Watch any movie about college, or geared toward college students, and you are more than likely to find dozens of girls with their tops off, ready to have crazy sex with any of the leading men in the movie.
In “Wedding Crashers,” the men easily bag horny women with prefabricated moves; in “Old School” there is a topless wrestling match and the main character Mitch has no-strings-attached sex with a high school girl. In “Animal House,” the sorority girls have topless pillow fights; in Eurotrip one of the leading men is looking for crazy European sex, while another gets “serviced” by a photo shop worker in Amsterdam. The exchange student in “American Pie” is portrayed purely as a hot sex object, and all the men in that movie are looking to get laid by the end of their senior year.
The list goes on and on, not to mention the countless “Girls Gone Wild” films featuring crazy college girls ready to do anything you want.
All of these images are sending the message that college girls are horny, uninhibited creatures who are more than willing to have sex with any guy, given enough alcohol and the right pick-up line.
With an estimated rate of about 226 sexual assaults at a university the size of the UMaine (http://www.lafasa.org/Publications/Stats4Web.doc) each year, one must wonder: Could men be getting the wrong idea about college women? Might a wide-eyed first-year male think that all he has to do to “get some” is go find a drunken sorority girl and offer to mud wrestle with her? Might he think that if he walks into any female residence hall, he will find them engaged in a topless pillow fight?
The message these movies are sending is that college girls are easy. What happens if a man stumbles across a woman who is not so “easy”? If college men think college women are easy, then it makes sense that things may turn aggressive if he finds the woman “resistant.”
Don’t get me wrong. I find all of these movies hilarious, but I take them with a grain of salt. I know that as a college woman, just because I drink or wear a hot outfit doesn’t mean I’m ready to rip off my clothes and have sex with the first guy to cross my path. As college men, you should know that it takes more than a few smooth lines and a couple of drinks to win over the ladies. There’s no way to say that these movies promote sexual violence or have caused sexual violence, but the message behind all of them influences how we view women and perpetuates a stereotype about our sexuality.
The next time you watch one of these movies, take a second and think about what messages they are sending about college girls. Compare that with real-life college women you may know. Are the movies doing them justice, or are they making them out to be sex-crazed girls? As a culture, we have to distinguish between images the media presents us and real-life women.
Sarah Hinman is a second-year psychology major and a peer educator.