Well hello! It’s me, your favorite unreliable blogger, back from her hiatus settling into college (which has been great so far, and if you have any specific questions/requests regarding that, you could comment/email me, and maybe I will write about them)! College has brought all kinds of new experiences so far, and today I address one of them: frat parties.
Besides a loud, sweaty mass of desperate young people, frat parties are also an environment in which the gender norms and outdated views of society are painfully emphasized. This is demonstrated the most with their many party themes. These themes usually provide a choice of “costume”, with one presenting a clear expectation of being for males, and one expected of females.
For example, last night there was a party with the (optional) dress theme “Yoga or Toga”. Fairly self-explanatory, it’s options were stereotypical-Animal-House-style-toga-made-with-your-bedsheet-that-you-probably-will-still-sleep-in-later or spandex/lycra/any-other-tight-clothing-that-one-would-wear-while-sexily-bending-in-different-positions-on-a-yoga-mat. Furthermore, while not stated specifically, it is the general understanding that the toga option is for guys, and the yoga option is for girls. This makes it really easy for a guy to be already practically shirtless and and for a girl to wear tight, form-fitting clothing with the possibility of a sports bra sans shirt. Speed things up, why don’t we? However, are we really–as fully functioning and aware college-age women–supposed to ignore these obvious practices as reinforcing our position as sexual objects? As things meant to be looked at and used as men see fit and as available at their disposal and for their enjoyment only?
Also last night, there was a different party with an even worse–and more obvious–theme: CEOs and Corporate Hoes. Besides the use of a derogatory term for women, this title also implies that women cannot be CEOs, but are simply in the workplace to fulfill fetishized schoolgirl/sexy secretary fantasies. In 2015, at the actual #41 school in the country (a ranking that could and probably will move up in the coming years due to a graduation rate overcoming Katrina), we are really expected to play to the stereotype that women can not be both beautiful AND smart, or that we should not be taken seriously in a workplace? We are the closest we have ever been, as a nation, to having a female president for god’s sake. If we aren’t going to legitimize women now, then when?
While I am fully aware that these juvenile party themes are only meant to be fun, and not necessarily to say anything about our society as a whole, it is difficult to ignore their implications. I find it hard to believe that there is no way to throw a party (even a themed party) free of misogynistic overtones, despite the fact that said party is thrown by a group of males. College girls are already throwing themselves out there enough in their normal party attire without having to wear a half open button-down and thigh-high socks.
Submitted with undying love for,
writing again and being the party pooper that points out perhaps meaningless flaws in the system,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken