In Praise of (Non)Imaginary Skins

MTV’s Skins has drummed up some serious controversy thanks to a wildly popular UK predecessor, an eye-catching advertising campaign and consciously salacious storylines. The Parents’ Television Council  and reviewers alike are up in arms about the more explicit nature of the series, which airs on a channel that daily attracts millions of impressionable teen viewers. Advertisers have already pulled out of Skins, in fact, for fear that underage actors engaging in simulated sex and drinking in just about every episode could be construed as child pornography.

As with any movie or series that depicts sex, there is also always that conversation about whether it’s gratuitous or not. In regards to the UK Skins, Feministing’s “7 feminist reasons” is worth checking out to understand how the show successfully toed that line:

6. Teen sex is portrayed with nuance and respect and without hand-wringing and slut-shaming. The lack of moralizing extends to sex as well. And there’s a lot of it in Skins. Some sex is between couples, some is between friends, some is between strangers. Some is emotionally fulfilling, some isn’t. Some is physically satisfying, some isn’t. The girls are just as likely to have casual sex as the guys, and the guys are just as likely to want a relationship as the girls. (Suffice it to say, Skins doesn’t buy into any myths about oxytocin.) Perhaps even more importantly, in Skins, characters of both genders have both committed and casual sex at different times. Kinda like in real life! And because neither guys or girls are defined by their sexual behavior, that’s not at all strange. Skins recognizes that a girl who’s been having lots of emotionally meaningless sex can still get chills when she touches the hand of the boy she’s falling for. As Samhita wrote yesterday, “We all have feelings and we all like to fuck…Deal with it.” And Skins deals with it quite nicely.

Really, I couldn’t have said it better. Yes, Skins can be graphic, but its inclusion of sex and drugs often feel like realistic developments for these teen characters rather than gratuitousness displays of wanton behavior. There seems to be something about showing teens engaging in risque acts that immediately makes it unacceptable, even if it’s realistic and complex.

Much criticism surrounding MTV’s Skins, ironically, is that it is gratuitous even after MTV watered it down from the original UK version. Ms. Magazine‘s blog, in fact, calls the first episode out as sexist. But the beauty of television is that the story and characters don’t stop at the first episode: if MTV plays its cards right, it could follow in the steps of the UK version and create a nuanced, layered world that actually goes in-depth on teen issues rather than stigmatize sex a la Secret Life of the American Teenager.

…OR it could be a massive disappointment and make no strides whatsoever. But only time will tell.

Celebrity Rape Culture’s Impact on College Life

Celebrity behavior and media messages impact our understanding of the world: what does hip-hop teach us?

Celebrity behavior and media messages impact our understanding of the world: what does hip-hop teach us?

Rape culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. It is not coincidental that the age group arguably most exposed to popular culture – that is, college age students – is the same age group that suffers the highest rate of rape.

Rape culture is often normalized and perpetuated by mainstream media and carried out in hyper- masculine environments. The media’s normalization of violence against women and rape culture, specifically in the world of hip-hop, has a big impact among college fraternities, particularly at American University. (more…)

“Advance Consent” In The Courts

Photo via Ell Brown on flickr.

Photo via Ell Brown on flickr.

Jezebel’s recent piece “The Slippery Slope of ‘Advance Consent'” is, to say the least, complicated. The story can be summarized with this excerpt:

The woman has been locked in a custody battle with the man, who also has a history of domestic violence convictions. The two had agreed to try erotic asphyxiation and had discussed anal sex, but the woman said she hadn’t consented to what she woke up to, which was anal penetration with a dildo.

The man was convicted of sexual assault, but then a higher court overturned his conviction, saying she had essentially consented to sexual activity before she blacked out. They framed it as an issue of not criminalizing adult activity, which is confused to say the least.

The questions coming out of this case are many: is advance consent a real, legitimate, and legal concept? Does advance consent work if you aren’t in the right state of mind to think about taking it back or talking it out? And it brings up issues that are more familiar and easier to delve into: No, consent for one sexual activity is not consent for another. No, sex with an unconscious person is not okay.

