I Don’t Date Girls In Gangs (Sorry, Sorority Sisters)

0 Posted by - August 14, 2009 - Relationships, Love & Marriage

sorority-dogs

Dictionary.com defines a gang as, “A group of people with compatible tastes or mutual interests who gather together for social reasons… Some gangs, but not all, have strong leadership, formalized rules, and extensive use of common identifying symbols… The activities of gangs are characterized by some level of organization and continuity over time.”

You know what that sounds like to me? A sorority or fraternity.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit my blatant and brazen ignorance when it comes to the ins and outs of sorority/fraternity life, but from what I can tell, it’s definitely not for me. From my extremely biased outsider’s perspective, it’s just seems like one big gang that runs around hazing and spanking pledges, chugging beers, pulling school pranks, and stomping the yard, which is all complimented by heavy doses of barking and “eewing.”

Maybe it’s because I didn’t go away to school or attend an HBCU, but that’s not my idea of a good time. I know, I know, frats and sororities do a lot of community service and provide lifetime membership to an association that can potentially benefit you in the “real world.” Sounds nice, I’m NOT knocking that at all. Major kudos and props, but I like the idea of free will more.

I know it sounds like I’m giving frats and sororities a bad rap, but can you really blame me? My first memory of that world was Spike Lee’s School Daze. I was just 11 years old when that movie came out (I may have actually seen it for the first time a few years later) and the images depicted of college life and the world of fraternities/sororities weren’t very flattering to my young mind and that’s what stuck with me to this day.

Half-Pint and the rest of the pledges went through immense hazing that included shaving their heads, squeezing soggy bananas in the toilet while blindfolded (so they’d think it was a doo-doo log), getting spanked, and basically losing all semblance of their dignity just to join some gang called Gamma Phi Gamma (or G-Phi-G). Then there was the issue of self-segregation based on skin color between the Wannabes and Jigaboos, who at the end of the day were all Black. If I had a choice, I’d much rather be a Jigaboo than a member of G-Phi-G.

Of course this was an amplified Spike Joint so everything was exaggerated, but the film, along with countless others that exposed sexual assaults and drug use in college, didn’t make for a positive image of fraternity/sorority lifestyle in my young mind.

Flash-forward eight years to when I was actually in college and SOME of my preconceived notions about fraternities and sororities began to manifest as reality.

It all started with my homegirl Malika. Sometime in the winter semester of our junior year she started acting funny. People would see her in the hallway and say hi, but she’d just ignore them. She stopped wearing makeup and getting her hair done. Some strange girl moved into her single dorm room and rumors began to circulate that she had become a lesbian. No one had a clue of what was going on with Malika until the end of the semester when she revealed that she had “crossed the line.”

Oh, snap, Malika just joined a gang!

Again, I’ll call ignorance on this one, but the fact that you have to lose so much of your identity and individuality to join SOME gang sororities/fraternities doesn’t sit well with me. Although she was unable to talk about the specifics of her hazing process for fear of getting jumped by fellow gang members, Malika explained that she wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone, wear makeup and had to be watched 24-7 by one of her “Big Sisters.”

All that just to be part of some “elite” group? Sorry, I’ll pass.

red_sorority

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get what the secret hazing and branding (WTF!) has to do with all the positive aspects of joining a sorority or fraternity. In fact, a few years ago I actually tried to get some answers. Problem was I was a bit tipsy drunk and my inquisition came off a tad more ignorant than I intended.

I was out for drinks with a group of friends and my homegirl brought along two of her friends from school, Tiffany and Jasmine. Somehow or other it came up that they were part of some sorority.

In a slightly inebriated state of mind, I joked, “Which one, Zeta Theta Ziggy Marley Phi Fo Fum?”

These girls took their gang sorority membership very seriously and were in no mood for jokes about their set.

“What,” Tiffany asked, shooting me an ice grill that pierced my soul.

“I was just joking, ma,” I replied. “Let me guess, you’re a Delta.”

Oh, hell no,” Jasmine interjected. “We’re AKAs.”

The two of them proceeded to make this piercing “eewee” sound, topped off with a raised pinkie.

“What the hell is that, your gang sign,” I chuckled.

Bad move.

My side comment was perceived as blatant disrespect to Tiffany and Jasmine’s gang sorority and they let me have it.

“What’s that supposed to mean,” Tiffany barked.

“You better show some respect, fool,” added Jasmine. “We are not a ‘gang.’”

By this point the ladies had risen from their bar stools and were getting all up in my face. Since my boy, who was wise enough not to get in the middle of this particular conversation, had excused himself to use the bathroom, I was on my own and outnumbered by these rabid gangbangers sorority sisters.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I pleaded. “I was only joking. Can’t we just get along like the great alcoholic speed racer Rodney King once said?”

Apparently that joke went over much better as the tension levels dropped down considerably, and the ladies couldn’t help but crack a smile.

The one thing about when I’m drunk, though, is my alter ego Taco Meat never knows when to quit while he’s ahead.

“Can I ask y’all one thing, though,” I said.

“What,” said Tiffany.

“What’s with the branding,” I began. “I mean, do the girls get branded, too. I’ll be damned if I let somebody put ‘Grade A Beef” on my arm just because.”

Although it was a genuine question from the heart (the branding part at least), it was the final straw. Rather than even pay my drunken ass any more attention, Jasmine grabbed Tiffany by the arm.

“Come on, girl,” she said. “Let’s go before we have to hurt this boy.”

Needless to say I escaped unscathed but it marked the pinnacle of my love/hate relationship with this unknown way of life. So it’s not really fair to say I don’t date girls in gangs sororities (I definitely got love for y’all if you got love for me), it’s just after conversations like these they rightfully have no interest in dating me. :P

Am I the only one that doesn’t fully understand the dynamics of sororities and fraternities? For anyone that’s an actual members, can you explain the meaning behind the branding? What are the benefits of joining a frat or sorority? Do you feel that movies like School Daze paint an unfair picture of your lifestyle? For outsiders such as myself, do you wonder what the big deal is about joining? Do you feel that some people in these organizations act as if their better than others? Would you consider joining a frat or sorority if you didn’t have to go through any hazing? Would you have a problem dating someone that was heavy into a frat or sorority? Do you think it’s fair to call sororities/fraternities gangs?

Speak your piece…

UPDATE: “Why Greek Life Isn’t For Me (Let’s Agree to Disagree)”

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***60 BLOGS IN 30 DAYS COMING SOON***

There’s only eight days left until Ramadan, which signals the return of my annual 30 in 30 Blog Marathon. No food. No liquor. No cursing. No negativity. No sex. No Wet Wednesdays. Just two blogs a day for 30 days straight, as I embark on a spiritual, mental and physical journey that begins anew Saturday, August 22, 2009 at sunrise.

Also, don’t forget voting is still open for the 2009 Black Weblog Awards until September. Tell a friend to tell a friend to vote NWSO by CLICKING HERE.

  • Belle

    Son! You’re about to get lynched for this blog.

    - Belle

  • arlene…blackorchid

    wooooooooowwwwwwwwwww. doesn’t read like you honestly have a want to learn about any of the organizations. probably why you get that reaction from ppl who are in them.

  • http://girlshesgottahaveit.blogspot.com/ Jennifer

    Oooh, Ans. I smell trouble, trouble with this one! Even when I ask my friends questions about Greek life, they are always very long winded in explaining things because they are so passionate about it. So be prepared for the verbal lashing in which you are about to receive with this one!

    I’m an outsider like you. I stayed in the city for college so I never had that on-campus, traditional Greek experience. But we did have some small chapters on-campus and you could always tell when rushing/hazing was underway because of people’s strange behaviors. Like, why are you circling the 3rd floor of the library 30 times, in complete silence, wearing all black and combat boots? I guess it’s just that deep for some people. My homeboy’s in a frat and got branded and I almost threw up looking at the end result of that. Don’t people brand animals? I’m just saying…

    But from what I understand, Greek organizations go back years and years and there are lots of esteemed and well-connected people who are a part of them. You’re in it for life when you join and lots of opportunities may arise from just being a member.

  • http://iamgvg.blogspot.com GVG

    i’m going to enjoy this. You know you done fucked up right? You know that right? LOL

  • Manhattan Chic

    i so agree w/ belle because these so called gangs are like a cult. smh its a damn shame i believe from my experience in north carolina that they break u down to nothn and build u up to be someone else. its quite strange as to why anyone would want to join besides who wants to pay for friends and to be part of an organization. thats just my opinion but i soo agree w/ us nwso! i dont do gangbangers who think for a whole and not as indivduals. (now this isnt all of them but enough of you spoiled it for the rest of yall)

  • Manhattan Chic

    and i wish they would shut up w/ the howling and hooting like animals..what is the point. why do you represent so hard and for what?? and i know someone is gonna try to explain but it doesnt matter, i think greek life is a waste of time..

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @ Belle
    LOL

    @Arlene

    My brother is actually in a frat, don’t know which one. But like I said/wrote I call ignorance on this one—right or wrong. From my experiences it’s like joining the military, police force, or any other gang… You lose sense of identity. Again, that’s just my perception NOT saying it’s the fact. And not going away to school or to HCBU I just don’t get the stepping etc and oh HELL NAH to the branding.

  • sohoissooverated

    let the Kappas Sigmas Zeta Beta Phis SGRHos start boycotting NWSO right about now!

    It maybe a NYC thing but i truly dont understand sororities and frats. I truly think its a college thing that us ppl from up North (or at least) NYC get. Greek life isnt hot in NYC the way it is in the South. Im all for brothers and sister forming bonds and doing something for the community, children, other poor countries, etc. But the initiation, hazing, and branding blows my mind.

    I recently went to a panel at Brooklyn College, where I was enlightened by the Sigma brothers about the differences in Greek Life & Gang Life. Good Shit…but still i might never pledge. I think i can form lifelong bonds with other females without “skiiiiiiii-ing and suuuuuwooooo-ing”

    One of my AKA girls told me “small” things she had to do get in such as….Stealing food from the grocery store to make her big sisters dinner. But I was also told of the benefits, She went to study abroad in China and the AKA paid that expense…..IDK to each his/her own

    btw….whats up with yall starting yall line in the middle of a a party on the dance floor? and at weddings? Its annoying.

  • http://www.thesimplecomplication.blogspot.com Miss BB

    Though your last paragraph has a lot of questions, they actually seem like back-handed insults to those in them. Somehow I don’t get the idea that you really care to hear the positive sides; it actually seems like you just want to express your distaste for them. That’s fine too but there’s a way to do it. You can just not understand them and actually people who are in fraternities and sororities (self included if I actually knew you) would be more inclined to tell you. This “gentle” bash? You’ll get the same response the AKAs you met gave you.

    I learned long ago not to get myself worked up over peoples’ often harsh opinions on fraternities and sororities (when all they’ve ever done is watch School Daze or assume what goes on) because that serves no purpose. No matter what I/we say, your opinion will remain the same. So, that’s that! I do hope you get some responses that will help you out and that you’ll be open enough to listen to them and not just combat them with your [possibly] “strong” opinions.

    I’m getting lengthy but let me say THIS: While I love them too, Deltas and AKAs aren’t the only sororities that exist. I’m sure they’re the most well known to you and perhaps the company you keep, but there ARE two more. I’m a very proud ZETA (I’ll let any SGRhos come rep them selves)!!

    *soooo not going back to edit so I hope everything makes sense*

  • Peajez

    I’m with you Ans I know several AKA’s, Delta’s, sigma’s , Omega’s, Kappa’s etc, most of my mom side is apart of the Greek life including my mother but I won’t say which ones. I do love the community itu service that they provide for their community but I must say I still don’t hav any desire at all to apart of it. I won’t judge those who decode to be apart of the Greek life but I’ll just say it’s not for me. And as far as the branding goes, what I been told it’s like getting a tat which basically signifies their dedication, iv never seen a woman with a brand tho, only men.And yeah beware u might get cursed out abot this blog lmao, but I’m sure you don’t really care =)

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @ Manhattan Chick

    Hear you on first comment, we’re eye to eye for most part.

