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Pop Culture, Scourge of the Onelys: This is … news? February 9, 2010

Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, Food for Thought, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, Singled Out.
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This just in via the New York Times: Women outnumber men in college, and it’s affecting their dating lives.

Thank God for good reporting! Because without it, we wouldn’t know that women in college these days “often find it harder than expected to find a date on a Friday night” and must instead choose between “assert[ing] themselves romantically or be[ing] left alone on Valentine’s Day, staring down a George Clooney movie over a half-empty pizza box.”

Nevermind that “women are primarily in college not because they are looking for men, but because they want to earn a degree,” or that “Many women eagerly hit the library on Saturday night. And most would prefer to go out with friends, rather than date a campus brute.”

Nope, all that matters is our nostalgia for what used to be:

The loneliness can be made all the more bitter by the knowledge that it wasn’t always this way.

“My roommate’s parents met here,” said Mitali Dayal, a freshman at North Carolina. “She has this nice little picture of them in their Carolina sweatshirts. Must be nice.”

And please don’t concern yourselves with the fact all students at the University of North Carolina appear to be straight and white, and that the male students can’t seem to help their misogyny…! If anyone ever doubted that the media perpetuates stereotypes about gender, race, and sexuality, this story should shatter those doubts.

Copious Readers, what else irks you about this story?

— L

photo credit: Inju

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Comments»

1. Alan - February 9, 2010

The pizza boxes.

After all, it’s single men who are supposed to live in an apartment full of empty pizza boxes! 😉

That, and the triviality. We’ve long known that women outnumber men in college, so it’s not really news. But with Valentine’s Day coming, the media have to write stories about dating and romance so they dredge up this unremarkable observation.

Kind of sad how these biases just creep in there, and the people writing them probably aren’t even aware they’re doing it.

Onely - February 9, 2010

Yes, with V-day coming, the pressure is on for all of us pundits to write something about it. I have no idea what Onely will write. I feel everything has been said before.
CC

2. Lauri - February 9, 2010

THIS is in the NEW YORK TMES????

Dear lord.

Ok, I went to a small liberal arts college and there was no “dating.” Sure people had boyfriends and girlfriends, and people hooked up, sometimes once, sometimes on a recurring basis, but I never once, in four years, knew anyone who went on a “date.” Every weekend, everyone did the same stuff, together. You hung out with your friends in the dorm or you went to a campus-wide party with your friends. Why would a college student want to go on a date??? Dates are boring and reserved for us old people who don’t have the luxury of being in college with lots of friends and parties around. Why would anyone ever want to be alone with one person having a boring date than out with everyone else in school? In college you hang out with your friends on Friday night.

3. Lauri - February 9, 2010

ok also, does it seem like the real problem is why less men are going to college????

david - February 11, 2010

Yes exactly, another point might be that finding a quality man might be more difficult as well, what quality means I’m sure every one has their own opinion on, but you get my drift.

4. Lauri - February 9, 2010

ok sorry for the tripple reply. But if I had to name one thing that really irked me about that article, it was the quote from the girl that said you have to put up with your boyfriend cheating on you, otherwise you don’t have a boyfriend.

So don’t have a boyfriend then!!! Ugh, seriously, from a feminist standpoint that’s just gross. Who cares if he disrespects you, you have a boyfriend!

But I also think that UNC was a really bad place to interview students for this story. I went to…er…the university down the street for grad school, and in that area, there is a BIG culture of pairing up amongst the undergrads. I have a friend who went to UNC and said all the girls just go out looking for guys on the weekends. I think in the South in general, there is MUCH more emphasis on having a bf/gf.

5. Onely - February 9, 2010

Lauri and Alan: Thanks for all your gripes! I have been worked up about this all day and you both make excellent points! Lauri — as for your final comment about the fact that they interviewed UNC students, I’m not sure that regional culture can fully account for the story’s emphasis … it seemed to me that they interviewed a whole lot of sorority types (ugh, there I go generalizing — my apologies) and probably ignored all the rest (especially considering that they went to dive bars to find their interviewees). Not to mention that there’s no telling whether or not they represented these interviewees fairly… If I were a student at UNC, I’d be totally P-O’d!

6. Lauri - February 10, 2010

True, however, there might not be too many non “sorority-types” there. I mean, I went to a college that has never had them and never will, so I don’t know much about them, but I think it’s pretty common to be in a sorority at UNC. So when I think of the majority of female undergrads at a place like UNC or Duke, I think “sorority.” Maybe it’s just because the entire concept was completely new to me when I was in that area.

And I don’t think you were generalizing, in the article most of the students they interviewed mentioned something about sororities.

Also to add another point (sorry!) I noticed something in college…all of my friends who never got guys (myself included) graduated with honors. All of my friends who had boyfriends or got a lot of hookups did not. This was a very small sample of course, but when I graduated, I suddenly felt happy about getting any guys in college! I had been so depressed that I couldn’t get a boyfriend the whole time, but when I noticed this little trend amongst my friends I realized that having a boyfriend in college is a distraction and a huge waste of time. I mean who ends up marrying their college boyfriend anyway? You’re gonna break up when you try living together to save money your first year out, or you get a job in NY and he gets a job in SF and that’s that. Why deal with that distraction? I think it’s just the raging hormones at that age that make these girls think they need a guy.

Onely - February 10, 2010

Who ends up marrying their college boyfriend? Well, Ms. Dayal’s roommate’s parents, of course! 😉 L

Onely - February 10, 2010

Who is eternally thankful they did NOT marry their college boyfriends? You know it.
CC

7. Simone Grant - February 16, 2010

It was a dreadful piece. But honestly, there have been SO many similarly hateful stories in the press lately that it amazes me more people aren’t worked up about it.

8. Onely on Change.org: Single? Rent a Date! « Onely: Single and Happy - February 26, 2010

[…] put a couple interesting links up on our Facebook pages, including the NYT article about how there are fewer men available to college women and a Change.org petition against American Apparel’s “best bottoms” contest, and […]


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