Cornell’s updated statement now includes an acknowledgement that “an earlier version of this statement, posted in February 2018, mischaracterized the findings of the Review Board, including the role of the chapter, and lacked context for the sanctions imposed by the University.”
Prove my point a little better, I dare you. Before I had even pinned my last column (about the toxic culture that some “men only” clubs promote) to my wall of accomplishments, another fraternity fiasco rocked the campus. In case you missed it, Zeta Beta Tau was found to have held a “pig roast” for their new members, in which brothers were encouraged to sleep with as many women as possible. In the event of a tie, the guy whose conquest weighed more would win. I know this topic has been written about ad nauseum, but I’m not here to talk about how disgusting, or degrading to women, these actions are.
A note to the Interfraternity Council: This was definitely “normal.”
To imply that the commodification and abuse of the female body is anything but ordinary is naive. To suggest that the sort of amplified masculinity inherent in the system of the American fraternity is neither an incubator of nor a conduit for misogyny is deluded. To deny that sexism in Greek life is routine is appalling. To say we should be surprised is an insult.
I won’t rehash all the arguments against Greek life, because I could never explain them as well as Priya Kankanhalli ’19 in the eloquent and chilling “Brotherhood Inverted” or as Ara Hagopian ’18 did bluntly and assertively in “Greek Life Should Not Exist” — and also because they’ve been repeated over and over again in almost every collegiate and national publication. But I have a lot of anger; anger not only at the recurring abhorrent conduct of members of Greek organizations, but anger at the responses from both the University and from the Greek community.
The behavior attributed to Zeta Beta Tau by the Fraternity and Sorority Review Board on Friday is abhorrent, and the sexist ideas underlying such behavior must be addressed within the University. The “contest” described in the report is an exercise in hazing and sexism, and shows a severe lack of judgement by those involved. Women are not points to be won. Using women and their bodies as a path toward higher social stature is unacceptable. The casual labeling of women as “pigs” is sexist and dehumanizing — and the brothers of ZBT should take a moment to think about how the women they objectified are feeling today.