With the media on the tails of frat boys more than ever, a journalist named Natasha Vargas-Cooper went undercover to a frat party at the University of Southern California looking to get a story that would expose the hedonistic lifestyles we live to the world once and for all. Very Never Been Kissed. It’s unclear how old Vargas-Cooper is. At one point, she mentions being ten years senior to the other party-goers, but at another point she mentions bebe dresses, frosted lips, and raves from the late ‘90s, so it’s hard to be sure.
Once there, she found that people drank. They made out. There were no girls who seemed victimized or random outcries of racism. In other words, it was a typical frat party — not the type of frat party that typically makes headlines.
[6pm] As I squeeze into a slightly tacky, form-fitting dress purchased from Guess for a failed hook-up back in 2009, I realize this is more than a bad idea—it’s a dangerous one. I call a few people to tell them where I will spend the night, and then I head towards frat row, minor weapons stashed in my handbag.
Define “dangerous.” If it’s tequila shots and peeing outside because the line for the bathroom is too long, then you are, indeed, in store for a night full of danger and adventure. If it’s forgoing a condom and then risking it the next day because you don’t want Plan B to bring on your period, then you and I both are regular daredevils. If you’re currently fearing for your life, you scare too easily.
7:45 P.M. I’m the most interested in tracking the goings-ons of Pi Kappa Alpha, also known as PIKE. Partly because of a short video clip that surfaced on social media in 2015. Shot on a smart phone, the clip shows a seemingly intoxicated woman performing oral sex on a man while he asks her, “What’s the best fraternity at MSU?”
If fighting against stereotypes has taught society anything, it’s that the ongoings of a douchey group of men at one school should have no bearing on the ongoings of a group of different men, similarly affiliated, at a school 2,000 miles away.
9:00 P.M. I follow the frat whose clothes seem the most expensive, hoping that they will go to some swank location in the Hollywood hills where daddy’s hush money could blot out any indiscretion.
Hanging out in line for the bus, hearing the excited chatter, watching the sexes split into curious but separate camps, surrounded by the volley of exuberant compliments “I love your dress!!!”, and “so stoked, bro!!”
I’m confused about this event. Why does it start at 9PM and more importantly, why don’t they notice or care that someone potentially in her 30s has elected to come to said event, uninvited and alone.
[9:30] When the drinking starts things get a little more boisterous. Couples are sucking down blue tinged liquid and doing tequila shots to ‘Niggas in Paris’. Everyone here is very white. This does not prevent them from rapping, loudly. There’s some sexually suggestive dancing but it’s mostly done in the jolly spirit of YOLO. Whatever mood anthemic, over-orchestrated Black Eyed Peas songs are supposed to create, it is happening here tonight.
The fact that “whiteness” is measured on some sort of gradient is a little racist on its own, but we will ignore that, because I understand what you mean, and know that “very white” is — for some reason — acceptable to say. The important question is why are people still listening to ‘Niggas in Paris.’
No one has offered to buy me a drink or asked me to dance to “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. I am something close to offended. I’m not even getting a lingering glance.
SEE?! EVERYONE LIKES ATTENTION FROM FRAT BOYS. EVEN PEOPLE WHO MAKE FUN OF SORORITY GIRLS FOR IT.
A tip on how to get them to buy you drinks, for future reference. Regress in age by 10 years, and don’t be a journalist sneaking pictures of the guys like they’re creatures on Animal Planet.
11:30 P.M. Newly formed couples are now swaying and soft kissing to Big Sean jams. The are large dance circles where the frat brothers and their ladies are busting goofy dance moves in front of each other. The paper plates with buffalo wings have been picked over and the cheese left over from mini quesadilla hors d’oeuvres is coagulating on the platter.
Par for the course.
At some point in the night, Vargas-Cooper realizes that her preconceived notions about what a frat party would be were nothing but heresay. She never felt endangered and even admitted that having brought pepper spray felt “ridiculous” and rambled off a number of events during which she feels more threatened than she did at the frat party, like say, being in a New York Subway platform at night.
Her conclusion is respectable — admitting she’d come in looking to find something that simply wasn’t there, with a bold statement about the media and people’s willingness to believe it.
I’m not sure what I’m waiting around for. A racist chant to erupt? Or an act of dubious sexual consent? Some girl with rubbery legs upchucking while the brothers wait for her to collapse into their arms? A spontaneous orgy? I’m not sure what it would prove. Coming off of the UVA gang-rape that never happened and the mounting paranoia around campus sex, you might believe whatever I told you. I could tell you that the atmosphere was heady and malevolent; with the boys pushing for an advantage over each girl, waiting for the moment when their guard was down just enough. I could tell you that frats are calculated rape machines and I felt threatened and fearful while surrounded by them. I suppose it could have morphed into that later on in the night in a bunk bed, before consent was given, or when it was rescinded. But that could be the case whenever there is drinking and men and women. I can just tell you that this was a relatively endearing night of young folks groping at the edges of adulthood.
That’s what we’ve been trying to say. But don’t take our word for it. Take an undercover journalist’s instead..