When I joined a sorority, I had a clear image of what it would be like. Bows would be a thing. Baking was a necessity. Crafting and flirting and wearing pearls were all givens. I knew that I needed to buy an apron, always look my best, and go above and beyond for guys who invited me to formals. I had it all figured out, and then I became a part of my chapter — my chapter filled with real, diverse, women. I wore a bow maybe once (and a little part of me died, so I never did it again). I baked a cookie cake for fraternity rush, but my roommates and I decided to eat it instead. My crafts were shitty, my flirting was nonexistent, and the only pearl necklaces were the ones told as the punchline to my favorite fraternity’s jokes.
I was surprised. I had thought being in a sorority would mean being a vision of perfection. Becoming “future housewife” material. Being the girl who was envied by everyone. It turns out, I was wrong. It didn’t mean that at all. And it turns out, you’re all wrong too.
I didn’t want to have to do this. Honestly. I don’t care about the mean tweets. I don’t care about the bitchy comments. I don’t care about the girls who “shame” me for “shaming” them about things I didn’t even know were “shame-able” last week. I can take the hate and I can take the attacks, but I think it’s time we set something straight:
The “sorority stereotype,” and your constant need to combat it, is complete and utter bullshit.
I know, I know. “How could she?!” You wonder, as you scroll to the bottom of this article to write me a heated comment. I’ll save you the trouble. Here are a few very recent comments we have received that will basically get your point across. Read them, know you’re not alone. Then keep reading. Trust me.
See what I mean? And it’s alllllll over. It’s posted as results of articles about living college like our parents did, on taking charge of your sexuality, and being a BAMF. It’s also posted on satirical articles about planners, classes, and other frivolous things.
So I guess my question is:
“Who is your ideal sorority girl?”
From what I’ve gathered, she’s the woman you tell me I need to be. She doesn’t talk about sex or partying, because “it isn’t classy.” She has to support everything other women do, because that’s what feminism means. She can’t say that she thinks something is unattractive. She can’t have too many opinions at all, because if someone takes something she says the wrong way, she’s at fault. She’s not sarcastic. She’s not bitchy. She’s not cussing like the boys and she’s not fucking like the boys, but she wants to be equal to the boys.
As long as being equal still means being classy. Being put together. Being ladylike. Having manners. And being the perfect image of the perfect sorority girl all the time.
And that’s great. I’m sure that girl is really nice. She could be an awesome friend and she definitely makes Christmas cookies her bitch. But the woman you’re shouting about, the woman you’re fighting to make us all be, the woman you’re deeming better than everyone else is someone I don’t necessarily want to be. It’s someone a lot of us don’t want to be. But we’re still Greek women. And we’re still damn proud of it.
So which is it? Which one is the “sorority girl” that you want society to see us as?
Someone who smiles, bakes, doesn’t like to drink, keeps her sex life private, supports every female, tells everyone that they’re beautiful, and minds her Ps and Qs? Or is it the one who drinks beer, gives zero fucks, says the word fuck, hooks up with whoever she wants, and isn’t afraid to be herself, even if other people don’t like it?
The answer should be painfully obvious, but for some reason it isn’t. They’re both the “ideal” sorority girl, and it’s time everyone realized it.
In Greek life today, one of our biggest fights is for diversity. We’re put under a lot of heat to accept women of all types. We can’t all be the cookie-cutter blonde with the big tits and the charming laugh, so we branch out. We don’t see in color. We give bids to different types of girls from different walks of life. We’re learning. But we’re still being blind.
For a whole bunch of people preaching about “accepting a variety of women,” that’s not what you want. Sure, it sounds like you want to have so many girls with brown hair, dark skin, and different eyes. But that’s not what it’s about, right? We’re more than our outward appearance, right? So, where’s the diversity?
I want my letters to represent a variety of strong women. I don’t want us to look different but be the same on the inside. I want to have sisters who dream of being moms, and others who never want children. I want sisters who take charge of their sexuality and I want sisters who value privacy. I want sisters who swear, and fight, and aren’t afraid to tell someone off. And I want sisters who are shocked by vulgar language, who are ready to calm you down, who would rather put things behind them than always debate.
Isn’t that what diversity is all about? How are we supposed to learn, and evolve, and become the best versions of ourselves if we’re all the same?
There’s no “right” sorority girl. A sorority girl gets drunk. And a sorority girl has never even tasted alcohol. A sorority girl sleeps with a bunch of guys. And a sorority girl is a virgin. A sorority girl is polite. And a sorority girl is ready to fight back for what she believes, no matter who is listening. A sorority girl is nice. And a sorority girl can be a bitch. And sometimes, all a sorority girl wants to do is tell a damn joke — a mean joke, a crude joke, a light-hearted joke, as long as it makes someone laugh.
Stop being so concerned that if we drink, or fuck, or dance on elevated surfaces that we’re sending the wrong message. And stop thinking that if we want to please guys, support all women, and wear high heels to class we’re setting feminism back. We can still hold our values close to our hearts and like shooting back tequila. And we can still be a great sister without getting drunk. There is no “stereotype.” There’s only people who are too afraid to let their sisters be themselves.
Because the whole point of being a woman, of being a feminist, of being a person isn’t to be “what society tells us to be,” and it isn’t “to change society’s minds about us.” It’s to be ourselves. To be whoever the hell we want to be. And the whole point of being Greek is to have sisters, amazing, diverse, varied, sisters who will support you, no matter who you chose to be. The right message to send for Greek life isn’t that we’re all kind, polite, perfect people who don’t drink or party, who always smile and who do whatever other picture perfect descriptions you want to send out.
It’s to show that we’re all different. That we can be whoever makes us feel most beautiful. And that we have sisters who support us, laugh at our jokes, make us feel loved, and value our diversity. That’s the “sorority stereotype” we need to be fighting for. That’s the group of women everyone will want to be a a part of.
That’s the group of women we all want to be a part of. Isn’t it time to prove it?.