I read an article in the New York Times recently, "She Can Play That Game, Too." Did you see it? It was as interesting for its inclusion in the newspaper as it was for it's content. The article ostensibly revealed the increasing preference among college women for casual sex over actual relationships. And, NYT, I have to do something no one on your staff did. Set the record straight.
No, no, they don't.
As a real woman, I can say that. And when I say that, I speak for all women (almost).
I'm not sure if you, as a leading national paper, know this, but people can say anything they want. Doesn't make it true. Or newsworthy. The women interviewed may say these things. They may even believe these things. But they do not mean these things, and they are not representing the bulk of women, collegiate or otherwise, or making some sort of liberated feminist statement by acting as if sexual power dynamics don't exist or are the same on both sides.
I'm not saying women don't want sex or enjoy sex, but nobody wants bad sex, and sloppy hook-ups late at night after the bar closes generally qualifies as pretty bad sex. And there's something else. For the act to be satisfying for women it takes time and attention, something most men have no interest in -- and certainly no man in his early twenties, late at night after countless beers who has no interest in her.
This is why I say these women, and the NYT by reporting this ridiculous story, are deluding themselves and making the struggle for true equality that much harder.
Just because women may now be the initiators, placing texts at 11:00 at night and then creeping over to the guy's place at his request (because clearly, that demonstrates the woman's control and dominance in the situation) doesn't promote gender equality or women's standing, and it never will.
I've been to college. I know what it's like, and nearly 20 years later, all of this sounds eerily familiar. What the women have just done is place a booty call. What's better is that the strong, intelligent, ambitious, talented women follow it up by crawling over to the guy's place, which seems to negate all the modifiers I just used to describe the women.
I think what these women are really looking for is companionship, and if sex gives them that illusion they are willing to take it. It's not empowering. It's not 21st Century feminism. It's sad. And instead of propelling women forward, it pushes us back.
To truly illustrates my point, I'd like to present a quote from the article. A., the main subject who didn't want her full name identified (and I can't understand why if the point is women have finally been sexually liberated and now stand on equal ground with men), said of her sex partner, "We don't really like each other in person, sober."
This is the type of person we are to believe the college women enjoy sleeping with? I'm having a hard time putting the two opposing thoughts together in my brain. Maybe some alcohol or self-loathing will help.
I'm not arguing the women want relationships either, which was given as the underlying reason for the interest in casual sex -- nobody has time for relationships. And even if they did have time, they wouldn't find them on college campuses. Nobody dates or courts in college because it's a freeing, short, frenetic, wonderful, amazing, stimulating, busy, exploratory, transformative time and dating in that environment is hard, although not impossible, to factor in. But that isn't to say high-volume, drunken, casual sex with people you don't even like is a desirable solution.
I'm also not saying women shouldn't have casual sex if that's what they really want. I'm saying that's not what they really want. And I'm suggesting women take a hard look inside and give some serious thought to their actual desires, ambitions and goals in life and pursue them fearlessly. Because when we act in accordance with what is best for us without lowering our standards we exhibit true empowerment. And that, ladies, is real feminism.
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