Who Says Women Can’t Make A "Stride of Pride"?

The 9 AM alarm buzzes on a Thursday morning and the day is beckoning the exhausted college student to roll out of bed and get up. Gazing out through the window at the dreary Pittsburgh sky, this student realizes what day it is; the start of the weekend. As collegiates, we value our weekends and the time spent with friends filled with happy hours, fraternity parties, and maybe a bar or two ending the night. But does it really finish there? As the darkness of night becomes the brightness of morning, the college hook up scene seems to flourish. Girls in dresses walk down the hill of looming fraternity houses, heels in hand, while guys stride out of apartment buildings and off-campus houses. What is it that makes guys so confident while walking home the next morning yet most girls keep their focus on the ground below them in hopes that they don’t run into anyone on the way?

More commonly known as “The Walk of Shame,” girls all across the country on every college campus dread the morning walk. But, why is it that women must be ashamed of themselves for having a late night romp? Two words--gender stereotypes. Since the beginning, women and men have always been viewed differently. Each gender has always played a separate role in the realm of life. And now, when trying to get a sense of the hook up culture on a college campus, this factor really plays a role. Women are constantly ridiculed for their desire to have casual sex, yet in reality men are just as willing, or even more so, to participate in this weekend activity. There is the idea that women should hold themselves to a higher standard than your average slut and that they should portray themselves as classy, untouched individuals. But, this idealistic portrait truly tangles up our culture’s thoughts. Not only do these “walk of shamers” get stared at incessantly on their way back to their own beds, but hollered at as well. One Pitt woman says, “As I walked out of my friend’s house all of his roommates came out of their rooms and started cheering for me. Yes, I was in my clothes from the night before but we hadn’t even hooked up!”

On the other hand, men who walk out of an apartment building, house, or dorm room in their clothes from the night before don’t get a second look from passersby on the street. This, ladies, is what they like to call their “stride of pride.” Even if someone does holler at them, they soak it up. They want it to be known that they didn’t sleep in their own beds the night before.  No one really understands if it is pure confidence that these guys possess, or if it really is something deeper that roots itself in the gendered stereotypic roles. Because the fact is, these men know they don’t have the pressure of being called a ‘slut’ or a ‘whore’ by their friends or peers. These men really are seen as the ‘studs’ on campus. Every girl knows who they are and probably knows which numbers to call when looking for a one night stand.

The truth is, many girls on college campuses look for that quick fix. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if both parties are mutually satisfied. So, I think it is time women on all college campuses take a lesson from these players and start to break away from the gendered stereotypes that surround us. I’m not saying go out and sleep with as many people as you possibly can, but just live in the moment. You made the decision the night before, intoxicated or not, so revel in the consequences. Don’t blush or get embarrassed, make this YOUR stride of pride.



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