I was recently in a hotel when a young person who worked there came in dressed inappropriately. The skirt was too short and her top was too low. A young man, the boyfriend of another employee, complained. So did I. There is no need to dress like a tart to attract the boys. Even the boys object to it.
When I was in college many years ago we had curfews. The girls lived in a single-sex dorms, and they had to be in by 10 p.m. or 10:30 on weekdays and sign in. We walked back from the library at night with three or four other girls. We did not have trouble with rape or sexual assaults.
The fraternity parties were chaperoned and no girls were allowed on the second floor. We drank beer or wine, no spirits. We had no recreational drugs back when I went to college. Yet we had dances, fraternity parties and fun.
We did not go out at night except to the movies and to school plays and lectures. Again we walked back in parties of several girls and signed in at our dorm. What we did we did when it was light. State College is a university town much like Chapel Hill, but we had restrictions which we followed.
Young people need rules. They are not mature enough to make sound judgments. Their brains will not mature until they reach 25 or 26. By then the brain has caught up with the body. Meanwhile the sex drive in young people is strong and it can get students into trouble.
The style of dressing is only causing more problems. Short skirts and low tops and very tight trousers and dresses only add to the come hither appeal that can cause trouble. It’s not attractive, and it’s not safe to go out in almost nothing. Older women also find it offensive.
I know young people are more free than my generation was when it comes to sex. We could get a bad reputation and dating had much stricter rules a to whom we could date. My husband was four years older than I, and I was not allowed to date him until I was 21. I met him when I was 20. We were not set free in the bull pen to sink or swim at 15 or 16.
Now we are faced with not a few sexual assaults and two murders in Chapel Hill. There need to be rules for incoming students and ways to keep them safe. The young women need to dress properly and stay inside after dark. They need to be careful with whom they associate and with whom they go to parties. Drinking can cause a great deal of trouble and can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Young people need to learn how to protect themselves. Dressing is one way, and being careful about drinking is another.
Limit your drinks, and “remain safe” was a slogan I once found. I followed this idea and had no trouble with drink. Two students have been killed climbing up fire escapes and over machines after too much drinking. There needs to be rules and restrictions to keep students safe. They are free from mom and dad and think they can do as they wish. The university needs to lay down some rules and take the reported sexual assaults more seriously.
Ariana Mangum lives in Chapel Hill.