Over the past few years, I’ve read thousands of columns submitted through TSM, hundreds of sorority opinion pieces published elsewhere, and an uncountable number of tweets written by sorority girls. By and by, I’ve noticed a trend. Sorority girls seem to think they have a problem with oppression. The “negative stereotypes” associated with Greek life are allegedly really screwing up your jives. You’re tired of being discriminated against, just because of the letters across your chest. It just isn’t fair. And as a voice for Greeks everywhere, I have the following to say on the matter: GIVE. ME. A. BREAK.
Look, I know how hard it is for everyone to think you’re rich pretty and rich — I know — that’s got to be tough, but when you’re done dealing with these harsh stereotypes, take a step back, slap yourself across the face and repeat “I’m overreacting” until you accept it as fact. First and foremost, let’s break down all the “stereotypes” you’re working so hard to debunk.
1. You’re Pretty
Oooooh. Ouch. This is the number one sorority stereotype and it really hurts. To anyone complaining about people “only seeing you for your beauty” and about “being worth so much more than that” — just stop. People like you are the reason that men are afraid to tell women “you look nice today,” for fear of sexual harassment accusations. No one is saying “you’re pretty, and that’s your only value,” and you’re a moron if you take it that way. It’s a compliment. You don’t get to complain about a compliment because it wasn’t accompanied by more compliments. Do you get mad when someone compliments your shoes just because they didn’t compliment your whole outfit? No? Then you don’t get to get upset when someone tells you you’re pretty, but didn’t in that moment also tell you that you’re smart and funny.
2. You’re Rich
Man, people out there are brutal, huh? Money is the number one thing we’re all after, and people are accusing you of having it? Assholes! Do as you please to debunk this stereotype by boasting about all the girls in your chapter with student loans and waitressing jobs — not that that’s a bad thing! But last I checked, coming from money wasn’t a bad thing, either.
3. You Party
Here’s where people start to really get offended — when people say that sorority girls (and fraternity guys) like to drink, it’s as if they’re being accused of murder. Now, before you start rambling off to me about community service, answer me this question: do you like to drink? Do you drink multiple nights a week? Okay, and even you, sober Sally — you don’t drink, but do your friends? OF COURSE THEY DO. Because you’re in college, and college is one big party! If you’re Greek, you’re just more likely to get invited to it. Why are you people so offended by outsiders assuming you have a social life?
4. You’re Dumb
Alright, I can see why this upsets you, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. People don’t think you’re dumb because you’re in a sorority. They think you’re dumb because of the way you talk. Yes, it’s unfair. Yes, it’s a judgment made without merit. No, you’re not the only group to be subject to this type of judgment. In fact every group in this country is judged for the way they talk. If you have an accent or dialect AT ALL that varies even slightly from Standard American English, people will think you’re an idiot. New York accent? Dumb. Boston accent? Dumb. Southern accent? Dumb. West Coast accent? Dumb. Foreign accent? Dumb. AAEV? Dumb. No one can escape it. If you don’t speak perfect English — and you don’t — people assume you aren’t smart. Get over it. And if you can’t get over it, then stop it. Stop with the vocal fry. Stop with the uptalk. Stop saying “like.” Stop abbreviating your words. Stop sounding dumb, and people will stop thinking you’re dumb.
However, let’s just say you truly are offended by people thinking you’re fun, rich, and pretty “before they get to know you.” Your arguments refuting those stereotypes PROVE. NOTHING. Every single one of you says the same thing “to defend Greek life” every single time, and you are making us sound worse.
“But we do philanthropy events and hundreds of hours of community service in the community!”
It’s your goddamn answer for everything. Sorority girls all dress the same. Yeah, but we do community service! Sorority girls are so loud. But thousands of dollars a year! Sorority girls are spoiled. We’re making a difference, though!
Give it a rest.
I won’t get into the fact that you do hundreds of man hours of community service, which really boils down to two-four hours a semester by each sister, because that’s irrelevant. My real issue here is that being a philanthropist and being a party girl are not mutually exclusive. You’re acting as if every 40-year-old divorcee at a charity ball doesn’t have a wine and pill problem. You can absolutely spend your days volunteering — but that doesn’t stop you from spending your nights drinking. And there’s nothing wrong with that! What is the problem with acting young while you’re young? Why do you have to cite the mandatory community service hours your sorority makes you do to make yourself feel better about that?
“Sorority women have higher GPAs than non-affiliated women.”
True. Sorority women do usually have higher GPAs than non-affiliated women, on average about a tenth of a grade point higher, but like I said earlier, your affiliation is not the reason people think you’re dumb. The way to combat that stereotype is not to color-coordinate your notes in the library and brag about your chapter’s 3.2 GPA when the all-women’s GPA is a 3.1. It’s all in your voice. It’s the way you present yourself. No one cares about your GPA.
“I’ve made long-lasting friendships.”
This is definitely another positive about Greek life! It also has literally nothing to do with the party girl airhead stereotype you’re trying to combat. Literally nothing.
When you use these arguments, it sounds like they’re the only arguments you have. Maybe they are, I don’t know. Or maybe you’re ugly, and poor, and you don’t drink — and if you want to start promoting those ideals, because the sorority stereotypes are too negative for you, then go for it. But I say, buck up, be proud, and admit, yeah. Some of those stereotypes are true. They don’t mean you’re a bad person. And no one is saying that those are the only things that are true about you. But stop being so ashamed of being a “typical” sorority girl. Stop pretending to be offended by the stereotypes, just to feel like you’re a piece this outrage culture pie. Just let the haters hate, and live your life, because the way I see it, your life is pretty awesome..