    As for the second point/comment, I’m sur it’s not a complete waste of time. From what I’ve heard from friends once the college years are gone and the hazing days are long gone (even then too) there’s plenty of community work etc, but I guess it gets over shadowed by the flare of everything else. Especially in the movies.

    Tyler Perry need to do a movie on that… Then again, maybe not, he kinda drops the ball in the depth department. LOL

  • Manhattan Chic

    @sohoissooverrated- LMAO…amen to that

    @nwso…. lol at tyler perry

  • http://www.thesimplecomplication.blogspot.com Miss BB

    Oh, I’m sorry one more thing:

    People who lose their full identities after joining their respective fraternity/sorority had no REAL identity before they joined and ONLY joined to become “John/JANE the [insert org here].” I can’t stand lame ass fraternity/sorority folk like that – and I know PLENTY. By joining you are to bring who YOU are to the organization – they should never change you. If anything, they just add a new element.

    I’m gonna post the link to your blog on my FB page – I know my friends will have lots to say (hope they won’t be too harsh). Cool?

  • sohoissooverated

    @ NWSO yesssssss Tyler Perry should do a movie (it will make money but it will lack depth but thats another topic for another blog) or maybe Mara Brock Akil (creator of Girlfriends & The Game) should do a show on it…I mean why not, we have all these high school shows (Gossip Girl, 90210, NYC Prep)

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @ Miss BB

    Sorry they came off as backhanded insults, wasn’t the intention. Just trying to cover both sides of debate. Those in that an understand and those outside that don’t.

    And actually, I don’t think I have a distaste for them, I just don’t get the hazing and “perceived” mob mentality. I’m all for the community work, but like I wrote I don’t see what the hazing, branding, stomping etc has to do with the other.

    I was be facetious with the post, but definitely interested in knowing what’s up with the branding in particular. Personally that just disturbs me and I liken to cattle branding or slavery. But if someone explained the significance and it was something that made sence, i’d respect it even though I wouldn’t be down to get one.

    Oh and as far as just mentioning Deltas and AKAs that’s all I could think of off top of my head. No offense, I know there’s a whole host of different groups and chapters etc, but that’s not my world. Like if i mentioned street gangs I’d reference Bloods and Crips and wouldn’t no much more beyond that.

    love is love

  • la negrita

    Ut oh. Miss BB wanna be startin somethin!

    Bookmarked.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @ Miss BB

    all good. Yeah, I’m sure not everyone loses their identity. My point more so was to the example of my friend that had to cut off all her friends and family and have some girl live in her small ass dorm room. Then back to School daze, they had to shave their head. Back when I had locks there’s no way I would change my personal appearance for the POSSIBILITY to be part of a group.

    I can’t get a guarantee or something. LOL

  • Miss Nikks

    1. The title of this post alone was enough to send me into hysterics.

    2. I didn’t know the members took it so seriously as to want to do you harm. (i’m in Canada, we don’t have those forms of “gangs”)

    3. @sohoissooverated I agree Mara Brock Akil could do a great great show with this subject matter as the storyline. :)

    4. You’re going on my blogroll. I love it!!!!

  • College Chick

    I attend a “traditional” campus with a very active greek system. I am one of the VERY few on my campus who has not pledged and with no interest in pledging. I agree with everything that’s said in this post. Sure I am not on the “inside” but I am close enough to it to see that what was said in this post is pretty darn close to the real thing…at least in my opinion…

    I have seen the system change people, who let the org define their personality. The entire pledge process BUGS me out! I hear the things that go on and it just makes absolutely no sense….How could you go through that process one minute and then turn around and call those people your brothers or sisters???

    My brand manager says that point blank, those orgs are for people who might have gotten a late start at this networking thing, don’t quite know what they want to do in life, or don’t know who they are… I agree some what but I could go on forever.

    POINT of this is… KUDOS to you for being brave enough to post this!! Be prepared for the worse though, I expect these comments to get BRUTAL.

  • Q

    Im not greek…but I think there is some ignorance within many greek organizations today bc of changes…but understanding the history of black greeks on how they developed in the past there’s nothing to do but respect them on why they were developed..it’s like saying you don’t respect your ancestors…

    i don’t feel like giving too much details on why they were…bc i feel like im writing alot already lol…but do know they are the reason why many african americans made it through college when very few attended college in the early 1900′s…it was like a cult but also a support system and protection from whites

    If you do some research you will find some interesting facts…Martin Luther King was a Alpha…while Coretta Scott king was a AKA

    But it has dramatically change today…and have been replace with some ignorance today especially when it comes to many pledging processes, that I can agree with..

  • arlene…blackorchid

    ans, ur brother is in a frat but u dont’ know which one? sorry, that isn’t cool. if it was important enough for him to join (*disclaimers* and y’all are close and he truly reps his org, some folk don’t for whatever reason), you should actually remember it. if y’all ain’t close – well that’s another blog for another day.

  • KiKiSGrHo

    Coretta Scott King, Michelle Obama are honorary AKAs….They didnt pledge not to sure about MLK

  • http://www.thesimplecomplication.blogspot.com Miss BB

    @NWSO: I’m familiar with your blog [via Belle] so in general, I didn’t think you were being intentionally facetious. In MY world and during my process, everything had a reason and served a purpose. I can validate everything. Our organizations have unfortunately received a bad rap for the extreme actions of others who took the idea of “power” (which is so dumb and an absolute example of people who were lame before they joined) but our work and our positivity is still very much prevalent for us…and people who reap the benefits of that hard work and brotherhood/sisterhood.

    Branding…hmmm. I can’t say much about it. It is very personal for each organization (I’m assuming but I know it is for mine) so I can’t and won’t speak on them. Like lots of other information, some things are just personal – just like other social organizations where only members are privy to it.

    Stomping – are you talking about stepping? Well, stepping goes way back and it’s a tradition. We’re also non-profit orgs and have to find ways to stay funded. So those of us who have dope step teams (in undergrad, my chapter was THAT team) compete to earn some dollars.

    Sidebar: I can’t believe I’m REALLY not getting upset on the low. Usually, I try really hard and though I might not display it, I usually do get upset. I’m actually NOT so maybe that’s me just getting over harsh and sometimes unfounded criticisms…or maybe that’s a partial kudos to you, NWSO. :-)

  • http://www.thesimplecomplication.blogspot.com Miss BB

    @KiKi Michelle Obama, according to AKAs I know, never formally accepted that invitation. If any AKAs comment that know differently, correct me if I’m wrong but DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER – I’m just saying what your Sorors told me. LOL!

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @arlene

    Well, we’re 10 years apart but I don’t speak Greek so all the letters sound the same to me so it’s hard to remember since I’m not in that world. He could tell me a million times and I’d probably forget.

    But we spoke at some point after he had joined and he said he didn’t have to do any severe hazing so that was my main concern. It’s a White frat, i know that much

  • Belle

    Sorry. I’m back.

    You’re dissing something you don’t understand, but as a journalist FIRST, before you are a blogger, you shoulda done your research on this one. Understand what it is before you publicly slam it. d

    What your offhandedly dismissing is a LONG STANDING AA tradition of accomplishment (over a 100 years for 2 of them), service and brother/sisterhood. There is no alleged to the community service, it just is. MLK Jr. was an Alpha man for crying out loud. Jesse Jackson is an Omega man. The first lady is an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman. I think we’d all be hard pressed to call any of those folk followers with no identity.

    And if you check the backgrounds of a good portion of the Black women and men who aren’t nationally recognized, you’ll find plenty of identity and accomplishment, and trailblazing too. As always, bad apples stand out. But you’re overlooking a TON of good to point out the bad.

    You’re misunderstanding is partially a NYC thing, it’s partially a Caribbean thing (where a HUGE percentage of the NYC Blacks hail from.) Black sororities and frats are an AA tradition. From what I’ve asked my WI friends about, there is no equivalent to these organizations in their culture.

    And no, I’m not in a sorority. I take issue with the uninformed diss of organizations that have had a huge impact and hand in advancing AAs and my culture.

    Oh, and my understanding is that no one is forced to branded, that is a personal decision. My ex was a Que– best known for branding— and he WANTED to do it. It made him happy. But he wasn’t forced.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Miss BB

    Cool thanx for some of that insight. See, I’m open for discussion.

    WHOOPS on the stomping. Guess I got that from the movie and thought it was interchangeable. My bad. Duly noted. :)

    And glad we can have a civil discussion on it.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Belle

    Maybe I’m biased because I wrote it LOL, but I didn’t think I was dissing anyone or organization. I merely broke down my personal experiences and introductions to the world of fraternities and sororities. School Daze, my homegirl in college who went through hazing and my drunken/asshole exchange with the two AKAs. Just mapping out my journey.

    Yeah, I know there’s community work and other elements of positivity attached with being in a frat and sorority, but it’s still not for me based on what I know of them. Not for the end result, but the parts I highlighted, which don’t meet my criteria for group activities. I.e the hazing, occasional group mentality, and optional branding.

    Regardless of the positive work that these organizations do, I personally wouldn’t want to be hazed or given the option to be branded to do it.

    But more importantly, you raise the same point that I did. I didn’t go to a HCBU or even away to school, and I’m from NY and went to school in NY, also from Caribbean heritage, so all this is culturally foreign to me.

    But my intention wasn’t to dis any sorors or frats (my brother is in one) and still don’t feel I did (if it’s taken that way my bad), my issue is more so with the parts that get highlighted most. Hazing, paddling, (optional) branding, etc. which aren’t my cup of tea regardless of who is in whatever frat or sorority. Everything else is all good with me, although step shows don’t do it for me. But that’s just my personal tastes.

  • Mark B. Esq.

    Fraternity, Clique, Gang, Family, etc. All similar however the outcomes from each vary…

  • Belle

    School Daze was a movie.

    as with most things about Black culture in America, only the “sexy” stories are publicized, ie the dysfunction, in order to discredit them. hip hop isn’t all Soldier Boy and snap music, but dangit if that ain’t what’s on the radio everyday.

    there is some bad in ANY organization from government to religion, but as a whole i think frats/sororities do more good than harm.

    no harm done. I hope I did not do any damage either.

  • Erlinda M

    @Taco Meat (LOL) I’m just joking
    Okay, I’m a Kappa Diamond and I can identify with what you feel because I’ve met some sisters that take their membership beyond dedication…almost to obsession and graduating to stupidity.

    I love my soro sisters and my frat brothers with my heart. When I pledged, it was fun and a real bonding moment. I never got branded (I will not scar my body for any group or person other than to give birth via c-section). I was never humiliated or denigrated and I would not have stood for that. I chose my sorority because of what they stood for in general and with in the community and on campus. And I liked the sisters who were already members.
    Our “big brothers” were gentlemen (well, most of them LOL) and they treated us like queens.
    Some people need something…groups; other people in order to feel defined within themselves and life. People like that end up breaking the bonds of their sorority rather than binding them.
    The females you met were obviously on some sort of mission…mind trip. I would have asked them what dope they were on or coming off of because they sounded and behaved like crack heads…female thugs.
    Sisters like that will eventually run into the wrong brother…that brother with the “O’Dog” alter ego who will act thuggish right along with them and then they’re going to get hurt for jumping in someone’s face over something stupid.

    SMH

    All of us – Hell, I dare to say not 70 percent of us act like that over our sorority ties. I would have kept it cool until I knew whether you were playing or not…and even then I would have dealt with you very lightly aka lady-like.

    Those females aren’t AKA’s, they’re idiots masquerading as AKA’s. Big difference. I know quite a few AKA’s and they’re pretty cool. I’m sure they would agree that these females were tripping.

    It’s unfortunate you had this experience. Next time the Kappa Diamonds/Sweethearts and Kappa Alpha Psi have a frat ball or block party, I’ll be sure to invite you. That will likely change your opinion.

