Its Tough for Girls Out There

In a recent Girls episode, sophisticated flake, Jessa, negotiated the value of a two month May-September marriage  at $11,000

“Wait! You just folded!” we shouted at the screen. Then Jessa threw her husband’s humanitarian award off the staircase.

It’s Tough for Girls Out There

You don’t negotiate angry. You negotiate calm. But Girls isn’t about smart. It’s quite pointedly about stupid.

Few real young adults have the safety nets we assume our “Girls” have even when their parents cut them off two years post-Ivy League. Girls is comedy, not tragedy, only because the characters’ socio-economic status allows them to make Jessa-magnitude mistakes and still cruise on back to the lives of promise Girls watchers assume they’ll have.

For other young women, trading youth and beauty for money and power isn’t a Saturday night date gone awry but a life plan deliberately pursued.

College Tuition For Sugar Babies

As our own Roxanna Popescu, now at the San Diego U-T recently reported “In the face of rising college costs and mounting student debt, more college students are joining . . . online “Sugar Daddy website[s].” At one such site, Popescu reported, student membership had increased by more than 50% last year. Local College Students Turning to ‘Sugar Daddies’?

We here at She Negotiates were disturbed by the trend but also intrigued. Did these young women believe they were prostituting themselves? Did they consider themselves to be sophisticated call girls? Or was this just the most recent example of America’s decline? College tuition so valuable, and so pricy, that young women without real “Daddies” (or Mommies) to send them to college would sell their bodies to pay for it?

The practice appears to have all the indicia of “transactional sex” found in poverty cultures, a practice Wikipedia describes as follows:

Transactional sex relationships are distinct from other kinds of prostitution, in that the transactional sex provides only a portion of the income of the person providing the sex. Those offering sex may or may not feel affection for their patrons. In the western world, transactional sex usually involves a woman living in extreme poverty. If unable to pay her rent one month, she might have sex with her landlord. Any number of other services, legal and illegal, can be paid for with sex acts.

Just How Important Is Having a College Degree?

We hear a lot of anti-higher education rhetoric these days but the value of a college degree has never been higher. In ’09, perhaps the worst year to enter the work force since the Great Depression, workers with a Bachelors degree were reported to have a lifetime earning potential 84% higher than high school graduates.

Jobs for individuals with a B.A., B.S., Ph.D, Masters or professional degree increased by 187,000 during the worst of the recession and by 230,000 in the “jobless” recovery.

It’s all well and good to tell young people to skip that Harvard admission (tuition, fees and room & board north of $50,000/year) and attend cheaper state colleges to earn the degree. But State College tuition has soared during the same years it was sky-rocketing for the children of the upper classes.

As CBS News reported this year in Why College Tuition Keeps Rising, “from 2000 to 2010, funding per pupil at state universities fell by 21 percent – from $8,257 to $6,532 in inflation adjusted dollars.”

By Victoria Pynchon and Chelsea Aiken Forbes Feb 11, 2013


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