04/19/2013 03:32 pm ET Updated Jun 19, 2013

What the Delta Gamma Email Really Promotes


Dear Delta Gammas of Maryland,

That email that just went viral? The one that's popping up on my Facebook newsfeed and all over Twitter? The one where you call your fellow sorority sisters "boring," "f*cking f**ggots" and "retarded"?

News flash, ladies. The country is not laughing with you right now. Most of them are laughing at you. There are also hundreds of women like me, who are sitting here in front of our computer screens, screaming at you for being so ignorant. Women like me, whose hearts are pounding with rage and shame and frustration. Your email is a perfect example of how rape culture in our nation's universities has become so common.

Want to know who the real "stupid sh*ts" are?


Let me clarify.

Even without the cursing and the derogatory language, you just sent an email to over a hundred women that essentially asked them to put on their sluttiest outfits, their happiest faces, their most engaged smiles and to make themselves available to these chosen fraternity brothers at all costs. "I would rather have 40 girls that are fun, talk to boys, and not fucking awkward than 80 that are f*cking f**gots." Apparently, it is possible to get into a good university without having ever learned anything about women's rights, civil rights, the importance of autonomy and self-esteem and the fact that many women have already figured out that they don't need to smile and nod to be a valuable part of a conversation with men.

Let me also fill you in on something else. When you encourage your sisters to get drunk because it makes them more approachable and more "fun," you are setting them up to be sexually assaulted. Clearly, you are well-versed in how that works. "If you are one of the people that have told me "Oh nooo boo hoo I can't talk to boys I'm too sober," then I pity you because I don't know how you got this far in life, and with that in mind don't f*cking show up unless you're going to stop being a goddamn c*ck block for our chapter." I'm so glad that you're teaching the women around you that being a "cock-block" is something negative. That having the right to choose to say no to sex is something to be embarassed or ashamed of. Way to make some room for the drunk ladies who are following your orders to make those angelic Sigma Nu's feel important and appreciated.

I was raped by a Sigma Nu. A Sigma Nu who spent two years going to these lovely Greek "mixers," and your kickball/softball/soccer games. A Sigma Nu who felt entitled to take whatever he wanted from me, in part because he was used to Delta Gamma's like you who thought that a woman's job was to make him feel appreciated, attractive and important. When a woman is raped, there are a dozen pieces to a puzzle that first fall into place to create a vacuum of vulnerability around her. Your email just gave us a few pieces of that puzzle. Don't be yourself. Drink to feel comfortable. Talk to men you're not interested in. Fake it. You're not worth anything. You're part of a larger group that doesn't value individuality or common sense. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Risk your body for the greater good.

You owe your sisters more than this. You owe yourself more. It's clear after reading your email that class, self-respect and pride can't always be taught. Perhaps your next meeting among sisters should be about the things that will really get you through life. Harnessing your power as a woman and using it for good. Giving back to your community (you might want to start by getting some basic education on the LGBTQ community and those with special needs). Putting your brain before your body, and sucking the marrow from your college courses instead of sucking on the end of a beer bong, might be helpful as well. In fact, I would guess that exercising your brilliant mind is actually what got you into college to begin with. And I'll tell you a secret... once you get out of college, guys really dig smart chicks.

There was nothing hilarious about your email. Don't be fooled by the news headlines that call you "deranged" and "amazing." You are neither. You are simply a group of women who have abandoned your sisters, and done it publicly. You are making room for the next Steubenville, for the next Jane Doe. You aren't just promoting rape culture, you have written a guidebook for it. A play-by-play. Women come to you for a sense of belonging, for a safety net when they are away from home for the first time. You have thrown them to the wolves. You have created the darkness outside of the cave.

Women of Delta Gamma, what a beautiful opportunity you have created for yourselves. It's time to stand up. It's time to speak out. It's time to tell the world what you will do to protect each other now. How will you make this right for the young women who look up to you? How will you help your precious, "chosen" fraternity brothers learn that being matched up with women is not a right that they are entitled to? This isn't about showing up to cheer them on in kickball, this is about learning how to cheer yourselves on. How to keep each other safe. How to beg each other to be aware, to be real, to be self-confident and empowered.

Let this be your lesson, Delta Gammas. There is much to learn from this horrible mistake.


A Woman who hopes you find your place in the larger sisterhood of life