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Why Do I Hate Sororities So Much?: A Look Into Greek Life and My Internalized Misogyny

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

I’m a “girl’s girl”. It’s not always intentional, but I find myself surrounded by other women, whether it’s the friends I pick, the clubs I join or even in the major and minor I choose. I just feel safe around other women. 

So why do I hate sororities? 

Let me first say, I do not hate members of sororities. But something about a group of girls in matching outfits, cheering and chanting and taking the most perfect Instagram pictures you’ve ever seen, seriously irks me. After Bid Day this year, I took time to think about where my hatred comes from, and I boiled it down to three main reasons: the exclusivity of sororities, jealousy and insecurity and the need to be “not like other girls.”

During my freshman year, I briefly considered joining a sorority, but, ultimately, I decided against it. One of the biggest reasons for that was that I didn’t agree with the recruitment process. I knew that sororities could be incredibly exclusive and even discriminatory when picking new members. For example, there are accounts of women of color being judged extra harshly by sororities and even being dropped for little to no reason. In 2021, Makayla Culpepper went viral on TikTok while rushing at the University of Alabama. She is of mixed race and was one of the few women of color who went viral during the“BamaRush” TikTok phenomenon. According to the University of Alabama Panhellenic Council, she was dropped because of a video where she allegedly looked drunk. Former sorority members and fans of Makayla chimed in on social media saying how sororities would likely look the other way for other potential new members (PNMs), especially white PNMs. The University of Alabama didn’t even formally desegregate their sororities until 2013. Up until that point, there was no punishment for removing women of color from recruitment. It’s easy to say that racism is just a problem within Alabama sororities, but you can look around most college campuses and notice that certain sororities are predominantly white. 

 I know that not all sororities are exclusive to their PNMs, but the system itself is discriminatory. It allows for these incidents to happen and for sororities to get away with it. Discrimination and exclusivity are embedded in the recruitment system. When I see sororities, I see this judgment in action. I can look at Bid Day posts and know which sororities only pick members that fit their perfect mold. I knew I didn’t want to be a part of a system that cherry-picked their members.

Not only did I hate how exclusionary the recruitment process could be, but I was honestly scared to know where I would fall on the hierarchy of sororities. I didn’t want to think of the possibility of girls sitting in a room and picking my personality apart, deciding which parts of me fit in with them and which parts were dealbreakers. As a nervous freshman who already felt out of place, I didn’t want to be perceived by a bunch of upperclassmen. 

Saying that I disagree with the sorority system to justify my hatred for sororities is the easy way out. While true, I didn’t have to dig very deep for that answer. If I’m really being honest with myself, part of the reason that sororities bother me so much is because I don’t think I would fit in with them. I’m not a very high energy person, I’m not the type to join in cheers and scream with delight when I meet my “big” or “little.” I didn’t rush because I was worried that if I joined a sorority, I’d always be sitting on the outside looking in. I don’t regret my decision to not join, but I am jealous of the girls who fit into that environment perfectly. The girls who are effortlessly funny and friendly, who draw others in. The girls who can charm any guy within the first five minutes of meeting him. The girls who can be covered in glitter and sweat in the summer heat and still look fresh and beautiful. Somehow, I’ve attached all of my insecurities to sorority girls, who seemingly have it all put together. And while I know that’s not the case, a thousand Bid Day posts in a weekend tell me otherwise. When I see posts from  sorority member, I see an unattainable standard that I will never meet. 

There’s also part of me that takes pride in not being a part of a sorority. It disgusts me to say that, because I know that there’s no value in being “not like other girls.” I know that I’m not superior just because I don’t have Greek letters in my Instagram bio. But subconsciously, that feeling is still there. I know that a large part of this is internalized misogyny. There is a part of me that wants to separate myself from other women, to prove that I’m not frilly or girly or obnoxious. There is a part of me that thinks that women who are part of sororities are less than. And that is just not true. It’s one thing to critique the system, to disagree with the exclusivity of sororities, but it’s another entirely to look down on women who find joy in their sororities. Unfortunately, this is normalized among girls in college who are not a part of sororities. We roll our eyes when we pass sorority girls taking pictures on campus. We laugh at their Instagram posts and make fun of their Bid Day themes. We say, “Thank God I never joined a sorority.” But these jabs don’t prove that we’re better than them. If anything, it proves that we enjoy putting other women down. 

Yes, the rush system and sororities are not perfect. There needs to be a lot of work done to make sororities less of an exclusive, classist and white-dominated space. And it’s understandable that I didn’t want to be a part of that. However, there is no reason for me to continue to look down on women in sororities. I’m a part of many other systems that perpetuate racism and misogyny. I thought that I had done the work to deprogram myself of internalized misogyny, but writing this article proved that I have a long way to go. I challenge women to think about the ways in which they still judge other women and put them down. We are all sisters after all, even if we didn’t all go Greek.

Meredith is a senior at SLU and is excited to write for HerCampus! She enjoys reading, writing, cooking and watching reality tv and dreams about moving to the London to work a for non-profit organization.