As Sanford Stadium filled for the Arkansas game on Oct. 2, I looked for a fraternity to sit with, trying multiple sections but finding them full. After an hour, I eventually ended up sitting with the fraternity that my sorority associates with the most.
At the University of Georgia, Greek life football sections are determined by fraternity GPAs, with sororities sitting wherever their associated fraternity’s academic achievements put them. This system was adopted in 2009.
Being in Greek life myself, I think this practice is extremely sexist. Not only does this alienate those who aren’t in Greek life from those who are, but it completely disregards the academic achievements and success of those in sororities.
This is far from the only case of sexism that can be found in Greek life. In fact, it is inconveniences and sexist traditions like these that reflect a larger issue at hand within the male-dominated power structure of Greek life.
My sorority has maintained the status of having the number one GPA among all of the campus’s Panhellenic sororities. My sorority and I work hard to maintain this reputation and many of us find pride in it, yet we scramble to plan our seats around where fraternities put themselves.
Fraternities also have the heavier hand in terms of holding events. At UGA, it is commonplace in many sorority houses that men are not allowed upstairs. Although it varies from sorority to sorority, this is widely applied. However, women are openly allowed into fraternity houses, with and at times without an invitation.
If women are allowed in any part of a fraternity house, then why shouldn’t the same thing be applied to men in a sorority house? This fosters the idea that women are the ones “at fault” if something goes wrong. At a fraternity house, one could say that she chose to go there, and therefore any actions deemed “inappropriate” or “unsuitable” could be her fault, regardless of who is liable.
People living in a sorority house need to go to the fraternity’s house if they want any sort of privacy with one of its members. However, if a woman finds herself being taken advantage of, the only people that she is surrounded by are the men in the fraternity.
Frats are able to hold events at their houses, while women have to wait to receive an invite to many of these events.
Socials and even tailgates, which are mostly held outdoors anyways, are held by fraternities. If we want to tailgate on a game day, it is the expectation that we go to a fraternity house. The thought never even comes to mind of a sorority hosting a tailgate.
The system has put the ball in the fraternity’s court for everything — stadium seating, socials and tailgates all included. This leverage and power contributes to some of the negative aspects surrounding Greek life, such as date rape.
While fraternities openly distribute alcohol and hold parties, it is in the rules of many sororities that “broadcasting” an alcoholic drink — through a social media post, for example — could lead to a standards violation.
I have passed many fraternities openly carrying a keg, with their lawns littered with empty bottles and having open alcohol in a public setting. Why shouldn’t they be reprimanded for these actions?
Sororities are required to uphold a certain reputation — one that includes being disciplined and retaining respect. Fraternities, however, don’t seem to face any consequences for their actions and seemingly get away with much more.
The inequality and, in the worst cases, violence and sex crimes against women is built on a foundation of double standards in all aspects of Greek life for sorority members.
Although the Greek life system has evolved and progressed over the years, it still has many areas that require improvement.
These changes could be easily made. People just need to be willing to accept them.