Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Circling the Fat (Spring semester)

It’s a good day. Both classes turn in all their rewrites on time. Toward the end of the second class, we spend an inordinate amount of time arguing the merits of joining Scientology as a surefire tool for star-fucking if you go into any kind of media-related PR business. This sets off a flurry of brushes-with-fame stories.

“My sister’s roommate at Pepperdine used to know Tom and Nicole’s nanny,” says Jordie, a Laguna Beach surfer chick whose mother writes New Age sex manuals.

The class perks up at this savory little bomblet, knowing my propensity for celebrity gossip. I will happily detour out of a discussion of when and where to use the subjunctive “if I were” or how properly to employ semicolons -- I say don’t, just rewrite the sentence -- if anyone wants to talk about the latest "Lindsay Lohan anorexia shocker" cover story in Star magazine or ponder which starlet on The O.C. somebody went to high school with and, “like, ohmagawd, she was SUCH a cokewhore already by 10th grade.”

“Yes, Jordie? Do go on,” I say.

Nineteen notebooks slam shut. Class is officially over, but everyone sits forward with rapt attention to catch Jordie’s droplets of gossip. She loves being the center of attention. She talks like every Laguna Beach kid I’ve ever met, ending every sentence with a question mark.

“So, OK, my sister’s roommate used to hang out with Tom and Nicole’s nanny back when they were, like, you know, married and stuff? Did you know one of their adopted kids is black? Isn’t that, like, weird? Anyway, this girl went over there one time? When Tom and Nicole were off making different movies? The nanny was keeping the kids – she was practically raising them single-handed – and she had my sister’s roommate over. So when the nanny was putting the kids to bed and reading them stories and stuff? This girl goes snooping all through the house. This enormous house, like in the Palisades or Brentwood or somewhere, I dunno. I forget. But get this – ’’

All ears quiver with anticipation.

“—they had separate bedrooms. Tom. And. Nicole. Like at totally separate ends of this big mansion. Like with their own separate entrances and their own bathrooms and living rooms and everything? She said they never slept together, that it was, like, a business arrangement and they both had, you know, like other boyfriends and girlfriends.”

“Ah, yes, but which?”

“Huh?”

“Who had the boyfriends and who had the girlfriends?”

“Yeah, right, like Tom’s gay. I’m so sure. Get out,” says Jordie, rolling her eyes.

Ah, such innocent lambs about some things, they are.

“Anything else?” I prompt. “Heroin in the cookie jar? Kiddie porn in the powder room?”

“Noooo! Just the separate bedrooms,” says Jordie, sensing a loss of momentum in her story. She pauses briefly as if wracking her brain for something else to reveal. “Hey, my mom knows Chandler’s mom from Friends. He’s back in rehab again.”

“That was in Us magazine last week,” grumbles an Ashley, swiping Lancome Juicy gloss onto her bottom lip.

Jordie shoots daggers at the Ashley. “Well, I heard it from my mom,” she says.

“OK, look at the time,” I say. “Any questions about what’s due next week? Then be gone, ye happy gossip fiends.”

I retreat to my office, stopping on the way to chunk change in the snack machine for nacho-flavored Doritos. The Coke Nazis have raised the price of soda again: a buck per can. My mouth is full of cumin-flavored corn snacks and I’m just about to start inking in the New York Times daily crossword when I hear a light rap on the office door.

“Professor? Do you have a minute?” It’s Emma, a sweet kid from last year’s Intro to Modern Media lecture class. She manages a weak smile, but looks like she’s been crying. Oh, boy.

“What’s wrong, kiddo?”

She plops into a chair, not bothering to take off her Burberry raincoat. Her long brown hair hangs in limp clumps tucked behind her ears.

“I’m sorry,” she says, sniffling a little. “But I was going down the hall and saw your light on and I just thought… I just….”

A big tear rolls down her left cheek.

“Spill it. What’s going on?” I say, pushing a box of tissues across the desk.

“Well, last January I pledged a sorority,” she says. She mentions the house, one of the top two for snottiness, looksism and all-around obnoxious snob-mongering. “At first I really liked it. Everybody was so nice and everything and they have all these parties.”

