Safe v Dangerous Fraternities

Fraternity rape culture

Fraternity rape culture

When a Dartmouth frat brother invited “Lisa” to a house party she felt honored, and eagerly accepted. But after arriving she had just a couple of drinks and passed out.

The next thing she remembers is waking up at a hospital.

Sitting in her hospital bed she noticed bruises on her chest that looked like bites. Lisa told Janet Reitman at Rolling Stone,

To be very honest, I didn’t really want to know what actually happened.

She had been sexually assaulted and then “curbed.” Fraternities make sure that people with possible alcohol or drug poisoning are well outside the frat house before making a “Good Sam” call, so campus security found her unconscious out front.

Nearly every woman at Dartmouth worried about predatory men when they talked with Ms. Reitman about frat culture there. And they do their best to share the names of men considered “dangerous” and fraternities believed to be “unsafe.”

Many men find the behavior revolting too. Stewart Towle de-pledged Sigma Nu over their “dehumanizing antics.”

There are always a few guys in every house who are known to use date-rape drugs.

Safe v Dangerous Fraternities

How are safe and dangerous fraternities different?

Several years ago A. Ayres Boswell and Joan Z. Spade explored an unnamed campus — one that sounds a lot like Dartmouth today — to uncover the differences.

The researchers talked with men who belonged to both types of houses. Here’s what they found:

Guys who belonged to dangerous frats said that they respected women when they were in public or one-on-one. But behind closed doors they felt pressured to disrespect them.

Pressure to disrespect women

Much fraternity disrespect has been made public over the years. A few examples:

  • Yale DKE pledges paraded around the women’s dorms shouting, “No means yes, yes means anal!”
  • Texas Tech’s Phi Delta Theta posted that same message on a banner
  • Dartmouth’s Zeta Psi named and demeaned women the brothers had sex with
  • Duke’s Alpha Delta Phi and Sigma Nu invited sorority “sluts, bitches, witches,” to a party
  • San Diego State’s Delta Sigma Phi screamed obscenities, threw eggs, and waved dildos at “Take Back the Night” marchers

This sort of thing creates a fraternity rape culture where rape is encouraged, celebrated, and where rapists are not punished.

Dangerous parties can look different

Dangerous fraternity parties also looked different from safe parties when the researchers explored them. At least at this one campus.

fraternity-rape-cultureAt dangerous frat parties men and women were segregated, with men congregated on one side of the room, and women on the other.

Women were interested in hooking up — by which they meant kissing or petting. Some hoped to find a boyfriend.

But the women never found a boyfriend because guys at dangerous frats were discouraged from having girlfriends. These “bros” were looking for women they didn’t know or care about. And the goal was sex — aka “scoring” in a game by which men conquer women by getting them to “sexually submit” (i.e., have sex).

It doesn’t help that fraternities are typically are on one side of campus and sororities on the other, making it harder to see women as people and not objects. As one fraternity brother pointed out:

Segregation is unhealthy for good male/female relationships.

Alcohol was also used to make conquests easier. But the brothers didn’t want to admit that they were facilitating rape.

The guys enthusiastically attended these parties until their junior or senior year.

The women, not so much. When they realized that things weren’t what they’d expected, women quickly stopped attending. In fact, it was hard to find women — other than first year students — at these parties.

Dangerous frats

         Men

Women

Don’t know, don’t care about the women

Looking for boyfriend

Goal: Sex

Goal: Kissing, petting

Not bored till Jr, Sr year

Quit quickly

 

Safe frats

• Women and men mingle, get to know each other

• Some guys have girlfriends

In the safer frats women were people. Not prey. Not pawns in a game.

Safe fraternities looked a lot different. Women and men mingled together and got to know each other. They asked questions about what classes they were taking, what they wanted to do when they graduated, and what they did for fun.

And guys at safe fraternities had girlfriends.

Is this a good guide for determining whether a fraternity is safe?

It may well be that dangerous fraternity parties don’t always look like this, compared with safe ones. But the underlying pattern of men in safer fraternities getting to know women as people, and not discouraging relationships, versus dangerous frats encouraging games in which women were prey, or mere pawns by which men “score,” suggests something about the mentality of each side.

And if guys are posting banners shouting, “No means yes, yes means anal,” that’s a pretty revealing sign.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on February 22, 2017, in men, violence against women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 57 Comments.

  1. beautiful article……….

  2. “No means yes, yes means anal!”

