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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: I literally can’t with sorority recruitment videos

This summer, Alpha Phi at the University of Alabama released a video promoting their sorority for the upcoming fall recruitment process.

After watching the five-minute video, which has now been removed from YouTube, people around the country started to talk some major smack.

The video was criticized for being racist and hyper-sexualizing because only white women were featured, sometimes wearing bikinis. Online aggravators didn’t draw the line there.

An Alabama newspaper op-ed titled “‘Bama sorority video worse for women than Donald Trump,” with content even more degrading than it sounds, compared the video to “Girls Gone Wild” or Playboy.

As asshole writer A.L. Bailey so eloquently critiqued, “It’s a parade of white girls and blonde hair dye, coordinated clothing, bikinis and daisy dukes, glitter and kisses, bouncing bodies, euphoric hand-holding and hugging, gratuitous booty shots, and matching aviator sunglasses.”

Move over Bailey, it’s time for me to get on the soapbox.

As a sorority woman, I personally think these Internet trolls should probably mind their own business and go back to stalking reddit. But, on the other hand, they do actually bring an important conversation to the stage.

Never once in the two years that I’ve been in Greek Life on campus have I danced on our football field with the school mascot. Nor have I put on 5-inch heels and frolicked with puppies on the UA Mall.

I don’t know any sorority woman that does this. Usually, we are wearing sweatpants, watching the latest season of “The Bachelor” and eating pizza.

The rising popularity of (increasingly notorious) sorority recruitment videos has prompted websites like The Odyssey and Total Frat Move to list and rank the “coolest” and “hottest” girls and sorority chapters in America.

Rather than bashing these videos, shouldn’t we question why it’s okay to tear women down? Or why it’s okay that an anonymous Internet author can rank and objectify sorority women by deciding which chapter in America is hottest, just because they danced in slow motion?

Adults in America should be spending their time being supportive of the young women and men pursuing a college education by consistently urging them to learn things about the world and themselves, not commenting on an op-ed saying how sorority women are slutty.

Things in life are easier said than done, especially capturing the complete and true values of a sorority in a single, short video.

Yes, these videos aren’t real. And frankly I don’t understand why a girl would want to join an organization just because a bunch of made-up women blew kisses and skateboarded down greek row.

In a community that is constantly scrutinized and surrounded by lies, rumors and stereotypes, the last thing that Greek Life needs to be doing is projecting an image or idea that isn’t truthful.

In any case, whether we lurk on the Web or try to look pretty while candidly laughing for a videographer, maybe we should all spend a little more time empowering each other and recognizing the value of both academic and social communities.

Well, I’m done. Off to order some Chinese take-out and be a normal person.

Follow Trey Ross on Twitter.

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