Frats treat women like objects; women treat frats like objects

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

A Yale fraternity has its pledges march around chanting, “no means yes! yes means anal!” A USC fraternity sends out an email explaining how to be Tucker Max, except for the ability to write three books and make a movie. Nothing much out of the ordinary for frats, except that it went public.

Two things to note: though this kind of frat stuff has been going on for decades, what’s different is that not only are they not discreet about it, but they want outsiders to know. This coincides with the second point:: rather than buckling down to the serious business of scoring chicks, they are more interested in broadcasting that they are about the serious business of scoring chicks.

The criticism of the frats is no better: it focuses not on the actual treating of women as objects, but the public display of it. This is the first sentence of the Jezebel article:

Once again an idiotic college student has brought shame on his fraternity, his school, and possibly the entire Greek system by doing something that confirms every misogynistic frat guy stereotype.

The shame isn’t that he treats an actual girl as a “gullet,” but that he did something that confirms the stereotype.

This is further evidenced by the fact that both fraternities apologized– but no one says that such an apology is insincere and meaningless. All that matters is the display of sincerity. 

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12 Responses to Frats treat women like objects; women treat frats like objects

  1. BHE says:

    A lot of this has to do with the ubiquity of porn.

    • AdamSaleh1987 says:

      Blaming sexism and the treating of women due to porn is unrealistic. That’s like saying every guy is irresponsible with a firearm because he killed millions of people on Call of Duty. It’s too easy to make that assumption. Is it possible that maybe it’s because women themselves are more likely today to sleep with 3-4 guys a month than 40 years ago? Is it because women are supposedly on equal footing about their sexuality thanks to feminism? Saying that porn causes men to demean women assumes all responsibility and control on the man in intersexual relations which simply is not true.

  2. TarkaTheOtter says:

    I agree with the above comment. The fact that porn is so readily available at the click of a mouse is solidly misleading these current generations of young men. If it’s so easy to obtain porn, then why wouldn’t they assume that women themselves are just as easy? Why wouldn’t they assume that women are objects? And if they’re all glued to their computer monitors instead of actually gaining REAL experience with REAL women, then it’s little wonder that all the energy gets put into talk and not action.

    • pw says:

      At least according what Last has written, the actual treating of women as objects (“frat stuff”) has been “going on for decades”, so it must not have anything to do with the ubiquity of porn (which didn’t happen until, what, the mid-to-late nineties?).

      I think a more promising angle is to examine what role the ubiquity of porn has played in emergence of these new behaviors–the publicizing of “frat stuff” and our (scripted?) reaction to it.

  3. pw says:

    The first paragraph of the Jezebel article is interesting. First sentence: “has brought shame” (the shame has already happened?) 2nd: “we received a copy of an [not 'the'] email” 3rd: “Disgust ensues [after we make this a national story by publishing the full email]“

  4. Sfon says:

    “A lot of this has to do with the ubiquity of porn.”

    I’ve seen sexism shoot up along with the internet the same as bullying has. That is to say, I’m very skeptical of your assertion.

    • Solanin says:

      I agree with the above comment. It’s easy to create a correlation between porn and the way the current generation of college guys deals with women, but that seems a little to easy. College guys probably understand that porn is porn and women are women.

      The fact that the current generation of college guys is more focused on being seen as a frat than actually doing things a frat would do points more towards a problem with identity; they’re not sure who they are so they’ll cling to whatever they can use to define themselves. In that sense, women are being objectified. Rather than wanting to sleep with a woman these guys want to be the guy who sleeps with women.

  5. reina says:

    I seriously doubt if shame exists anymore.

  6. stellachiara says:

    The e-mail seems to be written with the express purpose of acting outrageous and going against respectable and decent social mores, and particularly aimed toward upsetting and outraging administrators, teachers, feminist and other assorted easily outrageable types. It is so ludicrously over the top that it cannot possibly be taken seriously. And the fact that there is a place on the rating scale for “wife material: don’t mess this one up” means that in fact they are not simply seeing women as lesser beings and complete sex objects. I’m sure many of them do, but it’s not because of or equivalent to the cartoonishly over the top sentiments expressed in this e-mail.

  7. ethosophical says:

    Interesting post, thanks. There’s definitely a culture of sexism which some guys might enjoy participating in as much or more than the acts said culture promotes. One group bonding by hating on another group is hardly a new phenomenon.

  8. Jon Good says:

    This shit was going on long, long before the ubiquity of porn became a trending topic. This is an outcropping of the whole notion of sex as an expression of male dominance (and thus it’s the male’s supposed \right\ to have sex with whomever he choses whenever), and that a woman taking any sort of agency in the matter (admitting that sex is enjoyable, for example) so threatens that dominance that she must be denigrated and insulted and threatened. (maybe because sex with frat bros isn’t actually enjoyable)

    In general, college is a place where these myths are questioned (indeed they’re more prevalent in those who are non college educated), but groups like frats and mens’ sports teams are bastions of the perpetuation of these myths.

  9. LogicalDash says:

    I’m halfway convinced the original purpose of fraternities was to provide safe haven for trolls before the internet made it all too easy.

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