Saturday, September 27, 2008

Forget Sarah Palin: You Go, Girl!!!

"A few weeks ago, I helped my 18-year-old sister move into her freshman dorm at Hillsdale College in Michigan. I was anxious for her -- I worried that the female culture at her school would be similar to that at my own alma mater, Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

As a reserved evangelical from Colorado Springs, Colo., I was shocked by a lot of things at Tufts when I entered in the fall of 2003. What shocked me more than anything, however, was the way women treated other women. I regularly heard young women refer to each other using the most obscene and degrading insults. I observed females encouraging others to binge drink and then berating those who couldn't hold their liquor. At breakfast on the weekends, I often overheard young women discussing their shame after feeling pressured by their girlfriends to participate in a degrading activity, such as a lingerie-themed or 'secretaries and bosses' party. One year, a sorority actually commanded its pledges to strip to their underwear and allow fraternity brothers to mark the physical flaws on their bodies with permanent ink.

Contrary to the feminist narrative about men being responsible for the oppression of women, nearly every instance of female misery I encountered at Tufts seemed to be instigated initially by another woman. My junior year, a controversial joke about rape was published in the student humor journal while a woman was editor in chief.

Such a hostile environment is not unique to Tufts. The Delta Zeta women at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., last year asked unattractive and unpopular sisters to leave the sorority. In her memoir, 'Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood' (2005), Koren Zailckas, a recent graduate of Syracuse University and a recovering alcoholic, sets a scene of young women at that upstate school not only encouraging one another to drink to the point of illness or blackout as a way to forge friendships but also competing with one another to be the most sexually adventurous.

Ms. Zailckas's bitter experiences and those of countless others should dispel the notion that binge drinking on college campuses -- which inarguably leaves women more vulnerable to sexual assault -- is spurred on solely by frat boys. Step onto just about any college campus on a Saturday night and you will see that women are just as much the culprits."
-- Ashley Samelson, making TMR's "old school" approach seem like a graduation, to the Wall Street Journal.

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