:: Running from the Thought Police ::

Reality-Based Thoughts, Ruminations, and Unsolicited Opinions of a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign student alumnus and employee.
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:: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 ::

Topical Cleaning

I should be asleep right now. However, I'm wide awake, and I've decided to finally get around to tackling discussions from before my Anatomy class took over my life. Yes, I realize that I've also conveniently waited until very few people were paying attention. I'd assure you that that's just an added bonus, but I'm not sure you'd believe me. First up is the longer-standing of the two, the dust-up that I generated over my Great Women Don't Go Greek post, both here and at Matt's blog.

First off, I'd like to note that my experience with sororities is biased heavily, both by my gf's experiences with a non-greek sorority and by my attendence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, home to the nation's largest Greek community. Due to the size of the university itself, frats, sororities, and other groups (the ones that involve a common interest and a reduced intake of alcohol) take a larger social role in providing a smaller group of people to interact with among the larger university community. I imagine that the Greek experience at small/private universities and colleges is quite different than it is here, due to the reduced need for a smaller sub-community. While I personally won't encourage anyone going Greek anywhere, I'll admit that your mileage may very in such smaller settings, where the Greek system plays a reduced role.

A large part of the slutwear comment (which, I acknowledge, is a problem with the student body as a whole, not just the sororities) was expressed as a result of the recent tradition of Serenades here at UIUC, which had actually been banned a couple years ago. One of Matt's commentators asked if I could tell the difference between a woman wearing more revealing clothing because she was proud of her body or because she was being skanky. I'm tempted to go with a Potter Stewart definition of "I know it when I see it," but realize that'd get me in another mess all over again. More safely, my thought is that there are extremes where one can tell (when it's 95°F outside, it's obvious that more revealing clothing is due to temperature regulation, just like the clothing worn by a girl walking in the general direction of the campus bars wearing lacy things or other garments held on only by double-sided scotch tape consistently falls into the Slutwear category) and others where its not so clear.

Thirdly, I realize that there are many different types of women who join sororities. Most of my ire is directed at the stereotypical sorority girls, and at the institution as a whole. I have met sorority women who don't fall into the stereotype, but they're typically the type of people who are presidents/officers of seven different clubs, play a club or varsity sport, and carry a 4.0 GPA. To such women, a sorority is just another activity. I'd say that I wish they'd spend their time on a less frivolous group, but a)they'll be running the world in five to ten years and b)they probably already saved five endangered species by the time they were fifteen, so they're allowed to waste a bit of their time. However, there are plenty of intelligent and capable women who don't have "type-a" personalities who can better spend their time outside of a sorority. (This goes the same for guys too, by the way.)

Last, but not least, is a personal observation. I have a habit of using hyperbole. Actually, that's not quite accurate. I have a habit of using hyperbole a lot. As this episode demonstrates, using hyperbole as often as I do gets me into trouble, because people get upset at my statements and I'm then forced to defend positions I wasn't completely serious about in the first place. In the future, I need to more carefully consider both my topics and how I address them. Am I going to screw up again like this? Probably, but I'm only human.

:: The Squire 2:43 AM :: email this post :: ::


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