According to the court decision and transcript, the act of anal penetration was something the two had discussed at a previous time when they were “experimenting,” and no final decision was made:

A. Well, as I had said before, we had done the choking before, so yes, that had already been discussed. The tying up, that was almost common routine at the time, so yes, that was also discussed, and we had discussed other – yes, that other final point matter with the butt, and we had both expressed, I guess, a certain interest in what it would be like.

Q. Okay. When you said you discussed what was allowed and what was not allowed, what did you indicate to him was not allowed?

A. That was something we had discussed long before the events in question, so it wasn’t like we sat there that night and stated what was going to happen and what was not going to happen. I mean, it was quite spontaneous what happened that evening. Certain things not allowed, just silly things like, when I say let me go or we are done, then we’re done. Just certain things like that, basically stating ground rules.

When cases like this are “debated” the consequences belong to all of us. The longer it is considered “questionable” to commit sexual acts with unconcious people, or commit acts you do not have explicit consent for, and the longer judges “deliberate” about whether women consented to acts they define as rape the longer all people will suffer from a culture and society that doesn’t care about their sexual health, emotional well-being, or physical safety. This case of “advance consent,” and the idea that it is unclear whether this act was okay, is more than a “slippery slope.” It’s a large slide backward.

DIY Frat Culture.

Photo via Goldberg on flickr.

Photo via Goldberg on flickr.

The recent slew of sexual assaults on my own campus, and THE LINE’s own Hot Safe Spring Break program have gotten me thinking about fraternity culture and its representations. Often, the media portrays fraternities as a hotbed of high-risk behavior, including unsafe sex, excessive alcohol consumption and most horrifyingly, as an incubator for a generation of youth socialized into rape culture. Sometimes, I worry this is true –think about the recent events involving DKE at Yale.

However, as a woman who’s been involved in the ongoings of a fraternity throughout my college career, I beg to differ. The word ‘fraternity’ should not send tremors of fear through the bodies of young women, nor through the minds of their terrified teachers and parents. The word ‘fraternity’ simply means a community, regardless of whether brothers prefer playing beer pong, or sitting around making scary puppets out of cardboard. It is the unfortunate consequence of normative cultural beliefs and masculine ritual that they have become unsafe places for women, homosexual, trans and queer individuals.


Why Don’t We Date?

Photo via.

I’ve noticed with my generation that there is a lack of dating. Isn’t dating the way we are supposed to find out if we like someone? It seems like things are working backwards: people meet one another at parties, hook up, and perhaps begin dating after that. I know that there are people out there on dates, but I’ve found that dating isn’t typical among my peers.

I’m confused by this- what is it about dating we hate? Is it too time-consuming for a generation endlessly rushing around? Is it too personable for kids used to the computer screen? According to Journalism professor Daniel Reimold, who interviewed different sex columnists from universities around the country, dating is passé- too boring.

Q: Are monogamy and romance really “dying” on today’s college campuses?

A: Yes, along with dating. The columns’ declarations about their impending deaths are general or symbolic at times, but the sentiments are clear: Students nowadays exist mainly within a casual-sex-centric or “hook-up” culture. It is a socially ambiguous set-up filled with people whom students randomly meet, sleep with, and never see again, and individuals on students’ cell phone speed dial lists available for commitment-free sex after a quick “booty call.”
Collegiate couplings exist, columns note, but they skip the courting period, rushing from straight sex to hardcore commitment at a blistering pace and accompanied by heavy drinking and sexual activity typically from a pair’s first meeting. As a Cornell Daily Sun columnist once wrote, “People here don’t date. They either couple up and act married or do the random one night hook up thing.” A separate columnist refers to the loss of what she calls “dating with a lowercase ‘d,’ ” or the more casual one-on-one activities traditionally known as courting that “on the relationship spectrum … falls after hooking up but before monogamous commitment.”

