‘Estro-entries’ navigate gender imbalance

This year three entries, Williams B, C and D are experiencing an increased dose of estrogen. The three entries have more than double the number of girls than guys – Willy B and Willy D both have nine boys in their 27 person entry while Willy C, the entry with the lowest percentage of boys, has six males to their 18 females. To say the least, such a concentrated number of women has changed entry dynamics.

Jessica Clarke ’10, a Junior Advisor (JA) for Willy D, was initially uncertain when she found out about the unusually large percentage of girls. “At first I was kind of bummed,” she said. “I went to an all-girls school for high school so I wanted there to be an even boy-to-girl ratio. But then I realized as a female JA, I could give more people advice. Then I started thinking that with a girl-dominated entry, the common room would be neater and we would watch better T.V. It hasn’t really worked out – as you can see.”

The common room table is covered with take-out boxes and scattered Keystone Light cans, a sign that Tom Casserly ’12 from Willy D jokes is a result of the few boys who live in a girl-dominated entry. “You can be as much of a slob as you want in the common room and someone will always try to clean it up,” he said.

One of the most serious problems resulting from the gender-imbalance is the struggle over control of T.V. programs. Deonarine Soogrim ’12 from Willy C complained lightheartedly that the girl domination in the common room meant that he never got to watch sports. Juliana Stone ’12 from Willy D described a similar problem, “The only time it’s been a problem is when we – all the girls – want to watch America’s Next Top Model or Project Runway and the guys freak out because they just want to watch football,” she said. “They get all moody because there are like a million more of us. We are like an army.”

Another benefit of living with so many girls is that the guys have been receiving crucial fashion tips from many of their female entrymates. Casserly admits that his sense of fashion has dramatically improved. He now tries to make more of an effort to look good after seeing how many hours numerous girls in his entry spend to beautify themselves for a night out. Soogrim, however, hasn’t seen an improvement in his style because he “is more fashionable than most of the girls,” he said.

Not only is Casserly impressed by the amount of time several of his female entrymates take to get ready each day, but he has also been surprised by how often some girls change their outfits and the monstrous quantity of clothing in their possession. Casserly is currently still researching the methods of storage his entrymates use to hoard their articles of clothing. However, he is planning on taking advantage of the excess amount of clothing by swapping sweaters with Stone.

When asked if living with so many girls helped them understand the female psyche, Casserly and Soogrim both grimaced. While Soogrim doesn’t think that such a complex issue is something one can ever even begin to understand, Casserly thinks that living with so many girls has actually confused him more on what girls really want. “I understand them less and less because I see them behind closed doors,” he said. “It does surprise me how often they talk about boys. I’ll walk into a room and everyone will go quiet.” Perhaps living with girls has not gotten the men of these female-dominated entries closer to understanding the members of the opposite sex, but at least they are both better dressed.

Despite the varying opinions about these entries, there is one consensus: although the guys are weak in numbers, they definitely make their presence known. “Although [the administration] didn’t give us a lot of boys, they at least gave us some cool ones,” Systrom said.

Similarly, Clarke is glad that the boys of Willy D all have big personalities and don’t shirk from the girl-dominated common room and entry activities. “Their big personalities even [overcome] the gender imbalance,” she said.

Although the high ratio of girls to guys was initially daunting, none of the parties involved seem to mind after three weeks of first-year life. If anything, the gender-imbalance is helping several boys become better dressed, more considerate and more importantly, aware of the happenings on America’s Next Top Model.