    The trouble with the forces of political correctness is that they don’t have enough of a sense of humour, or irony or satire or whatever subtitles of human thought are necessary to recognise a troll when they hear one. What is the aim of the troll? To prod and poke an over sensitive creature to garner a reaction. This is whence the the troll gains his enjoyment and hilarity.

    So how do you stop the troll? Unless you are new to the internet, everyone knows that the way to stop the troll is to ignore the troll. If you don’t feed the troll, the troll dies. Being offended by the troll is exactly what the troll is hoping for. Furthermore, the troll is usually not serious, or at least they exaggerate their view 10000% to gain attention.

    There is no chance that these Frat brothers fulfilling a Frat initiation ceremony actually believe the slogans thrust upon them. The whole nature of the Frat initiation ceremony is that it is as absurd as the mind can possibly dream up. So there’s been initiates having to dress up as Nazis, dressing like women, as prisoners, as nuns, with nothing on at all. I mean just google “frat initiation dress up” and look at the zoo you are confronted with.

    If this frat had pulled this stunt 20 years ago, it wouldn’t have made the newspapers. Not because it was less offensive 20 years ago, but because people weren’t hyper sensitive, troll feeders like they are today. But then again, the Frat probably wouldn’t have pulled the stunt 20 years ago, because.. people weren’t hyper sensitive, troll feeders like they are today. So what would be the point? Nobody would have been trolled, because the world wasn’t filled with hyper sensitive social justice warriors who would be trolled like they are today. Without anyone to troll, what would be the point? The politically correct social justice warriors effectively cause this outrageous behaviour by being such juicy targets for a judicious troll.

    • Oh, the irony of my posting this comment.

      Not saying anything certainly works to help normalize the humiliation of women.

      But it’s beside the point. My point is that some fraternities are dangerous and highly likely to rape women. And going around shouting “no means yes, yes means anal” is one of the more obvious clues — along a spectrum — that they are a dangerous fraternity.

    • Yes the guys think it’s funny and it’s not the intent to be serious.So you can see is what’s the big deal? But it;s easy to see that or say that as a man, isolated by itself. But then you figure, well every man has a mother right? You count in women in your life that you care about. As a son and you have a sister or sisters, or female cousins, or you’re an uncle and have nieces. Or your a father and have a daughter or daughers or a grandparent and have grandaughter or grand daughters who grow up and going to college. These guys maybe be joking, but it doesn’t matter. Sure getting offended lets’ them win, but finding it a dick comment or deciding you don’t want you daughters going there is not stupid.

      I don’t know what you’ve seen, but as a man I can read and sense things being a guy and knowing how some guy’s can be. Those guy’s most likely aren’t going to hurt any girls or do anything criminal. But they sure sound disrespectful. If you have a sister or niece or daughter, do you really want them going to a college or frat where it’s filled with d bag, arrogant, cocky dudes whom your daughter, sister, niece is a conquest and ego stroke? It’s easy to say well that’s how guys can be, but when you look at it from a perspective as “it’s your daughter, or your sister or your niece” it’s understandable to take it seriously.

  3. Super intéressant cet article.
    Je t’embrasse et belle journée à toi
    Tony

  4. If guys are using date rape drugs and their fraternity brothers know about it, those date rape drug guys need to be kicked immediately out of the fraternity and if the fraternity refuses to do so, the real guys should quit the fraternity.

    But what do I know, I was in the Army when I was 17, not in some frat house.

  5. “Guys who belonged to dangerous frats said that they respected women when they were in public or one-on-one. But behind closed doors they felt pressured to disrespect them”. This is why I don’t get excited from men feminism or from any truths that the people from the mob claim to believe. The same people who would gangrape 40 years ago today speak in P.C. language.

    ‘South Park’ has a chapter on the topic. I had the impression that P.C. enitiols stand for pussy catcher and not politically correct.

    • I don’t understand what any of this means. But I’ll take a crack at it. Men who are respecting women in public but humiliating them behind closed doors are not feminist. They are afraid of the other men, afraid of not being accepted if they don’t fit in. They are seeking to be accepted as a man among men. The irony is that part of the male role (As our society construction) is to be courageous and these guys are scaredy-cats.

  6. What are we teaching our young men that makes this crap ok? WTF?

  7. Another excellent and informative post, Georgia.

    It seems that this situation hasn’t changed since my youth. Many (most?) young men simply view women as objects and score points for seducing/raping them. Sad. Some grow out of it but others become Trumpian-like and continue their adolescent beliefs.

