Just wanted to say I’ve been a HUS reader for a long time. I’m a senior at Yale and it’s honestly the strangest thing to see a weird minor facet of our sexual culture come up in so many places on the internet. But I wanted to express that not too many girls at Yale think the way Chloe does (it’s so odd, we used to be in the same sorority together), and reading your blog among others was part of the reason I decided to write a column in response to some of the media coverage of these articles. I hope you enjoy, I think it remains true to a lot of the things you express here.
There is nothing more gratifying than learning HUS has touched lives, helped people understand themselves better, and given them support to speak the truth. Alex Lin’s article at Yale News Daily is well worth a read. I’m so proud of her! Check it out. Here are some of my favorite highlights:
In every article I read espousing the culture of the “senior washed-up girl,” I sense a distressing sadness. Someday, decades from now when the beauty of our youth has faded, I want every Yale woman to be able to say she fought for more than the freedom to hook up indiscriminately and care for nothing as she rode out her final days of college.
…What keeps coming back in all these “SWUG” articles is an abstract dissatisfaction with the amount of attention women receive with regards to hookups and dating. I think everything in the world traces back to a universal desire for love. The current debate is no different. There’s a hilarious notion going around that we’ve lost something desirable since our freshman year in exchange for an undefined concept of “wisdom” which excuses us from being role models for the underclassmen.
…Women today need to stop excusing themselves. The vague culture of “feminism” is becoming a crutch that our generation has been leaning on for too long. Inherent in the conversation is an extremely unattractive and childish sense of entitlement. “I’m a woman, so I deserve it all: casual sex, expensive dates, eventually an adorable family and a high-profile career.”
I don’t want it all because I know the things I most deeply desire explicitly rule out certain experiences in life.
I wish I could more dramatically get across how frustrating it is to see people, not just women, fail to understand that choices become meaningful when you resolve to sacrifice one opportunity in favor of another. At the heart of it, everyone has a subconscious understanding of his or her own internal preferences, and I think the slow realization that pursuing casual sex is a very weak strategy for finding love is what has triggered this intense rationalization for superficial, attention-seeking apathy.
…The contemporary feminist is not the girl who “has it all,” she’s the woman who’s taken stock of her personal preferences and maintained a strong sense of loyalty to her identity as a feminine individual — regardless of what society has told her is “empowering.”
Alex Lin is smart, but so are her SWUG classmates. What sets Alex apart is her maturity, introspection, sense of personal responsibility, and goal orientation. She understands that it’s not possible to split one’s life into segments with a different “you” living each one. Who you are and what you do at 21 will be very much a part of who you are at 30.
Female underclassmen at Yale couldn’t do any better than model themselves after Lin. Let’s hope the majority understand that, and do not aspire to SWUG status, a distressingly sad thing indeed.