The misguided crusade against campus Greek life | FACTUAL FEMINIST


Over the past year, “ban fraternities”
has become a battle cry for gender activists who want to eradicate male privilege and reduce
rates of campus rape. But will banning fraternities solve the problem? Coming up next, the misguided
crusade against campus Greek life. After Rolling Stone published its infamous story about an
alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, UVA’s president responded by suspending
all Greek activities on the campus. After the story started to unravel, Glenn Reynolds
at Instapundit asked an important question: “Will UVA President Teresa Sullivan apologize
for her evidence-free collective punishment of the entire Greek system?” Well, President
Sullivan has not apologized, (but she has lifted the suspension) and she is not alone
in suggesting that fraternities as a whole should be punished for perpetuating a toxic,
patriarchal rape culture. Some columnists say we need to ban fraternities altogether,
because statistics supposedly show that men who join fraternities are 300% more likely
to rape than their classmates who do not. Is that really true? The source is a study
in a student affairs journal that was designed to test the effectiveness of a sexual violence
education program called “The Men’s Program,” created by John Foubert. Well, Foubert is
also the lead author of the study itself. Foubert and his colleagues asked first-year
men at one university to fill out a questionnaire on sexual aggression at the beginning of the
school year and again at the end. The survey wasn’t designed to give an accurate estimate
of criminal sexual assault. Rather it measures broadly defined “sexual coercion,” so
the men were asked about a range of behaviors including unwanted groping, kissing or having
a sexual encounter with someone through “verbal pressure” or by making false promises about
the future. The authors concluded that 8% of fraternity men vs. 2.5% of non-fraternity
men admitted to committing these types of “sexually coercive acts.” Foubert then
twisted these findings in the media to claim that somehow this is proof
that fraternity men rape three times more often. Look, I don’t doubt that fraternity
houses can be hazardous places for women. We know that the link between alcohol and sexual assault
is undeniable, and fraternities are often the center of the binge-drinking social scene.
But it’s one thing to punish specific members or even chapters for incidents, and it’s
another thing to condemn all of Greek life nationwide. If you’re going to say that
fraternity culture as a whole is so dangerous that we must disband all of them—even chapters
with spotless reputations—you’d better be sure that your evidence is solid. Here,
it’s just not. If fraternities really are hotbeds of rape culture, simply dissolving
the groups is a pretty shortsighted fix to such a serious problem. Here’s my message
to the anti-Greek crusaders: respect Greek men and women as individuals. They are not
just pawns in some mythical, misogynistic frat culture. They are adults who should be
granted the freedom to associate with whomever they choose. And if you believe that we should
punish innocent people based on unproven stereotypes that you hold against their group, you might
not be a voice for equality and social justice after all. Do you think it’s unfair that
fraternities are under attack? Are they worth defending? Let me know what you think in the
comments section or on twitter. Thank you for watching the Factual Feminist.