She stops to dab at her nose.

I don’t say a thing.

“So OK, that was last spring. And over the summer I got this job at a deli back in my hometown.” She’s from a picturesque little burg stuck way back in the Piney Woods of East Texas.

“And I guess I sampled too much of the merchandise – we made these huge peanut butter cookies, you know? They were amazing. And anyway, I guess I put on a some weightage. And…and…and.”

Now she’s on the verge of a full-out crying jag.

“You look fine to me, Emma.”

“Thank you. (Big sniff) I was planning on losing the weight this semester but at the sorority house last night they made us do fat circles.”

“Did you say fat circles? Is that like crop circles?”

She laughs weakly. “No, it’s where they make girls they think are fat take off everything but their bra and panties and then they line us up and the older girls take Sharpie pens and they circle where we should lose weight.”

“Circle where?”

“On our bodies! Like, on your stomach or your hips or your upper thighs. It’s so …so…so.”

“Yes, it is, Emma. It’s ridiculous. You let them do this? Mark you up like a side of beef?”

“Well, they make us! They circled me all over my stomach and my hips and they told me I need to lose 40 pounds by fall break! I can’t lose 40 pounds that fast unless I get my jaws wired shut!”

We both laugh. But Emma shivers at the memory of being the victim of that ugly ritual. Fat-circling. Jesus. What self-hating bitch thought that one up?

“I was so upset last night that I called my mom and I almost went home. Like, home-home. Like, forever. I just feel like the fattest pig on the planet.” Emma grabs another tissue and blows her nose with a gentle “thhhhffff."

“I don’t blame you,” I say, clicking into advice-giving mode. “But look, you and I know it’s stupid. If you want to lose some weight – and honestly, you look fine to me – then do it sensibly and slowly. Don’t you dare let some sorority twit make you feel bad about yourself. It’s not worth it. You want to end up like those sick little things who rush to that ladies’ room down there five minutes after lunch and toss their two teaspoons of tuna salad into stall number 6? No, of course you don’t. Because you’re smarter than that. You’re just a healthy girl. You’re barely out of puberty. You ate too many cookies over the summer. Big effing deal. Tell those girls back at the house to bug off. Take a Sharpie and circle your middle finger with it and shove it right in their faces.”

“I wish!” says Emma. She’s stopped sniffling. For a second, I think she actually believes this horseshit I’m shoveling at her. But she and I both know that the fat-circling harpies have left their indelible mark on her psyche. You don’t forget a thing like having to stand in your scanties with your peers peering at you like you’re a frog under a microscope.

How dare they?

Emma and I sit in silence for a moment, just sort of letting it soak in. Then she lets out a big sigh.

“Well, I’m sorry I interrupted your lunch,” Emma says, looking at my bag of chips. “I just wanted to talk to you and I knew you’d understand. I saw your light on.”

You bet I understand, dearie. And I’d take a hundred chubby Emmas over one of those skinny bitchlings back at the sorority bitch-haven any day.

“Don’t let the creepos get you down, kiddo,” I tell her. Sounds lame even to me, but she giggles anyway. “One day they’ll all have flabby asses and pot bellies and they’ll look in the mirror and mentally fat-circle their own damn bodies and they’ll remember all the girls they did it to and then they’ll feel like crap.”

“Ha! I’ll bet they will! You know, I hope they do!”

Emma’s standing up now, almost jumping up and down. Maybe it’s just dawned on her that college – and sorority houses – aren’t forever. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing that cheers them up when they need a surrogate mom.

“Come back anytime you need to, kiddo. I’m usually here this time of day, usually stuffing my face. If you started circling my fat, you’d run out of ink.”

Big laugh from Emma.

“I guess I should call my mom and tell her I’m not moving home this weekend.”

“I’m sure she’ll be relieved to hear that.”

“But next time I do go home, I’m going by the deli and getting you some of those cookies. They’re the most amazing cookies in the world!”

