the Fuck List

By now, most of you have probably heard about the former Duke student whose thesis-style Fuck List  has made a stir in the news. Here’s a link to an article complete with her PowerPoint presentation: http://jezebel.com/5652114/college-girls-power-point-fuck-list-goes-viral-gallery.

Karen Owen names and evaluates 13 guys that she had sex with in 3 years.  And they were all athletes, I believe.  Clearly this girl is slutty–either that, or she just likes athletes a lot.

I’m gonna go ahead and say what the mainstream media hasn’t been saying about this Fuck List: she’s very good with words! She actually is pretty funny and effectively used scientific terminology in her PowerPoint. I think the whole thing is refreshingly creative.

With that aside, I have to think about what kind of a person would do this. 13 sexual partners is a lot–for both men and women–and there could be more partners that she does not name in her study. And on top of that, it takes a lot of balls to not only write a 42 page presentation but to email that presentation to your friends. It also takes a lot of stupidity. I can’t think of a single friend of mine who would do that.

Owen is quoted in the article as saying that frats do this type of thing all the time. I don’t deny that, but I also don’t know what she’s talking about. Do they make PowerPoints? Do they make a spreadsheet? Do they just talk about it?

If I saw an equally formidable PowerPoint made by a guy, I would be offended. It is objectifying by nature since each person has been quantified into scientific variables.

However, I’m not offended by Owen’s PowerPoint. I wasn’t targeted. I’m mostly fascinated by this culture of athlete superstardom. Apparently, Duke is a very different school from Northwestern. But I do think it’s in poor taste and self-consumed to ‘publish’ something like this.

I’m inclined to believe that many of her evaluation criteria were upheld more to be funny than because they actually mattered. I’ve never heard other girls (or guys) talk about sex so explicitly, but even casually, I’ve never heard girls pay so much attention to guys’ penis size. The most I have ever heard is when a guy happens to be an outlier on either end of the size spectrum, which, generally doesn’t happen, seeing as most people are in the middle. Owen, however, seems to find many outliers, which leads me to believe that she’s being cruel to be funny.

I also am unsure of what she is referring to when she discusses the guy’s “aggressiveness.”

I do think it’s wrong to publicly reduce someone to such simple factors. It’s far worse to do it in your head, because while Owen’s PowerPoint was meant to be funny and get attention, to think all these things without wanting to impress an audience probably means you’re a horrible person.

Maybe Owen really does think about men this way; I don’t know. But the reason why a man’s identical actions would sting more is because they carry with them centuries of misogyny. They stir up all the sentiments that have historically prevented women from being equal to men.

My lukewarm reaction to the Fuck List has made me realize that the next time I get offended by being objectified by men, I can remember that I now live in an age where women openly objectify men, too. And as offensive as that is, at least the offense is running both ways. People are sexual and will never blind themselves to their carnal dimension.

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