The bears and the bees: The pretty game: objectification, humiliation and the liberal arts
Anonymous ’17 is a guest contributor to this column and a female member of the Class of 2017. All names, events and locations in this narrative have been altered in order to disguise recognizable identities.
We all know the drill of arriving at a party. It smells like old beer and exhilaration. The designated bouncer stands in our way, a football player with an unimpressive drunken glaze, reclining against the door to stay upright. This barely legal boy will decide if we are pretty enough to be graced with the opportunity to grind our bodies against his other unremarkable team members and drink warm alcohol, hypnotized and exhausted by a throbbing black light in a dirty basement. It is just another off-campus party.
We call it the pretty test. And we take it, all girls and women, every day. Every time you can’t button your jeans, you fail. Every time you get whistled at or hit on, you pass. It just so happens that Bowdoin has a culture that makes this test prevalent and obvious. It is well known you should be prepared for the boy that decides whether you are accepted or rejected, beautiful or ugly. He’s the difference between intoxicated dancing and calling your mom while eating microwave popcorn. So you better wear a crop top in sub-zero weather and stop eating the soft serve.