I found it ironic that in Kelsey Hering’s article about the laudable push towards gender-neutral housing at Gustavus, she reinforces stereotypes about both men and women. In the article’s sidebar, Hering lists one of the disadvantages of gender-neutral housing; “Men and women usually stand on the opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of cleanliness”. This single sentence sends the message that we should expect women to keep a clean and ordered apartment while simultaneously setting a lower standard for men who, according to The Weekly, apparently lack the faculties to maintain a sanitary and presentable lifestyle. Many male students at this campus take pride in their clean apartments and personal hygiene just as many women do. I similarly took issue with another ‘disadvantage’ of gender-neutral housing. It reads, “less privacy or more noise in differing living styles”, the suggestion being that there are intrinsic differences between the lifestyles of both genders which preclude men and women from living together in harmony. Again, I fail to understand how men and women are inherently different in their expectations of privacy and noise. As a man, I greatly value my privacy and I dislike raucousness. I would encourage The Weekly, and all Gustavus students, to judge individuals on the merits of their character and behavior – not their race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or other similar classifications.
Zachary Harrison Blinkinsop, Junior 2014, Scandinavian Studies and Latin