Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Women, Not Girls

Women, not girls.

There is a profound lack of respect for women in the fraternity system. This, of course, is nothing new or particularly insightful. It has been known for a long time; the bad thing about it, though, is that this objectification of women, Greek or otherwise, is condoned and even commended by many. The other bad thing is that, despite society's alleged political correctness, women continue to be referred to by disparaging terms.

The fraternity system is far from politically correct when it comes to the secret meetings between boys.

The terms--ho, skank, bitch, girl--are derogatory in of themselves, but have an enormous impact on how women are treated by men. These demeaning, oftentimes sexually-derived designations support this disrespectful treatment, much as taking away someone's identity makes it much easier to hurt and exploit them.

But what of being a gentleman? Of chivalry in this day and age?

When a man gives his umbrella to a woman when it rains, does that imply the woman is weaker? When a man stands on the outside of the sidewalk while they are walking together, does that imply that the woman needs to be protected?

Here we see respect driven by an implied, if often unacknowledged, message of male superiority over women.

But isn't being a gentleman better than being a dick?

What do you think?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Inauguration

Here in this little corner of cyberspace I start this modest blog. I create. I give life to an idea, however trivial and insignificant it may be.

As Donnie Darko said, "Destruction is a form of creation." I choose not to destroy to create, but create for the sheer wanton joy that is present in giving form to something that once did not exist.

Unfortunately, there are many in the Greek community who would not agree to me. With alcohol comes a lowering of inhibitions, and with the lowering of inhibitions comes destructive tendencies manifested in broken glass, cracked walls, torn-up flowers, and deflowered women.

This community--"community"--is so rife with disorder and hypocrisy that it is sickening. How can one be a part of it and not pay heed to the problems that, while indicative of college in general, are so magnified as to become the hallmark of the Greek system?

  • This community is one that pays lip service--not only through fellatio--to the ideal of brotherhood and camaraderie. No true brother will cheer on the slow, gradual destruction of a another man's virtue and physical body through substance abuse and moral debauchery.
  • This community is one that espouses the value of philanthropy but "serves the community" through self-serving events that merely recycle funds: part of the money raised by Alpha Beta at their charity dinner is given as the entry fee to Beta Alpha's basketball tournament, and so on.
  • This community is one that champions leadership but breeds cronies and men without spirit.
  • This community is one that has reduced sororities from bastions of chastity (itself a flawed concept) to cheap dens of whores that perpetuate cycles of lowered self-esteem, degraded body image, and sexual assault.
  • This community is one where fraternities prey on sororities for a quick lay, and one where the concept of "beer for bros and jungle juice for ho's" reigns as the basis for sexual relations.
  • This community is fixated on looks and popularity, much like high school.
  • This community is lazy.
  • This community is filled with vicious gossip and rumors.
  • Finally, the male portion of this community takes great offense at being labelled as "frats." I contend that nothing we have done so far merits we be honored with the title of "fraternities." A "frat" is characterized by all of the above. What have we as frat boys done to challenge those characterizations? I say that we have gone as far as to embrace much of what is wrong with the system. We cement our identity as frat boys when we cheer on a "brother" for taking advantage of a drunk freshman girl. We cement our identity as frat boys when we haze our pledges. In my humble opinion, we have not earned the right to be called "fraternity men."
However, I fear that I am being too harsh. The Greek system has its strengths, but they are not for me to name. I challenge you to be offended at what I write. I challenge you to find the strengths, but more importantly, stand up to the weaknesses. There is much that is wrong, but life demands we as youth be optimistic. What can we do to change these things we see?

This is why I created this blog. This is my challenge to you.