Sunday, January 09, 2005

Northwestern frat boys: Get 'em while they're sober.

"Freshmen girls: Get 'em while they're skinny," reads the back of a shirt on bulky Northwestern fraternity president Theo Michels, photographed for a NYT Magazine piece on newly-dry frats. Argh! This is an argument for "levelling up" if I ever saw one. If he (and presumably his brothers as well--can't imagine he silk-screened a single shirt just for himself) wants his girls skinny, then maybe he should abandon not only beer (his is one of the newly-dry frats) but also non-diet soda.

The article's author, Benoit Denizet-Lewis, a former member of a now-dry Northwestern frat, refers to having been derisively referred to by frat brothers as a "skinny dude" but he notes that he is gay, so clearly his slender build wasn't the result of a feminist move to put as much effort into his own appearance as he was expecting from women he wished to date. Nope, a way to insult rival frat brothers is to call them "''a bunch of pretty-boy fags from Long Island'" (Long Island?! Who knew Northwestern students had even heard of Long Island?) While frat brothers might not like their boys "pretty," plenty of girls do, but they'd probably have better luck down here in Hyde Park, where looking like a stereotypical frat boy is generally discouraged, and where t-shirts declare not that female students are too fat, but that we are not as cute as squirrels, which is preferable if only because it's too silly to be taken seriously.

What struck me most in this article was the apparent obsession frat boys have with freshman girls. As a senior girl, I must respond. What is supposed to happen when women pass age 19? Is it just the alleged weight gain (for students eating in UChicago dining halls, it probably tends to be weight loss--perhaps they've got better food in the dining halls up in Evanston), or is it more the loss of naivete, without which no girl would want anything to do with guys who wear such cretinous t-shirts, especially now that alcohol can no longer be relied on by frats to impair girls' judgment?

7 comments:

Alex B. said...

"Northwestern frat boys: don't get 'em at all".

Or the same could apply to frat boys in general.

Nick said...

in response to your question about freshmen:

there is inded no shortage of girls, freshman or otherwise, who are willing to throw themselves at frat boys...although I daresay freshman are likely to do so in greater numbers, for any number of reasons.

in any case, I found the article, which was touted as providing a defense for the debaucherous fraternity, rather lacking in good reasons, other than "they're going to do it anyway"--which may be true, but I doubt that it will occur to the extent provided at fraternities...none of which should be interpreted to mean that I think frats should go. I'm all for institutionalized meat markets of many forms...

did it bother anyone else that NWU "strongly discouraged" the viewing of "Animal House"? I'm happy to say that at least I never saw something like that happen at the U of C.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

I'm with Alex on this one.

Maureen said...

Did you read that article in the Chicago Weekly written by a girl who wants to be attractive to frat boys and claims all U of C women spend her three hours a day primping? Sadly, women like these are why we cannot organize a mass sexcott of shallow slobs.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

No way--three hours?! For frat boys? Haven't seen that, must check it out...

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

Geez, that's one doozy of an article. I'll respond, but probably in the Maroon, not here...

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