    Frankly, I see Trump as one of these. My hunch is that his condition was a result of his skinflint father’s bullying and his self-centered attitude. He felt he could never please his father and, from this article, it appears that I may be correct. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/26/donald-trump-fred-trump-father-relationship-business-real-estate-art-of-deal

    One statement, concerning sex, in the article struck me as very curious, upon which there was no elaboration, but has sparked my interest in further research:

    The one area where father and son never seem to have competed was over the sexual love of a woman, or more specifically over the love of Mary Trump, Fred’s wife and Donald’s mother.

    This makes me curious about his private relationship with his daughter and why his wife does not live in the White House. (I’m not accusing, just wondering).

    Seems that, to me, virtually every conversation turns to politics/Captian Queeg). 😀

    • I hope they didn’t compete because sexual love of his mother isn’t something Trump was interested in. Other interpretations make me squirm. I wish that he had had a more healthy family upbringing.

  8. A most interesting post…. I have recently watched two documentaries on sexual assault on college campuses. One: “Audrie & Daisy” (Blurb: Two teens are sexually assaulted by boys they considered friends and humiliated online). And “The hunting Ground” (Blurb: It exposes the epidemic of sexual assault on college capuses and school officials´efforts to cover up the crimes)… I recommend you the second one, in particular…
    Thank you for raising awareness of these crucial issues, dear Georgia. Best wishes! 😀

    • Thank you. And Audrie lived only a few miles away from me. So sad that the boys were celebrated for sexually assaulting her and she ended up feeling humiliated to the point of killing herself. And that’s in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area. Something is very wrong with our society.

  9. Frats scare the heck out of me and I think it’s a good idea to have safe practices in place when you go anywhere near them.
    It’s hard for me to fathom the way these boys are treating their female classmates. It’s also nearly impossible to understand how the schools continue to play a part in this rape culture. If you don’t condemn it, you condone it.

  10. This is a great guide to learn more on which frats are safe and which are not. I do realize not all frats may appear like this, but this is still more information than I had previously known. Colleges need to crack down and make campuses safer for women. Even is the sororities and frats are on opposite sides of the campus, that doesn’t mean that women should now be viewed as sex objects. College guys need to start changing their view on how they see women. Rape should not be a popular thing to do at frat parties. These guys need to grow up and learn to be a respectable human being. I personally do not respect anyone who wouldn’t not respect me back. They are going to college to get knowledge about their future career, rape should not be a part of their lives (or anyone else’s for that matter). I hope colleges can start to take action and do something about these horrible guys.

    • And some fraternities may actually be safe. But I sure wish that colleges and students would do more about the dangerous fraternities.

    • “Rape should not be a popular thing to do at frat parties.”

      Come on, let’s get back to reality for a minute. Rape is not a popular pastime at frat parties. The rate of sexual assault for college students is EXACTLY THE SAME as the rate for non-students. If there was something odd going on at Frat houses, we’d expect students to have a much higher rate. In fact, over the past 20 years, the rate of assault of non students has tended to be much higher than for students. So if you’re looking for a safe place to go on the weekend, statistically, probably a frat party would be a better bet than hanging around with your non-college friends.

      • But the rate of rape on campus is not equivalent for fraternities and non-fraternities. It’s much higher at frat houses. Frat culture is involved in that.

        So the rate of rape among non-fraternity members is lower for 20-year-olds compared to people who don’t go to college. It could be higher among the non-college educated for a number of reasons, including higher rates of feeling disempowered. It’s very common for the motivation behind sexual assault to be creating a sense of empowerment over someone because you don’t feel like you are empowered in real life. And men are constantly trying to prove their manhood, And rapists are often trying to do that — defining a man as someone who is powerful, aggressive, dominant, superior…

  11. The term “safe frat” is just so silly to me. I mean I understand why women are more likely to go to those parties considering how uncomfortable it must be to attend a party that is similar to the “unsafe frat” you described, but in the end they are parties with alcohol that can get out of control. As a woman it seems you can’t go anywhere without the sense of looming danger of a sexual predator. Whether it is a high school party, frat party, or just taking a stroll when it’s a little dark out, it has become so normalized that it’s a permanent fear no matter the venue. I also found the comment below funny:
    “If guys are using date rape drugs and their fraternity brothers know about it, those date rape drug guys need to be kicked immediately out of the fraternity and if the fraternity refuses to do so, the real guys should quit the fraternity.”
    Not because I don’t agree with it, but because the guys who are using date rape drugs to take advantage of women…those are real men! Their disgusting behavior does not make them any less real (I wish), but I find this disassociation with many of my male friends as if their decisions are individual acts of malice rather than a problem within their gender. Individuals need not to be dehumanized and depicted as animals for the violence to stop. This problem needs to be addressed to men whether they are rapists or not, good or bad, it doesn’t matter because it’s not about picking or penalizing specific men, it’s about educating everyone on the reality of the situation in order to work toward a resolution.