    I dont believe you have any hatred or whatever towards frats or sororities….just a really bad encounter with members of one.
    People who lose their individual identities after joining a frat or sorority had no identity beforehand. Joining a group should not alter who you are or turn you into the devil incarnate unless you were a shell…or the devil incarnate before you joined.

    Let’s try and remember that these are social groups not Zulu Nation or the Latin Kings or La Cosa Nostra. Sheesh!

    I had to agree with your analysis on this to a degree. I am a Delta and while I would not have reacted that way, I can’t speak for everyone. But not all sororities or frats act like this, trust me.
    Some of these people do act like cults and their members, like Manson Family members.Some of us are young when we go over, but if you’re strong minded and a healthy individual when you join, you’ll know where to draw the line just as LE described.
    School Days, as a matter of fact, brought back memories for me. Thanks for trip down memory lane! I’m looking forward to your next article already!

  • http://www.twitter.com/bklynmade Melissa Danielle

    Hilarious!

  • arlene…blackorchid

    imma leave post this alone after this comment i hope:

    ans, if your brother joined a “white” fraternity, he doesn’t have the same lifelong affiliation like the historically AA ones (unless a part of an honor society like phi beta kappa). from my understanding, the “white” fraternities and sororities treated frat life as just a social part of college and thats it. These organizations don’t really foster a major connection amongst their members after graduation. They treated like a memory of another affiliation they had during those 4 or more years, kinda like being in a certain dorm, or floor. minority frats and sororities have a different stance treating the membership taken in college as a lifelong commitment, affiliation and participation.

    no, i am not greek. however, my best friends from college are affiliated as well as two family members (one aa sorority, one latina sorority). i grew up in a household similar to yours (NYC, foreign born parents). since i didn’t grow up with the history of what those organizations were about, i learned about them and research it when i went to college because I wanted to. I didn’t attend an HBCU, I went to a predominantly majority school 2 hrs outside of NYS.

    Essentially, what i’m drawing from your responses (and the initial post that started this whole commentary) was you were never interested in the fraternity thing and never took the time to learn about it, you just took what you heard and let those unfounded statements validate your initial feelings. You never really chose to give the orgs any chance to learn the positive side or if the rumors and negative things were true and continue to vocalize and perpetuate the negative mentality towards those organizations.

    i c/s belle and ms bb’s comments and hope I was able to articulate my thoughts as well as they did.

    and ans, u ain’t slick :P . this will probably end up one of your most popular blogs.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ The Single Black Woman

    But you set out ot be offensive. You knew you’d offend by what you wrote…so your “I don’t understand why anyone would be offended…” diatribe doesn’t cut it.

    You are willfully ignorant about something you don’t want to know about, but take umbrage when someone takes issue with your disparaging something so important to them.

    People have repeatedly pointed out to you that there is more to sororities and fraternities then hazing, loss of identity and branding, yet you continue to harp on those aspects.

    If you don’t like them so much…why waste the space. This was just mean for shits and giggles (and blog hits). I’m not even a member of a sorority and I’m offended for them.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @belle

    all good/no worries

    @Arlene

    Yeah, my bro went to MIT (holla) so not much AA representation there (sadly). Didn’t know that about the White fraternities, although I’d like to think they still have some allegiance when it comes to looking out for each other in jobs etc. But what do I know.

    And yes, I never took the time to research frats and sororities, and tried to make that clear in post stating my “ignorance” and “bias” on the subject. With that though, and I guess this part gets lost in the mix of the post and varying tiers, is that I have no issue with frats and sororities and what they do in the community and foster camaraderie, what my initial reactions and opposition throughout the post is the hazing, branding, paddling etc.

    In fact, in the second section I start off saying I just don’t see what those things have to do with the positive community work. THAT is what I don’t really co-sign and would not see myself being down for regardless of the other positives. So dead all the other parts and leave me with the rest and I’m good.
    :)

    But i’m not throwing mud at all organizations or anyone in particular, just small facets of the membership process. if they’re exaggerated, my bad, just going off my limited experiences as a simple boy from the north.

  • ?

    NWSO great post! I have/had the same questions and sentiments regarding greek life. @ belle…I am a daily reader of your blog and your last series of posts has to do with your college life, a few times throughout the post you stated words of wisdom from your mother “no numbers, no letters” (great advice btw) now I see here you have a very strong opinion regarding greeks and NWSO view of the subculture however it seems like for a number of years you didn’t do letters and your mother is very much against it. The point I’m trying to make is the reason I believe your mom was against you being involved with letters and numbers is because of the way that the presented themselves, their behaviors and antics. We’ve all heard about the community service, scholarships etc. But most times that is not the image that frats/sororities portray. So based on the saying “actions speak louder than words” NWSO questions comments, concerns don’t seem out of line, ignorant, harsh etc. IMO. He’s just basically calling it like he sees it.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @The Single Black Woman

    If you look closely I acknowledge the other parts of the frats/sororities and what they do. No, I didn’t focus on them because that hasn’t been my personal experience. The reason I’m harping on the hazing, loss of identity and hazing because those are the SPECIFIC parts I don’t care for and choose to discuss.

    NOwhere in this post did I say ALL frats/sororities are this that and the third. Again, I’m telling my experience. I didn’t (at least not purposely) lump them all (Black or White) into a box and bash them. I gave you my personal journey. I saw School Daze as a kid and had no interest in putting my hand in a toilet to squeeze bananas. I saw my homegirl in college have to cut off all contact with friends and family and have some woman live in her room for a semester and follow orders. Not my idea of fun.

    Is this all frats and sororities have to offer? Of course not, and I never said/wrote that. Like I wrote and like I said in other responses above, for me, the elements of hazing, branding, etc (that yes I’m focusing on) are not something I’m into. Just like you point out that’s only a SMALL part of SOME frats and sororities, so just because I spoke/wrote on that one part doesn’t mean I’m attacking the whole thing.

    As far as the very last section, I was drunk and being an asshole. I admit that wholeheartedly.

  • Alicia C

    For NWOS to freely and initially admitt his “Ignorance and bias” says a lot about him as a journalist and an individual.

    He does not indicate that “all” frats or sororities are like this, but is (in my opinion) questioning what the hazing aspect has to do with bonding, socialization, community, etc (I think)

    Sometimes we get so caught up in feeling like our frat or sorority is being attacked that we read every word as a personal attack.

    He is speaking of an experience and questioning methods. I have no shame and feel no need to defend my sorority or frat so I take no offense. I know how we act. i know who we are and I feel confident that our actions reflect that.

    Well written, NWOS. And I add to this my comment from BP:

  • Belle

    @ ?

    1. let me apologize to NWSO for having my blog biz being over here in his space.

    2. The Wonder Years is about my perceptions at 18. I’m 30 now. I’ve learned and experienced a lot since I was a college sophomore.

    That wasn’t why my mother was against it. She was, with good cause, worried about the antics of 18-22 y.o. men who often let their popularity to go to their heads and acted out. Her perceptions of how male letter/number guys behaved had little to do with the processes of hazing, group think, etc. and everything to do with the stereotypes she heard from others about young men who were a part of the institutions/organizations. My mom’s from the Midwest, didn’t go away to school and went to a small college that had no Black greek life, or athletic teams for that matter.

    I had a bad experience with ONE athlete, the only one I ever dated in college. I don’t think all athletes are awful b/c of Jason Randolph. Never dated a letter in school. The ones I knew though? Love them to this day like cooked food. They held me down then and continue to do so now. I can not date letters and still have respect for letters.

    For me, the image sororities/fraternities portray “most times” isn’t the crazy stuff folks harp on. It’s community service and brother/sisterhood. Sometimes people chose to see what they want and ignore what doesn’t fit their perception. I acknowledge there is some bad in S/Fs but I think there’s waaaaaay more good.

  • Alicia C

    That was well written and I see your point.
    The “gang banger” mentality has no place in a Your alter ego sounds like “that” guy: The one that sees things for what they are and then tells it.
    Stay true, Hermano because not many would have dared to tap the “Frat and Sorority” line.

    It’s like calling a Christian who is actually a hypocrite, a hypocrite to their face. Everyone in the church wishes they had the balitos to do it, but do not dare.
    So they suffer in silence.

    Then “that” brother or sister comes along and let’s the truth loose and it brings the house
    d-o-w-n. Just as the truth always does.

  • Alicia C

    And again, I stress: We do a lot of good in the community and on campus, but like anything in life, there are some organizations that need to check their members.

    Hopefully, your next experience will be a positive one. As a matter of fact, I’m sure it will be because we have far too many intelligent, fun, beautiful sorority members for you not to meet up with a good one.

    Peace, Love and Lechon grease to one and all.

    Keep speaking wisdom, NWOS.

  • ms jones

    LOL I am a member of a greek org and I consider myself level headed so I completely understand how some things we do may seem arbitrary to people who aren’t involved. I actually found this post entertaining (died @ “Which one, Zeta Theta Ziggy Marley Phi Fo Fum?”) my only question/grievance is why is the name of this post deltas vs akas? what’s up with that?

  • AM

    Ans,

    I was born in the Caribbean, but attend college in the South. Before crossing the Mason-Dixon line, I knew NOTHING about NPHC except my 5th grade teacher who wore pink and green excessively. Even my first week as a freshman was filled with uninformed perceptions of black greeks. I took my time to research all nine organizations and was pleased with what I found. Initially, I thought them to be shallow and more like a club (this was after my first college party, so the strolling was what gave me this interpretation). After research, I wasn’t so critical. As a non-greek, it’s not my business to pass judgment on the choices of others…especially when their actions (such as their vast community service) overshadow their words (the chants that have nothing to do with nothing)!

  • AM

    I’m also bothered by the title.

    I thought this was another AKA v. Delta post. Glad it’s not though. That topic has been discussed ad nauseum.

  • anonymiss

    your writing on this topic is trite. and bland. you are jealous of the traffic belle is generating with her wonder years story so instead of being inventive or creative, you go negative. *yawn* next you’ll tell your readers that after stepshows Greeks go palling around with terrorists…

    i know you thought you were going to rile up some sorors with this divisive mess but you have failed– NOT ONE woman from the groups to which you targeted your post (AKAs or Deltas) even bothered to leave a comment for you (at the time of this writing.) the warnings that you were “going to start something” unfortunately for you were false. you selected an elementary approach to generate reader interest; shame on you. this further let’s me know how little you understand about the richness of the Black Greek experience.

    try writing about things you know about, like rejection or excrement.

    PS: i call bullshit on your story about the aka’s skee-weeing after an
    ignorant, drunk comment from an ignorant (on this topic) drunk person. gimme a break. i suppose you want me to believe the one about em too.

  • Elle

    Lmao…you’re not alone Ans. But I’m a Euro, we don’t have a sorority/fraternity history like yall do.

    Well actually, I am lieing. We do have them out here too. Solely the males though. No sororities. And historically they are some ultra-conservative (read: racist) group who do fencing (seriously?) and you can tell who is a member by the scars in their face.

    I’m too much against the grain in general to join any group. I question every rule. I don’t do well with authority or fitting in. So no. Organized groups are not for me. Which is why I dont join politcal parties, societies or even sports teams. I dont follow and I do not want to lead anyone. I rather walk by myself, speed up or slow down when I want to without having to consider what others think of my pace.

  • Military Man

    @NWSO

    Joining a sororitie/frat is nothing like joining the miilitary. You can’t even compare the two, not even on the same level. Yes there might be some type of hazing in the military but that is done for a reason…to establish dicipline that can one day be the deciding factor in living or getting yourself and other people killed. The military is there to protect the freedom that we have so people can run around and join frats/ sororites and howl like animals if they like. Don’t see them risking there lives for that. I don’t see them going away from their families a year at a time in countries that don’t like the U.S military to protect that freedom. So no, joining a Frat or Sororitie is NOTHING like joining the military.

  • Dutch

    Hi,

    @ belle : this is a blog not an academic paper. If he would research every topic he writes about thoroughly and give us a 5 pager about his findings it wouldnt be fun now would it?

    NWSO merely gave his (educated or not educated) perception of sorority life and it sparked a discussion.

