The Michigan Daily featured an opinion piece earlier this week concerning women on campus, and their changing attitudes towards the “hook-up culture.” This article was written as a response to a piece by Bethany Biron in The Michigan Daily, which explains that the empowerment of women today seems to be one of the defining causes of our average marriage rate steadily declining, in that more women are not setting their number one priority in finding their soul mate and settling down. Similarly, women on campuses are less concerned with finding a boyfriend than they are on education and future careers, leading them to seek detached sexual experiences.
Before delving into my deep concerns with the response article for this piece, I would like to say that I do think it was written with good intentions. The author does attempt to say that college boys need to get their acts together and start respecting women instead of objectifying them. However, his approach and examples in doing so, were entirely counterproductive and to be honest, a bit naive.
Instead of accepting that girls on campus might not all be walking around puppy-eyed and in search of manly protection, the author chose to take this opportunity to say why this is a bad thing. He begins by warning women that they are making a mistake in pursuing one-night-stands and that he’s ‘been there, done that’ and trust him in his appeal that it is not worth it. This was my first hint that he was going to completely disregard the message in The Statement’s article, which was all about independent women deciding for themselves if they wish to commit to one sexual partner or not. Instead, he decided to take the traditional approach and tell women what they should and shouldn’t do with their bodies.
The article moves on to suggest that us women shall fear not, because there is a “real man” waiting to cherish each every one of us. Well I hope these “real men” aren’t holding their breath because as Biron’s piece clarifies, many women are doing just fine without “prince charming.” Yet he continues to ask men, “What are we up to while girls are pushed to look for fulfillment shot by shot, wearing barely more than a bathing suit?” Apparently, the issue is not in the inappropriate conclusions men make from a woman’s clothing choice, but rather finds it his responsibility [as a man] to stop them from leaving the house in their underwear.
He then exclaims, “Men, the women on campus are all vulnerable. They’re away from their homes and families and are now in our care.” Okay, if that is not the antitheses of women empowerment, I don’t know what is. This statement is as unproductive and traditional as me saying, “Women, all the men on our campus are hungry. They are away from their mother’s home cooked meals and we need to help them! Its time to cook them some food and be real women.”
By all means, respect me and maybe even walk me home if it’s late and dark out, but please do not look at me with pity and feel as though I will not be complete without your masculine security. This article completely neglects the numerous examples given in Biron’s article of women who express why marriage may or may not be a priority in their lives. Instead he lumps the women’s’ individual experiences all together as “daddy issues” proposing they can be solved by frat bros committing to relationships instead of spiking the jungle juice.
What exactly is this “real man” he seems to throw out as if there is a universal definition? Through his piece I have gathered that the “real man” doesn’t need cheesy pick up lines and he’s ready to call some girl his princess. Hold on, back up, do we get a say in any of this? Because thank you so much all your advice in choosing men but I’m going to go with someone who makes me laugh, can have a real conversation with me [even if I don’t leave the house with a turtleneck and suspenders on] and NEVER calls me princess if it’s not meant in a mocking or ironic way. Or if we are role-playing.
Most of all, I hope that women (if they do prefer men) are interested in a man who will care for them, but will except comfort and safety from the women in their lives as well. And that is where the article mainly goes wrong. The author does not express the security that women can offer to men but rather depicts men as the hero saving women from whatever it is they need to be saved from. Instead of telling men that it’s time to adapt to women’s priorities shifting in their sexual pursuit, he takes it as a cry for help that men aren’t successfully fulfilling their “duties” to protect women.
By: Lauren Opatowski
(Photo courtesy of aladdinsfuturewife)