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An Open Letter to a Frat Boy

Dear Frat Boy,

People warned me about you when I first got to college. They told me that you were no good, that your intentions may not be the best. I was under the impression that although you may throw great parties, I need to always be aware of myself and my surroundings when I’m in your spaces. During my freshman year, my friends and I would set plans for what we would do if we were concerned that something bad was happening. I was under the impression that although you might be a nice guy, that doesn’t necessarily make you a good guy. It doesn’t necessarily make you a guy that does the right things. I was always told to be careful around you. And, although I enjoyed spending time with you, not just on the weekends, I was always wary.​

As female students, we are taught to always keep our guards up because if we aren’t diligent, we may end up in bad situations. And, although these bad situations are by no means our fault, we still work really hard to make sure that we can prevent them. Whether we like it or not, our society places too much emphasis on victims preventing their own sexual assault rather than on rapists not raping. I am always conscious of where my friends are. I was afraid that maybe because you gave us alcohol and attention, you assumed that we could give you things too.

I went to parties with the idea that not only did I need to be able to prevent my own sexual assault, but I also needed to do the same for my girlfriends. And I assumed that when issues arose at your parties, when a creepy guy kept following me around at an all campus, or some rando came up and grabbed my ass at a party, I was the only one who would or should say something.

But, when I was creeped out by a boy at a party, I came to you, and you politely asked him to leave. When my friend and I were concerned about a girl who looked too drunk, you monitored her with us. You and your brothers not only validated our concerns, but you took action to make those concerns go away. You went out of your way to make people at your party feel more comfortable, and you looked out for me. You used your male privilege to fight male privilege.​

So, I want to tell you that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for assuming the worst about you just because that’s what the rest of the world wants me to believe. The truth of the matter is that you are not only a nice person, but you truly are a good person too. I so appreciate the effort you put into making your party spaces not only fun, but also places where I feel safe.

I know that there are still frat boys out there who fit the mold that I was taught to fear, but I’m happy to know that you and your brothers don’t buy into that. And, I want you to know that it is people like you who are helping to change our campus culture. You are working towards sexual assault prevention, and for that I applaud you. Please keep doing what you do, and know that your kindness doesn’t go unnoticed.

Signed,

A Girl With Renewed Hope

 

Image Credit: Feature, Annmarie Morrison, 2

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