    I personally think that this whole sorority/fraternity thing is heavily overrated. Sure they do community work, but ppl outside sorrorities do community work too.

    To each is own: if you feel comfortable being in a group/gang to make better for yourself please do, but don’t get upset if not everyone sees the advantages.

    What strikes me as suspicious is all those sorority ppl take it so personal when ppl take the piss out of it, yet they come with vague stories about what they actually did during those years.

    If community work is the only thing you can come up with then it really isnt that deep. I am sure Michelle O would have gotten where she is even without her “big sisters”

    anyhow waiting for the last part of the wonder year chronicles. please hurry up belle :-)

  • Dutch

    also if a person can say branding actually makes them happy, there must be something wrong with them

  • Lonias

    I’m glad a person or two (Miss BB) finally realized that NWSO always sets out to get some questions abswered, regardless of ruffled feathers.

    When I went to college I was SURE I ws as gonna pledge! I chose an HBCU b0 design (Langston University–LLLLLLUUUUU, aight!). Before college, my only exposure to AA sororities and fraternaties was through their community service and fundraising activties. I was even an AKA Deb (scholarship pageant participant). So why didn’t I pledge? There was no “courting period” allowed. What I mean by that is that sorors only spoke to each other, no one from the outside could get close. Even if I had classes with members, I couldn’t form a social bond with any of them. I ultimately felt uncomfortable calling a group of ladies “sisters” who didn’t even speak to me on the yard. Most will say my experience was unique, but I don’t think it’s so unique. I think AA sororities/fraternaties need to look at some of their traditions and behaviors (i.e. the air of exclusivity) and see if they are reflecting to the “outside world” what they intend to reflect. And just so it’s clear, I still get a pang of longing when I go to an event where Greeks are representing, even though I feel I made the best choice for me…

  • http://www.brandonsaintrandy.wordpress.com Brandon St. Randy

    I’m a GDI (God Damn Independent) who went to n HBCU. Had no interest in pledging and didn’t. So I don’t have a dog in the fight. But the general tone of the blog was basically backhanded disrespect, which he acknowledges. It’s kind of like a white persone writing a blog called “Black People: Why are they so loud?” As far as the actual title, it seems to me you’d be cutting out some really good women from your dating pool if being in a sorority was a disclaimer. Good luck with that.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Anonymiss

    Uhm, actually, I haven’t even read Belle’s “Wonder Years” series (No offense Belle). So no jealousy regarding traffic. Why would I be jealous of my own people. Notice she’s on my blog roll and I’m on her’s. We know each other in the real world and way before both of us started our respective blogs. In fact we both started at the same time on MySpace together.

    Anywhoze, what are you basing your jump to me calling step shows terrorists? Don’t see how you’re connecting my post to something that would lead to that analogy.

    If it’s based on me calling frats/sororities gangs, just look at the definition in the first graph, which isn’t a negative definition by the way. The Bloods and Crips are gangs (“bad” ones) but so are frats/sororities, the military, athletic teams, even some corporations, all by the above definition. If you want to take offense to the term just on other definitions, so be it, but the one I used to define it wasn’t negative.

    And I didn’t target anyone (Deltas or AKAs) they just happen to be the examples I used for my personal experience. Am I supposed to list every single frat and sorority in existence in the post? Sorry, I didn’t know. lol

    But with all seriousness, sorry you weren’t feeling this post but not everyone is going to love em all, but still appreciate your comments in your past and the fact you know the archives well enough to provide links to old stories. That excrement one was hilarious, though.

    If you’ve rocked with me that long, you already know I write about my experiences and personal view. I treated this one no different, love it or hate.

  • http://somethinglikebeautiful.wordpress.com Something Like Beautiful

    I’m not sure how having a drunken experience in which you insulted two unsuspecting women, watching School Daze, and seeing a homegirl pledge could contribute to condemning all organizations and labeling them as “gangs”, i.e. criminals.

    I check your site frequently and link to you, but I’m really disappointed in this post.

  • la negrita

    Ummm…is Michelle Obama really a member of a sorority? Can we clear this up? I didn’t think she or the POTUS were involved with greek life…which, IMO, shows that they’re not really necessary for “connections” anymore.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Anonymiss

    LOL where the hell did you find that “Em” story? Hella long, but I don’t believe it either. But crazier things have happened.

  • MsBRG

    I LOVE THIS POST!!!

    I love it most for the blatant, unabashed invitation for trouble that it is. No subtlety, no faux attempts at diplomacy, just a heat seaking “na-na-na-na-na-na”. I will sit back, pop a can of nutriment, and delight in the fuss of comments this post is sure to cause.

    My crutch for independent thought has always made me question Greek affiliation. I know they are full of benefit, so much so that I will encourage my future children to really consider pledging (however, I’ll be secretly ecstatic if they choose not to).

    Some of these comments are to be expected…you knew it going in. There’s an element of pride that I can’t understand because I don’t have generations of family affiliated with a particular Frat/Sor or school. When you are brought up to care about these things, then you care. I suppose it makes logical sense that those of us without such affiliationa would cling to independence more than inclusion.

    You gotta admit though, to an outsider looking in, some of the behavior – especially by those who “lose themselves” in Greek life – warrants a certain amount of heckling.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Something Like Beautiful

    Did you read the first paragraph and the actual definition I used for the word gangs? Nowhere in that did the definition speak on “criminals”. Words have more than one meaning, like I said in somewhere above, by definition even the cops are a gang.

    And I haven’t condemned ALL the organizations, just the particular practices of SOME that I don’t care for. Read my previous comments.

    love is love

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Military Man

    You’re looking at it on the extreme. Of course the functions of the military and the frats/sororities are completely different. When I make that comparison it’s in regards to the elements I’m discussing here in regards to the hazing, the group mentality, uniforms, team/unit/chapter pride, and the loss of SOME individuality during certain parts of the process. To reiterate NOT saying ALL but SOME.

    The comparative part is the fact that some of the same reasons I wouldn’t join a frat are the ones I wouldn’t join the military, police force, or any other gang/organized unit of the sort. I’ve always liked to do my own thing, wear what I want etc. Not saying that’s all the Greek or military life is about, BUT those small elements are what don’t fall in line with my personal interests.

    Nothing more nothing else.

  • DAVIDA

    Get the book, Our Kind Of People by Lawrence Otis Graham.

  • The Don Diva

    You really should do some research before you post nonsense

  • Ms. Nikki

    I feel the same way about Bike clubs.

  • chocopina

    i haven’t read the previous posts so forgive me if i repeat something stated prior.

    i am in a sorority. and i have lived in los angeles and chicago, in the epicenter of gang life. i have cousins who did/do gang bang. and i have cousins who are also in fraternities and sororities.

    and while i can understand a general feeling that the two are similar i can say that i have not ever had to go to a funeral because of a greek lettered organization. (i do know of some hazing situations that lead to hospitalizations…that’s another topic).

    i agree that select chapters in select organizations engage in questionable initiation rituals (not just perceived violence but other activities as well). however i will say that i do not think a weekend retreat and a multiple choice test should be all that is required to join.

    i was always an individual with my own opinions before i pledged and am still that same person. anyone who knows me can attest to that. that is not to say some people don’t change as a result of joining a greek organization, but the same can be said for every other type of organization.

    who doesn’t know someone who completely changed after becoming saved? or changed when they joined a book club? or when they decided to grow out their relaxer? when they joined a motorcycle club?

    these are people who would have gone off the deep end with organization pride no matter what they joined, it just happend to be a greek one. the blame lies with the person, not the organization.

    last point – i think in all orgs there needs to be some sort of program designed to keep an eye for people who may become too obsessed with organizational life. across the board – not just greeks.

  • Ms. Nikki

    @military man
    I feel you on that. I hate when people say that too.What branch are you?

  • http://www.thesimplecomplication.blogspot.com Miss BB

    I keep forgetting to add stuff. I was born/raised in Brooklyn and had no idea about sororities and fraternities outside of seeing School Daze and a few episodes of “A different World.” Neither of those had a positive or negative influence on me – I never really thought twice about it. Like someone who posted earlier, it wasn’t until I got to college (Jackson State…HOLLA!!!! Take a lot of pride in my HBCU too, lol!) that I started to do more research. My family is definitely not the type to be in sororities/fraternities.

    @lenegrita: I don’t believe she is. As Is tated before, I don’t believe she accepted the invitation but was appreciative of the gesture.

    BTW, none of this blog post has anything to do with women in sororities being bad to date. That is actually ridiculous to me to not date someone who happens to be in one (in undergrad, I get that reasoning but not as adult).

    If you would, can you expand on the actual title??

  • CocoaLuvChronicles

    Ruffling some feathers I see, me likes.

    I love how people skim through the blog and nit pick what they think is being said rather than what is actually said. Reading is fundamental and they missed the point completely.

    The truth is the light that’s why folks get mad.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Miss BB

    Regarding the title, I’ve had it in my head for the longest and when I sat down and finally wrote this, this is just how the piece turned out.

    Sometimes a title just has a ring to it, but doesn’t necessarily encapsulate the subject matter. Like I doubt “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” was actually all about a tree in Prospect Park LOL

    But yeah, I have no issues with women or men that are Greek. So I’d date a woman with letters, but like I ended the piece saying, after this post she may not wanna date me.

  • chocopina

    president obama and 1st lady michelle are not in any greek organizations. i believe i read somewhere in an interview thier stance was if they can’t join them all they wouldn’t join any. which is pretty fair at this stage in the game.

    but i also read that phi beta sigma is induction bill clinton, i think that is kind of awesome.

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe

    NWSO is doing his best da ThRONe impersonation with this thread!!!! LMAO!

    But I agree Im me and I can do good things with my life and in my community without joining the college version of the “Bloods” and “Crips”. Their way of conducting themselves are annoying. And most(damn near all) the females I know involved with a sorority act like they still have the hazing stick stuck up their asses!

  • Chriskjr

    I feel as a black man I am already part of an elite fraternity. Too bad other black men dont share my sentiments. Also as black people why are trying to duplicate a Greek society that took so much from Africans? Why not have African frats and sororities?

  • Belle

    Apologies for the angry Belleionaire, Mr. Socks. They’re passionate.

    @Dutch. it’s highly possible to research for a blog. I have one too. I research. And it’s easy. Just pick up the phone or send an email and wait a day. He’s a writer. It takes 2 seconds for him to get the info he needs.

    even if you take the first lady off the table there are still THOUSANDS of accomplished Black people who were apart of these organizations.

    By your definition, you could call anyone who is a part of a group a gang– the Black Panthers, NOI, SNCC, NAACP and for that matter, anybody who marched, protested, avoided a bus in the Civil Rights Movement. You could call MLK, Jr (Alpha man), Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Nelson Mandela and Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver gang leaders. You could, but I’d argue you shouldn’t. I think sometimes we must look at the connotation of words as well as the definition.

  • virtue5

    I am a proud member of a greek organization and to completely understand greek life you have to be a part of it simple. Every chapter, school, and organization is different (there is also a big different between black greek organizations and white greek organizations) and I hate it when people automatically generalize all greeks. With that being said I also hate it when people make their greek organizations their ENTIRE life and can’t see beyond their three letters and their colors. If you wanna be GDI or greek who cares at the end of the day, everything isn’t for everybody.

  • ThatOneAKA

    NWSO-

    You are hilarious dude! Tell Taco Meat to stand down! But, in the same breath, I do feel some of your concerns and even your drunken stance on sororities/fraternities. I am a Midwest chick who attended a predominantly white university and I didn’t pledge until my senior year of undergrad. I know my experience has been different than some partially because when I chose to pledge, I knew myself. I was not depending on ANY organization to define who I am and the contribution that I will make to society. I also took the time to research the various organizations and to see if those on the yard were fulfilling the stated purpose of their respective organizations.

