Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's wrong with "sorostitute?"

I feel like I probably should have spoken up more often when this came up in conversation - now that I'm leaving my old university, it'll probably come up quite rarely, but over the years, it's come to bother me more and more often when I hear people bashing sorority girls. It's not that I think social fraternal organizations have much - if any - of a net positive effect on campus life on the whole, or that I've ever considered joining one. It's not that I cringe similarly hearing people grumble about frat boys.

The problem I have is with the kind of criticism I hear about sorority girls. I enjoy reasoned critiques of any social institution, whether or not I agree with the criticism or not. "Reasoned" and "insightful" has nothing to do with what I keep hearing.

More often than not, the criticism I hear in person about sorority girls reduces to the accusation of slut. Such a loaded term. While having sex often may not always be advisable - for whatever reasons you might believe, and we could spend hours debating why or why not - it's not something we should be vilifying, and I'm especially tired of hearing women called "sluts."

There's a clear gendered double standard in how promiscuity gets talked about, and I'm just plain tired of it. "Fratmattress" and "sorostitute" may have sounded amusing the first time I heard them, but that was close to seven years ago. Now, they just sound derogatory, demeaning, and just plain mean. Think about it for a minute.

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