Friday, November 26, 2010

Fraternal Thoughts: A Woman's Touch

Fraternal Thoughts is a great blog that focuses on gathering thoughtful conversation about Greek Life and the fraternity movement (we suggest you check it out). Thanks to Greek Life advisor Julie Drury for passing on this article to our chapters a few weeks ago - we liked it so much we thought we would share it with everyone!

A Woman's Touch

One morning about three weeks ago, my 4-year old, who would typically go to school with bedhead that would make Don King jealous, emerged from the bathroom with a very wet and surprisingly well-combed head of hair. He did this on his own, and my wife and I had no clue what brought it on. After all, this was the kid that would run screaming through the house like his rump was on fire if we had even tried to put a few drops of water on his melon. As I drove my well-groomed little gentleman to school, I continued to wonder about what caused this change in behavior.

Once I got to school and dropped him off, the reason became very clear. It’s name was Olivia.

This incident reminded me of the tremendous power women have to influence men’s behavior. Whether it be our moms, sisters, girlfriends, or wives, we as men owe a lot to women for civilized behavior. If not for my wife, I’d probably look like this guy ---->

As we try to advance the men's fraternity movement, we could use some help from our female friends. Many fraternities and fraternity men behave badly – being insensitive at best and harmful at worst. A lot of these men receive an assist from women who let them off the hook. They let them feel no consequences for their boorish behavior.

The amount of influence that women have on men is so consequential, that they may be the best answer to creating a more values-driven fraternity culture.

So – I implore the undergraduate women reading this to do a few simple things to help us right the fraternal ship. These suggestions won't take a lot of time, but you may change the course of history. Here is what I’m asking you to do:

§ If you hear some fraternity guys refer to a woman as a conquest or a piece of ass, walk away. And don’t return.

§ If the guest bathroom in the fraternity house reminds you of a port-a-potty on the last day of the state fair, stop visiting.

§ Please stop dating, hanging out with, or even acknowledging any guy who wears a shirt like this.

§ The same goes for any guy who can’t drink an alcoholic beverage without calling everyone around him “dude”, shouting “YEAH!” to his buddies every three minutes, or making nonstop guttural noises like a Cro-Magnon in heat.

§ If you host a social event with another fraternity, follow your risk management policy. Demand that the men follow theirs. Or shut it down.

§ Practice your icy stare for those "educational" moments, such as when a man makes a demeaning comment about a woman's weight, tells an insensitive joke, or reads a Playboy magazine in front of you.

§ A formal is a tradition in which men act like gentlemen and women act like ladies. Expect the former and do the latter.

§ Don't go to this (nor encourage any men's fraternity to refer to themselves as "nasty dogs"):

§ If your boyfriend is a hazer, ask him if that's how he'll raise his kids.

§ If a fraternity drops by to invite you to a "Pimps and Ho's" party, don't cheer. Or giggle. Or even smile. Wonder instead why you didn't tell them to get the hell out. And then tell them to get the hell out.

§ Does your well-choreographed serenade feel and look like a lap dance? Stop and think.

§ Brainstorm creative adjectives to call a man who brags to you about the award his chapter gave him for hooking up with the most women in the past week.

§ Drop hints. Did your lawnmower break down? I bet most fraternities are hosting a brunch for parent's weekend, don't you think? Wow - that new yellow stain on your hat is the biggest one yet!

§ When a female friend of yours is absolutely wasted and being led away by a guy she just met, do what everyone else tells you to do: get her out of the situation. Then find the guy, and in as public a way as possible, confront him in a voice that will haunt him forever.

§ Raise your expectations of how men should dress, how they should act, how they should talk, and how they should treat you.

§ Expect them to be fraternity men. Tolerate nothing less.

Oh - and if appropriate, tell them their hair looks nice when combed

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