60 Comments:

Anonymous Lindsay Kaye said...

Wow! So that story completely scared me. I want to rush this spring at SMU... definitely not a sorority known for looks or snottiness... but I'm sure none of them are innocent for that. This really makes me think twice! Though then again, my roommate is a sorority and she's the sweetest thing on the planet. All I know is, if somebody circled all the fat on my body -- and they'd have to do a lot of circling, for I am NOT an Ashley -- I would be leaving that sorority in a second. Nobody should bring another human being down like that!

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad my college didn't do sororities.

OTOH - Someone trying to get me to strip down to my skivvies in public would probably get a quick kick and the finger. I have "issues" with involuntary nudity.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Thimbelle said...

As a mother... I'm glad that Emma found you to talk to.

Fat circles, indeed.

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few of them invite some fraternity boys over to do the circling for them. Luckily I wasn't one of the girls up on the chairs getting marked up but it made me sick to see.

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Patty The Philosophy prof.. said...

Huge pat on the back for professor/counselor!

It says a lot about your teaching and your humanity that they want to talk to you that way -- but, it takes a lot of your attention and energy to hear it... Think about it as an investment in their future.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luckily I pledged a sorority that did not do such things.

Sorority life on my campus was/is huge (approx. 80% greek). We had sororities on campus that did the fat circles. It was so sad, the majority of the girls in one of those particular houses were all the 5'8" skinny, blonde girls (maybe a cubby brunette for diversity). During rush, a member of this house said, "We're a unique house because we stand for diversity." I laughed so hard I practically fell off my chair, saying "You all are tall, skinny, blonde, and wearing the exact same outfit. How is that diverse?"

My house, on the other hand, had girls of several races, sizes (and not just sizes 2-8), and interests. I got the better end of this deal. We are actual friends and did not deal with any of that other crap.

8:45 AM  
Blogger kitty said...

An excellent example of how "dialogue brings stories to life."

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Leslie in CA said...

Good for Emma for coming to talk to you; far better than keeping it all in and silently hating herself. Stuff like this makes me so angry. Too bad we can't take Sharpies and circle all the holes in those girls' souls.

(On a completely different topic, I find semicolons to be very useful bits of punctuation indeed, and use them regularly. I'm sorry to hear you have a grudge against them.)

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my family, anyone who associates or dates a soristutute is disowned. These girls are the scum of the universe. They get what they deserve.

My only wish is that college presidents would make it very clear that they think this practice is part of getting an education.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just graduated from SMU in May & I am a PROUD member of the SMU Panhellenic council. I can assure you this practice NEVER (or anything remotely similar) EVER took place in my house, which was consistently recognized as being a top house on campus.

Lindsay Kaye, don't worry! Please do go through recruitment. It can bring you to a tremendous support group and a group of women who make you want to be a better person. I wouldn't trade a millisecond of my SMU sorority experience for anything.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Baylor, a good, upstanding Christian school, and fat circling was in full swing. In fact, our sororities got the fraternities to do the fat circling for them. After all, the fat asses will be far more humiliated if the hot, blonde volleyball players are weilding the Sharpies. In fact, I know that the most evil of the sororities used the CHRISTIAN fraternity for the circling. How twisted is that! Yeah, what would Jesus do, indeed!

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorostitutes always claim that they never engage in such bizarre hazing, but they are all liars.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's quite a generalization.

They are not all liars. Some houses do have hazing, alot don't. I never had to go through anything remotely like hazing and frankly, none of us members would have stood for it.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous andrea said...

I've heard stories about this, but not having pledged a sorority, I wouldn't know first-hand...

It would explain why I see all these absolutely adorable, slightly pudgy girls come through AARO, and then I see the same girls come back in January looking pale and slightly sickly - but they're now a size 2.

Maybe it's the fact they're all 18, but how do you go from a 12 to a 2 in ONE SEMESTER? Don't bother telling me - I don't think I want to know.

It happens every year, and it's kind of sad. And now that plastic surgery is becoming more common, it too is kind of expected. *shudder*

12:09 PM  
Blogger Another Damned Medievalist said...

