I’m sick of the double standards I face in Greek Life.
These are the words of Kelly Elder, member of Pi Beta Phi at North Carolina University in Raleigh. They are just a part of the statement she released to The Washington Post this week after her chapter voted on whether or not to place a sister on academic probation after she snuck a boy into her room. This sounds pretty typical, and I know what you’re thinking. It was her boyfriend. They got caught having sex. Blah blah blah, stereotype, stereotype. Well, that’s actually not the case. The boy was a friend coming to console the girl after having a rough day. Since he’s not a student at NC State, they didn’t have anywhere else to go that would be socially appropriate for ugly crying and having a heart to heart. With this as well as recent affairs at the University of Virginia in mind, Kelly decided that it was time to figure out why our rules are the way they are.
I prefer not to blindly accept rules without knowing the reason for their existence, so I found myself asking the purpose of this rule.
It has been in place a long time, just as women’s dorms at most colleges used to have strict rules about visitors; many sororities have chosen to keep those rules in place.
I was told the reason we still have the rule was because in January of 1978, Ted Bundy walked into a Chi Omega house at Florida State University through a door with a faulty lock, ending the lives of two women. Out of respect to the sisters of Chi Omega, sorority leaders kept in place the rule that men were only allowed in the public area of the chapter facility, officially banning men from their bedrooms.
I understand the emotional reaction one would have to endure such a tragedy never happens again. However, there is flawed logic in this reactionary measure.
It’s flawed because that barrier is really only symbolic. And the logic is flawed because women have been sexually assaulted in fraternity bedrooms countless times.
Kelly, we could not agree with you more. Other than assault, I think sororities also like to maintain this idea of “purity” in the house, and I’m sure Nationals would prefer our houses remain in a condition, well, not like fraternity houses. Which brings me to Kelly’s second point, why aren’t fraternity men held to the same standards we are?
I think it’s time to reopen the dialogue regarding this archaic standard.
Why are women constantly told how to behave? No boys in your room, don’t act promiscuous, and don’t go to men’s bid night parties for fear that they (the men) won’t be able to control themselves. I am sick of the double standard I face in Greek Life.
Just because I am a woman does not mean that I should be held to a different standard than a man who is also in Greek Life participating in the same activities. Though sad, I’m probably going to be put up for a probation vote for writing this article.
I want the acceptance of rules like these to be questioned for their validity. The conversation regarding women’s safety needs to change from reactive measures, which the Greek women must adhere to, to proactive measure that make it clear that harming women is unacceptable and unthinkable.
You see, the current rules we are under allow us to keep hiding from the real problems every Greek member is facing. If we continue to live under regulations like “no boys in the house,” we’re not teaching young women to stand up for themselves in assault cases. We’re punishing them for having a friend over. We’re withholding them from the same privileges given to every other student on campus. And if we continue to let fraternity men do as they please and refrain from holding them accountable, we’re not teaching them how to respect women or take responsibility for their actions. We’re giving in, and it’s sad.
Thank you, Kelly, for opening up this much needed conversation..
Via [The Washington Post]