Amber Estes

To all who do not understand satire:

I do not actually endorse women attending school to obtain an MRS degree.

I do not believe that women are in any way academically inferior to men.

And I certainly do not plan on naming my child Junior or Georgia Ann.

Yes, if you haven’t inferred already, my article “How to find that perfect husband in college,” was satirical. For the countless number who seems to have skipped ninth grade literature, satire pokes fun at a certain type of behavior while addressing a larger social issue.

As I was writing this piece, I expected that people would instantly identify it as satire. Judging by the influx of nasty emails, comments, and social media messages, I was sorely mistaken.

This unexpected reaction proves this issue is that much more prevalent. If the subject weren’t a sensitive one, it never would have generated such attention.

Historically, women have had to fight to be taken seriously in the classroom. Men have been seen as the intellectuals that major in medicine and science. Women have been seen as the bimbos that major in flower arranging and cookie cutting. Although significant strides have been taken toward acknowledging women as academic equals, the battle is far from over.

While the majority of women prove themselves as smart, capable individuals, a few continue to halt progress with their shameful behavior. As described in the column, there are women who believe that their sole purpose in life is to find a husband. They view their future not through their own personal lenses, but by how it will look after wedding vows. This lack of independence and self-respect threatens to invalidate growth of women in academia.

Some derived their incorrect conclusion about my intentions from my membership in a sorority. Because of my affiliation, I have gained friends, support and an experience that has made me a better person.

However, I have also gained something else. I have gained a target on my back for people to wrongfully label me as unintelligent.

My sorority, like most Greek organizations, holds high educational ideals. Members are rewarded for good grades and reprimanded for any slack in studies.

We are an intellectual, determined group. Those who think otherwise have obviously spent more time passing blind judgments than having a conversation with any girl who resides on Milledge Avenue. It’s baffling how those so outraged at the alleged shallowness of my article can be the same people labeling me because of the letters on my shirt.

I am a pre-Grady student who spends far more time reading than partying. I have a 3.9 GPA. And when I have a test any time in the upcoming week, you can find me in the MLC isolated with a textbook and a large coffee.

Needless to say, I put great value on education. To those of you who went out of your way to harass me behind a fake Internet username, congratulations. It takes a lot of bravado to anonymously cyber-bully a 19-year-old girl (That was sarcasm, in case some of you are still slow to detect it).

Please, take a deep breath and a joke. Just because I didn’t prelude the piece with “Warning: this is satire” in bold letters doesn’t mean the article was meant to be taken literally. Reading between the lines is a useful skill, one my current irate Internet mob seems to be lacking.

I’m fortunate enough to have the ability to laugh off the viral ridicule, but this issue is not one that can be carelessly chuckled away. Now that the colossal mystery of my intentions has hopefully been solved, maybe people can finally move on and start to focus on the bigger issues raised in the piece instead.

Stay focused, keep your eye on the academic prize, and go get that (non-MRS) degree.

Amber Estes

P.S. Be on the lookout for my next column, How to trap a man by saying you’re pregnant.

(Just kidding).

— Amber Estes is a sophomore from Athens majoring in public relations