The New York Times tells college girls why they’re so lonely.

by Jamie Doak

“As for a man’s cheating, ‘that’s a thing that girls let slide, because you have to,’ said Emily Kennard, a junior at North Carolina. “If you don’t let it slide, you don’t have a boyfriend.'”

Sounds like a quote from Cosmo right?  It’s from a New York Times article, “The New Math on Campus” by Alex Williams.  Basically, the article is saying that a horrible outcome of women outnumbering men on college campuses is that girls can’t get a date on Friday night.  The article paints a very desperate, pathetic picture of college girls, makes sweeping generalizations based on conversations that sound like they happened at a middle school slumber party and is overall a ridiculous and irresponsible piece of journalism that has absolutely no place in the New York Times. 

Williams’ main points here are that:

1.  Women are sad because they can’t get boyfriends because there aren’t enough men to go around: “Some colleges mirror retirement communities, where women often find that the reward for outliving their husbands is competing with other widows for the attentions of the few surviving bachelors.”

2. Women are forced into a man’s casual hook up world in hopes of getting a text back the next day…and if they’re lucky, snagging a boyfriend: “A lot of my friends will meet someone and go home for the night and just hope for the best the next morning,” Ms. Lynch said. “They’ll text them and say: ‘I had a great time. Want to hang out next week?’ And they don’t respond.”

3. The 60% women-40% men gender divide (or in most cases she cites, the 55-45 divide) is turning men into soulless players that cheat on women and enabling men to be with girls that are way hotter than them: “Mr. Ivey himself said that his own college relationship lasted three years. ‘She didn’t think she would meet another guy, I didn’t think I would meet another girl as attractive as her,’ he said.”  Mr. Ivey is quite the charmer- I don’t know why he’s so worried.

4. Most girls are just resigning themselves to their manless state and resorting to “girl nights” and being “left alone on Valentine’s Day, staring down a George Clooney movie over a half-empty pizza box.”  Girl friends, George Clooney and pizza?  Woe is me!  Throw a couple bottles of wine in there and my life is over!

To Williams’ credit, she does quote some gripping statistics given by a senior majoring in advertising: “Out of that 40 percent [of guys on campus], there are maybe 20 percent that we would consider, and out of those 20, 10 have girlfriends, so all the girls are fighting over that other 10 percent.”  Compelling stuff.  I’m glad her research is so….scientific.

 I realize that there are women who would agree with this article, however, Williams frames this “issue” (which she fabricated from a few conversations with a few women) like it’s a gigantic ordeal plaguing college aged women across the nation.  She makes women sound desperate and pathetic and makes men sound like heartless assholes.  The article, while never directly scolding women for their admission to college, nevertheless implicitly tells them that it’s kind of their fault that they don’t have a boyfriend.  Ladies, if you want to be smart and successful then you better expect to be lonely- it’s a sacrifice you have to make. 

I expect to see this kind of shit on the pages of Cosmo, in fact, I wouldn’t even be as upset if it were.  Nobody really takes the Cosmo articles that seriously- I mean, when Taylor Lautner’s naked torso is staring at you from the next page, how could you?  But when an article appears on the pages of The New York Times you assume a certain kind of legitimacy.  It sickens me to think that an article on a made up topic with a few sad anecdotes as evidence and some really bad stereotypes and clichés to tie it all together made it onto the pages of the most read newspaper in America. 

Photo from The New York Times

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