University of Alabama

University of Alabama

Friday, January 30, 2015

they're just letters.

Some time ago I stumbled across an article someone posted on Facebook. It was entitled, "7 Reasons Why Dating a Sorority Girl is Better: A Guy's Perspective." Let me first say, I am no stranger to Greek life. Although I am not Greek, I go to the University of Alabama which is known to have the largest Greek organization in the nation and am constantly surround by members of both fraternities and sororities. I have friends that are both Greek and non-Greek, and I often hang out at fraternity houses on weekends. With all this said, I have nothing against the Greek system at all. I think it's a great organization that has a lot of benefits, and if I could afford it, I'd probably consider rushing. However, what I do have a problem with is the superiority complex that seems to surround a lot of members of the Greek organization. That is NOT me saying that everyone who is Greek is like that at all, but I have definitely encountered a significant portion of people, both boys and girls, who react differently to me once they learn that I am not a member of a sorority. I understand that there is a level of sisterhood that I will not experience with members of a sorority because I'm not one of their sisters, but that shouldn't mean that they won't befriend me and vice versa. There has not been one time when I've visited a fraternity house and a guy hasn't asked me what sorority I am in. There's certainly been times where they have said "oh" and walked away. So, naturally when I see an article stating in the title that the male perspective is that Greek girls make for better relationships than non-Greek girls I'm intrigued and curious. Some of the seven reasons could make sense, but some of the other reasons seemed pretty ignorant and just dumb.

1. Every sorority girl is attractive. Okay, so I get that a part of being in a sorority is meeting the physical requirements the sorority sets. And I get that sorority girls are pretty. Trust me, I'm aware. But to imply that girls who are not members of a sorority might not be attractive or as attractive really makes me sad. I think it's so shallow to say "I'm going to date a sorority girl because I know she's hot." No.

2. They have a shoulder to cry on... that isn't yours. I have two issues with this statement. The first is that, no offense to any of you boys out there, whatever girl you're dating has people in her life that aren't you. She has friends, some of which are girls, that she can go to. Not being in a sorority doesn't limit the number of "go-to friends" a girl can have. Secondly, any boy that does not like the fact that his girlfriend feels comfortable going to him with some of her problems and crying, isn't a guy I want to be in a relationship with anyone. Every girl should be in a relationship with a guy who values her feelings and wants her to be vulnerable and open with him, not burdened by it.

3. Every sorority girl at one point has had a Little. Okay, true. I am not in a sorority therefore I will never be a big or have a little. You caught me. BUT, the point was made was that because of her "little having" a sorority girl is more responsible and caring than those of us who don't have Littles. Speaking from experience with a friend of mine in a sorority who has a Big, she hates her Big. Her Big left her initiation early, did the bare minimum for her presents, and has reached out to her less than five times this whole year. So yes, every sorority girl has had a Little, but that doesn't mean she was good at being a Big. And yes, I know this isn't the case for all sorority girls, just as not being responsible isn't the case for non-sorority girls.

4. She likes to have fun... a lot of fun. This is dumb. Not every sorority girl goes out and gets drunk or does crazy things. And I can promise you that non-sorority girls go out too and have their share of fun as well. Fun isn't just a "Greek thing," or restricted just to the party scene. Sorry bout it.

5. She gets it. The article was written by a member of a fraternity, so I can see where he is coming from. Not being a member of a sorority, I don't understand fully all the traditions and customs of swaps, date parties, formals, pledging, et cetera. HOWEVER, I have asked a ton of questions to my friends who are Greek so I can try to understand. If "getting it" isn't happening, it's because there's not enough communication to "get it."

6. She isn’t the, “attached to your hip every second,” type. No. Just no. Being tied to a set of letters or not, girls are not inherently clingy. I promise you that there is nothing that says anywhere that pledging a sorority banishes all clinginess. There is not a universal list of qualities held by all sorority girls that limits her attachment to you. There isn't a list with anything on it. At all. Promise.

7. Sorority girls make the best dates. Huh? I don't get this one. Like for date parties? Formals? Cause let me tell you, I can paint a dang good cooler for your formal weekend if that's what you want. I can put on a silly costume and dance till 2 AM if that's what you want. Again, no one signed anything that guarantees being a good date when they were inducted.

My most favorite part of the article was the author's closing words, "And girls who are reading this who aren't in a sorority and are reading this, I'm sure you're great... just not as great as girls in sororities." When I read this, I was honestly really hurt. The fact that someone I don't know is automatically writing me off because I'm not affiliated with a set of letters really sucks, because the thing is - this one dude isn't the only one who does this. Both guys and girls have looked at me differently, responded differently to me, and treated me differently after learning I'm not a member of a Greek organization. What? Like seriously? I think this is so upsetting. I didn't join a club, and I'm looked at as inferior and less valuable by some people. I think this mentality is so sad, and it's just upsetting.

Okay so I know I probably sound a little cynical and bitter. And maybe I am. But I think there's something to be gained from this. Granted, there are definitely things that girls in sororities are going to do differently or learn that I may not know or learn in the same way. But that doesn't mean that those are limited to one group or another. Being tied to a set of letters, or not, doesn't mean that you automatically fit neatly to a little labeled box or conform to a set of specific qualities. This goes both ways. If I am to say that I don't want to be judged or looked upon a certain way because I don't recognize with a club, I can't look upon those who are in a club in judgmental way either. Unfortunately, even if I start thinking this way, I know all people everywhere won't adopt the same mentality. So girls and boys who are reading this that are in a sorority and fraternity, y'all are probably awesome. And girls and boys who are reading this that don't belong to a fraternity or sorority, y'all are probably awesome too.

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