Sexism: An Epidemic at NDSU

Call it beating a dead horse, but sexism is undeniably alive at this university, and I don’t think I’m the only one who is witnessing it on a daily basis.

Whether it’s the way women are treated at college parties, or the way men talk about women in class and vice versa, gender socialization is a concept that many students and even some professors fail to grasp.

Not only does sexism negatively affect female students, but at a very athletic university like North Dakota State, men are often expected to be “macho” and can feel alienated or shamed for not participating in sport-related activities.

NDSU is working its way toward being a safe space for the LGBTQ community and accepts diversity on many levels, but gender roles seem to be stagnant and ignored.

What initially sparked my feminist light bulb on one particular day was a student’s remark in one of my classes.

My teacher challenged the idea that promiscuous men and women should not be treated or perceived differently based on their gender (e.g. the mostly accurate generalization that women are considered “sluts” while men are praised for having sex with multiple partners).

The student proceeded to make a statement claiming that the reason for this phenomenon is simply the female tendency to get too drunk at parties and stated that men can handle their booze.

Not only is his theory lacking any support, but also he was reaffirming the prehistoric female stigma that it is less acceptable for women to have multiple partners than it is for men.

It is equally concerning that the class reacted with mostly laughter following this exchange.

One in 5 women has been sexually assaulted in her lifetime, according to a government survey released in the New York Times.

I’m quite certain that at least 10 percent of my classmates were taken aback by his comment, a low percentage considering the implications.

It’s important to consider what may or may not trigger bad experiences for fellow students.

Be kind, compassionate and consider taking a woman and gender studies course at NDSU.

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