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  • just a conservative girl 1:49 PM on 07/24/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , penn   

    UPenn and the Hook-Up Culture 

    About a week ago I came across this article from The New York Times on the hook-up culture on the campus of Penn.  It is a very long article and very sad.  This article epitomizes why “feminism” is horrible for women in particular and society in general.

    “We don’t really like each other in person, sober. We literally can’t sit down and have coffee.”

    Says a young, obviously intelligent young woman who is only known as A.  You can’t sit down and have a conversation with this young man but you can take off your clothes and share the most important thing that you have, your body.  There is no emotional connection whatsoever, it is just scratching an itch.  It seems the reality that you are putting yourself in a position for unplanned pregnancies that likely end in abortion as well as STD’s doesn’t even enter into the equation.

    One of the things that makes us human is our emotion.  But it seems that in order to be part of the whole feminist movement that is something that you need to put aside in order to achieve your goals.  What is the point of achieving anything if it costs you the most basic part of your humanity?

    Instead, she enjoyed casual sex on her terms — often late at night, after a few drinks, and never at her place, she noted, because then she would have to wash the sheets.

    Heaven forbid you have to wash the sheets.  I mean, doesn’t she have to wash the sheets at some point anyway?

    Increasingly, she said, many privileged young people see college as a unique life stage in which they don’t — and shouldn’t — have obligations other than their own self-development.

    While it is perfectly understandable that someone would want to take some time and figure out where they fit in the world, it seems that becomes the only thing that really matters.  Is that where we want to young women to head?  There are many people out there that for whatever the reasons, don’t want to be married.  That is fine and it is a personal choice.  But the underside of this behavior is that you never learn how to bond to someone, everything becomes disposable.  Doesn’t that make it that much harder to make a marriage work?  Marriage is different things to different people.  Each couple has to find their own way and figure out works for them.  But there is no way around this, marriage is a series of compromises.  You can’t have what you want when you want it 100% of the time and expect that marriage to work.  Sometimes your spouse is given a great job offer that requires to you and your family to relocate.  Sometimes you need to get your children into a better school system, sometimes extended family will need assistance that requires you to make some changes to your everyday lives.  These things are going to happen over a period of a marriage and weighing those choices isn’t always easy, but is necessary in order to make the relationship work.  It won’t always be about you.  That is just how it is.

    “I don’t want to go through those changes with you. I want you to have changed and become enough of your own person so that when you meet me, we can have a stable life and be very happy.”

    Her youth and inexperience is showing.  As you age, your ability to be flexible gets harder not easier.  As I said, marriage is a series of compromises.  The older you get the less likely you are to make those compromises.

    “I’m a true feminist,” she added. “I’m a strong woman. I know what I want.”

    At the same time, she didn’t want the number of people she had slept with printed, and she said it was important to her to keep her sexual life separate from her image as a leader at Penn.

    “Ten years from now, no one will remember — I will not remember — who I have slept with,” A. said. “But I will remember, like, my transcript, because it’s still there. I will remember what I did. I will remember my accomplishments and places my name is hung on campus.”

    Really?

    A friend of hers, who attended a nearby college and did have a serious boyfriend, said that she felt as if she were breaking a social taboo. “Am I allowed to find the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with when I’m 19?” she said. “I don’t really know. It feels like I’m not.”

    How sad is it that young women today are made to feel that they are bad people because they are choosing love?

    Another young woman who arrived on campus a virgin says:

    “It’s kind of like a spiral,” she said. “The girls adapt a little bit, because they stop expecting that they’re going to get a boyfriend — because if that’s all you’re trying to do, you’re going to be miserable. But at the same time, they want to, like, have contact with guys.” So they hook up and “try not to get attached.”

    Now, she said, she and her best friend had changed their romantic goals, from finding boyfriends to finding “hookup buddies,” which she described as “a guy that we don’t actually really like his personality, but we think is really attractive and hot and good in bed.”

    One of the points of the article is that young women are driving the hook-up culture because they are strong young women who know what they want.  But do they?  Or have they just accepted that this is reality and stopped looking  for anything else?

