Harvard’s Dirty Little Secret: The Final Clubs

Shutterstock / Marcio Jose Bastos Silva
Shutterstock / Marcio Jose Bastos Silva

I’m standing in a closet crying.

Fumbling for words to describe to my boyfriend why I’m upset. I think I’ve finally lost any of the “Hey bro, don’t worry. I’m totally chill and cool. I like wings, beer and sports too. I’m like Jennifer Lawrence” vibe that I was able to hold onto for 10 months.

I’m struggling to describe how discouraging it is to be surrounded by some of the most intelligent people in the world and come to the realization that they have no respect for women. I am standing in the closet of a final club on the campus of Harvard University — the college that I attended for four years. The very place where I heard so many of these boys speak insightful opinions into the rise of capitalism in America, give their interpretation of Critique of Pure Reason, and formulate arguments about gentrification. But at this moment, in this closet, I might as well be thousands of miles away. Because these boys, the top 6% of 35,000+ applicants, aren’t living up to their intellectual promise.

For some reason, I’m having a hard time understanding why these “smart” boys don’t understand why it hurts to hear “bitches” and “girls” used synonymously, why rape jokes are never okay, and why the phrase “Dude, she better fucking put out if I let her come upstairs,” isn’t romantic.

I don’t know the exact moment I took a step back to look at my own life, to see the ways that life was pushing me down because I am a female, but it was probably sometime in the last four years. It could have been the 30th time that a guy apologized to me for brushing my arm during a game up pick-up, or perhaps the moment I finally got sick of hearing “…and she’s a girl” tacked on to the end of any accomplishment that I realized the people around me, at the best university in the world, thought of me as less than them simply because of my sex.

One of the clearest memories I have is my boyfriend telling me that he thought I was a slut when he first met me because I like sex and apparently have had it with too many people for him to think of me as anything other than that. Nevermind the fact that he has almost double the amount of partners that I’ve been with, maintains “it’s different because I’m a girl,” and fails to see the discrepancy in his thinking.

It’s too much of an issue to tackle the Harvard Final Club/sexism debate in a hastily written article at 1 AM, so I’ll just leave these comments here. Food for thought next time you hear about a Harvard Final Club Member and wonder what they must be like. So without further ado, four things I overheard at a Harvard Final Club tonight.

  1. “If any bitches come upstairs tonight I’ll just tell them to go fuck themselves.”
  2. “If V— doesn’t have a threesome with me tonight, I’m going to be so pissed. Because she’s into fucking girls.”
  3. “No fucking bitches can be in here right now.”
  4. In response to some girls finding a place to put their coats: “Tell them to get fucking downstairs right now, they can’t be up here. They act like they own the place. This is why we can’t have bitches come over and come in the front door.”

Classy, guys. Keep it up. TC mark

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