Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but the girl knows a thing or two about writing a revenge song.
On her most recent album, Reputation, the song “I Did Something Bad,” contains the lines: “If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing / I don’t regret it one bit, ’cause he had it coming.” Well, ladies and gentlemen, some men talked some shit.
My first ever column for The Sun was called “It’s Not You, It’s Me (But Also, Maybe It’s You)” — about how I’ve never experienced an orgasm, and the cultural implications that the conversation surrounding this issue represents.
It can be hard when everyone knows you’ve never had an orgasm — and I understand I brought that upon myself. And mostly I love all attention, so it isn’t that big of a deal. However, as I oh-to-easily forgot, “slut shaming” is still very much a thing and sometimes people think that because I speak so openly about my sex life, they can to.
Last semester, after a night at one of Ithaca’s lovely bars, I went home with a guy who happened to be on an athletic team. We slept together and obviously I didn’t orgasm but I had a good time. I woke up to find that he had left the condom on the floor which is RUDE but other than that it was pretty uneventful. We exchanged a few drunk texts over the course of the semester but never met up again.
My last night in Ithaca before leaving for Winter Break, on my way to a party at the house of the aforementioned athletic team, I found out that this boy had written “I fucked Willow Hubsner” in the team’s GroupMe.
This announcement prompted someone to bring up my “I can’t orgasm” column and then the team fined him — like made him pay money — for failing to break the curse. That was pretty funny, but as funny as it was, it was a hundred times more fucked up. This group of guys all felt comfortable using intimate knowledge of my sex life, even if I had published it myself, and that is quite irksome. I decided to go to the party anyway. Upon introducing myself to some guy in the basement, he said “Oh, you’re Willow. Want me to make you cum right now?”
As shocked and grossed out as I was, I’m great under pressure so I snarled and scoffed and said “you couldn’t possibly” and walked away.
The concept that guys can be shitty is not groundbreaking. And yeah, people kiss and tell, I get that. Actually, very few people were surprised by the first part of this story. Mine was not the first and won’t be the last name dropped in that GroupMe, not to mention all of the names spoken about by all the other fraternities and athletic teams on this campus. I want to use this story not just to highlight the ownership and entitlement that men feel over women — entitlement to our bodies and our information and our adoration — but also the culture that organizations like these, that are built on toxic masculinity, allow to fester.
Yes, men can be assholes individually, but groups like these should provide some kind of social accountability. Only one guy needs to say “not cool man,” but of course the group-think dynamics can leave ethics by the wayside, and the entire bunch can be poisoned by a few bad apples who normalize this behavior.
Obviously we cannot ban gatherings of men — believe me, I’ve thought about it and it just isn’t feasible. However, it is exactly this — the normalization of sexist, racist, idiotic behavior — that has landed our entire country on this flaming steamboat headed to hell on a river of shit. I’m not blaming the Cornell men’s lacrosse team (whoops) for ruining everything, but I am blaming every single one of them for accepting this kind of behavior. I know you aren’t supposed to complain when you step in pig shit after you walk into a pig sty, but maybe we should be holding our peers in higher esteem than pigs.
Willow Hubsher is a senior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is Not a Sex Column appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.