Traditional monogamy has a new and unlikely champion in a University of Michigan engineering student who's been raising eyebrows with his recent op-ed, published Monday in The Michigan Daily.
Senior Jeffrey McMahon wrote "Commitment is fulfillment" in response to a Michigan Daily piece on the school's hook-up culture published last week. That article, "Fulfillment without commitment at the University," explored the attitudes of the average U of M student's sexual habits (with an emphasis on the female perspective.)
As today's women navigate the tumultuous path between romance and career, they’ve increasingly turned toward “hook-up culture” as a means of escape. An arduous week of academia paves way to the sweet freedom of Friday night, and the streets swell with a cavalcade of stilettos propping up scantily clad girls with berry-colored lips and black-rimmed eyes.
While admitting that he, too, was once part of the hooking up hordes, McMahon has apparently changed his tune. His "beef," he writes, is with the boys on campus, who are failing in their duty to protect and love the female population.
"Where are the real men?" McMahon asks. "What are we up to while girls are pushed to look for fulfillment shot by shot, wearing barely more than a bathing suit?"
Men, the women on campus are all vulnerable. They’re away from their homes and families and are now in our care. So far we’ve done nothing but put them in harm’s way and exploit them.
McMahon calls his female peers "princesses" then implies that women who have casual sex do so out of some sort of repressed family trauma.
Sadly, not all of the young women on campus grew up in a home with parents to look up to. It’s likely that some of them do have a father, but one who might have been absent or even abusive. In this case, we all have the opportunity to be real men. The opportunity is there to show her what it means to be a man of strength, integrity, compassion and conviction.
Then comes an unfortunate comment about outfit choices:
If you're looking for a relationship, find someone who will protect you. If you're going out with the girls, wear something that forces a man to get to know your heart and not just your body. You're treasured and there's a man who will call you his princess, who will protect you and keep you safe. Don't settle for anything less.
McMahon's piece attracted its fair share of criticism for its rather antiquated view of the "fairer sex." Jezebel's Katie J.M. Baker called it "basically a primer on how not to be a feminist ally."
The sexual mores of college students are confusing, however. Even as lists of the "most down to fuck" schools flood the Internet, a report issued in 2011 by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that the percentages of men and women 18-24 who say they are virgins also are increasing. Those decisions seem individual to us.