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September 11, 2007

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Comments

Alexandra Foley

Wendy, you truly are a voice crying out in the wilderness!!

I hope we can all help in making straight this path.

Joi

Thank you so much for continuing to speak out!

Emily

Yes Wendy, you're right, it's very very insidious the scorn that is heaped on the young woman who DARES to consider sex 'a big deal'. Even if you don't actively denigrate others (or even really mind what they do, it's their life, right?) for their choices, simply even stating that you personally place importance on- and enjoy!- living a modest life sends some people into apoplexy.

dangermom

Goodness, how odd to heap scorn on something so common as being a sexile. (I became one as soon as my roommate showed up to our new dorm room! And that was 15 years ago.)

It is really, really strange--as we have noted so often here--the way so many people insist that sex should be casual and not a big deal, and if you don't agree, they get angry. Really angry. These are, of course, the people who pride themselves on their open-mindedness and tolerance--as long as you're doing something they like.

I could probably go on for pages, but will stop and just say keep on fighting the good fight. :)

Anna S

"Get over it". That is what I was told, too. Ha! I had no wish to repress my natural feeling so that men can continue taking advantage of me. I wish women were getting less dismissive remarks and more real help.

Emily

Hello again, after reading this blog I went and bought Tom Wolfe's book at lunchtime today (remaindered!). I'm about a third of the way into a book that many of the amazon reviewers are denouncing as out-of-touch, and I'M marveling at just how right-on and insightful a 67-year-old bloke is about the damaging ethos that prevails today, and how it uniquely disempowers young women. And I'm kinda touched that he seems to actually care!

Maybe this John Moore read Charlotte Simmons 'sideways' too?

priya

I think it could stem from the problem people have in facing their own "demons" so when they think of themselves as open minded only and miss the judgement that lies within they project all sorts of fantastical ideas onto people who want to have a part in defining their lives and this is very threatening to their wish to see themselves as benign and accomodating... surely the right to not participate is the first step in truly participating...
There is something very unsexual about the idea of exposed, completely open and universal sexuality just as there is something very unpersonal about universal personalism as prescribed by the people who want you to "get over it" and go where exactly...? No wonder we all need so many distractions these days.

Marauder

I started reading I Am Charlotte Simmons a couple of days ago. I skimmed to the end because after the first couple of chapters I liked Charlotte a lot and was worried about what sorts of bad things were going to happen to her. It seems like a book with a philosophy very much in keeping with this site.

Marauder

P.S. If this guy thinks that Tom Wolfe made up sexiling, I think he should come to my school and have to spend the night on a certain old couch in a dirty, dusty, and partially flooded storage room. I ended up having to sleep there once when my old roommate sexiled me because the girl who usually "took me in" was studying for a test and there was nowhere else.

Julia R.

The interesting aspect of Wolfe's book is precisely his description Charlotte's submitting to the public opinion at school. Critics miss this, because they are waiting for her downfall/submission to occur. Maybe the how point of I am Charlotte Simmons is supposed to make us think about how public opinion ought to influence us or even how we should shape it.
Wolfe presents a character that one thinks should be able to resist public pressure: she is smart, motivated, and ambitious in a small town contented with drinking beer and working at the Christmas tree farm. However, Charlotte is a character obsessed with what other people will think of her. (the descriptions of her high school graduation, and her first meeting with JoJo, the frat party with Hoyt all involve Charlotte considering what her peers will think). This is her downfall.
At first, she finds strength in herself in so far as she hopes that Dupont University will have people just like her (i.e. seeking the life of the mind and not concerned with drinking, swearing, and sex like the students in her home town are). But Charlotte is defeated; she cannot stand up to the public pressure.
Wolfe highlights that public opinion is crushing, especially at college. When reading the book, one finds oneself saying, "Charlotte, stop worrying about everyone else!" Maybe that is and should be what we are supposed to say...not “finally she lost her cherry.”

dangermom

I was actually not very familiar with this novel, but was inspired to go out and get it from the library. We'll see whether I manage to read it! (It's huge, and I have a tall pile of books...)

