Image via Dawniaa on flickr.
I am not an outsider who laughs at Greek life. I’m actually part of the system- and I love being in my sorority. There are, however, some issues I have with the Greek life system overall.
I joined my sorority my second year at school, and through it I met so many new amazing women. I was even elected Philanthropy Chair, and that has given me the opportunity to lead my sisters in service endeavors; with 140 women working together this past spring we raised money for girls to go to summer camp in upstate New York, ran a book drive to raise money for Prevent Child Abuse NY, and more. I’m proud to be a part of my sorority, but at the same time there are aspects of Greek life that bother me.
The social structure that we lock into as a sorority is, for lack of a better word, stupid. Here’s how it works: sororities are dry and fraternities are not. This means there is absolutely NO alcohol allowed in the sorority houses. If the fraternities host all the parties, decide who gets to come, and provide all the alcohol, who holds all the power? Frat parties are fun –my friends and I are even known to take our costumes to the next level. But there is a problem with the structure because it promotes an unbalanced social scene.
I asked my sorority sister what she thought:
“it’s a problem, but you wouldn’t immediately say that because it seemingly benefits everyone. Boys throw parties, supply the alcohol and girls don’t have to clean up the mess or live there.”
So if we don’t have to pay for the party or clean up, what are we complaining about? The fraternity brothers have complete control. You are in his house and have to listen to what he says. This gives them a sense of entitlement, which can be dangerous. I’m not trying to say that at every frat party every guy takes advantage of his power, but it does happen: a Jezebel article once said:
In the 1920s, frat guys started worrying that living together and being all friendly with each other would make them seem gay. Solution: public demonstrations of dominance over women, including rape …
men who are in fraternities are more likely to rape than men who aren’t, and [...] frat boys may perpetrate 70 to 90% of college gang rapes.”
My friend thinks sororities shouldn’t take action on this because they “already have a bad rep.” It is not about alcohol though; it is about the unnerving power structure that continues to go unchecked at universities throughout the country. Parties are not places where power should come into play; the idea that sorority sisters cannot host parties in their own houses isn’t preventative action against drinking: instead, it enforces dangerous behavior that encourages male dominance.