No Greek: A response to online comments

Gregory Porter

Many of those who commented on my guest column “No Greek” have complaints against my viewpoint, so I am writing this as a response to those objections.

Let me first state that by getting angry and defensive you are justifying my article in some way. Take the joke as it is – a joke. The joke may be at your expense, yes, but you need to grow thicker skin and let it be. I am clearly not appealing to members of Greek Life, but to people who already share my views. I assure you that non-Greeks found this article to be funny and even accurate (though that wasn’t exactly my intention). It’s a parody folks; take it with a grain of salt.

I can absolutely understand why someone would want to be in Greek Life, but I’m just not the kind of person who would like being in a frat.

Nearly every commenter who took offense with my column stated something along the lines of “Greek Life isn’t any more homophobic than any other group on campus.” It may not seem like it to you, but for someone who is gay, it’s hard to ignore that so many Greeks use the word “gay” interchangeably with “stupid” and refer to each other as “fags” when they do something the other doesn’t like. I take issue with the rampant homophobic comments that plague so many of the frats on campus. I am terribly uncomfortable with the frat-guy mentality because of its hetero-normalcy. I am not saying that everyone in the Greek community is homophobic because that would be ignorant as I have never met every person in Greek Life, but I am merely conveying what I have personally noticed.

Perhaps “homophobic” isn’t the best word to use. Heterosexist, however, is as true as anything.

Many people stated that I am “enforcing a stereotype” about Greek Life. I cannot deny this, but what one must realize is that most stereotypes hold base in fact. Many sororities and fraternities on campus do a rather fabulous job of living up to their stereotype and then get angry when it’s thrown back in their faces.

Something interesting in the comments is that many people come back to “Well, MY frat/sorority isn’t like that!” Good for you! I do mention in my column that not all fraternities and sororities conform to the stereotype of being a homophobic/heterosexist, preppy, cult-like, booze-fest. That’s wonderful for you and I commend you on joining a fraternity or sorority for reasons other than having friends to drink with. Your personal experience, while nice, does not necessarily give you a good view of what every other fraternity or sorority is like.

As for the whole “paying dues” thing, it’s unfair to ask college students to pay admission to get into a fraternity or sorority when so many of us don’t have the excess cash for such things. Forgive me if my previous statement is incorrect, but here’s a serious question for all of you: If a student doesn’t have the money to pay to be in Greek Life, what happens? Does he or she not get in, or if he or she is already in Greek Life and falls on hard times are they asked to leave until they can pay? Clear this little beasty up for me.

I invite anybody in the Greek community to sit down with me or chat online to discuss your sorority or fraternity. I encourage you to prove me wrong. Try to change my mind.

Scratch that, I will chat with people online only. I value my limbs.

Contact Gregory Porter at [email protected].