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Ignoring people you hooked up with at Shooters when encountering them on campus is a quintessential Duke experience.If the oft-talked-about college “hook-up culture” could be embodied by a place, it would be Shooters.A few blocks from Duke University, just off Main Street in Durham, North Carolina, lies Shooters, a club known for its cheap drinks and a cage suspended from the ceiling.For the less acrobatic exhibitionist, bars for tabletop dancing are placed strategically around the dance floor’s edge.All of these increased barriers then have a snowball effect.The social pressure of other people entering into meaningful relationships is a large part of the motivation for entering into one yourself.We gave participation trophies at the end of every season and received certificates with a specially-designed compliment for each person. Yet, what my peers do not realize – or cannot handle – is that rejection is a necessary part of forging a romantic relationships.
But when I look out over the crowd now, I also see that they are trapped—trapped by their cowardice.In a romantic relationship, facing humiliation or awkwardness is a strong possibility.Social media forces us to not only be vulnerable for our partner but for the whole world.We want committed romantic relationships just as we always have, but something is getting in the way of us achieving them. As my fellow students have eloquently demonstrated, we need feminism.
Over my four years in college, I’ve found that three cultural shifts have increased the barriers to entering into a serious romantic relationship. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t completely altered the world of dating.The possibility that the same outcome could happen another way -- namely a guy asks me out -- keeps me from taking action.