It is a single syllable word that resonates loudly. It provides numerous answers as well as unavoidable arguments that follow it.
I have the Buzzfeed app downloaded on my phone because the site has funny as well as serious contents that are suitable for people around my age. From current events to quizzes, they have everything. So I was scrolling through the articles while I was sitting in Starbucks today, and one caught my eye. It talked about the “#WhyWeNeedFrat” movement. I, for one, have never heard of any existence of this movement. So I decided to read it.
Most of the guys were caucasian males who are attending or have attended college. They created a group called Total Frat Move. All the pictures were in black and white, setting a tone of sternness and thoughtfulness. The males hold up a piece of white paper, or a white board, titled “I need frat because…” All too familiar?
This is when my complaints against this movement started building up. At first I didn’t think it was that zany at all. And then I started scrolling through the pictures. I mean, the guys were not even good representations of the movement. My sister said that the pictures depicted on Buzzfeed only strengthen the frat-boy stereotype. And I most certainly agree. You will see that one of the guys is holding up a white board that says, “I need frat because it’s my duty to shape the young minds of tomorrow…by hazing the shit out of them.” Another man holds up a whiteboard that says, “I need frat because upper-middle class people can’t join a gang.” Anyone else see the problem here? I feel like I am the only person, besides my sister, who thinks that this movement is quite absurd and ludicrous. Based on the photos provided by Buzzfeed, the only conclusion I come down to is that this movement is a parody of the “Why We Need Feminism” movement. But I can’t help but think that these boys mean business.
I know that fraternities and sororities are a big part of the American college culture. By joining a fraternity or a sorority, one is provided with the necessary means of connections throughout the nation, or even the world. There are parties that are similar to the ones depicted in movies. Best of all, there are special brotherhoods and sisterhoods formed from joining greek life. After all, the term itself involves the word “life”.
What I don’t understand is why these men are trying to glorify fraternities through inappropriate, if not condescending, reasons of “why [they] need frat”. I was appalled to read this one guy holding up a sign that read, “I need frat because worst case, I knock up a rich chick.” Tell me he’s joking. Even if he is indeed joking, it is hugely inappropriate and unacceptable, at least in my book, to state that as a reason of why fraternities should be needed in society. Are you seriously referring to women as “chicks” that you have easy access to? Are you seriously saying that you need fraternities because the worst thing that can happen is that you forget to use protection and get a woman pregnant? Either that man is undereducated in ethics, or he is trying to test my temper. I’m still hoping that this is all a joke because frankly, the reasons stated in these pictures are very immature.
To my huge disappointment, this movement is actually getting a positive response from the twitter sphere. Am I the only one who is confused right now? These men with college education are trying to further the traditions that involve hazing and partying.
What are they trying to portray to the younger generation that is soon to follow their footsteps? Many middle schoolers and high schoolers today are watching movies and shows that involve greek life and most of them think that “maybe when I go to college, I should pledge.” When these young kids look at these pictures, what will they think? Oh, cool, in the worst case, I get to knock up a rich chick! Or, because I am in the upper-middle class I can’t join a gang so why not join a fraternity? These are not sensible reasons to join a fraternity (or a sorority). This movement might be inspiring and influential to other people, which is why I am worried.
I know that there are positive sides to greek life. Not every fraternity and sorority uses the methods of hazing or degradation of new pledges. Some even have philanthropic goals. And maybe it’s not in my place to criticize such a big culture because I’m not part of greek life. But I will stand by my words and say that I am completely against this movement.