Is the Internet to blame for our lack of real life social interactions? Maybe dating isn’t casual enough – in many ways, people don’t really talk to one another in person anymore, or at least not in the same or as frequent ways. The thought of meeting up with someone for dinner can be rather intimidating: maybe it’s just easier to meet that person at a party. There’s less pressure and it’s not as awkward. But what are we scared of?

Honestly, I was a bit intimidated to go on a date this summer. This is how it played out: After meeting someone at a friend’s party, he had posted on my facebook wall that he wanted to hang out. After I saw his wall post I sent him a facebook message, and after some back and forth he gave me his cell phone number. I heard my mom in the back of my head: “you have to put yourself out there!” I texted him. Finally, we agreed on meeting up for dinner.

But in the end, it was great! We went to a low-key dinner, and then walked over to Central Park. We even caught a bit of the New York Philharmonic concert and saw fireworks. Sparks did not fly between the two of us, but I’m ok with that. It was a nice night and I’m glad I went out with him. I feel as if we got over the social networking hump- we sucked it up and met up in real life.

Yes, dating can be awkward and uncomfortable, but so can hookups. It may be different, but it’s brave and it’s oftentimes exciting. I’m not suggesting that every relationship needs to start in some antiquated way, but I think dating can be an appealing alternative to randomly hooking-up. I’m not sure why so many of my classmates and friends, and seemingly an entire youth culture, oppose what is a quality, controlled method for meeting new people and exploring new flames.

What do you think?

Parties, Social Control, and Greek Life

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.

Drug Raped by a Stranger, Humiliated by the Islington Police


My name is Danielle and I moved to London in 2000 from Boston. In December 2006 I was out for holiday drinks in the West End with co-workers and after being turned away from the Cro-Bar for being too drunk I found myself alone at 1 am and drunkenly tried to find my way home. I was spotted by an opportunist who took me for a few drinks, spiked it and then raped me. When I got home just before dawn I was confused and uncertain and told my husband as soon as I got in that I may have had sex with someone though not sure with whom or why I would have had sex (we had just celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary and were happily married). I had him examine me for bruises or signs of a struggle before getting into the shower.

The next morning I went to the GP to get examined and see if sexual intercourse had actually taken place and if so would they be able to determine if any protection had been used. If some stranger had unprotected sex with me I wanted to be able take any precautions against possible exposure to HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. After explaining what little I could recall my GP looked alarmed and said that it sounded like I had been drugged and raped. He urged me to go to the police at once. I told him that I couldn’t possibly be a rape victim since I was notorious for countering advances at bars by punching men in the face (knocking one to the floor on one occasion). I also recall seeing so many stories of false accusation in the paper and would not want to put someone through that. I assured my doctor that if more of the details came to me and I had been raped I would call the police. I returned home and lay in bed shaking uncontrollably and feeling freezing cold. I put 3 layers of clothes and blankets on and called the GUM clinics with no answer. I found out later that this was a classic symptom of coming down from GHB or liquid ecstasy which was the only drug the forensic team hadn’t tested me for. Around 3 in the afternoon a detail came to me confirming my worst fears- that I had been raped. I wept uncontrollably and began what has been the hardest, most traumatic journey of my life.

Having known friends, family, colleagues who have been raped or fallen prey to some form of sex assault I had always vowed that if it ever happened to me I would come forward and pursue the matter. After all, I didn’t rape anyone so what did I have to be ashamed of? I should point out that I am not a big drinker, and probably on average get drunk about 3 or 4 times a year. I dress conservatively and try hard not to draw attention to myself. I am married, have a teen aged daughter a professional job and am a home owner. I am also now further proof that anyone is vulnerable to rape or sexual assault.