    The hook-up culture that seems to be fueled by alcohol also puts young women in the position to be sexually assaulted at higher rates.

    “You go in, and they take you down to a dark basement,” Haley, a blond, pink-cheeked senior, recalled of her first frat parties in freshman year. “There’s girls dancing in the middle, and there’s guys lurking on the sides and then coming and basically pressing their genitals up against you and trying to dance.”

    Dancing like that felt good but dirty, and like a number of girls, Haley said she had to be drunk in order to enjoy it. Women said universally that hookups could not exist without alcohol, because they were for the most part too uncomfortable to pair off with men they did not know well without being drunk. One girl, explaining why her encounters freshman and sophomore year often ended with fellatio, said that usually by the time she got back to a guy’s room, she was starting to sober up and didn’t want to be there anymore, and giving the guy oral sex was an easy way to wrap things up and leave.

    Well doesn’t that sound empowering?  I know that is how I want my sexual experiences to be.

    In November of Haley’s freshman year, a couple of months after her first tentative “Difmos,” or dance-floor makeouts, she went to a party with a boy from her floor. She had too much to drink, and she remembered telling him that she wanted to go home.

    Instead, she said, he took her to his room and had sex with her while she drifted in and out of consciousness. She woke up with her head spinning. The next day, not sure what to think about what had happened, she described the night to her friends as though it were a funny story: I was so drunk, I fell asleep while I was having sex! She played up the moment in the middle of the night when the guy’s roommate poked his head in the room and asked, “Yo, did you score?”

    Only later did Haley begin to think of what had happened as rape — a disturbingly common part of many women’s college experience. In a 2007 survey funded by the Justice Department of 6,800 undergraduates at two big public universities, nearly 14 percent of women said they had been victims of at least one completed sexual assault at college; more than half of the victims said they were incapacitated from drugs or alcohol at the time.

    The close relationship between hooking up and drinking leads to confusion and disagreement about the line between a “bad hookup” and assault. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, 10 to 16 forcible sex offenses were reported annually to campus security as taking place on Penn’s campus or in the immediate neighborhood.

    Sadly many of the young women in this study said that there were following the advice given to them by their moms.  This is what moms want for their daughters?  That is nothing short of tragic.  I know I wouldn’t want my daughter treated that way.

    Paula England, a sociologist at New York University, who led an online survey of 24,000 students at 21 universities called the Online College Social Life Survey, said that women tended to fare much better sexually in relationships than in hookups.

    “Guys don’t seem to care as much about women’s pleasure in the hookup, whereas they do seem to care quite a bit in the relationships,” Dr. England said. By contrast, women “seem to have this idea they’re supposed to be pleasing in both contexts.” In hookups, women were much more likely to give men oral sex than to receive it.

    Part of the reason men aren’t as focused on pleasing women in hookups, Dr. England said, is the lingering sexual double standard, which sometimes causes men to disrespect women precisely for hooking up with them.

    There is judgment from other women, too — two women said they had been rejected from sororities because of their sexual reputations. And technology has made it easier to spread gossip. One woman recalled a guy showing her an e-mail he had received on his fraternity Listserv, in which another guy described having sex with a girl in the bathroom at a club.

    “They’re not afraid to use names,” she said of the men, adding, “I’m sure there’s been a story about me on a Listserv. It happens to everyone.”

    Just lovely huh?  It happens to everyone?  It has never happened to me nor will it.  I don’t give young men a pass in this by any stretch of the imagination.  But this also has become part of the culture today to the point that men have also been conditioned to believe that this behavior is normal and “empowering”, so hey why not.  I hear from feminists all the time that we should be teaching young men to not rape.  Shouldn’t we also be teaching young women not to get to drunk and put yourself in the position that when you don’t have your full capacities that these things are more likely to happen?  Of course men shouldn’t sexually assault women, that is a given.  But we also need to tell young women the dangers of their actions.

