eggshells around women, worrying that any vague pickup line might be interpreted as offensive or that any consent that isn't notarized and signed by witnesses might not be consent at all. While their female peers get carte blanche when it comes to promiscuity and changing their mind and overtly flirting but not really meaning it, my boys will likely need to give a breathalyzer test, a lie-detector test, and probably a drug test to any potential female partners. Just to be on the safe side. And if they don't have a good "pullout game" they could potentially have to raise a baby they didn't really consent to making and certainly had no say in whether it was carried to term. All because they were lured into a sexual act by a drunken scantily-clad strumpet, who certainly wasn't asking for it (although she repeatedly did ask for it).

Funny thing how that consent thing works these days.

We seem to expect our boys to behave like saints while we allow our girls to act like sluts. That's just not fair. We can't expect our boys to behave like gentlemen if our girls aren't behaving like ladies. This is supposed to be about equality, right? Even if feminism keeps screaming at us that women should be sexually liberated. Perhaps it is time to wake up to the fact that we are holding our sons to incredibly high standards while we allow our girls to wallow in swill. 

Sometimes I can't help but wonder if feminism isn't just an excuse for women to act like bitches and whores.

I'm not suggesting lowering the standards for boys. I've never liked the "boys will be boys" excuse for men behaving badly. But maybe it's time to make sure our girls are living by the same standards. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here! Here!