The Sexist

University Sex Columns, Reviewed: Drunken Flirting Edition

The battle for ideological dominance in our nation’s capital’s collegiate sex columns continues. Are our local campus columnists on the forefront of radical sex writing, or are they bringing back the good old days of passive femininity, drunk-flirting double standards, and Jell-O Shot lesbianism?

This week: How to pick up guys sober; when gays and lesbians offend gays and lesbians; what to do when you pick up a guy drunk.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND:

Sex Tips: Diamondback advice columnist Esti Frischling tells UMD girls how to find dates beyond the old standby of "flirting with random guys at the bars." Her venue of choice? "Class. Next time, just sit next to that stud and smoothly pass him an empty tic-tac-toe board—guaranteed to get you at least a smile and a game, possibly even a good lay."

Life Lesson: "Just look approachable and wear stretchy pants."

Progressive Meter: I support any relationship advice column targeted at women that does not rely upon sitting around and waiting for the hottest dude ever to reveal his improbable love for you. Man, Twilight has really lowered my standards. 6.

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY:

Sex Tips: Since our AU Threesome of sex columnists has retired for the semester, this one's a rebuttal. Sarah Brown, Senior, has this to say about the Threesome's treatment of lesbian sex: "I can look past the inaccurate comparison of lesbian sex to Jell-O shots, the offensive implication that lesbians are all biologically the same and even the language that suggests that 'encountering a lesbian' is similar to running into a strange creature in the wild," she writes. "What I cannot seem to move past, though, is the Editor’s Note at the bottom of the column, which reads: 'In an attempt to prevent misinterpretation, we would like to acknowledge our sex columnists are of varying sexual orientations and genders.'”

Life Lesson: Newsflash: Gays and lesbians can offend gays and lesbians. Writes Brown: "While I’m glad that The Eagle has taken a non-heteronormative approach to the sex column, what this note implies is that The Eagle staff does not regard members of the LGBT community to be capable of saying things that offend and hurt persons in their community."

Progressive Meter: Good points, all. But really, how is one expected to get through a semester of sex column writing without including at least one offensive analogy to Jell-O shots? 9.

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY:

Sex Tips: This time around, Hoya sex columnist Colleen Leahey invites us to learn from experience. In "How To Avoid The Pitfalls Of Drunken Flirting," Leahey tells the story of "Ian" and "Emma," two Georgetown co-eds who only talk when they're wasted. As the semester goes on, the drunken flirting gets heated: “I just think you’re so beautiful," drunk Ian tells her one night. What exactly do you want from this whole thing? drunk Emma texted back. Weeks later, the hangover sets in: Drunk Ian's girlfriend wants to fight drunk Emma!

Life Lesson: When a dude with a girlfriend goes astray, there is always a woman to blame. "Emma walked home with tear-filled eyes. She went to bed upset, feeling like some kind of worthless tease. The next day, however, her sadness turned to anger. Since when had this whole situation even become a big deal? Nothing had happened. And how was it solely her fault? Albeit, she had crossed a line, actually recognizing their flirtation, whereas Ian had merely straddled it. Yet, once she realized how wrong her actions had been, she immediately backed off. So, why did she deserve such scrutiny an entire month later?"

Progressive Meter: Double standards are a bitch. 7.

Photo via the Library of Congress

  • John Dias

    It's pretty clear to me that women on college campuses are not only sexually assertive as it is, but also sexually aggressive. What would be a sorely needed change (and one that in the current cultural environment would awkwardly stick out like a sore thumb) is for greater self-restraint and sexual modesty to become more common.

    But that's so unlikely as to call it utopian. Still, Ms. Hess thinks women need to become even MORE sexually aggressive, at the risk of being "disempowered." Beauty IS power, Ms. feminist. Beautiful women can get a lot of what they want, including relationships with WHO they want, if they focus more on being beautiful rather than just being sexual.

  • Vanessa

    Seriously, John? That is such a pathetic joke it's not even worthy of a response. Go troll someplace else.

  • TJ

    @John... you gotta be kidding, right? Are you actually saying that if you are beautiful, you don't have to be sexual or assertive because things and "relationships" will just pop in your lap??? Have you read any of Amanda's other blogs??? What happens to the not-so-beautiful women? Are they just assed out? And who determines who is beautiful?

    I actually had to laugh at that one it's so ridiculous...

  • http://www.misandryreview.com/ John Dias

    Yes, seriously, Vanessa. And in response to your dismissive comment, I'm no troll (a troll is a person who makes a provocative online comment for the sole purpose of fomenting discord, rather than engaging in reasoned dialog). You're just not used to being disagreed with.

    TJ, yes, I am saying that beauty affords one with options. Beauty is also not confined to the visual arena; it can also be found inwardly. Sexually licentious people (not just women) are, in my opinion, not demonstrating inward beauty. And so by essentially advocating for a hook-up culture, you're undermining inward beauty, disacknowledging outward beauty, and trying to boil down non-platonic relationships between people to a sexual act. To me, that's dehumanizing, but you're entitled to your opinion (as am I).

