by Deja Beamon
Maybe I’m just abnormal. I feel like all of my blogs could start with this sentence. LOL (is it lame to put lol in a blog?)
Anyway, in the spirit of feminism (well at least my interpretation of it), I am hesitant to slightly criticize Greek life. Sororities in their most basic form are a great step forward for our society. Nowhere else is it really encouraged to get a bajillion college educated women together to…do whatever sororities do.
My first tango with Greek life was in the movies that I never saw. Well except Legally Blonde but I refuse to see that as an accurate depiction. Anyway, Animal House comes to mind as the quintessential Greek film. But it’s about dudes. And I really don’t care about that.
My second tango with Greek life was when I came to Duke. My clique at the time consisted of two quasi-International Korean women. We were all equally clueless upon our arrival at Duke. I introduced them to (some) music, they taught me how to sort of dress cute. It worked. We returned from the mall, or KFC, or something off campus, one day in spring semester. And feared our lives. As we approached the circle on East Campus, we saw HUNDREDS of women, donned in cocktail attire walking towards us. Predominantly white women at that. We thought it was the zombie apocalypse. And it kinda was, but it was called rush.
Now, my ignorance about Greek life, both Panhel and National Panhel (black Greek life), can be blamed on two things. 1: My general anti-Duke lifestyle that I repped first year (and still rep when people piss me off). 2: My first generation status and my International posse. (that’s two things but whatever) Umm, hello Sigma Delta Tau (I really hope this isn’t a real sorority … if it is, I’m talking to you… j/k). Why didn’t you hand me a flyer about your org?! Oh yeah, cause I had no cocktail attire till like … wait I still don’t. ☹
Back to the point of this blog, if there is one, sororities (both black and white) function on this idea that you’ll just really want to join. That their displays of sisterhood show through all of the demeaning comments about women I see 99% of this population spew on the regular. They operate on legacy, word of mouf. And some of them are like quite legit and do shit.
And the others create drones in neon caps, all wearing the same pair of shoes. While sororities do do (lol) some pretty legit stuff, and promote (in some aspects) a cool separatist feminist strategy (yes, you are a feminist), I don’t know if I’ll ever be 100% behind the cause.
Sure, college is hard. Take it from an anti-social, first gen, biracial student on full financial aid. It is extremely hard to find your place at Duke. If Greek Life is necessary to your development as a woman, then go for it. I just hope when you all get together, it is an affirming space that is thinking of new ways to promote diversity within itself.
But this is solely the opinion of an outsider, looking in. cue the sad music, picture me as Molly Ringwald if it helps.