    But there is some good news:

    For all the focus on hookups, campuses are not sexual free-for-alls, at Penn or elsewhere. At colleges nationally, by senior year, 4 in 10 students are either virgins or have had intercourse with only one person, according to the Online College Social Life Survey. Nearly 3 in 10 said that they had never had a hookup in college. Meanwhile, 20 percent of women and a quarter of men said they had hooked up with 10 or more people.

    According to one young woman who comes from a less privileged background has this to say:

    Mercedes, a junior at Penn who is on financial aid, said that at her mostly Latino public high school in California, it was the troubled and unmotivated students who drank and hooked up, while the honors students who wanted to go to college kept away from those things.

    When she went to Penn, she was surprised to see her elite classmates drinking, but even more surprised by the casual making out. She would go along with her friends to fraternity parties, but she refused to dance with strangers or to kiss anyone.

    “Sharing that side of myself with a stranger just seems very strange to me,” she said in September. “I mean, if you break it down, it’s a very strange thing to do.”

    Another young woman:

    In Catherine’s view, her classmates tried very hard to separate sex from emotion, because they believed that getting too attached to someone would interfere with their work. They saw a woman’s marrying young as either proof of a lack of ambition or a tragic mistake that would stunt her career.

    But Catherine noted that a handful of young women are starting to question that idea. In an article on Slate titled “Marry Young,” the writer Julia Shaw, who married at 23, said her generation was missing out on the support that young couples could provide each other as they faced the challenges of early adulthood.

    “Marriage wasn’t something we did after we’d grown up, it was how we have grown up and grown together,” she wrote of herself and her husband.

    As a teenager, Catherine had thought she would wait to get married until her late 20s or early 30s. But her college experiences had made her think that she would rather marry young than throw away a good relationship because it wasn’t the right time.

    That might mean having to pass up certain career opportunities, for geographic reasons. But Catherine thought that her peers underestimated how hard it was to find the right person to be with — as hard, perhaps, as finding the right job.

    “People kind of discount” how “difficult it is to find someone that you even remotely like, let alone really fall for,” she said. “And losing that can be just as impractical and harmful to yourself, if not more so, than missing out on a job or something like that. What else do you really have at the end of your life?”

    If behaving like you don’t have emotion is the way to be a good “feminist”, I pass.

     
  • just a conservative girl 12:31 PM on 03/06/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , penn, , stone,   

    Hugo Chavez – Champion of the Poor? 

    This from 2010:

    Analyst estimates Chávez’s family fortune at around $2 billion

    Criminal Justice International Associates (CJIA), a risk assessment and global analysis firm in Miami, estimated in a recent report that the Chávez Frías family in Venezuela has “amassed a fortune” similar to that of the Castro brothers in Cuba.

    According to Jerry Brewer, president of CJIA, “the personal fortune of the Castro brothers has been estimated at a combined value of around $2 billion.”

    “The Chávez Frías family in Venezuela has amassed a fortune of a similar scale since the arrival of Chávez to the presidency in 1999,” said Brewer in an analysis published in their website.

    Brewer said that Cuba is receiving about $5 billion per year from the Venezuelan treasury and in oil shipments and other resources.

    “We believe that organized bolivarian criminal groups within the Chávez administration have subtracted around $100 billion out of the nearly $1 trillion in oil income made by PDVSA since 1999.”

    From ABC News Jan 2013:

    1. Venezuela has gone from being dependent on oil to being extremely dependent on oil.

    Former minister Gerver Torres points out that in 1998 oil represented 77 percent of Venezuela’s exports but by 2011 oil represented 96 percent of exports. That means today only around 4 percent of the goods that Venezuela exports are non-oil products! The Venezuelan economy relies almost exclusively on the price of oil and the ability of the government to spend oil revenues. This will take years to reverse because of item two below.

    2. The Chavez government has crippled private businesses and national industry through expropriations and nationalizations.

    The Chavez government has expropriated or nationalized numerous companies (no one seems to be able to count them all) involved in various sectors including aluminum, cement, gold, iron, steel, farming, transportation, electricity, food production, banking, paper and the media. The number of private companies in industry has dropped from 14,000 in 1998 to only 9,000 in 2011, according to Torres.

