Greek Girl Power

A lot of people seem to think that there is a dichotomy between smart women and sorority women, that there is no such thing as an ambitious person in Greek life. There is absolutely a stereotype that has persisted throughout the years of what a sorority woman is. She is pretty and blonde, likes to party, sort of ditzy, and looking to get her MRS degree. After all, what kind of self-empowered woman would want to join an organization that encourages everyone to look similar and wear matching t-shirts and follow a bunch of rules? When I told my friends in high school I was rushing when I came to Auburn, many of my friends didn’t believe me. “You? You’re joining a sorority?” But what people seem to think comes with being involved in Greek life and what it’s actually about are two very different things.

I think this belief comes from a misunderstanding of what a sorority is, and why it is so special and, yes, feminist. It is not always about parties, or catty drama, or rush traditions that are “straight from hell.” From movies and TV shows to social media, the public on the outside of Greek life has a warped view of what it actually is.

When sororities were first formed, it was in response to many men-only clubs and organizations. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, when most sororities were founded, women were only just being allowed to attend college alongside men. For these women, joining a sorority, or “women’s fraternity,” was a way to support and encourage fellow collegiate women who may not have been welcome by the male students. It was a way to make lifelong friends and have a place for women to come together in a largely male-dominated area.

 

And it remains that way today. Although most student bodies nowadays are much more equal in terms of gender, the longstanding tradition of having a space for women to support each other and build friendships still exists. With that in mind, I’d like to tell you a couple reasons why joining and being active in a sorority empowers women.

We support and encourage each other—also known as sisterhood. When I joined a sorority, I was immediately surrounded by girls who only wanted the best for me. I always had someone to grab lunch with, study with, or ask for help in a certain class. We always encourage each other to be the best we can be. If I need help with an interview or application, I know I can get it. Women supporting and celebrating each other is always a good thing, and the direct opposite of “catty drama,” as the stereotype usually says. My sorority helped to elect the 3rd female SGA president in Auburn’s history. We couldn’t have done this without the support net of every single sister, and I’m glad that we can build each other up instead of tear each other down.

A sorority is a diverse group of women with diverse interests. Being a girly girl srat star does not mean you aren’t smart with lots of opinions and ambitions. I have met all types in my short time as a sorority member. There are hilarious girls, really smart girls, girls who want to be housewives and girls who want to be neurosurgeons. There are liberals and conservatives, and there are girls from California and Alabama. We don’t all look the same or think the same, and we pride ourselves on that. Even as a group of girls with such big differences, we can always come together and celebrate sisterhood. Not only do we support each other in every way, we also promote independence. I know, it sounds like an oxymoron, because sorority women can often be seen wearing matching clothes around campus and cheering repetitive chants during rush week. However, we are all going through the same college experience, and our differences are what help make us a stronger group. We benefit from the different skills and unique talents of each girl.

Despite sometimes being negatively portrayed, joining a sorority does nothing except empower women to be the best that we can be. While sometimes the focus is put on the more social aspects of Greek life, joining a sorority has changed me for the better. Being surrounded by smart, successful college women with drive and ambition has only made me want to become a better person, and I know I will always have sisters that support me no matter what.