Somedays just leave you scratchin’ your head for no particular reason other than to bother you.  I haven’t had that day, but I figured I’d share even the remotest chance of a possibility with you.  No, it doesn’t make much sense, but then when does anything ever make sense?  Everything has been cool as of late, if anything, everyday holds a new surprise for me…including the interesting mystery of Barprah, but I don’t need to elaborate on that for now…

Who Will Survive…And What Will Be Left Of Them?

For those of you who know, or don’t know, I am a Greek…a frat boy if you will.  The how’s and why’s are unimportant right now, because once again, this ain’t about me…it’s about what I see.

This time of the school year is special to us Greeks, because it is time to sound the humongous cattle call that is known around America as Rush.  Now for the layperson, Rush is the time for Formal Recruitment for Fraternities and Sororities.  That is where the similarities end, and boy do the end.  Men’s Rush is a bit informal, depending on which house you join, but women’s rush is a monster all to its own, exposing a side of human nature that no one should ever admit they are willing to subject themselves freely to.

So let’s all be girls for a moment and begin at the beginning.  In order to register for Women’s Fall Rush, there is an initial non-refundable fee of $60, that’s right…60 bucks.  Now this 60 bucks only pays for you to be allowed to partake in Rush, simply put, you have to pay $60 just to get your foot in the door. (Men only have to pay $10).

Once you ladies pay this $60, you spend the day listening to various spiels from various sororities about how great it would be to be a part of their way of life, and all that good greek bullshit.  Now here is where the fun really begins.  All women who have signed up for Rush are required to get dressed up in skirts (mini, of course) and high heels, for House Visits.

Now to place you in the minds of these women called sheep, it’s important to note that 80% of the girls who Rush already know what sorority they want to join, where as only 10-25% of all men who Rush know where they want to go, and that is usually due to family connections.  This tidbit plays in later, and you get it when you see it.

Back to House Visits.  So what happens next is that you pile in as many girls into campus buses as can fit, and you haul them from house to house so that the existing sorority girls can look them over, not unlike a cattle auction.  While these girls are being shuffled from house to house…decisions are being made on both sides.  The neophyte freshman girl wants to make an impact with the house they hope to join, so they go out of their way to pretty themselves up as best they can (read: Whore).

In a few days, after a few visits, the Sororities pick and choose which lucky girls get to pledge to their house, usually going for the girls who are the easiest to mold and conform to their way of life.  Freshman girls live and die by these choices, to a fault.  I know of poor girls who have actually dropped out of school because they were not offered a bid by the sorority of their choice.  Actually forsaking a place in college, because they weren’t chosen.  Go figure.

Once the wheat is seperated from the chaff, and many hearts are broken, Rush turns into Pledgeship…which can even be more brutal.  Where as men like to make their pledges do silly shit, and sometimes just plain out beat them physically, sorority pledgeship is something altogether more wicked.

I had a conversation with a sorority girl about what it took to be in her house, how a pledge turned into a sister, and to be honest it blew my mind, but after consideration, it didn’t surprise me one bit.  Let me give you a taste of what the first night of pledgeship for one sorority is like…

Imagine all the female pledges rounded up and made to strip until they had nothing but their thongs on.  After being scolded by their potential sisters about how fat and disgusting their bodies are, the naked pledges then have body parts marked with a black Sharpie or magic marker.  The areas that are marked are those that “require immediate improvement”.  Needless to say, Indiana University has plenty of female joggers.

Throughout pledgeship, the girls are subjected to massive mental torture, ridicule, and stigma.  When they are broken down enough, they are finally injected with all the charisma, sluttiness, and vapid mindsets that are common in your regular all-American sorority.

Now, I know it is so easy to call these girls stupid bitches, or airheads, or what have you, but take a minute to stop and think.  Why is it that they go through what they go through?  What is so missing in their lives that they are willing to sacrifice their own individuality to join a collective which revels in their horrid stereotype?  What was missing, or was this just something that was meant to happen, pre-ordained by the cliques they had in High School?

As a member of a fraternity, I hate sororities, but then I am not your average frat boy…at best I am strange fruit hanging from a tree that self-perpetuates itself.  As a member of a fraternity, I can also say that with membership comes perks, but is the cost worth the reward? 

If you can answer that, truthfully and succinctly…come visit me sometime…I’ll have my magic marker waiting.

That’s just how cut and dried the shades of grey are in the world we live in…as clear as mud.


