Most of us keep something of a running tally in our heads of all the people we’ve fooled around with, but few of us would ever dream of putting that information into a PowerPoint presentation. Yet that’s exactly what one graduating Duke University senior did.
And now the PowerPoint — complete with photos of each conquest — has become a viral Internet sensation. The Duke student’s PowerPoint was initially sent to three of the author’s friends, and, claims the author, meant for private consumption only. One of those original three friends then sent it on to another and within weeks the document had made its way around the Internet.
The 41+ page document systematically chronicles the woman’s conquests, rating their pros and cons, and describes each man in detail, using pictures to illustrate and identify each guy. Each man and encounter is numerically scored and every aspect of the encounter is rated. Men who are athletic are especially prized: “Points were awarded if the Subject regularly performed exceptionally well on the field or diamond.” The author states a noted preference for Duke University lacrosse and baseball players.
Speaking to Jezebel’s Irin Carmon, the woman expressed remorse for the Powerpoint. “I regret it with all my heart. I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that,” while also justifying the document by stating that “frats make lists like this all the time.”
And Carmon seems to agree. “We’re not condoning putting any of these sorts of things in writing or within range of the Internet, especially when using the real names of your partners,” she writes. “But you know what? Here’s another reminder that women can be as flip, aggressive, or acquisitive about sex as men can. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as all parties are consenting.” Carmon calls the PowerPoint author’s writing “hilarious” and seems to relish her witty repartee around her “subjects.” As if to show you exactly what she means, Jezebel reprinted the document in its entirety.
We can’t help but think that both Carmon and Jezebel would hardly find it amusing if a man had been the author of such a thorough and incendiary document. Somehow she seems to believe that because a woman wrote it, it’s less offensive and appalling. In the PowerPoint, the author comes off as predatory and sexist — simply using these guys for her own fodder. We’d never accept this kind of behavior from a man — and no doubt, if Jezebel had found a similar list written by a man, they would have called a fatwa on him. We’re shocked that Carmon is so accepting of this behavior.
The idea that “frats make lists like this all the time” is supposed to justify the author’s actions. But justifying bad behavior with bad behavior just doesn’t work. Why is a woman’s objectifying of her male partners any less repulsive and appalling? Whether these lacrosse players and baseball players care isn’t really the point–it sets a dangerously low precedent for conduct. And sure, this document was never intended for public consumption, but it doesn’t make it any less sad and pathetic. Especially when the author admits at one point that “I had stopped being a real person.”
And that’s apparent through much of the woman’s writing: We’ve come to this post-”Sex and the City” world where women pride themselves on their cold detachment from sex. Where college girls are so divorced from themselves and their emotions that they believe that treating sex the way “a guy in a frat” would is a really good idea.
What do you think?