SL 738

“I Was a Promiscuous Teen.

The racial divide in Charlottesville.

I’m following the Asian-American/Harvard discrimination case. “White applicants tend to receive better letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors than do Asian-American applicants.” But if colleges know this, why don’t they compensate for this problem in the admissions process?

Are you making sheet-pan meals? I am. I made chicken thighs and acorn squash last week and it was awesome.

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7 thoughts on “SL 738

  1. The problem with that promiscuous teen article is that the author fails to distinguish between boys who force sex on girls (bad) or who have sex with girls who are passed out (also bad) and boys who have sex with girls that they don’t love (OK in my book; I know girls who have sex with boys they don’t love) or with girls who aren’t thinking very clearly or responsibly (c’mon; most interactions involve people who aren’t thinking clearly or responsibly). I preferred Susan Brownmiller, who had some moral clarity when when she wrote: “I may have been shortchanged, but I have never been coerced” and saw the clear distinction.

  2. From Rachel Simmons HuffPost op ed:

    “Indeed, it is not only acts of harassment that harm girls. It is the expectation that they not resist them.

    Girls learn a script of silence that many take with them well into adulthood. If women fear that speaking up may cost them their job, girls know resistance will cost them their social status. Let your voice rise above a coquettish scolding, and you quickly become known as the bitch who can’t take a joke. ”

    I couldn’t get through the promiscuous teen article (which was of a length that reminds me of the importance of editors), and, I suspect, because I have never been a pleaser.

    I didn’t read the entire piece, but nothing in this advise requires us to draw lines in complicated gray areas. I tell my daughter this and I tell my son this and I tell both of them to listen to others.

    “Tell your daughters that if they ever feel pressure to do something that they are not comfortable with, to use their voice because they hold more power than they may think. Teach them that they should be as loud as they want when saying no. That if they feel discomfort in a situation, even if they can’t pinpoint exactly where the discomfort is coming from, that it means something is not right, and therefore it is not the right time to engage in sexual activity. It is ok for them to leave the situation. It is ok for them to defend themselves. That the fact that they “put themselves in that situation” does NOT make it all their fault. ”

    Requiring that a teen bear the responsibility of drawing the distinctions between rape, coercion, manipulation, and persuasion is too great a burden, especially in a world where over and over and over again, they are not believed. When there is a power differential, the person with more power bears the responsibility.

  3. the author fails to distinguish between boys who force sex on girls (bad) or who have sex with girls who are passed out (also bad) and boys who have sex with girls that they don’t love (OK in my book; I know girls who have sex with boys they don’t love) or with girls who aren’t thinking very clearly or responsibly (c’mon; most interactions involve people who aren’t thinking clearly or responsibly).

    It’s hard to draw bright lines on interactions that are on a spectrum, and when you have to, it’s important to be clear about what the purpose of those bright lines are. The author is pretty clear that everything she engaged in didn’t qualify as forcible rape (depending on details, sounds as if some of it was statutory rape, but she didn’t really give specifics). So let’s take it as a given that no one should have gone to jail — the bright line for what’s criminal has to be very very tightly drawn for justice’s sake.

    But the line you use to define “this conduct is criminal” doesn’t have to be the same line you use to define “this conduct is wrong — if you want to be a good person, don’t do this.” It’s not criminal conduct to have sex with “a terrified girl looking for approval… full of doubt, self-loathing, and terror when [she] had sex,” if she technically consents. But it’s a reasonable thing to ask of men that if they have any way of knowing that they’re having sex with someone in that kind of emotional state, that they recognize what they’re doing is wrong.

  4. “..if colleges know this, why don’t they compensate for this problem..” Um, because they like the result, which is fewer Asians than actual race-blind merit would admit to their classes?
    I kind of like what I think of as the University of California solution, which is that they open a new campus when the difficulty of getting into their existing campuses gets too great. Maybe we should require any university with a higher endowment than five billion to open more seats until the endowment drops below five? Harvard branch campuses in Chillicothe! Omaha! Spokane! Win win!

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