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Mukilteo Beacon
Mukilteo , Washington
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June 21, 2006     Mukilteo Beacon
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June 21, 2006
 

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June 2006 - Mukilteo Beacon - 19 o B'~:G.AR. S, FROM PAGE 5 ardy! The most interesting, and disturbing, piece in this par- ticular issue, though, was about Duke University. And sex. And, mostly, young women. The writer, like many other journalists, traveled to Duke in the wake of the re- cent rape allegations against several members of the uni- versity's lacrosse team (a situation that's still pretty murky), but he connected with several sorority sisters and got an earful, and that's what his article ended up fo- cusing on. There were the usual sto- ries of drinking and sexual activity; nothing new here, although attitudes seem a lot looser than even in my col- lege days, when AIDS was years away, It was another attitude, though, that got his atten- tion, and mine, and it had to do With how these young women viewed their relation- ships with young men. If you want to go to Duke you're going to need at least two things: money and brains. Ambition and drive are also prerequisites, and these women seemed to have plenty. According to their story, all of them study approxi- mately four hours a day after classes (and before hitting the party scene), and high grades seem to be something of a status symbol. As is having the right body type, the right clothes, and the @~ ~ ~%~:~ii~i::@ ~i~: 4@ ~~~ right friends. Again, nothing much new here. And the right boyfriend. Which, according to the young women, is ANY boy- friend. I have no idea how wide- spread this attitude is, either at Duke or on any campus in the country, but it's been roll- ing around in my brain since I read the article. Is it post- feminism? Is it just the stage of life? Is it me? It wasn't just about having a mate, no matter how tem- porary. It was the way these accomplished, bright, ambi- tious women were willing to undergo humiliation, deg- radation and demeaning be- havior just to be able to hang on to some guy's arm. Again, maybe it's always been this way, and I'm just getting older and more easily shocked. And I'm not wor- ried about my own daughter; the day she'd put up with jerky behavior from a man is the day I'd be checking her driver's license to see what her real name was. But there are other daugh- ters, and peer pressure and powerful cultural influences, and I just wondered how we got here, and why, and what it will mean for the futures of these young women who seem to have such possibili- ties ahead. And maybe this was an aberration, or even an exag- geration. But it bothered me, and it bothers me still, par- ticularly as a man and as a father - and particularly be- cause I was just looking for some light reading, and got more than I bargained for. be seen. be read. 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