  • jules

    @John: "It’s pretty clear to me that women on college campuses are not only sexually assertive as it is, but also sexually aggressive."

    Uh seriously? To that, I don't even know how to respond. What a gross generalization.

    And "Ms.Hess" at NO POINT IN ANY COLUMN says that she believes women should be "more sexually aggressive." SHE DOES NOT SAY THAT WOMEN "SHOULD" BE ANYTHING

    And guess what? Neither should you.

  • jules

    Also I thought the funniest part of the Leahy post is that those girls at Georgetown went out and spent $60 on margaritas and THEN went out drinking at the bars. Holy crap, I don't spend that much to go drinking now. A night drinking in college consisted of dollar shooters with townies at some trashy bar. The differences between Georgetown and Indiana...

  • Em

    Wow. That Colleen chick finally wrote something that doesn't reek of my grandmother's perfume. Good for her!

  • Richard

    "And so by essentially advocating for a hook-up culture, you’re undermining inward beauty, disacknowledging outward beauty, and trying to boil down non-platonic relationships between people to a sexual act. To me, that’s dehumanizing, but you’re entitled to your opinion (as am I)."

    I think you are acknowledging something that is true, but are making the wrong conclusion out of it.

    I think you are actually on some level right about the plain fact that being beautiful or attractive does provide some comparative power to individuals regardless of gender, although certainly in our society the physical appearance of women is judged harder.

    I think the disconnection between me and you is that you believe that women should not be sexually assertive or at least less so than now. The problem with this of course is that you are ascribing your own values on to individual women. I think women should be as sexually assertive or not as they want to be. The problem is that our society to a large extent teaches women to be more passive than they necessarily would be if society did not actively promote there passivity.

    Now the argument that you think is novel and correct, but is based on some wrong assumptions is that a society where women are more sexually assertive is one where women are actually relatively less empowered compared to if we had a society where chastity and beauty were emphasized.

    This view misses a couple points. For one, it does not really value the fact that many women do value sex, and the power to assert their sexually is important. Second, it looks at society in the status quo as opposed to where it should be. The goal should on some level to break down the overvaluing of women's beauty because it is used on the whole the majority of women who do not fit a relatively arbitrary standard. You seem to think empowering the few beautiful women is more important or inevitable in a society that values just sexuality or beauty.

    Also, you seem again be pulling points out of the article that either are not there or actually misstating Amanda's position. Although I think for the most part you don't qualify as a troll, this is where the accusation comes from.

  • Richard

    One last thing.

    On another post, you said that you had a right to your own opinion. I think this is ultimately what Hess and the feminist movement is trying to say as well.

    Women have a right to their own opinion regarding their sex life, and should not be commended for their choices either way. In the status quo, they are largely commended.

  • John Dias

    @Richard:

    "I think the disconnection between me and you is that you believe that women should not be sexually assertive or at least less so than now. The problem with this of course is that you are ascribing your own values on to individual women."

    Yes, I do believe that both women and men should exercise more careful judgment with their sexuality, and this would tend to conflict with what I describe as the hook up culture.

    "I think women should be as sexually assertive or not as they want to be. The problem is that our society to a large extent teaches women to be more passive than they necessarily would be if society did not actively promote there passivity."

    The problem, as I see it, is precisely the opposite of the way you see the problem. I think that rather than being too sexually repressed, we as a society are instead too infused with peer pressure to indulge our sexuality. And it's because of this that both women and men are being goaded into being sexual even if they don't otherwise want to be. I truly believe that if it was more socially acceptable to be less sexual, more people would enjoy the chance to get to know each other and would benefit in the long run. By this I don't want to pretend that people hook up all the time and wouldn't consider themselves pressured at all; yet this does not negate the notion that peer pressure to be sexual (and shame heaped upon those who won't or "can't" be sexual) is prevalent throughout western culture.

    Who commends a woman (or especially a man!) for NOT hooking up?

  • Richard

    "And it’s because of this that both women and men are being goaded into being sexual even if they don’t otherwise want to be."

    "Who commends a woman (or especially a man!) for NOT hooking up?"

    I think on a societal level people should not be condemned or commended for engaging in a certain level of sexual activity. I think largely the point of a lot of feminism is women receive the message that they should restrain their sexuality (which you are saying to some extent too), instead of deciding on their own individual level how they want to express it.

    As I said before, I think women should have the right to their opinion, instead of being systematically informed that they should function one way or another.

  • http://www.misandryreview.com/ John Dias

    @Richard:

    "I think on a societal level people should not be condemned or commended for engaging in a certain level of sexual activity."

    I think that people who "score" or "hook up" are given an approving "attaboy" or "you go girl!" when they reveal that sex took place. Never is it, "Are you sure that was such a wise idea?" This one-sided approval of a sexual choice, never questioning sex, is what I'm talking about. I fundamentally disagree with your contention, Richard, that this society inhibits sexuality. Rather, this society inhibits and undermines personal independent judgment and modesty.

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