Thursday, November 4, 2010

facepalm

Many thanks to my friend Adam for, again, turning me on (or off?) to the enlightened musings of a Ms. Jessica Uzar, a junior at Penn Stat majoring in journalism.

If you missed it, here's my response when last week Ms. Uzar was telling us ladies how great Halloween is because it is an excuse to dress in skimpy, provocative clothing and act suggestive.

Now, she has experienced something completely unacceptable, but rather than take a step back and try to find solutions for it, she complains about sex, again, and finds herself completely off topic.

First, let me say that Ms. Uzar and her friend should not have been accosted. The behavior of the gentlemen around her, yelling lewd and suggestive comments was completely reprehensible, and yet I have this feeling of deja vu that this is the same behavior she was apparently looking forward to when wearing her Halloween costume.... (from last week):
"After all, if we can’t attract him physically, he won’t want to reproduce with us, right? That’s one of our most basic instincts."
What really upsets me about her rant this week is this bit:

"If we had been walking along the Vegas Strip, wearing heels and dresses that were much too short, I would not be surprised by such behavior. I would actually expect some cat calls and lewd suggestions.
But we were walking through campus, after a football game, with heavy layers of clothing on. The only skin of mine that was showing was on my hands and face and I know I looked nowhere near thin in my bundles of warmth."
No. No, no, NO! No woman, or man, or person, regardless of what they are wearing, deserves or should expect lewd suggestions when walking in Las Vegas or State College. Her experience is a perfect example that it is NOT the amount of skin that is showing. Jack-off guys are going to act like jack-off guys whether the girl is wearing a bikini or a parka. 

She cops out by saying, 
"And I understand that boys are dirty."
"Our culture is obsessed with sex and females absolutely want to feel desirable." 
1. So are girls.
2. All creatures want to procreate, and of course, females want to feel desirable, so do males. 

There are huge conservative leanings to our social culture (remember an enormous fine for Janet Jackson's Super Bowl faux pas?), so trying to claim that our culture is obsessed with sex is a little off-base. We are at the same time fascinated and embarrassed by it. We are such a diverse group, and even, as the author clearly shows, divided within ourselves.

What we need to do is realize that there are general standards that we should hold ourselves, and our peers to, when it comes to normal human interactions. And we need to make it socially unacceptable not to live up to those standards, without becoming completely restricted. 

There aren't many absolutes, and certainly there is a time and a place for everything, but in general here is my "good and bad" list:

Skin is good. Sex is good. Nipples, and penises, and vaginas are good. 

Approaching someone who clearly doesn't agree with your intentions is bad. Accosting and harassing anyone, about sex or anything, is bad. 

Being a hypocrite... well, that's part of growing up. It never ends. We are all quick to say what we think, but if we're lucky, if we're not too proud, and willing to learn from our experiences (and from the experiences of others), then we will change our opinions as we learn and grow.

What did I learn from this experience? That we need to do a better job of holding ourselves, and our peers, to a higher standard of interaction - whether on a drunken football weekend, Halloween, or a quiet school night.

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

I LOVE how you used "trollop" and "jack-off guys" in the same post...miss you!!