College is that time of life when the theory of eroticism reaches a crisis of pragmatism. In other words, everything--and I mean everything--is sexualized. It is up to you to glean what leaps over the line of titillating flirtation and into the sordid, overgrown field of sexual harassment. This is the not-so-fun part of your education.

The law defines two different types of sexual harassment. First there's quid pro quo, which equates to "Sleep with me or you're not going to get what you want" (e.g., good grades, a job, whatever). The second type is defined as "Hostile Working Environment," and has proven swampier in the courts, because the definition revolves around what a "reasonable person" can put up with at work, or what a "reasonable person" is insulted or demeaned by.

"Reasonableness" is tricky, because women historically haven't been considered reasonable in legal situations anyway--they've been more typically considered hysterical or unreliable. But if you are uncomfortable at all with something someone is asking of you in a social or working situation, you should feel free to express it. Expletives are perfectly acceptable. If someone grabs your ass, slap him (ass-grabbing constitutes assault, so feel free to assault right back). And if someone calls you "tootsie," call him a jackass.

Obviously, rape is the clearest instance of someone overstepping the "sexual harassment" line. Police stats show that rapes are on the rise within our colleges and universities. This fucking sucks, and despite the frequency of the crime, rape is still commonly misunderstood. Rape by someone you know is (duh) still rape, and the drunken frat boy who quietly but relentlessly insists that you let him fuck you is as much a rapist as the stranger who jumps you on a late-night street. Be careful; watch out for "roofies" (unattended drinks are a no-no); and if you are raped, remember that it's not your fault, and that there are people here to help you.

All of the major universities and colleges here in Portland have departments that specifically address sexual harassment and/or rape issues.

• Counseling & Psychological Services

• Sexual Assault Network

• Women's Resource Center

At Reed:
• Women's Center
771-1112 ext 7812

At Lewis & Clark:
• Sexual Assault Response Advocate (SARA)

• Counseling Center

For off-campus assistance:
• Portland Women's Crisis Line

•The Rape Crisis Center