Oren Amitay

I haven't read the book (and probably never will, with my schedule), but I constantly hear stories from my students of "sexiling" and other sex-related activities that I think a lot of PARENTS are unaware of. Or, they believe it would never happen with THEIR kid(s).

On the flip side are those who think things are much worse than they really are and consequently over-react completely, which then causes people such as Wendy's detractors to say "You see?! They're a bunch of hysterics crying Wolfe (couldn't resist...)!!" Of course, these people tend to be "black and white" thinkers and thus cannot realize that, notwithstanding the fact that some people may over-react, the fact is that norms have shifted dramatically in many areas and parents and others need to be aware of this because too many young people are suffering the consequences of such radical shifts.

That is, many young people have not been prepared adequately to deal with the things that confront them as they get "older." A sense of self-esteem, self-worth, savvy, knowledge, and so on are great tools for any situation.

bd_rucker

I remember being sexiled by my roommate at the beginning of my freshman year in college, way back in 1983. After several instances of this occurring, I retaliated by locking my roommate out of our room one night so that I could study and get to sleep early (she ended up staying with her best friend two floors upstairs).

I probably should have found a better way to deal with this, but I had asked her several times to please stop bringing her boyfriend to our room at times when I was there, to no avail. She was crying, reported me to the residence hall counselor, and never stayed another night in our room, eventually moving in with her best friend.

Asha

I just stumbled upon this site by accident, first finding an old discussion thread about modest clothing (a certain wraparound skirt, ice cream, and Anne of Green Gables), and now this area. I'm about half-way through Charlotte Simmons and I think it's an amazing novel. My younger sister just started college, and my older sister works in Student Judicial Affairs at a University, both of them think this book paints an astonishingly (and saddeningly) true portrait of what it's like. I can't wait to finish the book.

Morgan

Very intelligent commentary. The radio show host sounds like a jerk.

There is a lot to "I Am Charlotte Simmons" that this 36-year old woman can relate to. And my college experience was much tamer than hers. I was never "sexiled," but sexual betrayal...oh, certainly. And it does hurt.

Cari Clark

The only thing worse than being "sexiled"--my daughter's experience. Her roommate had no compunction about sleeping with her boyfriend in the bottom bunk in their dorm room. There were four girls in the suite with one bathroom, and none of the three appreciated the fourth girl's boyfriend being there in the AM. The dorm rules were that no guest could spend the night more than seven times in a month. This rule was completely ignored by the dorm security (the guy had to sign in and out every time he showed up). Not the college experience I wanted for my daughter.

Paul Cat

You couldn't lock your roommate out of the dorm room at my university. So most people used a sock, tie, or towel on the door knob to let the roommate know not to come in.

One way to stop being sexiled was to just ignore the sock, walk in, and begin doing your homework, watching tv, or eating some potatoe chips. If the couple doesn't stop, simply throw the covers off of them and exclaim very naively, "I heard some heavy breathing. I just wanted to make sure you weren't having an asthma attack or something."

If this doesn't end the sexiling . . . good luck.

Eliza

Paul -

I thought this entire modesty movement was a matter of respecting each other and each others' choices. I don't think that that's the most mature or respectful way to express your discontent with being locked out of your room at times. Unfortunately, living with a roommate is hard, and it's a matter of learning to be flexible and not always getting your way.

Is the best way to achieve validity for the modesty movement to heckle those who don't feel the same way?

Jess S.

Wow. The first time I read what you wrote here, I checked out I am Charlotte Simmons. Just now, I went on Amazon to check out the "negative reviews". I would like to say I am not targeting pro-modesty adults by saying "Have the baby-boomers gone blind???" I am about two/thirds of the way through Charlotte Simmons (just after she lost her "cherry"- a disgusting, disrespectful chauvinist term) and I have to say the book matches up neatly with accounts such as that of Koren Zailckas' "Smashed". As a "knowledgeable virgin" of 16, Charlotte's outlook seems very close to that of my more naive friends. Her situation mirrors exactly what I fear some of them may fall into once away from church and mommy, simply because "that's where the boys are." In reference to the other students' promiscuousness, their actions with sex, alcohol and neglected school work is exactly what I hear from my looser acquaintances in both high school and college. In praise of this book, other than it being captivating, I find it accurate- excluding some minor details of course.

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