I was examined by the forensic doctor after 11 that evening. I was not thrilled about being examined by a man considering the circumstances but was already aware at how much time had passed and how important this exam was to find my attacker. He took my blood and while doing so informed me that drug rape was an urban myth and that no case had ever been linked with rohypnol when I asked about the possibility of it still showing up in my system. I have since learned that it is very hard for rohypnol to be found since it leaves the system very quickly which is why it is commonly used for rape. GHB, or liquid ecstasy is similar. Later in the exam he told me to stop crying and tried to joke with me that it was like having a manicure while he swabbed under my fingernails for traces of my attacker. I cried even harder. He was also growing increasingly frustrated that I was unable to relax while I was being swabbed and that by that point I was sobbing uncontrollably.

If being raped in itself was a dreadful experience, my dealings with the Islington Police Sapphire Unit were in some ways more harrowing and traumatic. The Sapphire Unit was a special unt specifically trained to handle rape cases. If this unit was trained to deal with rape, I hated to think what the other departments were like. I had a detective constable (or DC as they are called in the UK) who treated me with doubt and suspicion from the outset and who almost seemed to find sadistic pleasure in ringing me up at work and leaving me in a tearful state. Afraid they wouldn’t do their jobs properly I was afraid to make trouble so had my husband contact the police liaison to see if she could deal with me exclusively since the DC had a tendency to upset me. The police liaison agreed with my husband that some people found the DC’s manner a bit brusque and intimidating and assured him that she would look into.

We never heard a word from the police liaison again and from then on dealt exclusively with the DC. Against all odds they actually managed to find a DNA match in the criminal database using the semen sample they were able to swab from my cervix. They couldn’t give me his name or details of his previous conviction although I was just relieved they found him and could prevent him from putting any other woman through what I had gone through.

The DC interviewed him and had apparently informed her that I wasn’t very drunk at all (despite the CCTV footage of me reeling uncontrollably and stumbling about in front of the Cro-bar) and that it was my idea to go out. I also allegedly told this man that my husband wouldn’t mind my sleeping with him and that I did that sort of thing all the time. This struck me as unusual since I have never in my life done anything of the sort and this incident had a profoundly traumatising effect on my husband, daughter and family. The DC then began to cross examine me over the phone as I sobbed about details that had at that point taken place 6 months ago. I had a hard time piecing details together for that night since I had blacked out for most of it.

That night I was inconsolable. After about 4 hours of sobbing tears anger, frustration and defeat I resolved to call the DC and get another officer on the case. The next day I stayed home from work and I rang the DC to confront her about her about her interview/questioning manner and explain that I find her manner towards me hostile. She responded that this exactly the sort of questioning I would get in court and is unapologetic about her manner. I ask if there is anyone else I can liaise with and she says no, that I have no choice but to deal with her. She then said that personally she doesn’t think that I was raped but that I just got drunk and had sex with this stranger and then hangs up. Horrified, I immediately ring back and request to speak to the DC’s boss, the police Sergeant. After several attempts the Police Sgt rings me back and I explain what his DC said and how she hung up and that I do not want her on my case since she clearly does not believe I was raped and that her presenting to Crown Prosecution Service on my behalf would prejudice the case being brought to court. The sergeant assures me that I can liaise directly through him but that the DC has to present to CPS and that her opinion will have no bearing on my case. He also tells me that she is a very senior officer who has worked very hard on my case. I don’t doubt this and tell him so but it still doesn’t change what she said to me, how she treated me or that she hung up on me. I tell him I want to file a complaint against his detective constable.

The following week the Islington Police Sergeant comes to my office to tell me that the CPS have decided not to pursue my case as it was unlikely to result in a successful prosecution. They cited my testimony as unreliable with the blackouts and suggested I had gone along with the attack rather than fought him off. The sergeant then went on to refer to the attacker as “this gentleman”. I was horrified at his choice of words considering this man had raped me. This man had a pre-existing criminal record and was now being called a gentleman. This gentleman was at best an opportunist, at worst a rapist but never a gentleman. I told the sergeant I would also like to file an official complaint against the DC. He asked if I was sure I wanted to do that as she was a very senior officer and had worked very hard on my case. I said that I wanted to ensure she never treated another victim in the manner I had been treated again. I wanted it on her record should anyone else make a complaint.

