Live with higher standards
Slutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Now, there are two types of people at this University. The first will be offended or disgusted at this atrocious nickname of the supposedly prestigious University, ranked rather high among this country's public schools. The second type is made up of the lovely people who gave us the nickname, and they will merely snicker when they hear it. Surprisingly, the second category does not just consist of the disgusting Ke$ha and The Situation wannabes who drunkenly run up and down College Avenue on Friday nights, pathetically begging me for a cigarette. No, I've sadly found that even the most intelligent students here at the University contribute to the University deserving this wonderful title. Of course, intelligence is surely no indication of moral integrity and self-control, though I did expect a bit more from the supposed future leaders of our generation.
The majority of college and university students in this nation sold out to MTV and other mainstream media titans' obvious sexploitation long ago. We loved sex before. Then TV and pop music made it really cool — and profitable, I might add. Now we really love sex. It's the classic "everybody's doing it" cliché. The "Jersey Shore" cast gets wicked orange tans — you want to get one too! The "Jersey Shore" cast gets a bad case of gonorrhea — you want to get one too! Apparently we fail to see the lack of originality in our misguided sexual adventures. Doesn't anyone want to be different in America anymore? I mean, teen pregnancy rates are up, chlamydia is more common than ever, and syphilis is making a comeback. Look at the good our conformity is doing for this country.
So why are we so hypersexual, and why do we think it's okay? Why do we think it's so much "cooler" to attempt to sleep with as many of the almost 38,000 other students here in New Brunswick as possible instead of seeking a stable monogamous relationship? I'll bet you 10 bucks the STD rate here would plummet if we made a few tweaks in the value system we so eagerly gobbled up from mainstream media. But that of course would make the big boys who know how to target your pocketbooks lose quite a bit of money. Plus there wouldn't be much of a point for the guys to go out on Thirsty Thursdays anymore. Is it because we still have a bit to go until we can finally start acting like mature adults? Is it because young men are still caught up in that age-old and delusional competition of "whoever sleeps with more women obviously has the bigger penis and thus has a higher self-esteem?" Or is it because young women nowadays have taken the female sexual revolution so far as to the point where it's just downright self-degrading and unattractive?
"Blame evolution" — that's what I'll hear from my more intelligent philosophical adversaries. Scientists have recently started using the sexual escapades of bonobos, relatives of chimpanzees and our closest evolutionary cousins, to define the nature of human sexuality. Bonobos are famous for the random orgies they partake in, which relieve tensions within the troop and make for a more cohesive social environment. They invented free love in the jungle long before we did in Haight-Ashbury. So, if our closest evolutionary cousins aren't wired to be monogamous, evolution thus dictates that humans aren't either. OK, I see the logic.
Oh, wait. Never mind. Cases of cannibalism have been reported in bonobos, haven't they? You mean scientists have actually seen our closest evolutionary cousins eating their own young!? Well, there goes that argument. But I would just love for some pretentious scientist to try to use our evolution from apes to justify human cannibalism, wouldn't you? Never trust a man who looks to apes as a moral guide. He will cheat on you and then possibly eat you.
Maybe that's why they call it evolution. We have evolved. We are supposed to be the better version. We've developed willpower and self-control, things that bonobos don't have. Why would we look backwards in trying to justify our promiscuity? Perhaps because, deep down, that's the only justification we can find, as poor as it is. Maybe — just maybe — we know it's wrong and that bonobos are just a convenient excuse for living without standards, discipline or responsibility. If we could accept that and stop looking to apes and people who act like them as moral compasses in a sex-crazed world, then perhaps we can finally find the opportunity to obtain something a little deeper, something that won't leave us alone with a herpes simplex on Sunday morning. So, how about it, Slutgers? I'm getting a little tired of the bonobos in New Brunswick who gave us the nickname. Aren't you?
Sean Curtis is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in East Asian studies. His column, "The Friday Rants," runs alternate Fridays.