  12. Elisabeth Esquivel

    As a freshman girl in college, I quickly found out which were the dangerous fraternities and the safe ones. The safe ones, like stated above, were the guys that were friendly. Maybe they still had sex as their goal, but they were nice and asked about your major and weren’t pushy, and would leave you alone if you weren’t interested. These were the parties that my friends and I could go to and dance without being afraid of a creepy hand uninvited wrap around your waist.
    And then there were the dangerous houses, quite like the ones described above. In my first year, I got an email one morning from my school that there had been a sexual assault the previous night. It named the fraternity and what the perpetrator looked like. Yet I know girls who would still go to their parties for the rest of the year, which continues to baffle me.

  13. After reading this article, I can say that this is very relevant to Greek life today. There are the good and the bad parts of Greek life, but I would say that the rape culture is something every University tries to crack down on. It seems as if universities are really starting to take note because I’ve heard most my friends at universities have to take a drug and alcohol awareness segment when they first arrive their freshman year. Some friends currently in Fraternities have definitely agreed with the fact that there is an underlying pressure to not have a girlfriend. I do think that males have their responsibility to act like good human beings with their morals in check, but I also think that girls have to do their part too. I think parents and the girls themselves should educate themselves on this topic because, sadly, it is a very prevalent one in modern day fraternity culture in America. I think girls have to do more homework on the party scene and have more discretion is because the parties are held at fraternities, and not sororities. If it was the other way around, I would like to see what would happen.

    • Women and men both internalize cultural norms so that they often don’t even realize that they are following them– Even when they cause harm. So I wish that both men and women would become more enlightened and educated on the topic. I think women should boycott these fraternities.

  14. This article really moves me, because I personally know some people that have been sexually assaulted at frat parties. They have a few drinks, and then wake up not knowing where they are. During their time being passed out, it was more than likely they were sexually assaulted by the frat brothers that were hosting the party. Initially, women think it is an amazing thing to be invited to a frat party; but that is not the case under most circumstances.
    As the article states, at more dangerous frat parties, the women and men are more segregated from each other. The women want to find a possible love interest, while men just want to use the women for sex and nothing else. Of course, this isn’t the case at all frat parties; sometimes both men and women want sex, but the men tend to be more dominating and violent towards women.
    At the more safe frat parties, men and women both mingle, and some of the men have girlfriends already. This signals that the men in this fraternity aren’t very interested in assaulting and violating women; of course, looks may be deceiving, but a party like this is significantly safer than a party with prowling single men just looking to get off.

    • It’s important to see how the men are treating women at the party, outside the party, among other men… Are women seen as human beings?

      Thanks for your thoughts on this.

  15. I believe that this is somewhat an accurate way of distinguishing rather a frat is safe or not. There are many frats or sororities that their emphasis is to “hook up” rather than to “get to know each other.” Many frats are known for doing ridiculous acts as highlighted above and aim to continue the generation of their acts for years to come. Having dangerous fraternities host parties may lead to situations where male/female at the party may obtain HIV/STD from having sex without consent. Women have the right to say no when they are pressured into having sex regardless the situation, and i feel that there are many men that don’t respect that, which leads to acts of violence/abuse and rape. In order to tackle these situations at parties there must be regulations when constructing a party or get together. The school must ensure or have someway of monitoring the fraternities.

  16. I think it is terrible knowing that one can go to a frat party, and be treated like this. No one should be treated like an object. What these men are doing is dehumanizing. This may show to women that want to attend a frat party that it is not safe. In my opinion there shouldn’t be a safe or non safe frat.The fact that most of the men treat women with respect outside of the frats, but behind them are taught to be disrespectful to them. This results to rape. Also the idea that a women may think that she can find a boyfriend in the frats does not happen. If one goes to a frat to have fun and socialize, but to men it means to have a night of just sex. When you add alcohol to this equation it becomes a totally different situation. In conclusion, I do not think that there should be safe or unsafe frats. A frat should be a fun way for guys to become brothers, and be able to meet long lasting friends. Of course this will never be the case.

