A Letter to My Future Daughter About Fraternity Men

My dearest daughter,

The action of joining a fraternity does not make a man a monster, despite media telling you otherwise.

If a man is going to commit heinous acts against a woman, he will do so regardless of his fraternal involvement.

However, the sad truth is that we as a nation have allowed “fraternity” and “rape” to become correlated words.

Do not allow your peers and the media to skew your perception of these men. Fraternities are not a place of rape and sexual abuse. There are exceptions to this, unfortunately, and the men involved in those atrocious cases deserve Hell. They deserve every legal punishment inflicted on them and I would not wish the emotional distraught they have caused their victims on my worst enemies. With that, please know that these awful men are not an accurate representation of fraternities.

Monsters like them are the exception; they are not the rule.

Fraternities are a place of brotherhood, and often build a boy into a man. These brothers spend countless hours planning philanthropic events that raise outstanding funds for national organizations. A fraternity at the University of Alabama raised tens of thousands of dollars for suicide awareness within a week of the tragic death of a brother this past fall. They walked in a suicide awareness walk that next Sunday, showing their unfaltering sense of brotherhood.

These men not only spend time supporting their own philanthropic causes, but extend their generosity to other organizations as well. A sorority here organizes a 5K each year with all proceeds supporting the domestic violence campaign Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Participants are fraternity men that have willingly chosen to walk a mile in heels.

I hope your generation will work to correlate the word “fraternity” with “brotherhood” and “philanthropy.” These two examples I have given you- these men are the rule.

These men spend their four collegiate years actively involved in campus events and activities. They exemplify many of the characteristics our generation needs in order to succeed.

Places of employment often look highly upon fraternal involvement post-graduation, but now the same involvement is frowned upon during the collegiate years themselves.

The next time you see a college-aged man on the news for a vulgar crime, use the sense of judgment I hope I have instilled in you. If he is in a fraternity, the main headline will say so. However no news site will tell you if this man is in any other college organization, because it is not considered a “scandal.”

Men without fraternal association follow the standard “innocent until proven guilty,” so why have we allowed fraternity men to become “guilty until proven innocent?”

Do not let the pattern of Greek shaming continue. Separate the monsters from the men, and the fraternity name from the crime.

When a man inflicts harm (physically or mentally) on a woman, do not stand idly by and let your peers look down upon his fraternal affiliation. Remind everyone who will listen that the emphasis should be placed upon the victim and her healing, not on what organizations her attacker was involved with.

Like any other organization, you will find both good and bad men in fraternities. Not every chapter of every fraternity will exemplify their national standard. It is up to you to separate the boys from the men and the crime from the fraternity.