Buffy never rushed.

12:22 PM  
Blogger BagOfNothing.com said...

greek life is so silly

1:53 PM  
Anonymous handworn said...

Reading that, I was thinking of something else (though pretty disgusted at this Greek B.S., too). I'm a guy. If I said, "I don’t blame you" in response to "I just feel like the fattest pig on the planet," it would be taken in completely the reverse way (and I'd be in deep shit) even if I didn't mean it like that.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware that people in fraternites and sororities were actually able to carry on a halfway intelligent conversation about something. But then again we are still just talking about fraternities and sororities here..so it isn't too much of a stretch for you guys, I guess.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yall are all so bigoted & hate filled. Why can't you accept that some people really do enjoy their greek experience!

3:48 PM  
Anonymous lucille said...

Oh, man. I made it a personal rule not to apply to schools with frats and sororities, and even chose a grad school without them. Now that I teach at a place that has them, I endure them. But "greek life" is preparation for absolutely nothing except exclusionary snobbery. You can get all the socially redeeming aspects in other extracurriculars, internships, volunteer work, team sports, and plain old friendship. And the other things you get are just pathetic, or evil, or both.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I was never a part of fraternity life when I was at SMU (class of 2001), so I never got to see this kind of thing first hand. Fat circling was a popular story about the sororities there but I could never bring myself to think that it was true. The practice seemed so damaging and horrifying that no sensible person would ever do that to someone else. Maybe I'm right: no sensible person would.

To hear that the practice happened and happens at my alma mater saddens me.

That said, good for Emma for going to the right place and good for the Prof for handling things well.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course we are hate-filled and bigoted. I hate sorostitutes. They are not human. I will not hired them (and I can do so legally, going to far as to tell them "I don't think sorority girls have what it takes to succeed in a performance-driven industry"), and I will not allow any member of my family to marry them. They are generally stupid and wasted their time in college.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, you are ignorant. There are many intelligent, hard-working and high achieving girls in sororities. I myself was valedictorian of my high school class, graduated Cum Laude at SMU and am currently pursuing an MBA at MSU. What happened to you to make you so hateful toward sororities?

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Hillabeans said...

As a transfer to SMU, this disturbs me so much. Never have I myself felt so ugly, a bit overweight, and uncharismatic as I have for just 4 days since we've been in school... but I've been assured that I haven't changed by my friends, appearance-wise.
These people strive for perfection and love the competition. Dallas is a totally new breed of people, I'm not afraid to say it...

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will not hired them (and I can do so legally, going to far as to tell them "I don't think sorority girls have what it takes to succeed in a performance-driven industry")
Ok, my friend I'm not sure what law you abide under but this is NOT legal. Try again.
As a member of a fantastic sorority on the SMU campus I learned so much about myself. I knew no one when I arrived on campus. This organization helped me pursue my interests in volunteer work, encouraged good grades, and made me a better person all around. I think those of you with such harsh feelings against sorority and fraternity members are ignorant to what they can provide a young man or woman. I hate to tell you but I assure you that many of the men and women you look up to in the government, entertainment and business world get their self-confidence and motivation from what their greek experience brought them. Turn your closed-mindedness toward organizations that don't promote such inspirational ideals.

5:45 PM  
Blogger theprofessor said...

I have met many fine students who were in the greek orgs. But I agree that the groups aren't preparation for much in life. They promote friendships formed through exclusion. I never got good answers when I asked the sorority girls why there were no African American or Latino or Asian members in their houses. There is a fairly new "diversity-oriented" sorority on that campus. Currently it has three active members (as reported to me by a recent grad, who helped establish the new group a few years ago). Looksism, racism and class-ism persist among some of the greek houses. The "Emma" story is mild compared to other horrors that were shared with me over the past decade.

5:54 PM  
Blogger theprofessor said...

And a p.s. for "hillabeans." Don't be discouraged. Your "tribe" will find you if you stick around. Don't be shy. Talk to other students. Get to know your profs. The first few weeks are the hardest. Do NOT let the pin-thin fashion-slags intimidate you. Just look at them the way you do the Mickey and Minnie characters walking around at Disney World -- you're real and they're wearing costumes.