I felt utterly hopeless and depressed at the loss but took consolation knowing that I did what I had to do. A friend of mine in the US sent me the details of Women Against Rape in London and suggested I get in touch. I rang them and told them my story and about the police treatment and was both comforted and horrified to learn that the treatment I had received was not uncommon. They ensured my attacker’s details were circulated to the various Police stations throughout London in the (likely) event he should strike again and his next victim decides to come forward. They also petitioned the CPS to review my case a second time which though unsuccessful still made me heard. They gave me the details of a wonderful solicitor who specialised in cases such as mine and helped me file a complaint against the Islington police for both the treatment I had received for the DC and the sergeant’s referral to my attacker as a gentleman. I paid £500 to file this to ensure it was done properly since I could have done it myself for free but had no faith in the police or the justice system whatsoever. A year later I was told that after an internal investigation they found no wrongdoing on behalf of the DC though ironically the Police Sergeant would be officially warned in his treatment of me. The solicitor also told me that I could make an application with the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority). It usually took over year to process but would probably result in a small settlement that I could use towards therapy or a much needed break.

Since my attack I have been candid and open with colleagues, friends, family and even the media (appearing on BBC as well as in the Washington Post) about my experiences. The reaction I seem to receive most often from people is that they or someone they know (friend, family member, partner, etc) has had a similar experience. I found that nearly every time I shared my experience with someone I realised with increasing horror that sex attacks on both women and men alike occur a lot more frequently than anyone would think. One evening a dear friend of mine suggested we compile stories of people all over the world to illustrate just how widespread and far-reaching sexual abuse/ assault really is. It can happen to anyone anywhere. I think that by speaking out candidly about my experience I have grown stronger and stronger and have hopefully shown others that there is no shame whatsoever in being the victim of a sexual assault or abuse. If anything I have felt empowered by coming forward and standing up to my attacker who will hopefully now think twice before accosting another drunken woman in London as well as the detective constable who will hopefully treat her cases with more humanity.

Where I Feel SAFE.

Photo 101

The issue of consent, and our respective lines, came up fairly early in mine and my partner’s relationship. The morning after a night of heavy drinking, he asked if we had had sex that night. I replied that we hadn’t:  he was much too drunk, and I didn’t want to take advantage of him. He didn’t seem to find a problem with sex in such a state of inebriation, explaining that “having sex is something we would have done drunk or sober.”

My partner and I have very different views on what constitutes consent. For him, the green light is given at the beginning of the relationship, while I feel safer granting permission, be it verbally or nonverbally, each time, and staying in full control of my body and the situation. These kinds of boundaries must be reconciled and respected in order for any relationship to work.

I made it very clear at that point that if I am drunk- repeating conversations; blacked out; falling asleep in an alcohol-induced slumber- or otherwise too under the influence to make a conscious, responsible decision about whether or not I want to have sex, then I am to be left alone to pass out in peace. Even more unpleasant than a hangover is the feeling of being violated.

There is no gesture sexier, more attractive, more moving, or more conveying of respect, than waking up to find yourself still in last night’s clothes, curled into the same fetal position in which you fell asleep (with a blanket protectively draped over you), and turning over to see your partner fully clothed as well, surrounded by obvious signs of sexless evening. For me, that strict observance of my boundaries and respect for my line, my sense of safety, is more romantic than any traditional display of affection; consent is the modern woman’s jewelry and flowers and chocolates and white horses and chivalrous brouhaha.

How one defines safety in a sexual situation is difficult, as it is a concept that is subjective, often circular in its logic, and privy to changing at a moment’s notice. For me, however, safety is as simple as being with someone with whom saying “yes” is just as easy as saying “no.”

I’d Tell You: Just Ask!


Hello, everyone! My name is Sarah Haack, and I am part of the new crop of bloggers here at Where Is Your Line?

Originally from Richmond, Virginia, I now attend American University in Washington, DC (along with the fabulous Carmen Rios, fellow Vagina Monologues cast member and she-ro) as an Environmental Studies major. I will be studying Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden next year, but in the meantime, I am living in New York City, interning with the Girl Scouts of the USA, and learning the finer points of navigating bureaucracy, planning potlucks, and empowering women and girls.