  17. I grew up in Germany where fraternities are a totally different thing. Being in a frets there is concert as something honowful and some have very strict rules like dress codes. So all I knew about american frets was based of movies or friends who told me some bits. I knew that some guys in frets are very much interested in sex but I did not know that something like “rape parties” happen. That actually shocks me! You even pointed out that something like that happens at Yale. I think it is a shame for those universities. In my opinion they should definitely step in and do something about it.

    • Pretty sad that even guys at elite colleges behave this way. I saw an article in the New York Times — written by a Harvard student — which suggested that people who attend elite colleges are particularly status conscious, so I guess it could make sense that these boys would be especially conscious of gender ranking and want to convince themselves and everyone else that they are elite in every way, including men over women.

  18. I’m so glad to read about this. We had talked about rape culture in class, but I did not seem to be able to relate it my everyday life. Since I am transferring this year, I will come across more people from fraternities and sororities and will be looking for the safe and dangerous signs.
    I do not fully understand how segregation of dorms made it more likely for rape culture. Don’t those frat boys see women in their classes, on campus etc. Is it their need to prove their manhood? (but there is nothing manly in taking advantage of a girl)

    • I guess that the fraternities mostly interact with sororities but not on an everyday basis. Usually you have big campuses and probably won’t have people who attend your parties in your classes. So if you lived closer together you would have much more chance to get to know each other.

  19. I am part of a sorority and along with a couple of other woman we founded a chapter in my University. We quickly realized that we started getting invited to parties as we came out as an official chapter. As stated in your article there are always going to be good and bad fraternities and it’s solely on how the group of guys encourage each other. I think it depends on how the chapter in general speaks about woman, you can tell by the way they speak to each other. The bad guys encourage each other to sleep with a girl that night, or speak about how many girls they have slept with or how many girls they are talking to. On the other hand, the guys that feel more safe to be around barely spoke bad about woman in general. They had a lot of friends that were females and they never felt disrespected. I think it depends a lot with the group you hang out with. Humans like to stick around with people that are similar to them so it makes sense when a whole group of guys make parties specifically for women to come.

    Not only does this apply to fraternities but also athletic teams. In my old university we didn’t have any fraternities in our campus so the athletes were the one’s throwing parties. There was once an incident in which a girl was raped in one of an athletes dorm and nothing was really spoken about it. The problem was pushed under the carpet and instead of talking as a school about it the campus decided to push it aside. I think the school should also take a big step into making everyone understand that woman deserve respect and that if they ever do cross the line of raping anyone there should be severe consequences instead of just pushing the problem away and pretending like it didn’t happen.

    • Thanks for the update 🙂

      • To what vanessa said and how it’s scary that it still happens to day with things being pushed under the rug. It’s not new “news” but it made me think of Baylor University and the football team. And how the president or University ignored the rapes committed by the football players on female students. You probably haven’t read much into it, but I’m sure you’ve heard of the issues that came with Baylor. Speaking of under the rug and athletics, you hear about the Dr for the women’s gymnastics who sexually abused the girls for like 15 years and things were hush? Finally after all this time things came up but there were people that knew of his abuse but kept quiet. It’s disturbing how not just the perpertrator but people who could prevent or do something, just turn a blind eye. That’s the case for this, for Baylor and of course Penn State and Sandusky.

      • Sometimes I just have to wonder what is wrong with people.

  20. Yasmir Williams

    Your blog is very informative and highlights the good/bad side when attending frat parties. Personally, I think that colleges and universities should be accountable for frat parties that pose dangers to both men or women. Women are not the only ones that are being raped, molested, and tortured. Men are also victims and are hazed, beaten, raped and tortured. Colleges should prevent these events from happening and punish the students that condone violence and brutality. When students are being hazed and initiated into a group, this behavior promotes violence and constitutes a health risk that causes harm and effects parties that are involved. Not only are these behaviors hazardous, they’re abusive and can be detrimental to the student for the rest of their lives. There are frat parties that are safe, but we constantly hear about the dangers of frat parties. We as adults are concerned about the well-being of the students that attend these dangerous engagements. Frat parties will continue to hold the legacy has a dangerous gathering and students should be cautious of their surroundings and aware of the choices they make.

  21. Elaine Gastelum

    It’s so sad to know that people need to be aware of the differences in fraternities. Apparently, there’s such thing as safe fraternities and dangerous fraternities and I didn’t even know that. It’s a shame that there frat boys out there that disrespect ladies and sexually assault them. They need to learn that that is not okay for them to harm ladies in any way, especially in a sexual manner. Someone needs to put a stop to this and “dangerous” fraternities need to end as soon as possible. Raping others should not be encouraged in any way to be completely honest. No one should feel pressured to be disrespecting women. Safe fraternities look like they gave good intentions with women, which is really great. I hope soon things will change and there will be nothing but safe fraternities rather than dangerous fraternities. People need to get together and put an end to dangerous fraternities as soon as they can.

