There is a boy passed out next to you. You need to find your shoes and your phone. And then you need to get back to your own place. However, in typical Penn State fashion, it’s 30 degrees outside—meaning the walk home in your dress from last night will give you frostbite. Also, the clock by the bed says its 9:43 am. Good job.
You overslept and other people are already crowding the streets as they walk to class. There’s no way to walk home unnoticed. Do you try to nudge the guy next to you awake? Maybe he would give you a ride back. But then again, maybe he wouldn’t… You decide to just get your stuff and then walk run out of there, frostbite be damned.
Ladies, this is a walk of shame. Maybe you’ve seen it. Maybe you’ve experienced it. But what does it look from a guy’s perspective? I was curious, and asked a few guys to weigh in on the subject. Let’s call them Guy #1, Guy #2, and Guy #3…
1. What’s your definition of a “walk of shame?”
Guy #1: “The walk of shame is when a girl comes home the morning after a drunken hookup with a random guy. Usually still in the same outfit as last night, hair a mess and high heels in hand.”
Guy #2: “And she may or may not be holding her bra.”
Guy #3: “And the earlier she’s walking home, the more shameful it probably was.”
2. How often do you witness walk of shames, and what comes to mind when you see them?
Guy #1: “I live in a fraternity house so I’ve seen shame in the eyes of a good amount of women—and I’ve thought of it the same way every time: she better get the hell out of here fast and thank god I’m not a girl.”
Guy #2: “They can occur on any given day; however weekend mornings are when it is most obvious. I’ve seen many a girl stumbling home on a Wednesday morning. The only difference is that she’ll be wearing boots instead of heels. And most of the time, I can’t help but think [poorly of her].”
Guy #3: “If it’s really early in the morning I think less of the person, just because it’s obvious that they were a booty call and had to bounce early.”
3. Have you ever made a girl walk home from your place the next morning?
Guy #1: “Not yet. But I have plenty of friends who can’t say the same.”
Guy #2: “A girl has walked home from my place—but it’s a girl I’m currently seeing. If you’re consistently hooking up then it’s not a walk of shame in my eyes.”
Guy #3: “There is no such thing as a walk of shame from my room ;)”
4. Do you think guys should offer to drive her back the next morning—or at least give her clothes to throw over herself? Why or why not?
Guy #1: “The least you could do is give the girl a ride or walk her home, even though she was dumb enough to fall for whatever line you threw her way. As for the clothes, she’s on her own. I don’t really feel like getting my favorite sweatshirt back smelling like cheap perfume—or having to deal with the awkward situation of having to ask for it back at all.”
Guy #2: “No, I don’t think the guy is obligated. The responsibility falls on the girl. She should know what she’s getting herself into. If she expects a ride home, then she shouldn’t be sleeping out with a guy who doesn’t know her well enough to care how she gets home the in morning.”
Guy #3: “Yes, it’s polite to take the girl home the morning after a hookup—especially if you actually care about the girl because then the stigma of the walk of shame for her will be gone. And give the girl a shirt it’s sexy.”
5. Do you think there’s a double standard for girls and guys in terms of walk of shaming? If so, elaborate.
Guy #1: “Definitely. A guy will walk back with a smile like he just won a contest. A girl, on the other hand, usually looks like she just failed an exam. I’m not really sure if there even is such a thing as a walk of shame for guys, who knows maybe it’s just the testosterone.”
Guy #2: “Completely. Because you cannot tell when a guy is walk of shaming, which I doubt he even considers it as. It would be more accurate to say ‘stride of pride.’”
Guy #3: “The ‘walk of shame’ we’ve been referring to is what occurs the morning after a one night stand. Society leads us to believe that after a night of a sleeping with someone random, the girl walks away from it as a ‘slut’, while the guy is labeled a stud. However in my opinion, the girl has every right to do what she wants. As long as she isn’t being obvious about it by carrying her heels through campus at 7 a.m., then I don’t really think it is a big deal.”
Photo by Jessica Korch