Parties Are For Boys, Sleepovers Are For Girls. At College.
After a period of panic, soul-searching, anger, relief, and then a huge hangover following last fall's scrutiny of its fraternity system, the University of Virginia this week lifted its suspension of fraternity and sorority activities. By "fraternity and sorority activities," of course, we mean It Is Time To Party Again Right Now.
This has led some people in the UVA community to ask pressing questions such as: what are some ways we could go to college and have a fun time partying and seeing our friends, and doing those things without getting sexually assaulted? Because this is a thing that the UVA community is worrying about even if the Rolling Stone article about UVA turned out not to have been accurate. This is a hard question. One really good answer could be that men could decide to not sexually assault ladies, even if ladies have been drinking the drinks. That would probably work really well!
[contextly_sidebar id="bMKQehpEnYYnW7OfE8ztuQWmLKqv9j3K"]Another creative answer was offered by the national chapter leaders of UVA sororities, and that answer is: sorority ladies who attend UVA should stay at home this weekend and they should not be allowed to go to the fraternity parties. If they are not out drinking the drinks and talking to the boys, then it will be very easy for them to not be raped! The Washington Post reports:
Sorority sisters at the University of Virginia were ordered by their national chapters to avoid fraternity events this weekend — a mandate that many of the women said was irrational, sexist and contrary to the school’s culture.
What's going on this weekend at UVA that would require such a strict mandate to avoid the partying that is every UVA student's Thomas Jefferson-given right? It turns out that Fraternity Bid Night is this Saturday. This is when the new members of fraternities receive their invitations to join, and all of the drinking and bonding happens, and then the fraternities open up and have big parties, and more of the drinking and bonding happens, and everyone is drunk and bonded, sometimes to the floor or walls.
The Post reports "some [UVA] sororities are planning mandatory in-house retreats that night, to avoid any risk of inadvertently violating the rule." The National Panhellenic Conference, the umbrella group that oversees national sororities, says "it supports the safety of their women, so they do support those national presidents making that decision and encouraging sorority women to plan sisterhood events and other ‘safer’ options."
Ladies, if you don't leave your ladyhouse, you will be safe and you won't be raped, and this will be enforced by way of a mandatory slumber party. It is so simple. And if you do leave your ladyhouse, your national chapter might fine you or place you on probation. Hooray! The boys can have a party, and the girls can have a pillow fight, what a perfect solution. No one will be raped if all of the ladies are infantilized and also locked up!
We will be the first to say that the Greek system is like the worst of middle school but enforced by 20-year-olds with money who are completely in charge of your housing and social life. Greek life brings us treasures like these sorority ladies from California, whose totally incredible internal email Jezebel was recently fortunate enough to acquire. The email contains helpful information about what you should wear and look like during rush week, and hell yeah, we will be checking out the author's Pinterest board for some product advice! Lay it on us, sorority lady!
If you are not wearing the required makeup, I will stop you and apply it myself. I don't care if you're late for class. I don't care if you're a sophomore or a super senior. I will stop you. If you don't know how to apply all this makeup, check out my Pinterest board. I picked out all the videos and products with you guys in mind! [The bold is Jezebel's, the batshit crazy is the email author's, who may be a super senior, we are not sure.]
Or how about some useful hair tips?
If you have bangs, they need to be styled correctly. If they're long and you're afraid they're going to be in your face the whole time, get some bobbi pins that match your hair color (except on house tours day/door chant, obvi). We don't want to look "emo" or like we're actually trying to flirt with PNMs [potential new members] by touching our hair all the time. [the emo bold is also Jezebel's, obvi]
The full email goes on to detail eyebrow hygiene, the benefits of not wearing your contact lenses in order to maximize your eyeball beauty, and Spanx, if you would like to know how a tightly wound college lady thinks those things should go down. You might think that members of a social organization capable of producing an email like this actually could stand some direction from the grownups at National HQ, even down to the level of "stay home tonight, ladies, because if you leave your girlhouse, you will be attacked, and there's no other way to prevent that."
Okay, but really? These UVA sorority ladies are adults over the age of 18, and while, if they are anything like their California sisters, they might not always regard one another as being capable of tying their own shoes, they are at college. They even attend UVA, which, despite being a fun place to partay, southern-style, is also a prestigious institution of higher learning. These sorority ladies can make their own damn decisions about whether or not they are going to go out and party tonight, and they do not really need some 40-something National HQ lady who wishes she were still 18 to tell them what to do with their nighttime funtime.
Another creative solution would be for sororities to be allowed to throw their own parties. Because did you know they are not allowed to do that? The National Panhellenic Conference bans sororities from serving alcohol at their houses, for liability reasons. On one hand, how bizarre is it that in 2015, a group of ladies living together at college cannot throw a party? On the other hand, it is actually a pretty hilarious ladymove to force the fraternities to assume all of the financial costs and risks for partying (hello, humongous fraternity liability insurance). But as a New York Times story points out, this just puts all of the partay power in the hands of fraternities:
The ban...gives frats undue control over the party scene. It’s frat members who get to mix the drinks, establish the “ambience” (sticky floors, dim lights, music loud enough to mask arguments or even cries of protest) and determine the guest list. If a frat member wants to bring a girl back to his bed, all he has to do is get her upstairs — not across campus in full view of other students, who could theoretically intervene if they saw anything suspicious.
So, huh. Locking sorority ladies in their ladyhouses at night to avoid sexual assault? Lolwut? No. Even if the only party options are at fraternities? Lol, still no. Allowing sorority ladies to throw their own parties? Sure, sounds fun, make sure your eyebrows and Spanx are looking correct, or else that crazy email lady will Stop You. Having guys decide to stop being rapey? Yay! We totally pick this one!