Sorority Sobriety

Another fine example of the nurturing, loving, solidarity of sisterhood MTF folks so often pine over.

9 Replies to “Sorority Sobriety”

  1. I don’t know. It sounded like the chapter itself was very nurturing — half of those who weren’t thrown out left in solidarity. I think that’s pretty impressive, actually.

    But your point is very well taken.

  2. This situation is really unfortunate and short-sighted but a terrific example at how diversity gets crushed by institutionalized systems that pretend to be doing something good, “Hey, we’re only trying to raise recruitment numbers.”

    I’ve been following this one for awhile as my colleague’s daughter—she’s the one featured in the second picture—has been in the middle of this. What a lovely parting experience for her senior year. It is a sober reminder of how categories get valorized at the expense of people’s humanity, and that is something those who inhabit T-World know intimately well. In the words of one rapper, “And it don’t stop.”

  3. Wow, Katherine. Glory to your colleague’s daughter; pass it on, if you can.

    Megan, don’t write ’em all off. My fraternity mailing list is currently discussing the story, with unanimous disgust. I just suggested (yes, from my Catherine address) that we send a letter of salute and encouragement to the expellees and the rebels, along with 29 forms for transfer application to MIT. We might even be able to rush them, depending on the present state of our seesaw struggle aganst our national organization to go co-ed.

  4. One other point…there was tremendous solidarity among the women of the sorority itself. The national organization has problems, but the local women seem to me to be wonderful people.

  5. Such battles are not uncommon, I think. My fraternity chapter lasted three years. Midway through the third year the National gave up on us completely–wouldn’t even answer our letters.

  6. I can understand Megan’s POV. I “went Greek” in college. It was my “military experience” that many T*s go through (I thought joining a fraternity would “make a man out of me”). Obviously, it failed. My home chapter was mostly a group of College Republican-type homophobes and little assholes out for doing every pretty blonde Kappa and drinking every weekend. I got shit for dating women from the sorority that had the “girls with the good personalities.” Hell, they were more interesting in that one, not all blondie Orange County, cookie-cutter types! However, I encountered good people and lifelong friends in chapters at other schools.

    There is good and bad in every Fraternity and Sorority. I’m glad to hear that Jade, and I know where you’re coming from, Megan.

  7. from genderpac:

    Slim, Pretty, White? Sorority Wants You (Other Women Need Not Apply)

    WASHINGTON (March 1, 2007) — If you’re a young woman who is of color, majors in math or science, or is overweight – there is a place for you on campus. It’s just not with Delta Zeta Sorority. In a “membership review” that has a campus community outraged, national representatives of the sorority dismissed all of the DePauw University chapter’s black, Korean, Vietnamese and overweight members.

    The national sorority’s efforts to revitalize its image and strengthen recruitment efforts at DePauw University, resulted in only twelve members — all of whom would be considered thin and “pretty” by conventional standards — being invited to remain and help grow the chapter. Six of those members have quit the sorority in protest.

    “College should be about cultivating the next generation of female presidents, community leaders and executives — not enforcing a narrow and unrealistic Barbie-doll code of femininity,” said Brittney Hoffman, Youth Coordinator for the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition. “Believe me, I work with college youth everyday — no matter who this sorority purges, they’re not going to be able to restrict the thinking of young women to focus only on make-up, model figures, and men.”

    As part of the membership review, officials staged a recruitment event on the DePauw campus that only included “pretty” chapter members and “slender” sorority members from the Indiana University chapter. The remaining chapter members were asked to remain in their rooms.

    “They had these unassuming freshman girls downstairs with these ‘plastic’ women from Indiana University, and 25 of my sisters hiding upstairs. It was so fake, so completely dehumanized,” said Kate Holloway, a senior who quit the sorority during the membership review.

    23 chapter members were transferred from active to alumna status, which required them to vacate the sorority house and find alternate housing before the start of the second semester. University officials have called the “membership review” an unacceptable disruption in the academic lives of its students- leaving many uncertain about housing arrangements and unable to focus on year-end assignments. Several former members have pulled out of classes – attributing their withdrawal to depression.

    According to Hoffman, recent studies have linked hyper-sexualized ideals of women to increasing rates of depression, low self-esteem, and eating disorders among girls and women. A forthcoming University of Illinois study of high school girls found that nearly one-half (47%) of students witnessed girls being teased and verbally taunted for not being “feminine enough” and one-third (34%) have seen girls who aren’t “feminine enough” excluded from groups.

    Delta Zeta Sorority has issued a statement that summarily dismisses accusations that the membership decisions were based on race or nationality. The statement does not directly address any physical appearance or popularity criteria that may have been used in the process.

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