My favorite way to spend down time is laying on the couch like a beached whale on Facebook, while avoiding any and all adult responsibilities. This illuminating hobby means that I have the privilege of seeing the multitude of “We Are Not Our Stereotypes” campaigns that have suddenly become more popular than Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kits. The pictures are usually of sorority members (though I’ve seen some fraternities participate as well) hiding their faces with their hands. Written on one hand is a “stereotype” they feel they’ve been given, and on the other is a statement to contradict said “stereotype.” These declarations usually allude to the fact that society thinks Greeks are nothing but pieces of shit, and it’s our job to make sure they know the truth. The more I went through these posts, the more it made me reflect on how Greek Life has negatively impacted my image to society.
Oh wait, I forgot, it hasn’t.
And chances, I would bet, are that it hasn’t really affected yours either, regardless of how much fun it is to pretend that it has. Am I saying that there aren’t assholes who have said rude things to members of Greek Life? Absolutely not. Am I saying that as members of Greek life we need to quit perpetuating this blown up fairytale about how going Greek is causing a struggle that is unfair? You bet your ass I am. The problem with these “stereotypes,” ultimately, is that no one forced us to join Greek life. No one slapped letters on our shirts and threw us into a world of Greek-hating America and left us on our own. I would even go so far as to say that Greek life gives its members opportunities they would’ve missed out on had they not joined. Isn’t that why we joined in the first place? Stereotypes usually have some kind of negative influence on people. Can we honestly say that we’ve even had to deal with that?
Jenny, I’m sorry that you believe people think you’re stupid when you have a 3.5 GPA. I would bet money on the fact that you’ve actually probably *~never*~ heard anyone call you stupid for being Greek. And David, I’m sorry that people think you only wear Vineyard Vines when your brand of choice is actually Carhartt. The world is pretty fucking cruel, I know. But do you seriously wake up every morning with a black cloud over your head because of these things? Is the struggle really *THAT* real? Probably not. But while so many sororities and fraternities are busy with their sob-fest social media campaign, they’re missing an opportunity to give a voice to the thousands of causes, people, and organizations that are actually facing injustice, misfortune, and tragedy.
We chose Greek life because we wanted to be leaders, philanthropists, and seen as positive influences in our communities. Wouldn’t spending as much effort bringing awareness to issues that are actually in need of attention give people an opportunity to see how amazing Greek Life really is, instead of making us look even worse in their eyes? I’m not saying that every social media campaign should be an outlet to open the public’s eyes to the multitude of issues in our world today. I love looking at the pictures of young women and their sisters who have been blessed so much from going Greek.
But please, enough with the black and white pictures of sororities members nailing RBF while reminding everyone they have a job. We are capable of so much more. Let’s show other people that, too..