Sexual Correctness

March 30, 1994|By CARRIE HERSCHMAN

Lately it seems like sexual correctness has been the subject of every talk show and news story. Newsweek explored the issue of sexual correctness, with an emphasis on sexually correct colleges.

According to the article, policy at Antioch College dictates that if you want to hold someone's hand or kiss him or her you must have his or her verbal authorization. While Antioch has the reputation of a very liberal school, Newsweek also cited Brown University, one of the most respected colleges in the country, as taking steps to become sexually correct.

According to Newsweek, one male member of the class of '94 at Brown, suspended for ''non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature,'' is now back on campus. Upon his return, he was branded an ''assaulter.'' He is now infamous on campus. This sounds a bit like a witch-hunt to me.

Sexual correctness, as promoted at Antioch, enhances Victorian stereotypes which portrayed men as powerful and women as helpless. So in 1994, we are returning to attitudes that are a few hundred years old. Victorian stereotypes are as debilitating to men as they are to women. When men are portrayed as powerful, they are also portrayed as insensitive, caveman-like creatures.

What is really ironic in all of this is that the rules created by Antioch to protect women are doing just the opposite. Portraying women as weak and men as criminals does not help the feminist movement. The purpose of the feminist movement for many women, economic equality, is overlooked at Antioch with the definition of consensual sex.

While Antioch is the most ''sexually correct'' college, it is frightening to think that future leaders of the nation aren't learning how to work with members of the opposite sex. Instead, they are learning that women are the equivalent of helpless victims, and men are insensitive ogres who rule women. Needless to say, this is just not true.

Carrie Herschman wrote this article, and Alicia Lin illustrated it, for The Griffin, the Dulaney High School newspaper.

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