How many points would I be worth in the Zeta Beta Tau “Pig Roast?” How do you assess the worth of someone that you’ve slept with? How do we evaluate the young women on this campus?
Freshman year, I learned that I was worth one full entrance to a party when on my own, and half an entrance when I was accompanied by a man. It should be noted that this currency value was entirely dependent on the supposed quality of the party I was trying to attend — my value declined when I was attempting to gain entrance to the events of those “top” fraternities and sports teams. Also, whether or not I looked hot (and note that my value has been boosted by the fact that I am white). My hotness has been constantly measured, to my face, through comparison between myself and my friends; my value is how I look, how much I weigh, and it has been continuously assessed by men across this campus throughout my undergraduate career.
Over the past week outrage has erupted on our campus over the “pig roast,” a hazing event at ZBT that instructed new members to sleep with women in order to gain points — where ties would be broken based on which individual slept with the women who weighed the most. The IFC stated this practice won’t be tolerated and wasn’t normal.
Yet, the commodification of women at Cornell is unceasing. From our first day on campus we teach men that women exist on this campus to help them get into parties, to feel better than their friends and to serve as anecdotes for Sunday brunch about how we were “hot but crazy.” Sororities are valued by how attractive their members are and men are praised based on how pretty their dates are for various formal events, whether for sports teams, fraternities or any other organization on this campus. My fellow Sun columnist, Willow Hubsher ’18, found out that a member of the lacrosse team was literally fined for not making her cum; a price tag was put on her own bodily functions. And yet we somehow think that ZBT is a radical outlier?
It is absurd to think that this was just one fraternity, or just fraternities on the whole — this is our campus. This fucked up shit is Cornell.
Cornell obsessively commodifies women based on how they look and who they will fuck. Yet we flip around in surprise when it naturally progresses to a ranking system. We act as if there’s no world in which a “pig roast” could be tied to the insidious fact that 23 percent of undergraduate women have experienced nonconsensual sexual contact since entering Cornell.
Commodification is a defining portion of the female experience at Cornell University. So is sexual violence. The conversation surrounding the “pig roast” cannot be one that merely resigns itself to the debate over Greek life. It must be one about the progression of underlying societal practices and cultural norms at our institution. It is imperative that we talk about how sexual assault inherently derives from the reduction of its victims to sexual objects. This campus will not improve until we fundamentally change the cultural norms that pervade our lives. It’s time for Cornell to vastly transform.
If you thought ZBT was the end you better strap in for a bumpy ride, because this campus’s awakening to the horrors in its midst is just getting started.
In the meantime, drop a line in the comments and let me know how many points you’d give out to a boy who would fuck me! I’m always trying to keep my market value accurate and up-to-date.
ReykjaDick is a student at Cornell University. Whoreoscopes appears biweekly this semester.