Soraya Chemaly describes the fraternity scene on college campuses.
Feminists United, a group at the University of Mary Washington, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education asserting that their school did little or nothing to address death and rape threats made on Yik Yak [an anonymous social media app] after they protested a rugby team’s sexist chant and argued that there was a connection between Greek culture and sexual assault. Sexual assault ranks second in fraternity insurance claims, men in fraternities are three times more likely to rape than their non-fraternity peers, they consume more objectifying content and are more accepting of rape myths. The connection is entirely valid and well-documented; it’s just that no one likes the information.
Oh, those feminists. Complaining about a song? About idle chatter on social media? It’s harmless! They’re just venting! Free speech! Get a thicker skin!
But then Chemaly goes a step further than traditional public media: she quotes the words and song lyrics these fraternities were using. You won’t see it in a newspaper or on TV because they’re so obscene that they can’t broadcast them. They expose such a horrifying, demeaning view of women and minorities that it shocked me.
I’m not talking about using four-letter words — that doesn’t faze me in the slightest. It’s about violence and hatred. Here’s one filtered and edited example:
SAE, the largest fraternity in the country, is as plagued by misogyny as it is racism, which is usually the case considering that they mutually construct one another. SAE is hardly alone. In March, for example, employees at a restaurant in North Carolina discovered a notebook left behind by Pi Kappa Phi members, the text of which included: “It will be short and painful, just like when I rape you,” “If she’s hot enough, she doesn’t need a pulse,” and “That tree is so perfect for lynching.” This was described, in classically unhelpful understatement, as “racially and sexually charged language.”
But do read the other stuff Chemaly quotes. These are people who think they are cultivating the future leadership of the country.
I say…shut ’em all down.