    Companies need investment to grow and hire new workers. One of the biggest failures of the Chavez government has been to drive away both domestic and foreign investors. In 2011 Latin America enjoyed a record of more than $150 billion in foreign investment with Brazil receiving $67 billion. Venezuela’s neighbor Colombia received $13 billion while Venezuela received only $5 billion. To avoid expropriation and find investment a number of Venezuelan companies have moved to Colombia, Panama and the United States.

    3. The Venezuelan currency is a mess.

    The new currency, the Bolivar fuerte, is anything but strong. The Bolivar fuerte has lost nearly two-thirds of its value since it was launched in 2008. Many analysts expect Venezuela will have to go through a painful devaluation sometime this year or next. This will further reduce the value of wages and sharply increase the costs of imports of basic staple goods. Life will get tougher for most Venezuelans but Chavez probably won’t be around to see it.

    4. Prices in Venezuela have gone up by 23 percent a year for more than ten years.

    Inflation in Venezuela has averaged 23 percent during 1999-2011 compared to a Latin American average of 4.6 percent. Imagine what life would be like if the price of groceries went up 23 percent every year. This craziness combined with stringent price controls has completely distorted the economy, creating black markets and shortages. In 2012 Venezuela will again have one of the highest inflation rates in the world.

    5.Under Chavez Venezuela has become one of the most violent countries on the planet.

    The murder rate per 100,000 citizens has risen from 25 in 1999 to 45.1 in 2011. This is not an economic stat per se but violence has an economic impact. It is more challenging and dangerous than ever to do business and go to work in Venezuela. When you consider these points, it’s hard to call the economic legacy of Chavez and his band of 21st Century Socialists a good one.

    From Amnesty International:

    Police and security forces

    Public security remained a major concern and, according to latest figures released by the Institute of National Statistics, more than 21,000 people were killed nationwide in 2009. There were allegations of police involvement in killings and enforced disappearances.

    • In September, Wilmer José Flores Barrios became the sixth member of the Barrios family to be killed in circumstances suggesting the involvement of members of the Aragua State Police. At the end of the year, Venezuela had not adopted measures to protect the family, nor had it ordered an effective investigation into these crimes.
    • In March, eyewitnesses saw three labourers – Gabriel Antonio Ramírez, José Leonardo Ramírez and Nedfrank Xavier Cona – being bundled into an unmarked car by a group of between 17 and 20 police officers in the city of Barcelona, Anzoátegui State. At the end of the year, the whereabouts of the men remained unknown. Six police officers were under arrest at the end of 2010 in connection with the incident; a higher-ranking officer remained at liberty.

    Repression of dissent

    Those critical of the government were prosecuted on politically motivated charges in what appeared to be an attempt to silence them.

    • In March, Oswaldo Álvarez Paz, a member of an opposition party and ex-governor of the Zulia State; Guillermo Zuloaga, owner of TV station Globovisión; and Wilmer Azuaje, an opposition candidate for the governorship of Barinas State, were detained for several days on spurious charges. The charges remained pending at the end of the year.
    • Richard Blanco, Prefect of Caracas, was released in April, after four months in prison, but continued to face unsubstantiated charges of inciting violence and injuring a police officer during a demonstration against an education law in 2009.
    • In November, the trial began of trade unionist Rubén González, general secretary of Sintraferrominera, the union representing workers at the state-run iron mine CVG Ferrominera Orinoco in Bolivar State. He was charged with inciting a crime, curtailing people’s freedom to work, and violating a security zone following his participation in a strike in 2009. He had been in pre-trial detention for over a year and the charges against him appeared to be disproportionate.

    People boast on how he was “democratically elected”:

    He cemented his rule by rewarding allies. Opportunists, notably senior military officers and the tycoons known as “boligarchs”, got rich manipulating government contracts. Civilian ideologues and Cuba got power and influence. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people got jobs in a bloated bureaucracy. And millions of the poor got social services, scholarships and handouts, notably fridges, tumble dryers and washing machines. Those who voted against him were often barred from government jobs and benefits.

