October 11, 2007

Sororizzle Dizzle fo Shizzle

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Hi, I’m in a sorority. This means some or all of the following: 1) I’m blonde (or conversely, have dark curly hair and am “Jappy”), 2) I’m a bimbo, 3) I love the color pink, 4) I live my life in pearls and polos, spandex and headbands, or both, 5) I don’t consider my night complete until I am puking up my body weight in alcohol, 6) I am a huge stinkin’ slut. It stands to reason that this is all true, because as a sorority girl, I am, most obviously, a sorostitute.
Actually, none of the following are true, except for my hair. I am not a “JAP,” I loathe spandex, polos and the color pink equally, the last time I was drunk was my birthday (hey, remember that?), and as for the last – well, say it to me, and talk to the fist.
I can’t blame you for thinking it – sorority girl and the word sorostitute are synonymous these days. The truth is, if you are the culprit, then so am I. I will call myself one self-deprecatingly; I’ll throw it into conversation with my Mom for a reaction, and whenever we have chapter my away message will say “Brothel meeting,” mainly because I think it’s hysterical. (Actually, scratch that, I still think it is.)
It’s the same old song you’ve heard from me before (that is, if you’ve been reading this column from its birth, in which case, I will give you a cookie): I mock things and make blanket generalizations about a group I’m associated with but am uncomfortable with the association of. I was called an anti-semite last year by another sun columnist for making fun of JAPs in a column on Uggs (which I admitted was for the preceding reason); I’m sure someone’s going to call me a woman-hater and it won’t be the first time.
When I was in high school, I hated girls. You probably know why, and I’m reminded of my reasons when I’m at CTB over the weekend, standing in line behind some screaming girl in a dress that barely covers her buttocks. I was a self-proclaimed guy’s girl; other than three close female friends I surrounded myself by guys. They were more fun, they weren’t catty or bitchy or dramadramadrama, and, in my head, it helped emphasize the kind of person I wanted to be. When I rushed, I believe the first line out of my mouth was, “I’m worried about living with all girls because I don’t even have that many female friends…” I said this because I’m a hypocrite (old news) and because I’m a tool. What was more surprising was that most of the girls responded in kind: “I know! Really, all of my friends are guys; I’m really not a sorority girl at allllllll…” Obviously, this was bullshit; you can’t really claim that you only have guy friends when you are in a sorority and I didn’t believe them just like I’m sure they didn’t believe me. But we say this because we are all trying to avoid this stereotype. Namely, we do not want people to think we are Elle Woods.
I am certain that 99% of sorority girls are not prostitutes. We do not sell our bodies, or sex, for money. But by adopting the nickname, we unintentionally accomplish two things: we perpetuate the stereotype that girls who choose to join all female organizations are slutty, cheap, gold-diggers, shallow, sex-sellers, and everything else the term implies; and we further demonize prostitutes who never asked and don’t deserve to be put in the same box as drunken, screaming college girls.
The other night, a friend said to me, “Wow, you really are turning into a sorostitute.” Now usually I’d laugh, agree, or make some witty barb in reply, but something strange happened: I got offended. And then pissed. “Dude, don’t say that, or I’m leaving,” I threatened. In my head I was going, what the hell? Since when do I care?
I’m sure he was surprised too; after all, I’m usually the first to use that term in relation to myself or other girls in sororities. But no more. I am turning over a new leaf. I don’t need to perpetuate the stereotype anymore, especially because joining a sorority has taught me something that even Gabriel Arana overlooked in his recent column: we Greeks are not all the same. I now know many sorority girls, both in and outside of my house, who are smart, sarcastic, funny, non-alcoholic women, who have taught me a lot; they make me ashamed to overuse the term. So, for my new school year resolution, I am cutting the word sorostitute out of my vocabulary. My friends aren’t going to stop using it until I do.
Last week, some friends were complaining about how annoying it was to be called hipsters. I was surprised — I thought being a hipster was cool. “It’s pejorative,” my friend pointed out. “What does perjorative mean?” I asked. They looked at me; I think they were surprised. But what can I say? I don’t know what words mean beyond booze and boys — after all, aren’t I just a sorostitute?