For all of the unreachable men, for all of the misread signals, for all of the sleazy pickup lines, the GW women who attended Tuesday night’s REAL Conversation had a thing or two to ask.
“If I find out that you’ve slept with so many people, what makes you think I want to touch you?” sophomore Sho’leh Gevla wanted to know.
“What classifies as a slut? Is it more numbers or is it more time periods?” freshman Tiffany Shaw inquired.
“I think a lot of women would probably agree that men don’t express themselves,” freshman Sally Nuamah asserted.
Gevla, Shaw and Nuamah were not just gossiping among girlfriends. They were shooting their question toward a panel of men at last week’s REAL Conversation, a recurring event sponsored by the Student Activities Center and the Multicultural Student Services Center that promotes discussions of diversity and multiculturalism. Tuesday’s topic, titled, “Men Revealed . Mind, Body and Soul,” was intended to provide women with an opportunity to unlock the mystery of the opposite sex.
Standing in the buffer zone between the panel and the ladies were moderators Michael Tapscott, the director of the Multicultural Student Services Center and Tim Miller, the managing director of Student Activities Center. The referees were provided with only a few moments to relax and did their best to keep the atmosphere friendly during the two-hour discussion.
Panelist Phil Lueckgen, a junior, said that the conversation did get a little personal at certain points.
“Some people in the audience were targeting people on the panel,” he said in an interview after the event.
Lueckgen said that he was not sure if he taught the women anything, but he walked away with a new appreciation for the importance of remembering significant dates like anniversaries and birthdays.
Junior Ren Millz, who also sat on the panel on Tuesday, said that he found the discussion educational, however predictable it might have been.
“It kind of reaffirmed that they don’t want to be toyed with,” Millz said. He said he wasn’t really surprised by any of the questions that came from the audience. “It’s kind of like you hear the same thing over and over. It’s always kind of men versus women.”
In addition to keeping the repartee cordial, Tapscott and Miller were also charged with leading the conversation. Miller read excerpts from, “He’s Just Not That into You,” and Tapscott helped to facilitate the discussion by asking the panel questions like, “does promiscuity in and of itself affect how you have a quality relationship?”
To that question, Gevla raised her hand with a decided response: a promiscuous person has no self-respect.
“I don’t want to be with someone who sees their self-worth between their legs,” she said to nodding approvals.
Panel member Kris Kotek gave the guy’s version of the scenario. “You can have a hookup that’s emotional that springboards into a nice relationship,” the sophomore said.
The six panelists were not the only men in the room. By the end of the night there were seven guys in the seats, though there were 29 women surrounding them.
Grace Henry, the multicultural counselor for SAC, said the purpose of the event was to promote diversity of gender, “because men feel as though women dominate conversations and they can never get a word in edgewise.”
Henry’s generalization rang true on Tuesday night when the women participants were full of questions, yet the men were often slow to respond.
When the discussion turned to the morning-after-phone-call, the women seemed to have cultivated some serious concerns, while the men on the panel had little to say.
Sophomore Shakir Cannon-Moye said he had never even thought about the issue of calling a girl the day after a hookup until Tuesday night’s event.
Senior Rudy Rodas tried to calm the women down. “You also got to take into consideration that I’ve got to pay bills,” Rodas said about expensive daytime minutes.
Though the men took some serious heat from the women in the crowd, they’ll have their own chance to fire back on March 31 at the next REAL conversation, where women will sit on the panel.
Cannon-Moye said he will definitely attend next month’s event titled, “How do I keep her?”
“Maybe I can learn some things.”