    Other Latin American governments knew of the abuses, that elections were free though not fair, but stayed silent. Venezuela’s hollowed economy required huge imports from its neighbours to keep shelves stocked. Why risk the bonanza? Plus Chávez offered discounted oil, called time on Yankee meddling and told the IMF to stuff itself.

    And:

    Venezuela hasn’t invited international observers to watch its elections since 2006, although it does allow “witnesses” to the process

    Somehow this man is a hero to the left:

    Hollywood liberals Sean PennMichael Moore and Oliver Stone have paid tribute to Venezuelan president Hugo Chávezwho died on 5 Marchafter a long battle with cancer, at the age of 58.

    Penn, who first met Chávez in Venezuela in 2007 and attended a candlelit vigil for the stricken firebrand in Bolivia in December, bemoaned the politician’s lack of credibility in North America. “Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion,” he said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chávez and the people of Venezuela.” Penn added: “Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of vice president [Nicolas] Maduro.”

    Oliver Stone, who celebrated Chávez’s presidency and the successes of left wing politicians across South America in his 2009 documentarySouth of the Border, said the Venezuelan leader would be remembered fondly by historians as a champion of the poor. “I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place,” he said in a statement. “Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chávez will live forever in history. My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned.”

    Michael Moore, who met Chávez at the Venice film festival in 2009 and posted pictures of himself with the president, tweeted: “Hugo Chávez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl. He used the oil $ 2 eliminate 75% of extreme poverty, provide free health & education 4 all. That made him dangerous. US approved of a coup to overthrow him even though he was a democratically-elected president.”

    If this is a hero, what does a villain look like?  Oh yeah, I forgot George W. Bush.

    I would like to give Kudos to Think Progress of all sources.  They had the balls to stand up to the crazies on the left:

    Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-NY) released a statement today praising former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, despite the latter’s record of harsh crackdowns on his political opponents and state-sanctioned persecution against Venezuela’s Jewish population. Serranotweeted a statement praising Chavez as an a champion of the oppressed, writing that “Hugo Chavez was a leader that understood the needs of the poor. He was committed to empowering the powerless. R.I.P. Mr. President.” Serrano’s office later released a statement expanding on the tweet:

    President Chavez was a controversial leader. But at his core he was a man who came from very little and used his unique talents and gifts to try to lift up the people and the communities that reflected his impoverished roots. He believed that the government of the country should be used to empower the masses, not the few. He understood democracy and basic human desires for a dignified life. His legacy in his nation, and in the hemisphere, will be assured as the people he inspired continue to strive for a better life for the poor and downtrodden.

    While even Chavez’s critics admit that he did attempt to address the plight of Venezuela’s poorest, the decline in economic inequality in Venezuela reflected a broader egalitarian trend in Latin America, and can’t be fully credited to Chavez’s policies. However, Chavez’ policies harmed Venezuela’s poorest in other ways: the value of the Venezuelan currency dropped while prices soared, making it harder for people to buy basic necessities, and crime skyrocketed.

    Moreover, Chavez hurt the vulnerable in Venezuela in other ways. Chavez’s state-run media hounded Venezuela’s small, beleaguered Jewish population — he himself once said “Don’t let yourselves be poisoned by those wandering Jews.” A study released by the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University found that Chavez’s rule “witnessed a rise in antisemitic manifestations, including vandalism, media attacks, caricatures, and physical attacks on Venezuelan Jewish institutions.” Indeed, roughly half of Venezuelan Jews fled the country because of “the social and economic chaos that the president has unleashed and from the uncomfortable feeling that they were being specifically targeted by the regime.”

    Chavez also attacked Venezuela’s democratic political system. Human Rights Watch reported in 2012 that “the accumulation of power in the executive and the erosion of human rights protections have allowed the Chávez government to intimidate, censor, and prosecute critics and perceived opponents in a wide range of cases involving the judiciary, the media, and civil society.” Contra Serrano, Venezuela’s elections were not certified as “free and fair” by international monitors of late: Chavez had not allowed international election monitors to observe Venezuelan elections since 2006.

     
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