Fraternities and misogyny: A fine line

Chloe Williams, Assistant Web Editor

Trigger Warning: Discussion of sexual assault and rape

As Greek life recruitment renews and our campus is bombarded with groups promising the feelings of brotherhood and community, it has become impossible to look at these groups with an optimistic eye. The misogyny and rape culture promoted by fraternities is irrefutable and they need to be held accountable for their actions. 

Going into college, you are warned of the dangers and risks of attending these events hosted by fraternities. You are told to watch your cup, to not take drinks from strangers and to never go anywhere alone. Rather than condemn the organizations harboring these individuals, women are blamed for what happens to them. With the overwhelming statistics stacked against them and the rate of sexual assault among college students at 26.4% of females and 6.8% of males, it is hard to ignore that men in fraternities are three times more likely to commit sexual assault.

Rooted in their age-old practices of rating girls on scales of one through ten, as well as picking and choosing who can and cannot enter their “acclaimed” parties, these men are doing anything but promoting a sense of community. Most fraternities view their parties as an exchange; fraternities provide a location and drink, and then use girls to fill the void that is left. At most frat parties, men are outnumbered ten to one, making sure their chances and advances toward these too-drunk-to-consent girls pay off eventually. 

Women in sororities are not immune to these experiences and in reality are 74% more likely to be raped than other college students. While fraternities seem to have an endless supply of alcohol, sororities are forbidden to provide alcohol at any events. This blatantly misogynistic double standard affects not only the party aspects of Greek life, but also takes the double standard to a personal level. Sorority girls are subject to tough scrutiny on outfits, social media posts and can even be “blacklisted” for any of their personal choices. 

Sexual assault, date rape drugs and roofies are all too common at fraternity parties. The sad truth is that most universities would rather cover up the situations — letting sexual assault cases get swept under the rug. Big fraternities at power schools, where Greek life is an accustomed part of life on campus, are taught to keep things “hush, hush” as to not impede on future social events and plans. Rather than hold these members accountable, fraternities protect them to avoid tarnishing their never clean reputation. 

While all fraternities aren’t bad and some, at their root, seem to shape young men into positive leaders, it is impossible to recognize the benefits without first establishing the faults. Fraternities promote sexism, discrimination and sexual assault. They have, since their creation, given these men a vessel to promote and spread their misogyny.