Miami – images of sun, sea and sex – right? When I arrived here as an exchange student two weeks ago, I was informed endlessly by those around me – from the shuttle bus driver to the locals – that “Miami is a singles town,” and “everything goes.” This attitude is the reason there exists an embedded hookup culture in Miami. From the Grove and South Beach to frat parties and tailgates, students in Miami have a range of places to go in search of their next hookup.
While I celebrate this, I can’t help but notice that this attitude is starkly different from universities in England, where I have been studying for the past two years. The hookup scene is relatively similar, but the antagonism fostered toward women in the United Kingdom who engage in casual sex is far worse. For university students in England, there is more of a stigma against those who engage in casual sex. A study by the The National Student, a publication for students in the U.K., revealed that half of students would lose respect for female undergraduates who frequently engaged in promiscuous behavior.
In Miami, however, it seems that women are encouraged to enjoy the sexual freedom of their male counterparts. Thus, it is no wonder that the University of Miami was featured in Unigo’s list of the “Top 10 Schools Where Everybody Gets Lucky.” That is not to say that sexually liberated women in Miami are exempt from slander. The word “ratchet” is thrown around by many male students at UM, as I observed at my first tailgate.
Hooking up is not the end-all, be-all of a college experience. Plenty of students have a fulfilling four years without the need to “hookup.” But there are lessons to be learned from UM students. Here, women are not restricted by societal expectations. They can have as much or as little sexual freedom as they desire without fear of disrepute. Slut-shaming and misogyny embedded in universities across the U.K. must come to an end. It’s time to celebrate women’s sexuality.
Layla Haidrani is a senior majoring in history.