6:00 PM  
Blogger theprofessor said...

Another p.s. -- I meant "I don't blame" Emma for wanting to go home. I'll edit that to make it clearer in the published version. Thanks.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe sorostitutes only like pretty girls because they are all lesbians.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Leslie in CA said...

Just for the record, my comments were directed at the specific sorority "sisters" (try saying that three times fast) whom Emma encountered, not at members of sororities (and fraternities) in general. It's it's clear from the comments on this thread that there are good Greek organizations. Though I fear they are too much in the minority, I hope they will become more prevalent.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Leslie in CA said...

Oy. I did proofread, but not well enough. No ice cream sandwiches here . . .

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Lindsay Kaye said...

Hillabeans, I feel the SAME way! If you read this, drop me a line... lindsaykaye04@gmail.com

SMU girls can kill one's self-esteem, for sure. I know when I came last year, my self-image sunk waaaaaaay down. But it doesn't have to be like that!

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't see how it is possible for there to be a good Greek organization because 1) they discriminate; and 2) they require people to pay for friends. For this reason many people don't consider "Greeks" human.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Girls need to stop prattling on about self-esteem and start working. Unfortunately, since most of them spend all their time being catty they will always be paid less and spend their lives looking for husbands.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you want some answers, here they are!!

"I never got good answers when I asked the sorority girls why there were no African American or Latino or Asian members in their houses"
**In the house I belonged to at SMU, we did not have only Caucasions members. I myself am a minority in a house. We also have MANY others: many Latinos, a few Asians, and recently had an African American graduate. I can also give specific examples of houses on campus with even more minorities as members. If you look at other universities with strong greek systems, I'm sure you will find minorities in those houses as well. There are only a handful of minorities that go through panhellenic recruitment at SMU. Many prefer the alternative, pan-hellenic recruitment. By implying that we discriminate on ethnicity would be a mistake on your part.
Professor, I think you make MANY excellent observations about life on campus, but this one is wrong.


"1) they discriminate; and 2) they require people to pay for friends."
**1)--see above
**2)the payments required by sorority members serve the following purposes: a)housing (includes paying house staff)-I lived in the house and it was significanly less expensive for my family, I had excellent food (much better than the cafeteria) and always a quite place to study. b)philanthropy-the event held by the organization costs money to put on. Food costs money, lights cost money, security costs money, etc. I was in charge of putting this event together one year and I can assure you NO drinking, drugs, etc. were on the premises so don't try to use that excuse. c)parties-I admit it, parties. But I had a great time with my friends from both my house, other houses, and non-affiliated friends--no exclusions except on numbers allowed by the venue.
There are many more things the money pays for that has nothing to do with paying for friends. As a matter of fact- three of my closest friends were my friends prior to joining and are still my close friends today. That is the beauty of spring recruitment.
Thanks for you time, let me know if you have any more questions.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, I have to admit that I discriminate against sorostities. I will not hire them (which is perfectly legal.) However, the reason that people think that they are idiot bimbos is that they restrict membership to people based on the way they look or the social background.

Anyone can engage in charitable works. They don’t need to make “girlfriends” to do it. Personally, I think that most charitable works are a waste when done by college students, because they don’t have any particular skills that would set them apart from the people they are trying to help.

It is a great dishonor to be related to a sorostitute.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At my school, the expenses of being in a sorority and living in the house was cheaper then living in the dorm and being on the required meal program. University scholarships also covered any Greek expenses.

I was also a memeber of a very diverse house. We had African-Americans, Latinos, and one of my roommates was Indian (born in India). Again, saying that all houses discrimate is unfair. Any broad generalization of a particular group of people is unfair. Some may fit the model, but not all.

