More women coeds = more Clooney rentals

NYT finds heartbreak, half-empty pizza boxes at female-dominated campuses across the country


Mary Elizabeth Williams
February 8, 2010 8:09PM (UTC)

Who needs a mancession to feel the encroaching threat of female power? Ladies, you don't even need to be out there in the workforce to be disrupting the New York Times' natural order. According to yet another of those scare tactics stories that makes my weekend coffee seem just a little more bitter, when women outnumber men in colleges, they'd better lower their uppity-ass standards, stat!

Take, for example, the heartache unfolding at the University of North Carolina. On yet another "tiresome" evening out, writer Alex Williams explains, the girls are forced to "slip on tight-fitting tops, hair sculpted, makeup just so, all for the benefit of one another," because as one future spinster bemoans, "there are no guys." "With a student body that is nearly 60 percent female," it's "just one of many large universities that at times feel eerily like women’s colleges." And at the University of Vermont, where it's 55 percent female, locals "sardonically refer to their college town, Burlington, as 'Girlington.'" I'm sorry, I'm just a set of knockers who can't do math, but a 45 percent male enrollment makes for a no-man's land?

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Sure, Williams throws us the bone that all this education "is hardly the worst news for women" (no, it's your withering love box that's the bad news). But all that fancy book learning comes with a price – "it is often the women who must assert themselves romantically or be left alone on Valentine’s Day, staring down a George Clooney movie over a half-empty pizza box." And that's an inevitable tragedy that shouldn't have to happen until you're at least 35.

But no, women barely above drinking age are hooking up for desperate one-night stands.  "A lot of my friends will meet someone and go home for the night and just hope for the best the next morning," explains one desperate little hussy. You read right, New York Times readers: College women! Having easy sex! Because they are lonely and sad. And if they're lucky enough to land one of those precious boy thingies, they'd better be wiling to put up with his shit: Cheating is described as "a thing that girls let slide, because you have to."

Well, what do they expect, really? This is what happens when a university is "obligated to admit the most qualified applicants, regardless of gender." Paraphrasing W. Keith Campbell, a psychology professor at the unnaturally 57 percent female University of Georgia, the Times explains, "Women on gender-imbalanced campuses are paying a social price for success and, to a degree, are being victimized by men precisely because they have outperformed them."

No, it's OK. Go bust your ass on the SATs and take out loans you'll be paying until well into your 40s, as long as you don't mind paying the price and being victimized and all. Happy now, girls? HAPPY NOW? No you are not, that's the answer. And "the loneliness can be made all the more bitter by the knowledge that it wasn’t always this way," Williams writes, sadly citing a girl who tells of her roommate's parents, who met (siiiiiiiigh) in college. Dammit, why did they have to ruin everything with stupid learning? Now they'll never have babies!

But brace yourselves: Not all young women are looking for serious boyfriends. Psssst…. not all young women are into boys, period. (Note to the Times: it's pronounced lez-be-in.) Never mind that drinking and hooking up and heartache and occasional insensitive behavior are part and parcel of the human experience. Never mind that the number of men in colleges is actually holding pretty steady. Nope, outnumbering the menfolk, even slightly, is a romantic death sentence. And if you can't trust the people who helped sell us the Iraq war to get it right, who can you believe?


Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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