So a recent development that I have been struggling with is an odd one that I didn’t even realize I was (aren’t many of them just that way).
We changed the title of our office last semester from Greek Life to Fraternity and Sorority Life. Well, that was how I said it. My co-worker who is also a grad student (she works primarily with Sororities) said Sorority and Fraternity Life. At first this bothered me. I wasn’t sure why, but I kept defending it by saying it was because we needed to be professional and all say the same thing. What I was saying is exactly what everyone else in the office was saying. And the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. Not her saying it, but my reaction to her saying it.
I like to consider myself a feminist. As you can see, there are several reasons why my own reaction to this phrasing made me uncomfortable. But with discomfort comes change. And that is a change I hope will be coming to Sorority and Fraternity (or Fraternity and Sorority) Life soon. The FSL community has been known for being sexist, racist, heterosexist, cisgenderism, and almost any other -ism that you can mention. The sad thing is, coming from someone who identifies as I do and also as a fraternity man, I think they are way too right. My reaction to this phrase only served to support that.
I’ve begun my own work on it by identifying FSL views on diversity awareness for my thesis. You can see stories like the one about fraternity brothers who helped to raise money for a transgender brothers to have surgery. Times are changing and effort is being made, but we need to keep working. It is our responsibility as a community to make these changes among our group, not for those our organizations have discriminated against.
Will you be the change?