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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Girls for Sale?

Published: November 18, 2005
Section: Opinions

I look forward to Louis Louis Week every year for two reasons. The first: The buttons they hand out on Rabb steps. I happily added the I Got Physical on Rabb pin to my growing collection.

The other reason I look forward to Louis Louis is the annual Rent-a-Gent bachelor auction. I already have a great boyfriend, so the fun does not lie in the possibility of my finding a date. At the same time, I still like to watch, even if Im not participating. I think most girls attend the auction with a similar mindset. Despite the reminders that all proceeds go to the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, most of us just like to sit back and watch a line of guys parade out on stage without the stress of holding a bidder in our hands.

For me theres certainly nothing sexual about it. In fact, the auction makes me downright nervous. A few of the guys are probably shooting to be the nights big sellers, going for $100 or more. But Id guess that most of them are just striving for the minimum bid. Lets face it, were college students, and no matter the cause, most of us arent going to shell out big bucks to buy a date.

If there is silence and no one raises their paddle after thirty seconds, I start to stress out. I have to look away in discomfort. That is my fear when I go to the auctionthat someone just wont get bid on. Rationally, I know that someone always bids, but in those seemingly eternal seconds, I can almost make out the sound of their egos deflating.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the guys who volunteer dont care if they spark a bidding frenzy or if the MC has to coerce the audience for a measly twenty bucks. Still, I would imagine that it it would be scary, even in a friendly environment, for a good cause, for the most confident guy. Maybe it is just because I know that I could never do it.

But if I wanted to, now I could! Thats right, on Dec. 9, FIMRC (Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children) will be holding a bachelorette auction. This ought to be interesting. I wonder what itll be like when the roles are reversed and the girls are up onstage. I am wondering if Brandeis guys will be more or less willing to bid on a date. Rent-a-Gent is a fun evening activity for a group of girls, but will guys go? If a girl is up for auction, I can definitely see her guy friends attending to support her, but will others go just for the hell of it? And would they feel awkward shelling out cash to buy her? As a female, buying a date with a stranger is seen as more of a spontaneous, outgoing thing to do. As a guy, will that be seen as just downright weird?

There is also the question of convincing the bachelorettes to volunteer. I am positive that FIRMCO will find plenty of girls to participate, but the choice to do so will take some courage.

I personally would ask people how much they are willing to donate for a cause, but I dont want to know how much theyd be willing to donate for me! Girls onstage will face slightly different challenges in terms of confidence and ego.

By switching the roles, the auctions dynamic will inevitably be different this time around. It will be interesting to see who attends, who bids, whos got the guts and if the girls get more money than the guys! Luckily, in the end, we all know that it is for a good cause. The auctions goal is the raising of funds, not the finding of love. But if you are looking for a girl out there and youve got the cash, theyll be up for bidding on Dec. 9. I highly doubt theyll be taking their shirts off like the guys do, but you never know.