Language and Double Standards

I want to start by saying that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the presentations. The issues that were addressed in each presentation by each individual seem to be issues that the presenter actually cared about. Each presenter seemed to actually be excited to explore their issue rather than just completing the project for a grade. Some of the topics that the were brought are issues that my friends and I talk about all the time, but one issue in particular seems to pop up a little more than the others. During Hannah’s presentation, she brought up the issue of double standards that exist across the gender binary. More specifically, the double standards that exist on the Vanderbilt campus in regards to sex. My friends and I have this conversation all of the time, so when she brought the issue up in her presentation, I knew that I was going to blog about it. I do feel that there is a huge double standard within the Vanderbilt community regarding sexuality. I feel that it’s that way within most communities though. Whether it’s high school, other college campuses, our neighborhoods, the workplace…wherever. These issues are by no means specific to Vanderbilt University.
I believe the main reason these double standards exist is because of the way that most men have been condition to talk about having sex with women. When we talk about going out to bars and clubs and frat parties, we go out with the intention of finding a girl, bringing her back to our place and making some type of sexual contact with her. But it’s much deeper than that. It’s like we’re hunting. When me and my boys are out and we’re good and drunk, we’ll say things to each other like, “Go snag her over there” or “That one is mine” almost as if we were predatory animals scoping out our prey. How does that create  the double standard? The way that men talk about having sex with women creates a sort of victim/victimizer relationship initially. Most of the time, in a weekend social setting when I see a group of guys talking about girls they’re interested in, I can see a sort of sinister grin spread across their face, like a lion salivating over a gazelle. When we actually do “Go snag her over there”, it’s as if they fell into our trap. So when girls get drunk and hook up with dudes, she was stupid or weak or vulnerable enough to fall into our trap. When dudes get drunk and hook up with girls, we’re master hunters and we’re good at setting traps. The only thing that makes this true is the language we use. To further explain my stance on the whole victim/victimizer idea, think about the way girls speak about men when they’re out in a social setting. They’ll see an attractive male and say things to each other like “Watch out for that guy” almost as if it’s a bad thing if he decides to come up and say hello.

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