    The branding…HELL NAW! I don’t even get that (especially for members of sororities)! I have some friends who are members of DST and ZPB that have them and there just ain’t no way! I had one line sister that wanted tattoos and being one of the oldest on the line, I quickly shot down that idea. Maybe its the fact that I’m a preachers kid and even having pierced ears at the church I grew up at was frowned on…

    Now there are several benefits of membership in such organizations, but I do agree with a previous poster in that these organizations are NOT necessary for us to make positive changes and contributions in our communities. But, I believe in the adage of “strength in numbers” and these organizations provide a framework for collective activism. However, with all groups dealing with folk of color, you know issues will exist…but that’s another topic of discussion.

    I do feel like certain movies have cast a negative light on the greek experience. And I would admonish you to remember those movies are looking from an undergraduate perspective. For the most part, being “active” in the sorority post undergrad is a TOTALLY different experience (and dare I say a more mature interaction- its actually about serving the community and not strolling or party hopping). Now don’t get me wrong, I have a line sister who is getting married at the end of the month and at the reception, I will gets my stroll on! But, that is just me momentarily reliving the fun from my senior yr in UG, but then I will retreat back into the world of a 33 yr old professional sista now living in the South.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @ Belle

    No, need for apologies.

    @ Dutch

    Yeah, I research when it comes to some topics that need stats and specifics etc, in the case of this one it was just my personal experiences and feelings so didn’t feel the need to research since I was there. lol

    And yeah, by the definition I used in intro all those list of groups would be categorized at “gangs” as they are:

    “A group of people with compatible tastes or mutual interests who gather together for social reasons… Some gangs, but not all, have strong leadership, formalized rules, and extensive use of common identifying symbols… The activities of gangs are characterized by some level of organization and continuity over time.”

    The problem here is people (talking to everyone not Belle specifically) are overlooking that and just focusing on the more common usage of the term “gang” and how they interpret it, which is where the thought that I’m being negative is coming in to play.

    When you really think about it, I actually “researched” definitions of the word “gang” before I even started writing this post. I found the above meaning and applied it accordingly and cited my source.

    Lesson learned to day is intention and interpretation are not always in agreeance.

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe

    @Belle

    I know Martin Luther King was a freak. But I dont see him getting spank by Jesse Jackson to join! lol Maybe I could see Louis Farrakhan doing Malcolm X laundry.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jigeenakjigeen Nana Ataa

    I’m with Ans…I’ve been believing all that he mentioned in his post for years. I belong to causes, not to groups. I don’t like to run with the herd, and I chose to opt-out of competing to belong to a herd. For undergrad, I went to a small, predominantly white liberal arts college (Oberlin College) and all frats/sororities were banned for most of my time there. I actually chose Oberlin over Spelman and Howard because it didn’t have any Greek life.

    It wasn’t until my junior or senior year that some Black students that came from a background of Greek families and knew of Greek culture started hazing/pledging off campus. That was 20 years ago.

    Last I heard, Black frats/sororities are now permitted to be active on Oberlin’s campus. But I’ll tell you this – the whole nature of how members of the Black community at Oberlin relate to each other is TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY different than it was when I was there. It’s less homogenous, it’s much more clique-y, it’s less focused on our common struggle as Black students on a predominantly white campus / social change, and more focused on individual frat identity and individual academic achievement. From my perspective (and I’ve attended almost every type of institution of higher learning there is – Ivy league, private liberal arts, public state college, city community college AND an HBCU) above and beyond the good works that are done and supported by many Greek societies – they still maintain a certain heirarchy of the Black elite, which should not be a focus or social/academic goal of higher education.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Da ThRONE

    You ALWAYS gotta take it somewhere far far away from topic

    SMH

  • http://musicmakesmehigh.wordpress.com Reecie

    as a sorority member (DST), I came into this post expecting a couple laughs as to why maybe a guy wouldn’t date a sorority girl–something lighthearted about how we’re always with our LSs or something, but not this. can’t say I’m surprised though. its always the same old “we’re a gang” thing. Or you must be a nobody trying to buy friends. LOL. Lots of folks on the outside don’t understand it, but plenty do as I’ve seen reading the comments. I’ve dated a few guys that weren’t greek. One in particular’s mother is my soror, so having grown up he saw her involvements and understood the commitments. Another wanted to be down, dropped line and had some issues with my ‘always going to do this and that’ afterwards.
    My last two serious relationships have been with fraternity men (not the same frat) and to be honest it works better for me. We both understand each other’s committments –he’s actually more active than I am–being an officer in his chapter, we understand each other’s ties to our “home” chapters (we both pledged at hbcus) and we just “get” it. Not to slight those that don’t, but I don’t have to explain the whens and whys to him. We take pride in our committments. its funny though because most non affiliated guys I know like sorority girls, its usually non sorority women that don’t like frat guys for the usual stereotypes. LOL.

  • SMH

    Let me first say I love love love love reading your thoughts everyday but I feel like in order for me to continue to support you today is the day I WON’T read NWSO… :-( It is my belief that as a good writer on any subject you should first do your homework. So before you put sororities and fraternities in the same boat as a gang, you should first research their INTENDED purpose. I capped INTENDED to point out that the things that go on in todays sororities and fraternities aren’t always the things that the founders envisioned.

  • SMH

    I came into this post expecting a couple laughs as to why maybe a guy wouldn’t date a sorority girl–something lighthearted about how we’re always with our LSs or something, but not this

    ^^^^- is also what I expected something that was going to make me laugh but by the end of the first paragraph I knew this was not something I needed to read

  • Kwana AKA OrangeStar AKA Phoenix7

    LMAO I was about 13 when School Daze came out, still one of my fav soundtracks tho and I majorly co-sign all Ans points, sorry but that sh*t is just MAD super corny and a tad bit ghey(some of those things guys to do each other in hazing= highly suspect behavior). Then all that stepping and snapping and hollaring etc SMH so not ever would be me. Never ran with the herd either, think Tigress as opposed to Lioness.

  • M A R C R OO S E L E R

    I make no apologies for my ignorance.
    Also New Yorker/Caribbean descent representative, BKNY raised, US Army for 19 1/2 year. And yes, would never join a fraternity.
    Not because of gang mentality (as per the dictionary definition) but as the aforementioned upraisings and affiliations has not been a “need” in the NYC or Caribbean communities, mostly because these affiliations are already Fraternities and Sororities. We wear our Caribbean nation colors in representation of our legacies and struggles and journies. There are plenty of crossovers or transmutations by both CA and AA groupings alike, as well as cross racial/enthicity pairings.
    I don’t think it a diss if you spell out the stereotypes/assumptions that you only know of, and think it just as ignorant if you do think when one says this is what they know and instead of educating them, think oneself as being attacked.
    For example, I paddle on a boat full of Asians, a Chinese team member says to me (as I’m eating a piece of watermelon), that he has to go run and get some white rice and soy sauce. I laugh (as he eats his chicken and watermelon).
    I work with a diverse group and keep diverse groups of friends/associates and family too I might add. But wouldn’t it make so much more sense that instead of assuming that someone is always insulting you that you educate them on the questions being posed and help dispel the false assumptions?
    I remember being asked to pledge years ago, and my reason for not doing so is that, even though through their great history of collective support for community and having each other’s backs through dire times. As AAs and CAs and Afri-As make up our ranks, I still feel a divisiveness and self serving interest within their ranks. Meaning, like many traditions, you need to convert the young (transition if you prefer) to the mindset. But where is the unification of communities? Where is the Opening scene in the Warriors where all the gangs, orgs, groupings, Island people, Greeks come to meet and say, though not monolithic, we are all people of the sun and somewhere in the middle, with all our titles and differences and cultures, we’re all just as ignorant at times about each other and either we learn about each other or keep the bliss alive in ignorance.
    It took years for lots of my friends to know that I was in the US Military or even Caribbean, hence the sense of loss of identity is mostly voluntary, heck when in Rome no one knows where I’m from. Fine and dandy, people are most comfortable with what/who they know and sometimes…just want to keep it that way.
    What says you to this Haitian/Brooklyn/New York/American/Soldier?

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe

    @NWSO

    I dont know I think we’re both in that water today! LOL

    But my point was those other organizations didnt have to publicly humiliate their members before they join. Yet they still managed to do great things. So I dont think they are as comparable as she made it seemed.

  • JENNIFER

    Michelle Obama is a member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, she was inducted as an advisor. That is the ONLY greek organization she is a member of as she refused the invitation extended by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to be a member. President Barack is not a member of any greek organization.

    NWSO the only thing I can say is if you really want to know, talk to your black greek friends in a humble, non judgmental manner and you’ll receive a lot of answers. I say black greek because white greeks are a completely different world. Unlike AA organizations, they stop at the college level and do not serve after they graduate. I say that confidently and with background knowledge being a member of both of a white greek organization and a black greek organization. Best of luck in your search for knowledge.

  • litrisha

    Wow….this is crazy! LOL

    I’ve never personally joined any frat or gang or soriority but I can remember our little “cliques” in junior high school and high school. To each is own and if that means changing who you are as a person…well hey knock yourself out, but I think that some people take it overboard. I don’t think that I could or would date anyone like that because their whole focus would probably be on that frat and I just wouldn’t have the patience for that….SORRY!

  • all eyez

    You spent more time researching vibrating ipods than black greek life smh….did you go to even one organization’s national site? Or attempt to engage anyone in a serious sober conversation about greek life? If you haven’t…that’s probably why you haven’t gotten clarification on any of these topics…you are indeed welcome to any opinion you wish to have, but if you want serious answers about these organizations that have without a single doubt shaped AA history then you might attempt to pose your questions in a more respectful manner.
    Still love the blog :)

  • http://thisbugslife-in-words.blogspot.com/ LadyMay

    Check out the firestorm you winded, Ans. Funny. I can understand people coming quickly to the defense of something they are a part of- but many don’t seem to be able to explain the dynamics behind it. Not all- just many that I’ve come in contact with.

    Personally, I never felt the urge to be a part of a group so strongly that a sorority appealed to me. There may be many benefits from being a part of a Frat/Sorority but that solidarity seems to be mostly surface just to keep others out. It’s almost elitist and tough to get to the core of it- hence the reaction you got when you asked those two girls. They don’t care if you don’t get it. They simply take offense and keep it moving.

    BTW, anything that involves branding is not for me. That goes for cattle herding, slavery and Greek Life if it applies. They can keep it.

  • Get Real

    Re Michelle Obama: She was invited to join AKA as an honorary member in 2008 for their Centennial and accepted the invitation on a non-exclusive basis. I do not know if they allowed for the non-exclusivity or if she was ever actually inducted.

    I think a major point that should be emphasized is that much of this discussion is based on perceptions and misperceptions of black greek life on an undergraduate level. It is a different experience for those who remain active or join on a graduate level. At that point you get away from a lot of the negative behavior that is associated with the organizations and focus more on the history, community service, proud tradition, etc.

    I also didn’t know much about greek life prior to college, aside from representations in pop culture, but I became interested as an undergrad, once I learned more. As much as I wanted to, I never pledged undergrad because I couldn’t humble myself enough and allow others to mistreat me, esp when I didn’t genuinely respect them. I also wondered – how could you be “sisters” after all that?? My desire to be a member never went away, so I eventually joined at the graduate level and had a very different, more sisterly and mature experience. Many of my line sisters had similar stories to mine about pursuing membership undergrad and felt that the grad level worked much better for them, esp given the reasons for their interest (i.e. not just popularity & friends).

