Oh, I love a good scandal. Duke student Karen Owen made headlines last week when her unofficial senior honors thesis was leaking across the internet; a five minute PowerPoint presentation explicitly outlining her sexual activities throughout her college career. Cleverly titled “An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics”–leave it to a Duke student from where? Connecticut!– the presentation was sent to a few friends post-graduation as a joke.
A joke it is not however, and Owen writes in her introduction,“until now, no studies have succeeded in developing a methodology for quantifying and ranking these so-called horizontal academics.” She continues with “’in this study, we used data from four years at Duke University to create evaluation criteria for such encounters and applied these criteria to evaluated subjects.”
Subjects indeed. Throughout the presentation she graphically discusses her drunken sexcapades –which she labels “evaluations– with Duke students, the majority of whom are members of the Duke lacrosse or baseball team. Half-naked photos ripped off of Facebook are often included, along with pros and cons, and a ranking of their performance from 1-10 based on “physical attractiveness, (anatomy) size, talent, creativity, aggressiveness, entertainment, athletic ability.” Take a look at the following “Raw Score” outline, and make sure to note that points were added for “sexts” and deducted “for rudeness or being Canadian.” Ouch.
Rumor has it Owen has even been offered a book deal, a fact that makes me greener than the split pea soup I enjoyed for lunch. Most likely the reason this scandal has been made such a big deal of is the fact that the perpetrator is 1. female and 2. a student from such a prestigious college (and don’t forget, from Connecticut). If it were a male student from some Jersey community college –Sorry Jersey, but Snookie has forever tainted you– making a slideshow about the girls he got with on spring break, he would merely be labeled a douche bag and everyone would move on.
Should we feel bad for Owen’s scorned lovers? Probably– at least the “Subjects” who were unable to “entertain” her, ones with poor “penile structure” oh and that Canadian one, eh? However, you will notice that some of the guys–and they weren’t all on the lax team– treated Owen really terribly. One guy left the room directly after erm, finishing, and never returned. When she texted him to ask for her “favorite pair of earings from South Africa” which she left in his room, he responded with “I will leave them outside of the building for you.” Maybe some of these guys deserved a little national humiliation…However, they most likely treated Owen like a sluts because well,she acted like one; she considers the “perfect combination of sex and academics” to be boning a baseball player in the library . Two wrongs don’t make a right, and everyone in this situation seems to be fucked.