A Rebuttal

As I was scrolling through Facebook today, an article posted on my timeline really caught my attention. The title of the article was “Why ‘Classy’ is the Real C-Word.” After seeing the title, I immediately opened the article. I had not looked to see what blog the article was from, but with a title like that I had to know what this was all about. If you haven’t already, I would recommend reading the original article before reading this post. (Just click on the article title above to open the post)

Once I opened the article and saw it was posted on the blog Total Sorority Move, I had a feeling this had great potential to go downhill fast. Unfortunately, I was right. When I first read through this article, I was appalled. Are there actually girls who think this way? And the more I thought about it, the more my shock turned into disappointment.

The article opens with a quick recap of the “typical” college experience with the words “You knew it before” preceding each description. After the first paragraph, I still wasn’t quite sure what this article was all about, so I kept reading. The next line reveals what “you knew”- college would be the best four years of your life. Now, while I am enjoying every minute of my time in college, I would suggest that these will not be the best four years of my life, but to each his own. As I read a little further, the author talked a little more about why these would be the best years of your life. And to my amazement, THESE are the reasons she gave:

“This is a time to be silly. A time to form friendships. A time to make mistakes — really serious mistakes. Mistakes that will devastate you, temporarily cripple you, and ultimately turn you into the person you’re meant to be. This is a time to learn. It’s a time to grow. And it’s a time for alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

It’s a time to wake up at 6 a.m. and bang on pots and pans as you take shots in celebration of homecoming. It’s a time to fall in lust with all the wrong guys. It’s the time, if there ever is one, for one-night stands. It’s the time to go streaking. It’s the the time to dance on tables. It’s the time to do everything your parents told you never to do, and everything society will eventually tell you never to do again.”

Some of these things absolutely have a place in college- acting silly, making friends, no doubt you will make mistakes, learn and grow. But, lots and lots of alcohol? Streaking? Everything your parents told you never to do? One-night stands?

I guess I should not have been shocked reading this, but I was. Yes, I know all of these things happen at colleges. But to see someone endorse and encourage these behaviors? I was shocked.

As I continued reading, I found where the author made the connection to the title. In the next paragraph, she outlines how repulsive it is that girls look at other girls who are participating in the above behaviors and offer a sarcastic “That’s classy…” as the ultimate insult. She goes so far as to say that the individuals taking a stand against these behaviors are the true examples of what not being classy looks like. After seeing that assertion, I wasn’t sure the article could get any worse, but it did.

“Nobody cares about the things you aren’t doing. Nobody cares that when your friends stripped down to their bras and panties and jumped into the creek that night, that you watched their clothes and gave them dirty looks because they were nearly naked in the presence of men. Nobody cares that you’ve never very publicly made out with a guy on the dance floor of your favorite bar. Nobody cares that you know that three glasses of wine gets you tipsy, but five shots of tequila gets you wild, so you never drink tequila. Nobody cares that you never said [long chain of expletives] to the guy who hurt your best friend because that type of language is unbecoming of a lady. Nobody cares that when you were 19 years old, you didn’t buy that tight, low-cut dress that made your boobs look amazing and your butt look even better because it was too revealing. Nobody cares you’re undefeated in “Never Have I Ever.””
So, at this point we have finally hit rock bottom with this article. Or maybe not. The sentence following the above paragraph? “But someday, you will. You have the rest of your life to be the perfect embodiment of a Stepford wife. Your future is filled with restrictions responsibilities, and a reputation to uphold.” Okay, now we have hit rock bottom. This author is trying to argue that one day you will actually regret not engaging in these behaviors. She makes the comment “It’s easier to live with an ‘oh well’ than a ‘what if?'” I can’t speak from experience on this, but I am pretty sure when you are lying next to your spouse one day and you remember those one-night stands, you will have a lot more emotions than just “oh well.” And I am also pretty sure that the people who did not have a one-night stand, will not be wandering “what if?” You know why they won’t ask that? Because no one looks back and wishes they would have made more mistakes. I have never met anyone who said “Wow, I really wish I could have messed up a few more times in high school. I just don’t think I made enough mistakes.” How ludicrous does that sound?

I find it interesting that every person I have ever heard offer the advice “You only have 4 years to be young and dumb. Take advantage of it” are, ironically, still young (and dumb). The adults I have talked to have much different advice to offer. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume this is probably because they have seen the aftermath of these choices. They have seen “lots and lots of alcohol” lead to addictions that destroy lives. They’ve seen “one-night stands” turn into STDs and an unwanted pregnancy that alter the rest of your life. They’ve seen that doing “everything their parents told them not to” got them everywhere they didn’t want to be. They have seen the consequences of their actions play out, and they’re trying to save you and me from experiencing the unnecessary pain.

Not only will avoiding these situations prevent us from experiencing unnecessary pain, but it’s also what God expects from those who call themselves Christians. Paul tells us what God expects of His children in Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do NOT be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Again in Philippians, Paul reiterates what it means to be a Christian. Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ…” We have a responsibility to represent Christ in this world.

So, no one cares about the things you aren’t doing? False. A lot of people will notice AND appreciate your courage to stand against the things that God stands against. Don’t believe the lies that you’ll regret not making those mistakes. Live your life with integrity. And show the world what being classy is all about. In case you aren’t quite sure what being classy is all about, I’ll let Merriam-Webster’s give you the true definition; Classy- showing impressive character, having or reflecting high standards of behavior, admirably skillful and graceful.

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