    @Lonias – It’s not too late. You should look into grad chapters. Sisterhood is a beautiful thing. :)

  • cruise-control

    First i would like to say that up until this one, the majority of your blogs have been insightful observances of everyday life and your open imagination (wet wed). But i will have to say that I am disappointed in by this entry. First I am a man, second I am an Alpha Man. I understand that you may not, nor ever understand greek life, the significance it that it has and continues to play the black communities, and struggles that were overcome to have a brotherhood/sisterhood to call our own. I get that. But just because you claim ignorance, does not excuse you to revel in it and even indulge it by purposely exposing for all to see and to have even the slightest expectation people from the greek community to understand. Really. These are the same excuses that the majority uses when they fail to understand minorities when they get their ideas of how a culture works from tv and then experiences one incident and then applies it to the whole culture. And then wants to claim willful ignorance as a way of exoneration. No that is unacceptable. If you took a stance that showed a genuine interest in being educated about greek life, the system, and an explantation of the certain stereotypes, then I would be hard pressed not to try to educate. But be like Fuck it I am ignorant and i a going say what i am going to say ( which is your right because it is your site), without an attempt to even do any real research into a group of people to who lives are/were dedicated for the betterment of the african-american (which i assume you belong to) community is a great disservice. I agree we all dont represent and we have strayed from SOME of the ideals and prosocial behaviors that the founders intended ingrain into their legacies, i get it. But to equate 100 years of bettering the african-american to people who purposely kill, sell and use illegal substances, engage in prostitution, money laundering, and other non-prosocial behaviors is an insult. A group of people with like minded interest who look out for each other also has another name Ans, its called FAMILY and that is what frat/sors is all about.

  • Alicia C

    My personal opinion: Researching Greek Life won’t help anyone deal with the ignorance dome members of Greek Organizations display. I really think he’s speaking in terms of the behavior of the two women and not Greek life and Greek Organizations collectively. At least that’s how I read it.

  • cruise-control

    Unfortunately his remarks were to frats/sors as a whole, not an explanation why did these two females act that way. If he had done research his questions would have been asked in a way of being a student of knowledge not taking pride in willful unadulterated ignorance.

  • MoHouseMan

    Well I’m going to agree with MissBB on pretty much everything she said……

    As a member of a Greek org and a graduate of an HBCU (the same one Spike Lee graduated from), I can let you know that being a member of a Greek Letter fraternity has been a great experience for me.

    As far as Spike is concerned, he openly dislikes Greek organizations so the film is clearly biased. I am not an advocate for hazing or elitism, however the membership processes are designed to protect organizations (and not just Greek orgs) from individuals who would not take it seriously and uphold the purpose or the foundation of the organization. There are many people who would join to be a part of a clique or amongst the people they see as popular. People who get violent and do stupid/illegal stuff during their experience are apparently not that bright.

    As far as the branding issue, that’s something that I won’t do because I agree with the parallel it draws with slavery. But at the same time, I don’t see how that’s much different from tattooing (also something that I will not do).

    and @ Chriskjr …..

    I agree with you wholeheartedly… but I would also add that many (if not all) traditionally black frats and sororities were formed because whites would not allow us to join theirs. That is part of the reason why members, especially the older ones, are so fiercely loyal. There are many fraternities and sororities that do hold to African (especially Egyptian and Nubian) traditions and history.

  • Lonyae

    @M A R C R OO S E L E R- Well said!!!

    I’m also a independent on the matter i feel I’m apart of the best Organization ever created the Smith family, The Jones, The Vines, the Hutchinsons, the human clan and the one called “men” .
    I was never afraid of joining a frat I just wanted to create my own path 100% of the time because i felt the need to do it. I’m not about uniting black people under one common goal i want all persons united from all cultural backgrounds point blank period.

    What is so hard about that??

  • Dutch

    @Belle point taken. In this particular instance I think he was just trying to portray his own perceptions as opposed to writing an educated piece abt the merits of sorority life. I dont think there is anything wrong with that.

    Even research is biased, because it then depends who you ask, if the pool is diverse enough etc…so we can then have a whole discussion abt that.

    I think it is brave of him to take a stance even though they are now trying to lynch you for it nswo lol

    @nwso I agree. The word ‘gang’ has a negative connotation, that’s why you got all these ppl all upset lol

    Back to a Belle in Brooklyn – my reader blinks *chuckles*

    Keep doing the great work both of you!

    x

  • TaiTai

    Yowzers Ans!
    Alienation and entertainment in one post! I love it!
    *straps on e-bulletproof vest*
    I’m wondering if a possible reason that some are so up in arms about how an outsider sees greek orgs is because they personally perpetuate the stereotype…
    Now hear me out before you get mad. It just seems to me if there’s so much positivity coming outta greek orgs, yet they continue to garner the O_o from folks outside of the system, some of the positive folks are at very least not decrying the negative acts and at most ar participating in them.
    Like, how does someone “new” to the org learn how to be that way? Someone else in the org shows them…and if they are doing some crazy ish, than it will continue.
    Just my $.02…
    As far as the stepping and other things that are foreign to some…well, that ish is hard. LOL Much props to those with the level of hand/eye required to do that ish!

  • anonymiss

    palling around with terrorists was a sarah palin reference. i drew the connection between your post and her remarks to suggest that you both were using the same tactics, in this case priding yourself on limited knowledge of a complex topic and feigning insouciance while injecting caustic comments and snide insults (“eee-wing?” oh no he didnt!) as the primary approach to gaining public attention. kinda like no publicity is bad publicity. i respectfully disagree. so do my morals.

    you haven’t read belle’s wonder years? im sure you know what you’re missing. i wasnt suggesting that you weren’t friends. ive been a part of both your bloglives for long enough to know that. i said that you were trying to win a traffic contest. i still stand by that, black weblog finalist. this view is further supported by the backpeddling you are doing in the comments section. a part of belle’s strength and most of your posts (and why i feel so strongly about this one) is that you USUALLY believe what you are saying and the truth rings out. you were cheating on this post.

    heard about em’s viral a** from a friend. it has over 300K views. and people are buying it. glad you aren’t one of them. and that excrement bit WAS hilarious! see? i like you when you’re just you.

    PS more park sausages mom, please?! by that i mean videos with commentary.

  • Rastaman

    One of my boys from grad school is a Q (Omega Psi Phi) joined up while at school at NC Central and pretty much covered the gamut of the black frat experience.

    All foreign to him as he was from Harlem, got hazed (permanent back injury) and has his brand to prove it.

    Don’t know a lot about it outside of what he has told me, for all intense and purposes sounds no more harmless than other types of organizations. But since I have always ascribed to the “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”(Groucho Marx ). It would not have never been something I would have involved myself with in college.

    But the folks who are involved seem to enjoy it. Like anything else there will always be those who go overboard. Got a nephew going to an HBCU now, FAMU and I have encouraged him to get involved for the networking potential. He is in fact a memeber of an academic fraternity.

    Like mama always said: “six of one, half dozen of the other.”

  • Dc Man with a Plan

    Dang, what the HELL? I have become acquainted with several blogs thanks to NWSO, A Belle in Brooklyn being but one. I actually have begun checking three other blogs on the regular because of Ans–and I say all of that to say brotha man is one of the most generous, open and embracing persons I have come across on the web. So, as a blogger, dude steps out on the limb time and time again. AND more likely than NOT, he projects thoughts and views others have, but serves them up as his OWN so that WE can discuss issues that might NEVER come up other-wise bcuz they’re too controversial to even DISCUSS. WTF? So how about the Greeks SHOW the side where you’re the bigger person and reflect kindness to any words or thoughts you COULD choose to deem ignorant, hateful or just uninformed? There are a lotta Greeks that are no longer on the active rolls bcuz they don’t wanna pay them dues year in and out. Don’t forget about the contribution of Masons. And Belle, how many Black ppl still belong to the NAACP, The Urban League, National Council of Negro Women, Operation Push? If you wanna talk about historical groups that have had major influences and impacts on the Black community–that list is long, but then, how are they doing today? I think the Greek community is big enuff to understand how there can be mis-understandings about their legacy, current value as well as their historical necessity. Give brotha Ans some props for generating discourse and perhaps tone down the rhetoric that could lead some to think there’s a lotta HATE up in here.

  • Anonymous

    I read this blog daily but I never post. I am a graduate of an HBCU. I was a member of the marching band which some say is like a cult lol. My brother is in a frat and my best friend is also. While my brother supports his organization he is not one those here I am type guys. My best friend rarely interacts with his bruhs because he doesn’t like them. When I ask people why do they join frats/soro, no ever gives me a straight answer. I always get the you wouldn’t understand answer. That’s bs. My dad, brother, uncle and second cousin are Masons. I am the only male in the immediate family who isn’t, but I never feel alienated by masons and I feel welcomed at their functions. I don’t get that feeling from frats and sororities even when i’m with close friends who are apart of them. It’s funny because one frat pursued me due to my high GPA. They wanted to raise their profile.

  • TaiTai

    @ Anonymous (directly above)
    You go to FAMU? LOL

  • Anonymous

    @ TaiTai

    Naw. I went to Winston-Salem State in North Carolina. What’s up with FAMU?

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe

    @DC Man

    Thats a excellent point. NWSO has a right to have his opinion. And instead of getting defensive when somebody dont understand or agree with your views. How about you explain your side if somebody isnt telling the whole story.

    Frat/Soro’s just seems like such a brainwashing and in excuse for people to be snobish.Some people seem to get off on being able to raise themselves above others for any ole reason.

  • Military Man

    @ Ms. Nikki

    I’m in the Army!

  • http://slangrap.wordpress.com aqua

    Damn. I’m sure someone amidst all these comments had a point similar to mine…but I’ll just say, frats and sororities aren’t for everyone. To borrow from A Tribe Called Quest; you’re not necessarily a greater man/woman if you’re in one, you’re not necessarily a greater man/woman if you’re not.

    aqua
    A Phi A 11-IB-S99

  • Lonias

    WOW!
    On the bright side, you got over 100 comments!!!

    I thought the purpose of blogging was for discourse…I don’t really understand why one topic would make some of you stop coming back…SMH

    And those of you on the “inside” (members of sororities/fraternaties)…if NWSO had just posted a list of questions without the catchy slogan and the story about Taco Meat and the AKAs, would you have found them easier to answer? Cause I still wanna know…
    Can’t remember who said it, but a commenter mentioned that they would encourage their kids to explore Greek life.
    What do you Greeks have to say to help her have that conversation with her kids?

    What do you have to say to those reading and responding here who are on the fence about Greek organizations?

  • jewelofthecrowne

    Let me point out something largely ignored here:

    even when pledging was acceptable, HAZING was not.

    Hazing is a specific CRIME in about half the states, and of course, assault, harassment, etc. are crimes every where.

    The criticisms here are legitimate — hazing, shallow elitism and separation are damaging; immature or weakly formed men and women join groups for the wrong reasons and may never develop themselves or the group they join and groups who take them in anyway need to own responsibility for diluting their membership and their organizational reputation.

    This needs to be addressed but nevertheless it is all collateral to the mission and purpose of fraternities and sororities that seek to advance community, scholarship, service and other meaningful ideals.

    There was a time when it was a bad play to ask about a greek organization if you wanted to be a member and that left a lot of confusion and misinformation out there. (that is our (greek’s) fault. we are past that. If you really want to know, and you are not just interested in complaining — ASK SOMEBODY.

    NWSO I am completely puzzled by the women who were so angry at your (bad) greek jokes. That level of offense seems to reveal some insecurities on their part. (Although you would have annoyed me too and would not have gotten my number either lol)

    I don’t mind questions and I am happy to explain my choice and what it has meant to me but I don’t feel the need to justify my membership in a sorority any more than I feel I must justify why I have a particular profession or belong to a particular church or political party.

    I was completely uninterested in greek life when I started college (not @ a HBCU) so I understand the total lack of appeal for some people.

    What I don’t get is the venom against others who elect to belong to a legitimate social or professional group. Fraternities, the police, the military being compared to GANGS?! really? why on earth are these things being paralleled?

    Greek or non-greek, alone or collectively what is the difference if you are about something? ( I see you aqua)

    folks — how did you meet your purpose? was being greek helpful or defining? was being non-reek meaningful or helpful? what about being in (or not in) other organizations?

    Would the haters please sit down and the real men and women doing something meaningful with themselves please speak up?