  22. Reading this article was so concerning since I have been in the environment of both the safe and dangerous fraternities in my early college years. While I never felt like I was victimized at a “dangerous” fraternity party, based on this article, it was clear what their intentions were for women that they were “preying” on. It was clear they went after women that were more drunk and more likely to be able to “score” with. It’s scary to be a young college women and have to worry about whether or not you may be sexually assaulted. I always wanted to believe better for these fraternity guys, that maybe they really are just being pressured from their other brothers and are not actually predatory like that. I was friends, and only ever was friends, with some fraternity guys and I couldn’t never imagine any of them acting that way. From the article, they were clearly guys from the the safe frats or I would not have strictly been friends with them. There needs to be a change in rape culture and how fraternities are a big influence on the culture.

  23. I like the point Vanessa made about not all guys being the same. There are many guys who find disrespect towards women repulsive. I find it strange that this frat party culture still exists in America. I come from Europe where it doesn’t to the same extant. Obviously it is difficult to change such old fashioned and long established practices, but how amazing it would be if one or two frats would take the lead and set an example of equality and inclusion for others to follow. I know that’s probably not going to happen, but if guys don’t approve of the disrespect their frat shows towards women, they should have the courage to take a stand and speak out. From what we learned in class, many guys are not happy with the patriarchal views, actions or comments of their frats. Well guys, by saying nothing nobody believes you! I also think Universities should be held accountable for negative behavior or comments from frats (maybe through Title IX). It’s time to put this old fashioned system behind us and be more equal, encompassing and inclusive.

    • Yes, and many of the guys who behave disrespectfully don’t even want to. They’re just too afraid to go against the fraternity norm. We need to encourage guys to be more courageous.

  24. Your post overall looks pretty accurate. Good job. My only quibble is with your punchline at the end:

    “…if guys are posting banners shouting, “No means yes, yes means anal,” that’s a pretty revealing sign”

    Though never a frat rat, I was once an undergrad with a much too broad and offensive sense of humor, and can say that the ones using such slogans are less likely to be dangerous, for the most part. They understand that their words are stupid. That’s why they’re using them. Think of football cheers and the chants taught in military training. In any large group, there’s a small handful who might think the words have meaning, but they’re the kind who were at risk for bizarre behavior to begin with.

    That’s not to say I would let such speech go without opposition these days. The truth we’ve learned all too well in the internet age is expressed by that quote often attributed to Descartes, but probably not from him:

    “Any group that gets its laughs by acting like idiots will soon be overrun by actual idiots who think they’re in good company.”

    The acting like idiots tends to normalize bad behavior for anyone who was near the line and just needed a little push.

    • Well your quibble with my last line makes no sense.

      The researchers found that the dangerous fraternities routinely did things to humiliate women — similar to unfurling that sign.

      People who respect other people do not humiliate them.

      The safe ones did not do things like that.

      The safe fraternities treated women like human beings. They did not spend their time trying to find ways to demean and humiliate women.

      Your comment worries me that you are trying to get women to go to dangerous fraternity parties.

  25. Try to imagine just how socially awkward and naive the guys are. Hard as it is to believe, the intention of the sign is not to demean or humiliate, but to make a joke that they genuinely think many women can laugh at.

    Evil does not walk up and introduce itself as evil. It comes disguised as good.

    Awkwardness and simple stupidity often look like evil.

    • Try to imagine what it is like being a woman on campus where women are constantly being humiliated, whether through words or through actual sexual assault.

      Many women, myself included, have talked about how living in this sort of environment makes you feel terrible about yourself. When I was first going to college and had to live in this sort of atmosphere I didn’t have enough of a feminist understanding to realize what was happening or work to fight against it. It was such a relief to get out of there. And all I experienced (and all that many Women experience) are the words that beat them down.

      I still won’t give any money to that university when they call asking for funds. And I always root against it.

      No doubt those boys are awkward and insecure. Whenever you see someone put someone else down, insecurity is behind it.

      Insecurity is behind rape, battering, and insults like these. Trying to feel like a big man by batting down someone else. All of these behaviors are evil.

      So sad that because of their own insecurities or fears about standing up to the group some people make other people’s lives miserable.

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