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Ranking the sentences of the ‘Dear males’ column

| Wednesday, October 3, 2018

In the fall of my freshman year, a columnist for The Observer wrote a column titled “Dear males,” and it explained why men at Notre Dame should not fear asking women out on dates. I agreed with the concept of the article. I think men at Notre Dame do need to take more risks when it comes to asking out those they potentially like, but the way the author went about making this point did not sit well with the general student body. I did feel they attacked this author a little maliciously, but the prose itself has great ranking potential, so I want to rank the sentences of this column for some of the absurdity but without necessarily attacking the general message. Yes, Notre Dame men should ask more women out, and yes, the way this author explained this point may not have been the best to capture the student audience. Hopefully the rankings explain why:

10. “Dear males, Where are you?”

This is how the column starts, with a question. I understand the intended dramatic effect, but when a column is ambiguous to start and then I am asked about my location, I am more confused than moved. The next sentence mentions how there are tons of great women, but we are not seeking after them. I still feel a little jarred after wondering where in the world am I.

9. “Maybe you are hiding behind the chin-up machine in Rolfs. Pause the lifting and try some living.”

Maybe this is where all the men are? I take offense because 1) maybe I do not need the machine, I may do actual pull-ups, and 2) I don’t actually do pull-ups. It also becomes a little bold to make your point by insinuating men don’t ask women out because they are too busy lifting. It’s like me saying, “Women, maybe get away from baking to actually ask a man out.” It’s not a great look assuming stereotypes either way.

8. “Young whippersnappers of this university: are you lazy?”

This poetic shift from a peer trying to convince fellow students to a crotchety old man chastising them appears only once, but it made a profound impact on my reading. It seems out of place being called a “whippersnapper,” but I guess you have to do whatever it takes to make someone ask another out on a date.

7. “I can name at least 20 that are not being pursued by guys, at least to their knowledge, and those are just the ones on campus whom I have met.”

This quote reeks of Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment. It’s of people she has met — not necessarily is friends with. I’m sure I have met 20 women not pursued by guys too out of a campus of 13,000. The argument here on numbers is not a great one overall.

6. “Thanks, males. I knew you could do it.”

It’s the concluding sentence, and I kind of like it. It assumes that the column has persuaded me enough to already go out and ask a woman out, and I admire the confidence. No one has ever accomplished anything by hoping someone will do something, you have to presuppose it has already been done by the time I finish reading.

5. “It [being single] gives them free time to join clubs and devote themselves to their studies.”

4. “They like dancing to Beyonce, but they want boyfriends, husbands and children at some point.”

These are both in regard to what it’s like to be single as compared to in a relationship, and I find them funny for the assumed mutual exclusiveness of activities. Beyonce’s music, i.e. that of a married woman, is enjoyed best by single women, and we can only give ourselves fully to clubs and activities when we aren’t tied down with a woman. Some hot takes from the author, but you don’t get by in this world with cold ones.

3. “You can calculate torque, market to a target audience and conjugate irregular verbs, but do you have the courage, maturity or even the desire to pursue a meaningful romantic relationship?”

Oh boy, what to do with this one. I think we can all agree conjugating verbs (regular or not) is much easier than pursuing a meaningful relationship. In fact, pursuing a relationship is somewhat difficult, although important, and I don’t think equating my ability to find torque is going to convince me otherwise. Someone who can perform academic skills does not equate to social ones, an experience we can all relate to.

2. “Pull out your ear-buds. Take a shower. Say hello.”

The only three rules I live by in my life. If I had known this is what it would take to woo a lady, I don’t think I would have been single for this amount of my life. The rule of three is powerful, powerful enough to find love, apparently.

1. “Young men of Morrissey, of Knott, of Fisher: take heed. Hide no longer behind your bro tank and SAO shades.”

First of all, not the dorms you want to find love with. I would rather be single. But the SAO shades give this sentence the top spot. Why would I ever hide behind SAO shades or the bro tank? Me doing either would most definitely draw more attention, but maybe that was the look years ago, who knows? Also, why hate on SAO shades? They are perfect for parties, since you don’t worry if they break or get lost since there are approximately a million of them in circulation. Maybe this is the reason why people were mad?

Again, I think the message is a good one, but the aggressive tone was not welcomed with open arms. I think she is quite brave for writing the column, knowing people would criticize and we should respect that. Instead of hating the message, we can laugh at the sentences. Hopefully together in solidarity.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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