  • Lonias

    @GetReal
    Thanks, but that’s the thing: I HAVE sisterhood…

  • Dc Man with a Plan

    I respect what Jewelofthecrowne had to say and the manner in which it was stated……Though this subject has generated lots of comments, I believe NWSO’s all time high comment blog subject was the recent one on religion, then the one on being big boned…….Is this the point where we do the group hug? lmao….Just to stir the pot a lil mo b4 I go, let me say what ALL the fellas know, which is, despite what Ms BB said about there being other sororities….All the dudes know on the real: Delta’s have the fiiinest azz mofo women around. I don’t know what they doin in the community–but they LOOK GOOD doin WTF eva it is……AND that’s 4Sho!!! <—smilin my azz offf…..

  • Ms P

    SKEE-WEE!!!!! I have been a proud AKA for 25 YEARS!!! I am always amazed when non-Greeks try to dismiss something they know nothing about. Sometimes it may be jealousy, & sometimes it could ignorance of the unknown. Many are called, but few are chosen. At this stage I don’t even try to convince people of our worth, contributions,etc. Everything ain’t for everybody. That’s life. For me, it has been a real sisterhood. And this week it is even more profound because I lost a line sister today. She was a true friend & sister, and her loss is heartbreaking to all who knew her. So bash away, those of us who are Greek know the bonds & they are real. Skee-wee!!! And @Ms BB, girl what ‘chu know about JSU???? That’s my alma mater too!!!!!!!!!!! Not only do I love my sorority but I LOVE MY HBCU!!!

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe

    @jewelofthecrown

    What’s wrong with explaining what got you into your sorority? There are plenty of people who have a reason for a certain career choose. If I was getting to know somebody I would ask why is it they choose to do what it is they do. I personal would never group or judge anybody based on their affliliation(minus Klan members or Nazi’s or something extreme like that). At the same time I dont think its a coincidence that people in frat’s/soro’s (especially soro’s) all have a similar attitude toward people not in there respective frat’s/soro’s.

  • jewelofthecrowne

    @ Dc Man with a Plan
    thx for the respect –

    “Delta’s have the fiiinest azz mofo women around”

    really? well there is no accounting for taste…. LOL! (no haters please, I’m kidding)

    its all good, after pissing off those AKA’s, maybe NWSO can go alienate the hell out of some Delta women for you so you will look better to them by comparison and they’ll be motivate to repay your compliment. ROFLMAO

  • Dc Man with a Plan

    Uhhh, Jewel….Did you back hand insult me? lmao…. I’m already lookin good to Delta women…I got me one back at the crib but I might need to investigate the AKA’s a little further. Actually, my sista and an aunt are AKA’s..Hmm, maybe THAT’s why AKA’s get on my friggin nerves~ j/k…..nobody should lose any sleep ova anything you read on the internet…..
    In all honesty, WE need all of ya, doin what you do!!

  • jewelofthecrowne

    @ da ThRONe

    I am not sure if you are agreeing with me or if you read my statement wrong — I said I AM happy to explain why I choose my sorority and what it means to me. However, I do not feel compelled to justify my choice. Thus I am not threatened by people who don’t agree with it or don’t get it.

    If your experience is that you get similar attitudes from greek-affiliated people I suggest that you also consider the effect of the common denominator there — you. Are you sure you have not decided that “they” are all alike and then looked for similarities to justify your judgment?

    Speaking for myself I often expect us to be more alike. Beyond our shared sorority ideals I have so much in common with sorority sisters that I am close to that I sometimes catch myself surprised when I meet sorority members from other chapters or other parts of the country (or world) and we are very different.

    No one should be a snob, but if more people took pride in the organizations that they belonged to and acted like it was both an important end unto itself and a vehicle for great things, BGLOs and the communities they pledge to serve would all be better off.

  • jewelofthecrowne

    @ Dc Man with a Plan – I hear ya!

    @ Miss. BB –thx for the rep, glad youre out there soror! — My suit may be a neutral shade, but I’m Royal Blue and Pure White where it counts!

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe

    @Ms. P

    Its the attitude of “Im not explaining myself” that just farther allow people to be ignorant. You have the ability to be an ambassador and educate. And the fact that you assume jealousy has anything to do with it says alot about you. I once again dont judge ,but most of the sorority females I have dealt with were snobish and stuck-up. And the “screw ya’ll if you dont get it” attitude only farther pushes people away. So you cant say “I am always amazed when non-Greeks try to dismiss something they know nothing about.” when you arent willing to discuss what it is thats so great. Or explain why so many ladies who pledge behave so uppity!

  • Dc Man with a Plan

    LAST comment..lol…for real:
    My hat is off to all who have pledged, who have walked the line, accepted the duty and uphold the mystery of their respective Greek organization. We need each of you to continue a proud tradition of self determination, faith, allegiance and continued progress towards a better community and a more perfect union. You are a proud Black man, a proud Black woman and we need more of you….Continue to be blessed, just as you are a blessing to others.

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe

    @jewelofthecrown

    I didnt say every female in a soro is stuck up I have met some(very few lol) that were down to earth. But if you dont see it you dont see it. Besides that was back in the days when I was in college and/or around people who were. I dont deal with sorority ladies much at all anymore.

  • Dr_BluInBK

    Some schooling:
    1. There is a difference between pledging and hazing… Yes, they both involve tasks that are meant to bring you down to build you up. But, hazing is the extreme often resulting in killing, wounding, etc. So, can you pledge and not be hit? Yes. Can you opt out of the process? Yes, thus is why a lot of people join grad chapters. Still don’t understand… Well, look at life! You are born into a family and while growing up you learn life lessons. For example: Your mother/father says NWSO do not touch something or cross that street because XYZ will happen. Being young and curious, you go ahead and do it anyway. You get home and your mother/father tear that ass up.
    Along with that…In your life you go through trials and tribulations (some of which are easy and hard), each time you are faced with a hard choice and fail a little of you is destroyed, but tomorrow you are a stronger wiser person because of it. This is what “pledging” is suppose to do for you. How can you be close to your big sister/bro for beating in order join an org? Reverse the question to yourself…Why is it that you still love your mom/dad/grandma/grandpa/or anyone else that took a belt or a hand to you backside? You might say well I love my parents, but love of a child to a parent is a learned behavior and hormonal (nature vs. nurture).
    2. I am from NYC. I was not raised around greek life. And like you, I saw it only on TV Revenge of the Nerds, School Daze, etc. And, I just thought it looked like fun and games. When I left NY and went to an HBCU, I thought it was like joining a club and that maybe you can join all and not just one (Pan-Hel vs. Non Pan-Hel vs. White Greek letter orgs.). And, I found out through talking to me southern born friends that it was not so. I joined my sorority because I loved what they stand for and the things that have been accomplished in the 89 years of its existence.
    I made the choice to join because of what I wanted to gain from it and what I can bring to the table. Yeah! I can do community service on my own, but it is better working as a group doing March for Babies, Breast Cancer walks, HIV/AIDS workshops, tutoring under privileged children, etc.
    3. Branding and Stepping are something that is based on tradition. Branding is suppose to represent what members of African tribes do to symbolize coming of age or allegiance to their tribe…Just like tattoos! I personally do not like it and associate it with being an animal or slave. Stepping or party walking/strolling (well stepping) comes from Africa. It is used like someone stated above for a fundraiser.
    I do not think I have lost myself in joining or did it to meet friends (I am not friends with a lot of my sorors). When I meet people, I do not discuss it or bring it up. Why? It is none of your business especially since most folks who are not members either do not understand and never wanted to join or wanted to join and was black listed. It takes too much to have folks understand what it is with traditions and purpose. Plus, people need to understand that folks looses themselves whenever they are trying to fit into a mold (i.e. the upper black middle class or the society where you find the LINKS or the Jack and Jill members)…and that is a whole new class in itself. You should read Our Kind of People, The Divine Nine, In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta, and there is another book about African American Greek life to get some sort of understanding. In addition, there are a lot of Greeks in the tri-state area. I am not talking people who go other places, join and come back…I am talking they become members in NYC and stay. And, there are a lot of West Indians, Asians, Latinos and Africans in these BGLO (Black Greek Letter Organizations) in NYC, so it an excuse…
    I hope that I could answer some questions.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    Sorry, been away from computer & my BB is busted so just getting to catch up on recent comments and concerns.

    @cruise-control

    Here’s the thing, everyone is asking me to research the history of fraternities/sororities, which I actually plan to do after this post, BUT the cultural & historical significance, civil rights roots, community outreach etc. I am aware of albeit in a limited capacity. But that was not what my issue/concern or lack of understanding with SOME of these organizations is.

    I’ve stated in previous comments and the blog itself, those things are great and I have no issue with, but my personal feelings are that rituals of hazing in any organization, optional branding, stepping (regardless of African roots, which I acknowledge) etc are just not for ME. But those elements have no bearing/baring on the intent of these organizations. They’re are separate points of argument.

    if you look back and read my actual words I never said anything about ALL frats/sororities just the practices if SOME. While further research will probably give more insight into their purpose and meaning, just knowing myself I still don’t see them being things that I want to engage in. That’s no knock to anyone that does, just ain’t for me and that’s what I voiced while explaining my journey to making that assessment.

    But once again, I plan to do some research because despite the post I am a man of expanding.

    As for the comparisons to “people who purposely kill, sell and use illegal substances, engage in prostitution, money laundering, and other non-prosocial behaviors” I NEVER MADE SUCH COMPARISONS. As I’ve stated before, if you look at the FIRST GRAPH I define the word gang. Re-read it and tell me if frats/sororities don’t fit that definition, which is actually a POSITIVE def of the word. You, and others, merely overlooked the opening graph and the specific frame of mind I was referencing in calling it a “gang” and added your own preconceived notions of the word. I purposely prefaced the piece with that def so the rest of the piece wouldn’t come off as an attack, but clearly that point was missed.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @ MoHouseMan

    I mean this with all respect, but what do you mean when you say, “the membership processes are designed to protect organizations (and not just Greek orgs) from individuals who would not take it seriously and uphold the purpose or the foundation of the organization.”

    I understand the idea of making sure that only loyalist get accepted, but how does hazing help determine the best candidates? Again, I mean that with genuine respect and curiosity. From what I’ve heard and seen, most can’t speak to outsiders about what hazing actually entails so all I have are films as examples, and what’s depicted on undergrad level are pranks, paddlings, etc., which may or may not be a reality.

    But are there any academic tests, personality evaluations, career goal requirements, and more things based on character that an outsider with limited frat experience doesn’t know about?

    Just my genuine curiosity regarding the point you made. Perhaps or someone else can shed some light on that aspect.

    Thanx

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Anonymiss

    The thing is I didn’t set out to do an analysis of Greek life, if that was the case I would have felt the need to do extensive research since I’m not familiar with that world. My intention was to paint a picture of how I, an outsider perceives the lifestyle and more importantly WHY I feel that way (i.e. School Daze at 11, my friend in college who couldn’t even speak on her experience and the sorors during my drunken exchange). Those are my experiences and what I chose to share as always giving pieces of my life for the sake of the blog. If I had any other experiences to share they would have been there.

    Sure, I’ll admit there was a certain “tone” to the piece that wasn’t flattering but that’s what my experiences evoked as I was writing. I thought people liked the fact that I’m honest to my feelings even when they’re biased, which I didn’t I hide from and admitted, not as an excuse but to show all honesty on where I’m coming from and that I am no expert on Greek life.

    The research people seem to want me to do seems geared towards the origins of frats etc and roots, but not to what I was experiencing and having the real lack of understanding of—hazing etc. Without researching (yet) I’ve always found that no one can or is willing to speak on the specifics of hazing but that’s what I want/ed to discuss.

    As for the “eee-wing” that’s what they did, and a specific trait to that soror, what’s wrong with mentioning that? I wasn’t mocking it, just describing the scene

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @DC Man

    Thanx bruh.

    Appreciate the support and fact that you get what it is that WE do here. Don’t know you persoanlly, but you’re cool in my book.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Ms. P.

    Sorry for the loss of your line sister. I’m sure you and your sisters will carry on her memory well…

  • http://www.randomrhymereason.blogspot.com Jazzy

    @NWSO I’m so mad at you for that picture. It made me LOL!

