I hope that freshmen women today will be as "charmed" by these as I would have been 20 years ago and stay far away from such immature misogyny.
That tends to be where I land, too. My reaction is more disbelief than outrage, just because this stuff seems so fundamentally stupid. I can't figure out quite what's going on, though my best hunches are oedipal complexes and/or homosocial bro-bonding run amok. In either case, it would, indeed, be smart for young women to steer way clear (all the more so because the whole thing is pretty clearly some sort of male-to-male battle/bonding that really has nothing to do with them). I would like to know where the sororities (including their national organizations) are in all this. It strikes me that they could shut this sort of behavior down immediately by reacting with a yearlong boycott of parties at any fraternity that posts such signs. No administrator action/interference required.
from Arnold in Annapolis:I'm one of the readers who sent in this article this morning. I've been so upset by this seemingly endless stream of Greek life misogyny. There's always an initial bit of outrage, but weeks later the frats are reinstated, and the predatory practice of incomplete male humans continues.As the father of a 15 year old girl who is dying to go to college, I'm nearly paralyzed with fear and rage about what kind of environment awaits her.
Yes. All of this.
I think it's all purile "I can't believe they are letting us get away with all of this" childishness. And we ARE letting them get away with it. Don't know how to stop it.I wonder how they would react if a proffie waking past stopped, knocked on their door, and tell them to get that fucking sign down right now..
I think either a popular "cool" (probably young) proffie of either gender or a respected older one (more likely male) could probably pull it off. (S)he'd need tenure, though (and confidence that tenure still offers real protection). The football (or perhaps basketball) coach could almost certainly pull it off (at least if (s)he's had a winning season sometime in recent memory, but coaches don't generally stay around if that isn't the case). It would also be interesting to see what happened if the university president knocked on the door and, rather than pulling rank, asked to come in and talk about why they'd posted the sign. Most university presidents don't do enough of the just-showing-up-where-there's-trouble that the best mayors do, I suspect. Of course, that means that the first question might well be whether the brothers would recognize who was knocking on their door. If not, hilarity (and/or serious mistakes, and consequences) might ensue. A delegation of local clergy of varying ages (either all-male, or mixed-gender skewing heavily male, with men* taking the lead) knocking and asking for a conversation might also be an interesting approach. My sense is that the guys who join fraternities are, at heart, rather conservative, and that many of them are likely to have faith roots of some sort, and might respond to a bit of reproof and admonishment from a religious leader. It seems to me that we've gotten into an odd situation where college students are technically adults, but aren't truly treated as adults in many ways, and end up trying to prove their adulthood in really juvenile ways. I suspect part of the answer might, paradoxically, be treating them more as adults, including having conversations that invite them to explain what they're trying to accomplish through things like the banners, rather than just writing more rules and regulations. But there's probably also a lot to be said for an authority figure barking "stop that!" now and then (as long as the reply isn't "you can't make us!"). What would almost certainly work would be a parade of different people/groups of people knocking to bark orders/ask questions/ask to come in and talk about it, because that would seriously interfere with the drinking (and/or, if such visits occurred early in the morning, the sleeping off the drinking. I'm thinking a persistent little old lady -- possibly a professor emerita -- walking her poodle at 6 a.m., and deciding she was going to get to the bottom of this *right now* might work best of all). *I first typed "males" there, but apparently we're not supposed to say/type that? I get that there are ways to use "females," especially, as a disparaging way to refer to women, but I'm not sure "males" would have been a problem above.