Recently, two young lovers took to the rooftop of a University of Southern California building, disrobed, and made sweet, highly visible love. My goodness! Pass the smelling salts so we can discuss!
It doesn't help things that the gentleman in question is a member of Kappa Sigma, the esteemed fraternity lately best known for the circulation of a horrid email detailing how to deal with women (who are "targets," seeing as "they are not actual people"). Mr. Rooftop has since been suspended (and Ms. Rooftop has yet to be publicly identified, though it's believed she also is a student at the school), but the fact that it was a Kappa Sigma bro doesn't make the basic act of naked rooftop fucking any worse — we don't know anything about the relationship between these two. And no matter what you think of the individuals involved or their campus affiliations, you have to assume that the romantic romp was a shared and consensual pursuit. After all, there's a long tradition of the risky exhibitionist screw, whether the couple is in school or in their forties. In the case of the former, it often comes with equal-opportunity bragging rights, a silly "accomplishment" for a woman just as much as a man, all in good fun, high-fives, etc. (See: Karen Owen's Duke Fuck List.)
In this look at us, we're banging! incident, the sex is intentionally stupid. It's immature and plays into dozens of unflattering stereotypes, many of which involve the word "douchebag." The sex was clearly for the express purpose of being seen during a "philanthropy event," whatever the hell that is. And the only judgment we can fairly cast is something along the lines of, "Dumbasses." With that in mind, the media reaction — this is now an international news story (thanks, Daily Mail, for taking this one across the pond) — is all the more absurd.
A concession to those who are nonetheless terrified or truly upset/disturbed by naked rooftop sex: Fine, maybe this is just more hard evidence of The Way We Live Now, or Kids Today, or Hookup Culture (there are so many parent-scaring headlines from which you could choose). And yes, you could argue that this sort of incident doesn't really contribute in a "positive" way (depending on how you choose to define it) to college sex culture. But that argument isn't really fair to the countless college students of both sexes who willingly, happily pursue consensual casual sex. Like these two crazy kids. (Who are, to reiterate, behaving like idiots.)
Getting past the "kids will be kids" reaction, the attention this story has received is a stark reminder of how badly the media needs to redirect its energies to the real college sex crises. Like how a disturbingly high percentage of campus rape victims never report the assault. Or how some students use date rape as a punchline. Or Elizabeth Seeburg, who committed suicide after reporting a sexual assault by a Notre Dame football player. Those are the stories that deserve the hand-wringing.
But wait — those kids are naked! Story at 11!