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II: HER WORDS • Essays Women who chose to further their


education and enter into university were often met with scrutiny by their male peers. A feeling of disjointedness occurred between men and womenon college campuses due to an overall understanding of women’s work as inferior to that of men. In their book “Women in Higher Education: An Encyclopedia” Ana Martínez Alemán and Kristen Renn discuss the important role that sexism and overall disparagement played in the everyday lives of many women on college campuses: Women are perceived as different and deficient since men’s behavior is accepted as the norm, men receive more pay for the same kind of work as women, and men’s work is assigned more importance than women’s work. On campus, the result is differential treatment of women and men. Students, faculty,


and administrators engage


campus in


behaviors that single out women, behaviors that overlook women and mixed patterns of communication between women and men. (254)


These types of lack of communication or isolation from the general public of campus life could cause a great deal of pain for young women who had already been told that they were inadequate. For this reason, women who attempted to receive their degrees had to face the binary of “working woman” or “proper woman.” The fact that ideology of femininity was in direct conflict with the importance that many of these women put on their educations did not make the transition any easier. Frustration with comments about inadequacy sometimes made it hard for women to exist such an environment. Beyond just thoughts of isolation, women who attended college in the nineties had to face the very real issue of sexual harassment, which is still prevalent in even today’s college culture. Women who entered this previously male sphere were at risk of both physical and emotion abuse being flung their way regardless of their behavior. Similar to the culture that creates a


feeling of the inadequacy of women, Alemán and Renn discuss frat culture and its proclivity for exclusivity. The exclusionary nature of fraternities leads to extremely “divisive environments regarding class, race, and especially sex” (254). Frat culture exists in a bubble of its own


choosing, making the rules and norms of the more diverse overall society seem somehow less important. This is not to say that the blame for the prevalence of sexual assault on college


campuses falls on the shoulders of fraternities, but rather on the college culture that condones the divisive definition of sex as seen in exclusive frats. Research shows that as many as 50-


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