In the media, fraternity life is always portrayed with a misogynistic undertone. Whether it be in GREEK or Revenge of the Nerds, the message is clear: If you’re in a fraternity, you’ll “get some.” Obviously, there are a variety of reasons men join fraternities, whether at SUNY Oneonta or at other campuses, but the idea of receiving sex as a direct result of joining a fraternity is still being broadcasted on the t-shirts of fraternities on our campus.
Although unrecognized fraternities are the organizations that are bluntly wearing rush shirts that read “Just Do Us” with a male figure surrounded by female figures, recognized fraternities have also been seen sporting shirts with vulgar slogans, sliding just beneath the radar of being misogynistic. With shirts that read “It’s Always Better Where It’s Wetter” or slogans that infer the fraternity members are having intercourse, some fraternities are not only promoting a sexist culture, but a culture of heterosexism on our campus. The message your shirt is sending is that you are superior and that you don’t care if your shirt makes others uncomfortable because you know what sells. And that is sex. Heterosexual sex.
As a campus that prides itself on diversity-or at least is working toward a more diversified community-I hope to see more members of these fraternities that wear such garb take a stand within their own organization to adjust to the new standard: equality. If greek life prides itself on being the student leaders they claim to be, I expect to see change in regards to the attire that is being sported by its members. The only way to eradicate the negative stigma that is so far etched into greek life is to start by presenting yourself how you want to be seen and I would hope that you wouldn’t want to be seen as misogynistic homophobes.
I have heard stories of professional staff on campus refusing to serve or work with students that choose to wear such distasteful shirts, as the ones pictured, until they change or flip them inside out—and rightfully so.
Other students, like you and I, can also say something. Don’t be afraid to make a comment, to make a statement that you’re uncomfortable or simply find their shirt repulsive. We don’t need to wait for the administration to piece together some legislation to put into the greek life bylaws. We are the students on this campus and we deem what is okay on this campus. Simply say something.