Greek Life

What it Means to be a "Feminist Sorority Girl"

Hello there, my name is Tori and I am a feminist. Yes, one of those angry, women’s studies, hypercritical, can’t-take-a-joke, loud, obnoxious, feminists. And yet, I’m also a proud “sorority girl”. One of those Lilly Pulitzer, throw-what-you-know, it’s-not-four-years-it’s-for-life, shrieking, jumping, perky girls. I’m a feminist, and I’m in a sorority. So how does that work?

Recently, the media has been portraying sororities (and Greek life in general) in a not-so-positive light. Similarly, the word, “feminist,” receives negative criticism from the media by its promotion of misrepresentations such as stereotypes mentioned in the first paragraph. However, more than ever, the public eye is trained on Greek organizations. And we all know the stereotypes that sororities are given— the girls are vapid, ditzy, pretty girls who live off daddy’s money and “can’t even.” They travel in packs, always are wearing the same outfits, and are frequenters of frat houses and keg parties. Now, I can’t speak for the experiences of every sorority sister in the United States, but I know my sisters. And I know that not one of us lives up to that stereotype.

What drew me into Greek life was not the promise of cute t-shirts or mixers with the fraternity boys. And to be honest, it wasn’t the idea of doing charitable work for a philanthropic organization. What intrigued me was the concept of a sisterhood. The idea of being surrounded by intelligent, like-minded women who wanted to lift me up instead of drag me down? That sounded good to me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have a newfound adoration for t-shirts and an amazing sense of pride from promoting and participating in philanthropy events, but I also am thankful to have luckily found the diverse sisterhood that my sorority offers. My sisters are the most genuine girls I’ve ever met. We all come from a wide variety of backgrounds, with different interests, skills, and majors. And yet we still all work to live by the values of our chapter.

Sororities are, by their very nature, organizations by women and for women. Chapters around the nation exist to give women a place where there are women who can guide them. The bonds of sisterhood are pretty much unbreakable, and this sisterly love makes me proud to wear my letters every day.

Finally, let me go back in history a little bit. My sorority was founded in 1852 by three women who had no choice but to be bold. Fraternities excluded women, but these three friends still wanted to be a part of a secret society. So, they formed their own. In 1852, the word “sorority” wasn’t even invented yet. The women who created the chapter I love so dearly didn’t even have a word for it. And yet, they wanted to create a place for women where they could share in the bonds of sisterhood and work towards common goals. If that’s not feminist, then I don’t know what is.

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