Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Something IS Wrong With Today’s Kids!

The content of the essays, however, is a different thing altogether. In the very first essay, a student, a 20-year-old woman, refers to a character, a 20-year-old woman, as “promiscuous.” The character in question has a boyfriend. There is absolutely nothing else that might qualify her as promiscuous. If having a boyfriend at the age of 20 makes one promiscuous then I’m kind of scared. What is one supposed to do at this age not to be called a slut? Not have a boyfriend? Get married to a guy the second you meet him?

Jeez, women, when will you stop interiorizing these idiotic messages?

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11 thoughts on “Something IS Wrong With Today’s Kids!

  1. Maybe she doesn’t actually know what “promiscuous” means.

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  2. It’s not only today’s kids, although I think it may have something to do with “kids,” that is, late-adolescent black-and-white thinking. I started teaching Arthurian literature to college students 25 years ago—you know, Arthur, Lancelot, Guenevere, the Round Table—and for 25 years I have had to explain what words like “slut,” “whore,” “promiscuous” and “prostitute” actually mean, and to point out that Guenevere, while married to Arthur, has one lover, Lancelot, to whom she has been faithful throughout her life. That is, this is not a brief fling, but a relationship of some 20 years’ duration. The 20-year-olds remain bitterly judgmental. But once I had “returning” students of 30 and up, their understanding of the situation was considerably more nuanced. I think it’s a question of life experience. Once your students get some, Clarissa, they may lighten up.

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  3. What is one supposed to do at this age not to be called a slut?

    I’ve come to suspect there is nothing you can do. That word, and other words like it, are remarkably stretchy. I’ve noticed they can encompass any woman (or girl) the speaker wants them to.

    You don’t even have to have had sex.

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    • I know. This is a way of condemning women simply for existing. And it is extremely frustrating to see young women use it so carelessly.

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      • It took me a ridiculously long time to see that “slut” wasn’t actually a real thing, that you can objectively define. I actually credit the Slutwalk protests with helping me understand that! (Which would’ve meant I finally grasped this concept at the age of 28. So even if your students are quicker on the uptake than I was, they might still not be there yet.)

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      • Lindsay: “It took me a ridiculously long time to see that “slut” wasn’t actually a real thing, that you can objectively define.”

        Nothing is anything you can define, anymore. That is one of the essential characteristics of contemporary life. The sooner we learn this,the better.

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