I am not an idiot bimbo, no were the girls in my house. Our average GPA was much higher then the University average. The girls in my class are all doing wonderful things from teaching English at the university level in China, to a PhD program in biology specializing in cancer research, to law school, etc. We also did not all have the same social background either. Most were on scholarships (including a Gates Scholar) and one was the daughter of a minister. Our sorority also claimed membership of 100% of the ROTC program. Please don't judge us all by the idiot trust-fund Ashleys.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the rumors of the fat circling while at SMU, but it didn't happen in my sorority. Not all sororities behave that way! If I remember right, there was one house in particular that practiced fat circling...not a nice group of girls.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Hillabeans said...

Thank you prof and Lindsay.
I guess transferring to any school can be a humbling experience, but I wasn't ready for this - as the sorority girls aren't ready to be analyzed in such a superficial way - pure appearance.
Our society is full of oximorons - one must be skinny, one must buy fattening foods advertized on TV just as importantly. It's hard to place the blame but it's hard to not eventually blame each other and ourselves.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous veryslimbroom said...

I liken sororities to churches. There are some really good churches that provide a basis of spirituality and community. There are some that perform "miracle frauds", spend their members' money on the Pastor's country club membership, and encourage lunacy and fanaticism. There are probably about eleventy billion sororities out there. It would be silly to assume they all do ridiculous crap like "fat circling" or that all those thousands of young women are "the same". I have faith that many young women can readily identify stupid church antics, stupid sorority antics, (really any stupid antics) and chose to distance themselves from it all.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more things change, the more they stay the same. About 40 years ago, my sorority restricted the humiliation to plebe week, when we were made to lie on our stomachs and eat our dinner from a bowl with our hand behind our backs. I think beneath it all is the desperate need for status based on making others feel "less than." And it goes on in all organizations. Pschologists have shown that people who experience degradation or are otherwise disenfranchised themselves become the most ardent "keeper of the flame." All of life is setting boundaries, dispensing with useless people and practices, learning what makes us happy. I found the fat circles really abominable. And should it be surprising that the vehicle for the humiliation centers of the role that is foremost in a woman's life, whether we like it or not, and that's being judged on our bodies. I'm overweight after having been quite slender and there's no faster way to become invisible.

10:31 PM  
Blogger SuperHolmie said...

I'm a 9th grade teacher, and I believe that schools should take some responsibility for the overwhelming need of these girls to conform.

In the name of crowd control, it is really easy to insist, in high school especially, that everyone fit a certain mold. Eventually, most of the kids we "mold" become like lemmings. Not one original thought or attitude among them. Tragic to watch; hellaciously boring to teach.

They can't even dress themselves without being carbon copies of each other. Since the style now is that of the tarted-up whore, I'm drowning in an ocean of prepubescent cleavage and ass cracks. (Mostly from girls.)

And it isn't even that they want to look slutty... they just have no idea how ELSE to look. It doesn't occur to them that it's okay to look different. They fear being different. As a teacher, I'd like to know how to combat this. About every 65th student on my class roster is a real gem, a really interesting kid... and I nearly shit on myself in delight. Such a rarity. Are college professors shaking their heads in disbelief at the low quality of students they're getting each year?

I can only assume that when these directionless children head off to college, ill-equipped to shepherd themselves in ANY direction, much less the RIGHT direction, many join a sorority so they'll have a compass. They follow the elders in the sorority and do as they are told. I suppose the fat circling is just another manifestation of this.

I can also only assume that these same girls, the ones after the "Mrs." degree, might not be inherently stupid, but just lack the ability to think independently. If they can be focused enough to keep the fat circlers at bay, surely there's enough intelligence there to do something useful and worthwhile.

As I write this, my 38Fs are spilling onto the keyboard...will the potential fat circlers in my classes even listen to me?

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Patty the Philosophy Prof... said...

to Superholmie...

As a college teacher, I see the same mid-drift/ass-crack parts I wish I hadn't... only now they have tatoos as well (because they turned 18 and can now have that cool Asian character that means "love")...


For the record, we do shake our heads in disbelief at the low quality of students --- about 48% of community college students in my state need remedial math or English classes. Many of the rest of them have not written longer papers with footnotes etc... Perhaps this is why I also coach debate, so I can have contact with some of the really gifted students on my campus.

