Tuesday, October 1, 2013

U of A Confessions: Where Affirmation, Partying and Slut-Shaming Collide

Posted By on Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM

In the last five minutes, I've read Facebook posts where people admitted to stealing clothes, stringing along dates, terrible gas and fifteen-to-thirty minutes of porn fame. All of it was posted within an hour or so of having read it, and all of it comes from one source: the student body of the University of Arizona.

click to enlarge uaconfessions.png



U of A Confessions
is, apparently, where Wildcats are going to vent their spleens on just about everything: politics ("I just looked up what a government shut down is and now I feel like it would probably benefit this great country"), relationship dynamics ("My boyfriend peed on the toilet seat so I shaved my pubes with his razor. I think we're even now :)") odd hobbies ("I do really want to use [my vibrator] in class this week but honestly the hardest part about doing that will be trying to keep my mouth shut while it's running. I'm fairly loud as it is, add the excitement of knowing I'm doing it with so many people around, I'm not sure I'll be able to stay quiet") and everything in between.

Everything posted on U of A Confessions is submitted anonymously, through a form at the otherwise sparse uofaconfessions.weebly.com (for further fun, after confessing, you can also respond to a poll asking your major. Two things to do on one site! The early days of the Internet are seething with jealousy), after which they're assumedly sorted through by a moderator, then slapped onto the page.


As so often happens, many "confessions" are, instead, anonymous questions broadcast to an audience that's sure to have opinions on the matter (one UA "freshwoman" asked her fellow students which professors have sex, saying that she's "just curious" and "not a slut." Her fellow students called her a "freshho," a "pain in the ass" and asked if she wanted "old man balls" — most of her respondents were male, for the record) or complaints about their fellow students; you'd be surprised how many people care about the length of shorts at this school, honestly.


Of course, some of the posts aren't of the variety that would cause older, responsible adults to clutch at their pearls in shock while simultaneously forgetting the stupid shit they got up to in college. Students will confess self-doubt, lament bad dates, and admit to being one of the few people who has never watched Breaking Bad, which is practically a sin in itself these days. In these cases, the community actually seems to care, throwing support behind people who need it.



Unless those people are women, in which case SHOW US YOUR TITS:


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Shockingly, the student has yet to post a response saying that the, uh, "kind encouragement" of her fellow U of A Confessors has helped her regarding her self-esteem. It's OK though, as there are plenty of opinions going out to girls discussing their lives, bodies or sexualities or are having them discussed for them.

An admin of U of A Confessions, a UA junior who (like the users of the Facebook page) is choosing to remain anonymous, says that he attempts to post about 100 "confessions" per day, reading though each one of them before posting and attempting to weed through the fakes and the trolls — though he thinks the fake posts and sexism are, generally, all in good fun.

"From what I can tell, I think a majority of [sexist] posts are made from the 'trolls' I had told you about earlier because they think it is funny," the admin wrote. "I normally don't let this go too far if I see it. The slut shaming is a normal thing in college but, from what I can tell, people don't normally take it to heart. A slut is someone who is sleeping with many people; guy or girl. These people think they are just enjoying college and that's what it is about. I think this is just a normal college view; people who are for 'partying' in this way and people who are against it."

Intrinsically, there's nothing really wrong with U of A Confessions: it's like a hyperlocal, completely electronic PostSecret. The difference is, at U of A Confessions, there are fewer published confessions of deep emotional trauma or euphoric joy, and more harassment, overwrought memes and college bros acting like they're the biggest dogs on campus through their Facebook accounts.

Really, it's a simulacrum of the college experience: all of the ironic racism, dick jokes, hatred of greek life and general angst that you'll find at the local school, but wrapped up by a computer monitor so you don't have to smell the Axe body spray or listen to Brother Jed. It's a win all around.

If you're willing to put up with the "partying," anyway.

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