An Odyssey creator has recently come under fire for an article titled "8 Reasons Why I'll Never Date A Frat Boy"and for good reasons. The article depicts every harmful stereotype imaginable that is targeted towards fraternity men. And although stereotypes exist for a reason, making general assumptions about a group of hundreds of thousands of men across the country based on the actions of a few is illogical and just plain wrong.
Before I begin, I want to make it clear that this is not an attack on the author, this is simply a response article debunking some of the arguments made in her article. My intention to educate others on this topic that is often wrongly stereotyped by all types of media and share some of my personal experiences.
When I first read this article, I couldn't help but think of myself from a few years ago when I went to my first frat party. I remember straightening my hair in the bathroom in my dorm while a girl on my floor berated me with every stereotype in the book. A part of me almost gave in and stayed in that night, but if I hadn't gone out that night I would have missed out on some of my best memories of college. The thought of a freshmen or sophomore girl reading this article and deciding to stay in that night instead of taking on the opportunity to make new friends didn't sit right with me. This is for girls on the fence about whether or not they should go to that one party, but also for the amazing fraternity men I have met throughout college that I am proud to call my friends.
1. "A fraternity is a breeding ground for sexual assault."
It is a no secret that sexual assault occurs on college campuses and it is a tragedy. Sometimes the assailant of these crimes are fraternity members, and when they are chapters take them seriously. What the author fails to do in this argument is provide a concrete example. In fact, the author used the UVA rape case reported in "Rolling Stone"which has the same level of validity as the Duke Lacrosse case that shocked the country a decade ago. The author tries to dismiss the argument by claiming something "may have happened" to the accuser but this case has become infamous for the lies and lies like these are ones that contribute to the false belief that all rapes are made up, which makes it harder for survivors to come forward and seek justice, just like the girl in the Duke Lacrosse case.
There are a couple of bad apples out there in the fraternity world and it's not cool and a very unfair representation of the community as a whole. A good portion of my friends in fraternities actively stand up against assault and in fact come to the defense of a survivor of sexual assault.
2. "Those stupid socials."
Believe it or not, some of us actually really enjoy those socials. The author's argument is that she wouldn't want her boyfriend to be in a fraternity because of the socials with other sororities. Honestly, if you have a problem with your boyfriend socializing with other girls that is a problem between you and him that has nothing to do with Greek life, there are clearly some trust issues there. I know multiple fraternity men in committed relationships that still attend these socials and are friends with many different girls, and they are all completely platonic. Hell, a good portion of my guy friends have girlfriends and I'm friends with both of them.
3. "It's a white-centric culture. Do you really want to be associated with that?"
The author cites an example of six Greek chapters with racist party themes, which is a rather unfair argument since there are thousands of Greek chapters around the country. Simply picking out six bad apples is picking on less than one percent of the entire community isn't a very productive way to prove a point. It is no secret that there have been race-related issues within the Greek community such as the video of a racist chant from SAE at University of Oklahoma which was an embarrassment to the community as a whole. Not a single fraternity man I know condoned this act. As a matter of fact, like the good people they are, they were outraged. This point is only backed up by a couple of bad apples and has no reflection on fraternity men as a whole whatsoever.
4. "They're obnoxious."
The author cites a YouTube video that is now private, but from research I have discovered that this video involved men of the BYX fraternity at UT Knoxville participating in Delta Gamma's philanthropy event. If you look into the comments, you can see a Delta Gamma sister (this girl is the real MVP here) extending an invitation to the event to the author to learn more about the Greek community.
As a whole, college students are known to be loud and "obnoxious" and if you don't want to be a part of it, that's cool, but don't shame the ones who like to have harmless fun while at college.
Hazing is a problem and when it is discovered it is always taken seriously. Hazing has also died down, you don't see the hazing you see in movies on college campuses these days. The author cites a couple of examples, yet her credibility is seen as invalid when she uses the website "Greek Rank" as a source, whose reliability factor is similar to "The National Enquirer."
6. "Alcohol? Stay very far away."
If you don't want to drink in college, that's cool, and same for those who want to. Fraternity members aren't required to drink, and from my experience at parties, nobody really cares if you don't want to drink that night. Is there a lot of drinking at frat parties? Yes, but college students as a whole tend to drink a lot. Plus, partying isn't what Greek life is all about. The guys in the fraternity I have spent the most time around in college are brothers in every sense of the word. Their organization isn't about partying, it's about brotherhood and the friendships you make.
7. "Party, party, party."
This is the one that got to me the most. The author claims "The only reason he's even dating you is to parade you around in front of his little frat brothers, like 'oh look, here's my latest.'" I have literally never seen or heard of this happen in my entire life.
This argument suggests that fraternity men only see women as sex objects. As I have mentioned above in a previous point, many of the fraternity men I know are in committed relationships. When I want to a date function with one of my guy friends we just went to have a good time, he didn't parade me around like an object because he's not the misogynistic asshole this article paints all fraternity men to be. I've been single all throughout college and my guy friends respect that. Through many of the relationships I have seen throughout college, the respect is mutual.
I'll take the time right now to say that my fraternity guy friends have been there for me through some of the toughest times in my college career. They're always there to pick me up when I'm down and I can be my true authentic self around them. For a girl who had a ridiculously low sense of self-esteem upon arriving at college, that's a pretty big deal. I've become much more confident in the past few years, and I owe some of that to my fraternity guy friends who surround me with kindness and always encourage me to be myself.
To stereotype them all as parading women around as objects is downright insulting.
8. "They're not really here to study."
Although the GPA chart the author uses as an example is pretty low, students in Greek life tend to have higher GPAs than the overall student population. This is due to mandatory study hours and a GPA requirement to stay in the chapter. I'd go as far as to argue that some of my fraternity guy friends show more ambition than the average student, many are involved members of the community and are using their time in college to prepare for successful careers.
The author ends this piece saying "I do want to say that not all Fraternity boys are alike. Every now and then, you'll find a nice one and you'll be like, "Where did you come from?" That one, just maybe, might be okay to date. Unless he's voting for Trump. Which he probably is."
When the rest of your post is dedicated to taking fraternity men down, a conclusion like this is completely irrelevant.