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The Line, a new documentary film about sex and consent, hit the American University campus last week.Today, The Line‘s blog addressed the recent controversy at AU over student newspaper the Eagle‘s anonymous sex column, which presented a drunk, hazy, and painful sexual experience as a normal college hook-up:

It’s three in the morning. You have it inside you right now. It kind of hurts. You’ve had one too many cups of jungle juice. You think his name is Andrew, but you’re not really sure. You thought you would never be that girl, but there you are, in your drunken haze.

Some members of the campus community were outraged that the newspaper would normalize a possible date rape scenario. But the Line video also pointed to another controversial section of the Eagle‘s column: “You wake up the day after to an unfamiliar ceiling, some guy who smells like booze, AXE body spray and, well, something else.”

What the hell is “something else”?

Some students who responded to the column online proved perturbed by both the column’s rape associations and its overly vague description of the morning-after olfactory bouquet. Axe Body Spray has repeatedly been accused of “smelling like date rape.” It would make sense for the morning after your drunken sexual experience to smell like booze. But what else does painful drunk sex smell like? And why does the Eagle think the third smell is so obvious that they don’t even have to spell it out for campus readers?

Mike Johnson first criticized the column’s “date rape” overtones before expressing frustration with the use of “something else”:

Oh and what does he smell like? B.O.? Ribbed Trojans? I’m not sure what the deal is on that one.

Disco Stick took a stab at it:

What does “well, something else” mean? I’m interpreting it as “your pussy” or “jizz.” I’m having a little trouble deciding which one though. Could it be both? Please let me know asap.

The imprecise descriptor was further complicated by the column’s irregular sentence structure. The sentence, “You wake up the day after to an unfamiliar ceiling, some guy who smells like booze, AXE body spray and, well, something else,” is, I believe, attempting to convey the experience of a woman who wakes up to two things:

a) an unfamiliar ceiling;

b) a man whosmells like booze, AXE body spray and (whatever).

As the sentence reads, however, it has the woman waking up to:

a) an unfamiliar ceiling;

b) some guy who smells like booze;

c) AXE body spray;

d) “something else.”

Taken in that context, the possibilities of this “something else” extend far beyond body odor, condoms, pussy, or jizz. The woman in question could have awoken to a ceiling, a dude, body spray, and an albatross. Given the context of the story, she also could have woken up to a ceiling, a dude, body spray, and an STD. For feminists on campus upset with the Eagle‘s casual treatment of date rape in the column, the grammatical error could also lead to a happier ending: Personally, I’d like to see this girl wake up to a ceiling, a dude, body spray, and a copy of Yes Means Yes!

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