Who doesn’t like going to parties? This is a rhetorical question, evidently, because literally almost everybody likes going to parties. But who likes the patriarchy? Nobody, that’s who. The average reader may think that partying and the patriarchy have next to nothing in common, but that reader clearly doesn’t go to college and certainly doesn’t party in Isla Vista.
Here’s the thing: Most of the parties that take place on any given night in I.V. have “ratios,” or the number of guys to girls that should be present. It’s common knowledge that girls should out-number guys, maybe five girls to one guy on average. This is not only expected of frat parties, but of regular house parties as well. Let me break this down.
First of all, keeping a ratio at parties that favors the male attendees is very sexist. It perpetrates an environment and culture where heterosexual men are given whatever they want with little to no regard to what benefits everyone (meaning women, trans people, gay people, et cetera). This pretty much sums up a patriarchal society. That is not to say that heterosexual men shouldn’t get what they want — I’m all for treating yo self. What I am saying is that this standard, where ratios are enforced that strictly benefit the aforementioned heterosexual male, is damaging to everyone else who likes to party (which is pretty much anyone ever). We, as women, are being told that what we want is not important. Do you think girls like partying with a bunch of other girls while, at most, 20 ok-looking guys stand around waiting to get lucky? It’s not a tough question: the answer is very obviously no.
Secondly, enforcing a ratio at parties automatically assumes that everyone in attendance is heterosexual — really, really not a true thing. Heteronormativity, which is the aggressive perpetration of heterosexual standards, completely leaves out anyone who isn’t heterosexual. Straight people aren’t the only ones that like to party, ok?
Finally, I’m taking up issue at how casually this topic is approached. It shouldn’t be common knowledge to me or to anyone else that girls will be let into pretty much any party and guys won’t simply because the hosts of party (who are usually men) want a bunch of pretty girls around. Everybody knows that ratios are enforced — that this problem exists — yet we say and do nothing about it. I’m bothered by the fact that the common partygoer doesn’t acknowledge the fact that they’re actively participating in a sexist and ultimately harmful culture. Sure, go to parties and have fun, but at least take a moment to realize how bizarre and destructive enforcing a ratio is.
Basically, what I’m saying is that there’s a problem in our community that flies so far under the radar that nobody seems to notice it’s happening. To maintain ratios at parties that solely benefit the men who are present is completely harmful to everyone but the men who are present. It enforces heteronormative, patriarchal standards that contribute to sexism and homophobia, which are destructive to literally everyone. So how can you distract yourself from this dismal truth? Go out and party! Have a fantastic time! But remember folks, by bringing attention to the dangers of enforcing gender ratios at parties, you can take down the patriarchy at the same time! It’s pretty much a win-win for everyone.