21 thoughts on “A Letter to My Future Daughter About Fraternity Men

  1. I think this is a good reminder, even for someone like me. I was skeptical of Greek life, but I ended up joining a sorority my freshman year. Slowly, my opinion has changed, but last semester members of a fraternity harassed a good friend of mine relentlessly after she made one mistake; this revived something of a bitterness towards Greek life despite being a part of it. This reminded me that it’s not always the group but a few select people. Greek life has it hard, but it also does some really great things that shouldn’t be overlooked.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is ridiculous. Fraternities exist to perpetuate the dominance of rich white men to the exclusion of every other socioeconomic group. Rich white boys with rich white dads who help them stay rich and make sure rich white people are always the top of society. Same with sororities. I know lots of lovely Greek-affiliated people, but the whole system is toxic. Greek life in general is a cancer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “CommonSense,” I think you are being very close minded when you say that Greek life is toxic. Until you have met every person in every greek organization across the country (and in Canada), you cannot make a comparison of greek life to cancer. Although it is true that fraternities were founded on the basis that men who went to college could come together and talk about politics and agree on common topics, it does not mean that fraternities in 2015 are exclusive to “which white men.” I know plenty of men in fraternities who are not supported by their parents for joining a fraternity, or they pay for it themselves. I myself am part of a sorority and I pay for it completely on my own, and my parents are far from “rich.” It is about what the organization stands for. I love the sense of sisterhood, and coming together to support various philanthropic causes. The greek community has received so much heat for the recent spike in media attention regarding racial and sexual scandals. Like the article is saying, these incidents do NOT define a fraternity, or greek life as a whole. As for the assumption that greek life is all white people, I must argue with this as well. While I will admit there is a very high majority of white men and women in greek life, it is most certainly not excluded to people of color. There is a very low percentage of people of color that actually go through recruitment and join Panhellenic or IFC greek chapters. There are, however, a number of multi-cultural and service fraternities that see a higher percentage of diversity.
      I am not saying that greek life is perfect, in fact, it is far from it. There are still many areas of racial, social, and economic issues that greek life could improve upon, and we are working on it.
      So before you go telling people that greek life is “a cancer,” please reconsider what a difference it really has made.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I am in a sorority. I have money, but not a lot of it. I have worked throughout my entire collegiate career. Do I pay for my friends? If I do then what I am paying sure as hell isn’t enough for the relationships that I have formed. The Greek system like every other system has its flaws and its downfalls, however, joining an organization like this has been the best decision that I have ever made. When I came to college I hated everything about. I wanted to transfer back home and live with my parents. Since I have joined my sorority my world has been opened up to so many opportunities. Job offerings, volunteer hours, leadership positions and so many more. I have met some of my BEST friends through this sorority, and one day they will be standing with me on the alter when I get married. Are some of the people that I know in Greek life rich? Of course, are all of them? NO. Most of the wonderful men and women I know, pay their own way through college AND Greek life. These are organizations that are important to so many men and women nationwide. We do SO many good things for this community, and the only reason that people like YOU hate us is because of a few members in one organization. And to say Greek life is like cancer? Maybe you’re right. We spread like wild fire. We spread awareness in our philanthropies, money to our causes, love in our relationships, happiness in our college years, and memories for a lifetime. So for you to sit behind your computer and bash us for being apart of something bigger than ourselves is honestly just sad. Because I know that the experiences and opportunities that I have gained from this “toxic” environment will last for years to come and will help me to achieve my lifetime goals.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Huh. So you’re blatantly disregarding organizations such as Lamda Sigma Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma, multicultural sorority and fraternity respectively? Ok. Not to mention the lower middle class members in many Greek organizations across the globe. Ooh! I know, how about Alpha Phi Omega, a completely community service oriented group that allows men and women? You’re right. They’re cancer. Just like the thousands upon thousands of dollars they donate to Relay For Life annually.
      So feel free to continue your bigotry towards less than 10% of the population (yes, a minority). Keep up your assault on a demographic that ALWAYS handles their bad apples swiftly and without hesitation. After all, Tumblr won’t accept you unless you have a certain amount of hate in you.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. This entire statement reveals your misunderstanding of this community. You have generalized a select few, the article’s main intent is to avoid doing that. Also, not everyone is funded by their parents. Before you make a comment like that and generalize an entire community, I believe you should do more in-depth research.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. That is without a doubt one of the most biased and judgemental statements I have ever heard. Obviously you have never had any connection or relation to a fraternity. If you would take the time to set aside your prejudice and look beyond the appearance. You would see how it is way more than that. From the outside people will never understand, and from the inside it’s impossible to explain. Just realize how ignorant you sound with your prejudice and stereotypes.

      Liked by 1 person

    6. And the looters in Baltimore prove that all African Americans are…what? Bigotry is bigotry and you,Commonsense, are a bigot.


    7. That is no where near the truth. I am actively involved in a sorority and I pay for EVERYTHING myself. I have a job and take out loans and work my way through school. My parents are not rich, never have been and never will be. Being greek has changed my life for the better, and ultimately made me a better person. If you’ve never been on the inside you have no room to judge.


    8. Still upset you didn’t get an invitation, huh? I was a member of the fraternity pictured above- the vast majority of our guys were anything but wealthy. Most paid their own way through work, loans and scholarships. Rich white guys? My sophomore year our friggin president was from El Salvador and was most certainly not a white guy. In my 3 active years I participated in more philanthropic events than you likely have in your entire life. Want to know how many high-paying jobs my insular, privileged fraternity experience has gotten me? Zero. The only benefit I ever reaped was a handful of lifelong friends. Stop being bitter because no one liked you enough to ask you to participate.


    9. There are tons of fraternities and sororities and they are open to all different types of people. There is a whole council for Multicultural Organizations (referred to as the Multicultural Greek Council) and one for Historically Black Greek Letter Organizations. There are Asian Fraternities & Sororities, Latino/a Fraternities & Sororities, and Black Fraternities and Sororities. How can something only exist to perpetuate the dominance of rich white men when there are so many fraternities/sororities (there are women’s fraternities as well) and sororities dedicated to people who aren’t rich, white or male? Greek Life is painted on a much worse level then it actually is? Just last year, the Greek Community that I am a member of raised over $50,000 in one week for a local charity. Seeing Greek life with a tainted lense will only ever allow you to see the bad. “When you love people you find good even in their flaws. When you hate people you find flaws even in their good.” Don’t let your encounter of one, shoot down the potential of all.


  3. I find this awesome. I am graduating from college in two weeks. Most of my best friends from college are in fraternities. They are the best people and most active in the community than most people I have ever met. They know what it means to be a leader and to serve the public not to benefit themselves but to benefit others. I am in an academic fraternity, and even then I get weird looks, one as a girl, two most people who are not greek are not aware of co-ed fraternities, and three just associate me with with those few guys that give greek life that bad stereotype that is so untrue.

    Liked by 1 person

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