Shutter Fraternities For Young Women’s Good ???

Today in “Drawing Crazy, Unsubstantiated, Conclusions,” we have a piece from the Wall Street Journal:

Caitlin Flanagan: “Shutter Fraternities For Young Women’s Good.”

“In the fall of 1984, a 17-year-old freshman at the University of Virginia named Liz Seccuro was invited to a fraternity party. While there, she was given a tour of the historic house and offered a cup of the dark green cocktail that was its specialty. Within minutes she was incapacitated. She was carried into a bedroom and raped. She woke up wrapped in a bloody sheet (she had been a virgin) and watched as the rapist coldly packed his backpack and told her, “You ought to get out of here before someone sees you.”

Obviously, a horrible story.

“…The Greek system is dedicated to quelling young men’s anxiety about submitting themselves to four years of sissy-pants book learning by providing them with a variety of he-man activities: drinking, drugging, ESPN watching and the sexual mistreatment of women. A 2007 National Institute of Justice study found that about one in five women are victims of sexual assault in college; almost all of those incidents go unreported. It also noted that fraternity men—who tend to drink more heavily and frequently than nonmembers—are more likely to perpetrate sexual assault than nonfraternity men, according to previous studies. Over a quarter of sexual-assault victims who were incapacitated reported that the assailant was a fraternity member.”

Ah yes – and this is why the Greek motto of my fraternity was “drinkimus, sportimus, rapimus,” which is Greek for our favorite past-times – drinking, playing sports (and watching them) and assaulting women*. (f’n A. my sarcasm font is still broken).

But seriously – I have absolutely no doubt that there are bad apples both within and outside of the Greek system on campuses all over America.  “What a shame that a few bad apples have to spoil a good time for everyone by breaking the rules” – cue the video:


So, yes – the bad apples should be prosecuted. I don’t think anyone is advocating for more rights for fraternity rapists.  If there are college students – fraternity members or otherwise – who are assaulting women, they should be held accountable.  To twist that into “shutter fraternities for young women’s good” is not a reasonable conclusion, however.

But Ms. Flanagan clearly has issues:

“My fourth night at school, I went with some friends to Rugby Road, where the fraternity houses are located. They are built of the same Jeffersonian architecture as the rest of the campus. At once august and moldering, they seemed sinister, to stand for male power at its most malevolent and institutionally condoned. I remember standing there thinking I’d made a terrible mistake. It wasn’t worth it, I decided. The next day I withdrew from the university.”

How could she miss an opportunity to make a reference to some sort of dominant phallic architectural trait designed to demean and degrade women?  Jeffersonian Architecture – complete with all those columns – like a circle of frat boys waving their hard dongs at poor helpless women!  Or maybe that was precisely her crazy crazy point (is that what she meant by “at once august and moldering,” – the subsequent phrase “like a raging boner” deleted?  Aside, aren’t “august” and “moldering” somewhat contradictory?  Definitely not mutually exclusive, but “moldering” certainly doesn’t denote an image of dominance).

Look – if you walk by a building – which is built in the same style as the rest of campus – and it leads to you quitting school (after only FOUR nights, by the way!) because you feel it’s an institutional condemnation of malevolent male power (holy crap! read that again!) then perhaps you need to do some self analysis and work out your own issues.

“…my deep mistrust of the fraternities limited the ways I engaged in life on campus and almost robbed me of the education itself.”

I don’t even know what to do with the allegation that the fraternities almost robbed Ms. Flanagan of her education.   It’s a special kind of crazy.  If Ms. Flanagan was repeatedly harassed by some not-so-gentlemanly fraternity members  and her pleas to the University to address the abuse went ignored, well, I’d positively understand where she was coming from with this claim.   If fraternity members followed her around campus hissing sexual comments at her or threatening her, I’d understand where she was coming from.    Let’s get to the big finale:

“If you want to improve women’s lives on campus, if you want to give them a fair shot at living and learning as freely as men, the first thing you could do is close down the fraternities.”

What if a pizza delivery-man on campus had raped a woman?  Would Ms. Flanagan argue that we must ban pizza deliveries so that women would not be deprived of their educations?   You can insert the villain of your choice in place of “pizza delivery man,” (and in place of “fraternities” in the quote just above about robbing her of the education itself) – I recommend using something a little more controversial – like “African American/Caucasian” or “Muslim/Christian/Jew/Albino/Midget”or whatever group of people YOU, dear reader, happen to be a part of –  just to show how insane Ms. Flanagan’s logic is.

I’ll let the readers tackle that nonsense on their own.  A final thought:  what would Ms. Flanagan think of The Fucksaw?


* rape is no sort of joke topic, and it is not the intent of this post to make light of the subject, rather, to try to highlight the insanity in Ms. Flanagan’s claims.

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