I toured AU during the April of my senior year in high school, taking in the campus one last time before sending in my acceptance letter, and vividly remember the painted t-shirts strung throughout the student center in preparation for Take Back the Night, part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. One statistic struck me in particular: that one in three women are sexually assaulted. Still in high school and rather naive, this number resonated as tragic, but hollow, sympathetic but not empathetic. Two years later, I found myself standing on the before those t-shirts as a survivor. It is selfish, I admit, to not really take up a cause until it affects oneself directly, but when I was puff-painting my own statistic on that white v-neck after a realization that took a full year, I finally understood the impact of today’s hookup culture and its implications, and how important it is to open the lines of communication not just about sexual assault, but about sex itself. The perceived “gray area” of sexual assault needs to be eliminated, and replaced with standards where a YES! is just as important as a no.
I was drawn to Where Is Your Line? by its sex-positive attitude and celebration of sexuality. Consent is more than knowing when to say no, but also knowing you can say yes; it’s feeling safe enough to enjoy sex that meets your standards, whether it be with a long-term partner or a total stranger, and being strong enough to draw a line that is either non-negotiable or ever-changing. The pervasive rape culture in which we find ourselves dictates that our demeanor, our alcohol consumption, and even our outfits, are all indicators of our willingness to be sexual- and can be interpreted as such without any discussion. And yes, my miniskirt and five-inch heels are an expression of my sexuality, but that does not (necessarily) mean I want to share that with you. Believe me, if I did, you’d know it. I’d tell you. Just ask.

Greek Life and Sexual Assault: Challenging the Cycle of Violence on Campus

The fraternity I founded is diverse in thought, heritage, and class; we are generally a progressive and feminist-leaning group of men. On my campus, and arguably most campuses here in the US, however, Greek Life is a system built on sexism and the objectification, shaming, and abuse of women. My friend was a first-year student pledging the largest sorority on campus: this story is about her experience. (I obtained her consent to write about this beforehand.)

One night while I was walking to my fraternity’s house, a friend called me asking to be picked up from a mixer. She sounded scared and wanted to leave. My brothers were willing to go, but I dismissed the possibility that there was anything to be concerned about. After a little while, a car pulled into our driveway driven by one of her sisters. She was in the passenger seat, and when she came inside she told me that she had been uncomfortable with the men at the mixer. They had made fun of her and her sisters, saying they were going to fuck them later, slapping them on the ass, and refusing to give her their address so that someone could pick her up. She tried to leave the room, but the brothers barred the door and told her she had to stay. She pulled me into the bathroom and I tried to calm her down, but I was far from calm myself.

One of the most offensive things about the entire situation was the assumed status of women at a fraternity party as possessions without any agency, only there to fuck them and unable to exercise their right to come and go as they pleased. This is a horror story we all hear often, but I’m still appalled it actually happens. Any connection between two people based on love and attraction needs to exist through freedom, and any act of coercion is not an act of respect, openness, or mutuality. I wanted to act on the situation and make some sort of positive outcome, and I reached out to the other fraternity in anger, expressing my frustration with their actions to a close friend in their chapter in hopes that I could get them to understand the true magnitude of their behavior.

But in the end, nothing happened. My friend’s sorority sisters blamed her for “starting shit,” said that she just shouldn’t have caused a scene, and they were banned from ever partying at that house again. Her sisters dismissed and blamed her. Sexism and objectification are built into greek life, so much so that a popular saying on campus is that the only purpose for joining a sorority is to “do arts and crafts and suck frat boy cock.” In the end, I was disappointed in the idea of “sisterhood” as fleeting and hurtful, cold and blissfully ignorant of the issues they could be taking effective steps toward improving. Greek life doesn’t have to be about coercion, assault, danger, or pain- and my brothers and I refuse to support, justify, or ignore any actions that are.

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