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

As one of those really naive feminists who thinks that being pro-woman means thinking twice before engaging in quick stereotyping of all-women organizations, I'm pretty surprised by the vitriol spouted by some of these commentors.

I did not go Greek as an undergraduate because I had little self esteem, and bought into all of that "they'll hate you and charge you lots of money and who wants to buy friends anyway?" crap. And, of course, some of the sororities out there *are* like that (which, I might add, is true of many organizations). Towards the end of my college career, however, I fell in with an amazing crowd of graduated Greeks, and realized that the problem wasn't them, it was me. They were all more than willing to accept me into their social circle, I simply hadn't thought I was "worthy" enough. Now, I know better.

Though I try to avoid reasoning by anecdote, let me just tell y'all that when you refuse to hire sorority members, you are participating in some pretty ridiculous anti-woman discourses, and losing out on meeting some of the smartest, most giving and amazing women I know. Or, to be more colloquial, f*** you.

postcript: And don't EVEN get me started on how you're ignoring some awesome and empowering historically Black sororities in your stereotyping.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Professor,

You are a writing Goddess. Although I am no more qualified to judge your work than I am to take up the next Space Shuttle, I still feel the need to tell others about you!

Dave

http://wizaard.typepad.com/rothacker_reviews/2005/08/circling_the_fa.html

8:29 AM  
Blogger whiterabbit1967 said...

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


Yeah! What he said! Seriously, I love reading your blog but this is the first time I have commented.

I followed the CribChick's links.

Fat circles?

Sheesh...I guess if someone wanted to do fat circles on me, my first reaction would be to circle the ol' whale eye and tell 'em to kiss it...

And the second reaction would be to burst into hysterical laughter, hand 'em a pack of Sharpies and then start making them lunch...and dinner...and tell 'em to call reinforcements...

"Like, totally bring a camera! - 'Photo Op'!!!" *said in my best trillish Valley Girl voice*

My Hubby would probably think it was some new kinky game.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Citycat said...

Here's the part I find interesting.

Replace "sorostitute" with any number of inane cultural put downs-racist, sexist, homophibic- choose one. Go with the broad generalizations, "too catty, always be paid less, looking for husbands". Add the smug, self satisfied discrimination- "I wouldn't hire one, and I have found the loophole in the law to let me do it", and the frankly pitiful need to personally distance yourself from it- "It is a dishonor to be related to a..."

Then, to make it even more interesting, do it anonymously.

To me, regardless of the group of people we are talking about, someone who does the above things is acting out of ignorance, fear, and/or prejudice.

And to me, this type of thinking and reacting is the type of thing that is truly dangerous.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous kgirl said...

"mid-drift"?

2:00 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

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10:17 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

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10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somebody did a study in my university--60% of the girls were underweight.
Which left me, as a grad student at healthy weight, being the one constantly made fun of.
I have been mooed at, and I had one girl in a sorority more or less do the following:

She was writing a paper on how much she hated black people (I really wish I was kidding) because she felt she didn't get accepted to the school of her choice because of Affirmative Action.
--anyway--
As I'm trying to very calmly explain to her that her paper isn't persuasive because it just comes off sounded like hatred and pissyness, she gets right in my face and goes, "I don't have to listen to you, and nobody esle does either, because I'm SKINNIER than you."

And now I teach at a community college where religion and politics and ethics aren't allowed to be discussed in the classroom, and it feels like HEAVEN. I wonder why?

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the person that said they wouldn't hire sorority girls....

I've been in interviews that more or less ended the moment it came up that I hadn't been in one.

I am a member of a co-ed service Greek, that apparently wasn't good enough for that woman.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an SMU sorority girl and our house is continually ranked highly and is popular on campus. As we all know, SMU and Ole Miss sororities are some of the toughest to get into in the nation. I live in the house, and contrary to popular belief, all of us eat. Yes. Krispi Kreams, cookies, ice cream, brownies, yes. And our house's reputation is "size 0 brunettes." We have never done "circle the fat."

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