The Duke “F*ck List”: Thoughts and Consequences

13 Oct


Duke: Home of the Blue Devil, and an endless supply of hot men.


Last week, Jezebel posted the Duke University “Fuck List,” created by student Karen Owen, in its entirety. The “Fuck List” consists of 42 Powerpoint slides complete with pictures, charts, and thorough descriptions of the sexual performance of thirteen different young men, all of whom happen to be Duke athletes. The Fuck List entertained me more than anything I have had the chance to read in recent weeks, and it shed clarity on what appears to be a continually disputed idea: are women as vigorous in their quest for sex as men, and if they are, should they be allowed that right? Of course the answer to both parts of that question is yes, and the “data collection” performed by Ms. Owen is little more than a visual representation of a common occurrence among young women and men alike – people are having sex and talking about it, and this should hardly be news.

Owen, who titled her Powerpoint “An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics” (quite a clever title, indeed), ranked her 13 “subjects” in the following categories: physical attractiveness, size, talent, creativity, aggressiveness, entertainment, athletic ability, and bonus points (“Bonus points were given for extraneous factors, such as the presence of an Australian accent and/or professional surfing skills. Points were deducted for rudeness or being Canadian.”) Now, call me cynical, but isn’t it COMPLETELY NORMAL to either discuss these details with close friends and/or record them for future entertainment? Owen’s creation of a detailed Powerpoint presentation is no different from the sex gossip that covers college campuses – the only difference is that someone found her creation highly entertaining, and chose to forward it to other friends in a fateful email.

Now Ms. Owen is facing a slut-shaming barrage from various media outlets, including both NBC and Fox News. The treatment of the “fuck list” in the media is sensationalist, with clear aims of portraying Owen as a sex-hungry young woman with no respect for any of her sexual partners. But let us pause for a moment, and imagine, if you will, that the Duke “Fuck List” was the work of a young man. There would likely be backlash from women’s rights groups and feminist media outlets (I will include Jezebel in this category), in addition to interviews with female celebrities expressing their “anger and outrage.” Many recent TV interviews with Duke students show an amused student body, entertained at the fact that Owen was sure to include penis size comparisons and indications of lame and/or inattentive lovers. But would students (especially female students) be entertained at a ranking of tit size or blow job ability? Perhaps they would, but my judgment says no. There is a clear double standard when it comes to sexual promiscuity. Men are encouraged to fuck as many chicks as possible, while women are cautioned away from enjoying sex as they please. Women are continually discouraged from pursuing sex, and when they do, they are labeled “sluts,” “whores,” and “ho’s,” while their male counterparts receive high-fives.

The media is portraying Karen Owen as a real-life biblical harlot and one gem of a video clip comes directly from Fox News, in which Megyn Kelly offers her sage advice to young girls everywhere:

See girls? It’s that simple! Do not sleep around! It’s dirty! Of course we would be lead to believe by Fox News that Ms. Owen is a huge slut deserving of little more than the recognition that she is a slut!

Ms. Owen is a normal young woman who has been blessed with a sex life that appears to be something out of a series of Harlequin romance novels. I am firmly in the camp that feels Owen deserves at least a book deal, or perhaps some sort of sex advice show. Any woman who can enjoy sex and have a sense of humor about it is golden. She also bagged a lot of hot, athletic men, for which I give her props. If Ms. Owen were a man herself, she’d be receiving high fives from all of her male friends and sneers from women. But in this world, and according to most media outlets, Ms. Owen is little more than a disrespectful slut deserving of shame. If being a “slut” entails enjoying a healthy and fun sex life, then I’d take being a slut any day.

3 Responses to “The Duke “F*ck List”: Thoughts and Consequences”

  1. constantineintokyo October 13, 2010 at 5:30 PM #

    There is definitely a sexual double standard, in regard the appropriate number of sexual partners (or conquests) for men and women as well as their respective attitudes about the subject. Had the Duke Fuck List been written by a man, I honestly don’t think it would have gone viral or attracted a storm of national media attention. Part of what the public finds so intriguing about this list is that fact that it was written by a WOMAN, not a man. And let’s say, hypothetically, that it did get the same amount of attention. It would just be dismissed by women as yet another example of male chauvinism and men would just be giving the guy high fives in the locker room. The fact that Ms. Owen is being condemned as a slut by both men AND women in the national media is just sadly tragic example of the complete and utter lack of camaraderie and ‘sisterhood’ that exists between women in America. The FOX News clip is a perfect example of this kind of catty-ness.

    I think Ms. Owen deserves massive praise for the fact that – wittingly or unwittingly – she has played one giant tendentious joke on the national media, and by extension the entire country. It’s genius.

  2. Jesse October 13, 2010 at 9:58 PM #

    Sure there has always been a double standard, but not without reason. Since the dawn of civilization the global elites (the ruling class in every country whom control the means of production) have thought the less people have sex the better it is for production- if people are too busy having a good time than they will want to work less hours consequentially focusing their energies on more creative endeavors like starting their own business. If the social norm became that it was just as acceptable for woman to have lots of men men would be getting way more sex- this would not be good for production. Men are encouraged to have lots of women, but men are also told if they buy nice clothing, cars, houses, cologne, shoes and etc. they will get more women. Consequentially men will work longer hours so they can obtain these material objects. If most men were getting plenty of sex this need in their lives to gain more and more useless material possessions would die- consequentially work productivity would slow down…So it works both ways men are brainwashed into buying useless material objects and woman are brainwashed into settling for just one man who possesses all these material objects or some elitist status- like the Duke athletes you just mentioned.

  3. slamdunk October 13, 2010 at 11:01 PM #

    Amazing how a PowerPoint has created this much attention.

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