Hating on fraternities is the new black.
Everywhere you turn, there’s a think-piece here and an op-ed there about the toxicity of fraternity culture and how harmful it is to society, the latest of which coming from The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, the student newspaper of the University of Massachusetts.
The article, titled “Fraternity culture is problematic” (some hot take ya got there, kid!), delves into fraternities, their downfalls (of which I acknowledge there are many) and how their presence in the social scene “ruins partying.”
Now, my issue is not so much with the points the author made, but the way that she frames her examples and excludes information in order to make a stronger case.
For example, at one point, the author of the article outright states:
“I’d like to note that I have specifically not mentioned sororities because they do not really create issues like their male counterparts. Sororities do not treat female party guests – or their sexuality – like an admission ticket.”
This is the equivalent of complimenting a house cat for not trying to murder you.
Yes, the cat technically has not tried to murder you, but only because they’re physically incapable. In fact, studies have shown that if cats were large enough, then they would actually try to kill you. So yes, while sororities may not “treat party guests like an admission ticket,” it’s only because they haven’t had the opportunity.
Women are every bit as vindictive, superficial and judgemental as men so I can guarantee that if a school’s elite sorority were the ones hosting the parties, they’d be just as selective as their male counterparts. You can almost hear the soundbites from Alexa and Rachel now:
“Ew, did you hear the Alpha Chi guys want to come to tonight’s party?”
“Um, gross. There’s like six of them and like half of them are bald and fat. No way are they getting in.”
And in case you needed any more proof that “sorority chicks” are just like “frat bros,” I point you to the University of Miami and the University of Pittsburgh, who have recently suspended sorority chapters due to hazing and alcohol violations.
Fraternities are broken and are not long for this world (I’ve even written as much), but acting like the societal issues frats suffer from and cause are due to gender, and not opportunity is downright sexist. Did you know that Penn State sorority members aren’t even allowed to live together in a house because Pennsylvania state law would consider it a brothel? The difference between sororities and fraternities isn’t influenced by gender, but rather circumstance.
If fraternity culture troubles you so, then put it out of sight and out of mind. Think frat bros are pigs? Don’t associate with them. Think frat parties are dangerous? Don’t go to them. Think they’re drugging the jungle juice (which is deplorable)? Don’t drink it. The only thing forcing you to participate in Greek Life is the social standards you’re holding yourself to — nothing more and nothing less. I knew plenty of people at Rutgers who never stepped inside a fraternity house during their entire time at school and had just as much fun as anyone.
But as long as you keep cutting the line to get into the party because you and your cute friends have ratio (“I benefit from Greek culture…My friends and I can usually get into parties without trouble” she writes), you’re just as much a part of the problem as the men are.