8 responses

  1. i honestly have never understood the concept of sororities and whathaveyou.. i went to an american uni but i guess cause it wasnt in the states, the culture got in the way and we dont have fraternities/sororities here.
    it does surprise me that you’re a frat boy but i guess you would expect that from what you’ve said here… but my impression of all of that is somewhat “hollywoodized” .. the first image that pops into my head is ashton kutcher in the butterfly effect with a side parting wearing a cheesy yellow jacket…
    i just don’t undestand this need to be part of a collective… that said… when i think of people in my uni.. the ones who tried so unbelievably hard to be different.. the theatre bunch who i hung out with for a while… well they’re no different.. they go on and on about how they want to be different and how they set themselves apart from everyone else at that uni.. but then they all clung together in their corner of the cafeteria next to the black box theatre drinking their coffee and smoking their cigarettes and practicing kapoiera or whatever the latest fad happened to be..
    so in the end.. maybe we’re all the same.. whether or not we try to be..? i dont know.. i’m rambling..  you always make me’s your fault =P

    September 9, 2004 at 10:03 am

  2. And fittingly, I, of course, cannot stand fraternity men…but you already knew that.  I think in my quest to sorori-fy my life it had something to do with getting involved, resume building, and networking…until I pledged.  At that point, it almost seems like I lost control of the task at hand and became some keg-standing, hair-bleaching… UGH…SORORITY GIRL?!?!  In keeping with decades (and in my house’s world…a century) of tradition…our views of Greek life are not going to change the outlook of 17-20 year old girls around the globe that wake up at 5:30 am to go get their ‘lists’ during rush and then cry all day because ‘their favorite chapter’ didn’t invite them back.   But alas…someone who happens to be very insightful told me NOT to look back…(especially in order to dwell or regret) and I do not regret those years.  I’m just glad that I kept the same mind frame throughout my experience.  Is it wrong to belong to a group?  It’s demonstrated in churches, political parties, and everywhere you look.  No, it isn’t.  Is it wrong to sell your soul to the devil for a chance to be the ‘Step Queen of Greek Week’?  Maybe…I must say, like a lot of things in my life…I’m glad it’s over, it was a learning experience.  Have fun at Chapter on Sunday… *muah* hahahaha…

    September 9, 2004 at 3:27 pm

  3. I heard that certin sororities can help you get a job after you graduate. I never joined one, but my neighbor was in one and she said that you make life long friends by joining. She gets together every year with her sisters and does charity work. *shrugs* I don’t need a group to do that with, but some cattle can’t travel alone.

    September 9, 2004 at 4:20 pm

  4. “Reward.”
    Reward my ASS. There is no reward, only a false sense of acceptance and importance, when they aren’t worth jackshit.
    I feel sorry for them all, and to an extent, you for even taking part in any of Greek bullshit. You’re too smart for that.

    September 9, 2004 at 6:46 pm

  5. Anonymous

    Hey I just wanted to say thank you so much for that.  My friend wants to join a sorority and that makes me want to tell her, “I told you so.”  Thanx.

    September 9, 2004 at 10:03 pm

  6. You should make that your own column and pass out to everyone.  Thanks for the insight.  HEY… haven’t visited me lately!!!  Forgotten about us little people I guess.  I see you’ve gotten quiet a long list of subs.  Peace…Holla!!!!

    September 10, 2004 at 8:32 pm

  7. Anonymous

    I just don’t see why it’s so important to go through such torture to gain a pre-made group of friends.

    September 10, 2004 at 11:31 pm

  8. I have a whole bunch of expletives in my head in response to that, but there’s no point putting those down. I don’t know..I’ve seen it on tv, but I didn’t think people actually did/went through that kind of stuff, I thought most of it were sendups. It’s fucking crazy and .. well, disgusting. Greed, power, elitism. Noble indeed.. I’m not sure why they’re referred to as Greek but the empire is turning in it’s grave. I guess here, it’s easy to say that because there’s nothing like that and while there may be cliques and the like, at the end of the day you’re living your own damn life. People are probably more involved there because as far as I can tell, more people live in uni so it’s a bigger part of your life. And it’s probably true, that these same elitists make very useful contacts for the most careers. It’s understandable that people would want somewhere to belong, I just don’t believe it’s possible in a fraternity. Too shallow, too ‘you’re one of us now’. The mindset scares me though, because it infiltrates those who belong and those who don’t, and forever, people are thinking that they have to do THIS to be accepted, and others are thinking hell, people BETTER accept them because they ARE this. MAGIC MARKER?! fuck.

    September 11, 2004 at 1:25 am

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