Are fraternity parties predatory?


Photo credit: Julia Poage

We all know that a big part of college is the nightlife, especially when it comes to frat parties and clubbing. There are, however, aspects of this party culture that are problematic to say the least, yet we all choose to ignore it.

First, a lot of times only girls are let into parties. Yeah, sure, guys want their fraternities to be exclusive to only the brotherhood or whatever, but please don’t tell me you don’t see something predatory in only letting women into your party. It was at the very least off-putting when I saw my guy friends turned away at the door just for a large group of girls to be let in instead.

It seemed as if the whole reason guys only wanted girls in the parties was so they could have a better chance at claiming them for themselves. I’m also not the first to say this: I’ve heard from many of my friends that they find it creepy and unsettling that only they are let into parties.

I could go on about how women aren’t men’s property or objects, but that’s usually not taken too seriously anyway, and the people who need to be taught that probably stopped reading by now. So instead, I’ll move on.

Party themes are another questionable aspect of college nightlife, which are often blatantly degrading towards women. It seems as if these themes are just ways to objectify women in whatever way possible, adding “and hoes” to the end of it when they feel like really putting us in our place. Here would be another great opportunity to remind everyone that women aren’t property and are — in fact — human beings, but I won’t bore you with that futile argument.

Most of the time, it’s first-year girls being herded into these parties and preyed on. In no way am I saying that girls shouldn’t go out to parties — I’m saying that we should be allowed to do whatever we want without being devalued in the process.

Even if parties are for having fun and no one really cares about who is let in or what the themes are, it’s important to note that this isn’t an exaggeration. A lot more seemingly insignificant aspects of our daily lives contribute to rape culture than we like to admit.

I won’t say it all starts with the objectification of women because it starts way before that, but small things — like only letting us in to your parties, or referring to us as “hoes” in the theme — most certainly aren’t helping.

I make this point about college parties in general, not necessarily just Trinity. In fact, Trinity has great resources in order to combat some of the problematic aspects of nightlife, including the Coalition for Respect and the Safer Parties Initiative, but most students don’t even know about them or don’t care enough to take them seriously. In other words, we have resources available at Trinity — we just have to start taking advantage of them.

Either way, whether we have the necessary resources or not, there’s a problem that needs to be fixed on our campus and on every college campus, and I know it’ll take a lot more than just me shouting into the void.