    I attended a HBCU and enjoyed many a frat/soro-sponsored party but would NEVER join one. I have many relatives who belong to a certain sorority and tried to get me to join my campus’ chapter. But no dice. I’m an individual first, team player second..esp when it comes to that hazing crap. And I’ll spare you from a psychological profile of someone who’s willing to put up with that to join a group. (I must add that I have many friends who belong to a frat or sorority and they LOVE it, that feeling of kinship/family.)

    In other words, I feel you.

    Too bad we can’t date since I belong to Me Phi Me. :-P

    Btw, LOVE the analogy between gangs and frats/sororities. It’s on point.

  • http://www.randomrhymereason.blogspot.com Jazzy

    I’d take the analogy of frats and sororities being like gangs further to include religions too. Most people I know who are seriously practicing their religion and enjoy the fellowship treat it with the same fervor as gangs/frats/sororities…

    It’s all based on communal thinking. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  • MoHouseMan

    @ NSWO…..

    Pledging generally involves things like learning and memorizing important facts, names, and dates in the orgs history, learning about the REAL purpose and cause of the founding members and learning the history and backgrounds of the chapter members that came before. The purpose is to further educate those aspiring to join on what they are doing and getting themselves into. I believe physical abuse does not make one a better man or woman and shouldn’t be a part of the process. Things like running and working out however, prepare members for the previously mentioned step shows and other activities (Relay for life, AIDS/Cancer marches, etc.)

    The dual purpose is to put potential member through something strenuous with the hopes that those wanting to join for the wrong reasons (being popular, or “cool” etc) will say something to the effect of “This ain’t worth it” or “This ain’t what I signed up for”. That way when they become members and the REAL work begins (organizing community fund raisers, drives, events, volunteering etc) only the people that are truly dedicated and willing to work and uphold the PROPER traditions will remain. Unfortunately things don’t always go the right way, but that’s the how it should be.

    And yes, there are academic standards imposed by the colleges and universities first (a certain GPA). Then most orgs will have a higher set of standards such as a higher GPA, sophomore status and recommendations from a professor or older member. And speaking for my org, there is a moral standard written into the original purpose or mission statement. However, that is a subjective thing and will vary among different organizations.

    As far as the pranks, most of that is just intended as harmless fun. Of course there are times that it can and does get out of hand. Paddling is an older tradition. There was a time in the U.S. when hazing was perfectly legal and accepted. This is probably how those stereotype originated. It has been banned for some time in most orgs (that I’m aware of) and any org or chapter of an org that continues to do so risks being dismissed as members and loosing the chapter’s charter, not to mention legal prosecution. That being said, older members of certain orgs that know that certain things no longer take place often give current members those “back in my day” stories. So perhaps current members feel like they may need to live up to those standards? I dunno…

    but i’m getting pretty long here…. anything else you wanna know I’d have to pledge you first LOL… jokes jokes

  • sweet shani

    I didn’t read all the comments (too many and so little time) lol anywho….i love frats/sor’s i am regretfully not in a sorority but i attend stepshows in the tristate areas and love every hoot, holler, and growl from the frats. I would def date a man in a frat, i find it a turn on.

    I think the whole hazing aspect is to make sure the person pledging is really serious about it. It may get a bit extreme but i think there maybe more control over it over the years.

    I get pure chills when I see the unity and brother/sisterhood of these groups. I love seeing positive black and even hispanic groups NOT GANGS!!

  • sweet shani

    WHO ELSE AGREES???

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @DrBluInk

    Thanx for actually taking the time out to answer some questions and clarify some things.

    Still think the analogy of a parent scolding a child is a bit different. I see that as discipline and a parental right through parenthood. Completely different than some stranger asking to paddle me when I’m a grown as person. I see what you’re saying, but I still see it differently.

    Oh, and the “losing yourself” part was moreso related to during the pledging/hazing process when you have to do what you’re told and fulfill whatever tasks. Unless you paying me, I prefer free will. No offense, just my stubborn nature as a Capricorn.

    Everything else, thanx

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @MoHouseMan

    THanx for some more insight.

    As for pledging, nah, I’ll be one of those brothers quick to say, “This ain’t worth it” or “This ain’t what I signed up for.”

    LOL

  • older & wiser

    I pledged a sorority my senior year in undergrad and remained active in grad chapters for two years after graduation. I am inactive in the sorority now but active in The National Council of Negro Women and my local church.

    I don’t advertise my sorority affiliation but allow my community service to speak for itself. I am often asked if I pledged a sorority b/c of my activity in the community and it is then that I share that I am already Greek. I am often approached by my sorors to return to active membership and I wonder if it is so the chapter could get credit for my tireless community service or what.

    At this stage of the game I am more interested in inclusivity (all of us as a ppl working together) rather than one organization getting credit for any public service rendered so I just keep it on the “my personal family” level.

    I have always been civic minded and remain so even if I am no longer active in a local chapter of my sorority.

    I dunno ’bout nobody else, but I am fine just as I am – doin’ good fo’ others jus’ fo’ me! *smile*

  • older & wiser

    P.S. No one in my chapter was ever hazed, we were too busy keeping up our GPA to maintain our scholarships!!

  • http://www.SpeakResponsibly.blogspot.com SomethinSpecial

    I actually sat and read every single comment. I am a member of an organization. I went to a HJCU (better known as a predominantly white university!) born and raised in brooklyn by West Indian parents. I am the first person in my family who is in a BGLO and since becoming a member I have a cousin who is now a Delta in ATL.

    Majority of what I wanted to say after initially reading the blog has been said. NWSO yes your tune was NO BUENO in writing it. As someone else stated you could of easily been a white person talking about how loud black people are. The way you came at the subject was not respectful or conducive of wanting serious feedback in my opinion. I feel like there was more seeking for real answers in your commenting though and that was appreciated. Im new to your blog and after reading the post I was reluctant to come back. Because I felt you didn’t write from an objective place. (sidenote I went back and read some of your other stuff and added you to my blogroll; I think you may have missed the mark on this one…IMO)

    Prior to pledge (NOT HAZING and no the two words aren’t interchangeable) process that I went through I was ignorant to the point of BGLOs. I would walk around saying Me Phi Me and saying they were buying friends until I looked beyond what I saw in School Daze etc. and got some of the info that was already stated in the blog. And some fo you are giving undergrad a bad rap lol. At my school yes we strolled and did step shows but we had high GPAs and did A LOT of service on and off campus. It wasn’t jut about our chapter or our org but about our community.

    I like to think of myself as a free thinker as well and just because I am a member of a BGLO that doesn’t mean that is the ONLY part of me. I am a member of a grad chapter for my org in brooklyn I do service outside of my org as well. Though I am active with my org I have lots of friends in other orgs or from no org at all. People are usually very surprised to find out I’m in a org. Also I know a lot of women and men who don’t have elitist attitudes. Basically this run on comment is just me trying to say don’t let a few bad apples spoil an entire bunch. If joining an org is not for you kudos to you but there is no need to talk down to those that choose to go a different path from yourself. Just my 22cents…

  • http://www.kmpblog.com KMP

    LOL, I love this post.

    I didn’t get to read every comment, but I agree with Dutch I think that’s the person’s name…

    I love this post because you speak your mind, no holding you back, that’s what blogging is all about. Speaking freely!!

    I love this post because it is CONTROVERSIAL!!!
    The goal of a blogger is not to just put up a post that people read and be like “oh ok, that’s cool…”

    The goal of a blogger is to put up a post and get people HYPED about it that ends up getting you 130+ comments!
    More comments = more traffic = more Google money for us! :-)

    I’m staying out of the “controversial” topic for obvious reasons, as a GDI I “wouldn’t understand” what it is like to be in a Greek organization; to each his/her own.
    God gave me 2 blood sisters which I can tolerate at times, lol, any more, I would just go crazy.

    Thanks again for this great post NWSO!!

  • Ms P

    Thank you, NWSO. I appreciate that. I still luv ya! :)

    To daThrone, I still do not feel the need to explain why I pledged to you.So many people gave their own eloquent reasons on why they did. Perhaps you should re-read those. As I said “Everything ain’t for everybody”. My post actually spoke to the bond that I have with my sorors but you chose to dismiss that. Whether you understand or not is of no concern to me. And that is speaking for ME as an individual, not an AKA.

    Have a peaceful weekend to all.

  • Aye Plus

    I see alot of your “Issues” from my view are based on assumption, #1. No frat that im aware of “requires” a brand, been a nupe for over 10yrs NO BRANDS or TATTS, #2. From the outside looking in its easy to think you see/know all the in’s and outs, and thats not fair, because its NEVER what it seems to outsiders #3. Hazing, paddling, branding are all CHOICES, if for you the benefits out way the “wood” then you do it, if your scared of the “wood” you go grad chapter but its still america and you always have a choice!!! Now, with that said ive surely seen the negative impact of pledging it takes a strong sense of character to not get sucked in(partying, drinking, groupies etc.) ive seen 4.0 students stay in school 8yrs b4 they graduate literally! And other crazy stories but its no different than any other college student gaining a new found freeedom and kicking it alittle to tough forgetting the very reason your in college in the first place TO GET AN EDUCATION!!!!!<———— -MESSAGE to any youngsters headed to college in the fall!!!!!

  • http://www.gangstarrgirl.com Gangstarr Girl

    I was born and raised in New York around Black doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc. Some were in frats and sororities, but most weren’t. However, when I neared my college years, being in a sorority was all the girls around me talked about. It seemed cool at first because I had been glamourized by A Different World and School Daze, but also knew the history of how Black Greek organizations came to be and had heard about the community service and the distinguished people that are affiliated, but when i got to college and saw how most of those girls acted, I was disappointed and opted out. (Plus, I’m a rebel anyway)

    The biggest sororities on my school’s campus (Hampton U, the real HU lol) were DST and AKA but they were full of themselves and did not adhere to their “sisterhood” mantra when it came to other women. They talked down about the other sororities like the SGRO’s and the Zetas and totally abused their power. Not only were the AKA’s fresh off of a three year suspension when I first got to school (Hampton U) for an incredibly heinous hazing act (I won’t go into it), but I also remember being glared at by Delta’s because I wore a lot of red (still do, it’s one of my favorite colors) and one even had the nerve to ask me why I’m always wearing red in a snotty way, and I’ve heard similar stories from other women.

    I’m not saying everyone in a Greek organization is a negative person, but I was definitely turned off because I’ve had more negative experiences (way more).

    Out of my crew from HS who always talked about pledging, only one girl did and she has become a different person. She doesn’t talk to us anymore. I hate to say that the change came because she pledged, but that’s when it happened.

    At the end of the day you just have to determine whether something’s for you or not. It’s not for me so I just go on about my business. Everyone isn’t going to understand something and if they don’t they don’t. You can help them to try but if it’s not for them it’s not for them. Why waste time jumping down their throat? Keep in moving.

    Ans, you’re lucky those girls didn’t beat you down because Greeks take their organizations seriously. And if I were you, look out for dudes following you on the street with red and white canes cuz you might get beat down for this post lol.

    http://www.gangstarrgirl.com

  • A Marie

    Can somebody please just address why the hell Black people (of African descent) want to be a part of organizations bearing Greek names as opposed to starting ones based off of Indigenous African names (ie Kemetic names). That part has always bothered me from the jump before even getting into the other politics, habits, and shortcomings that may exist.

  • neo the one

    @ Manhattan Chick and NWSO……

    i totally agree… with the outsider look but step out and look @ the broader picture of it all…. the military they got their little sections where they still do alot of hazing…. boot camp has softened up alot but they did alot of hazing there for real…..cops, CO’s etc etc.. there are alot of organizations that could be considered “gang” like or cult status…. when I was in college I almost joined a frat….. came real close to pledging but I started thinking… I mean if a organization wants me for who I am and what I can bring to the organization why try to humiliate me in the process? By breaking someone down to make em strong proves that they can be broken thus reinforcing the idea that you can be broken… maybe like NWSO said: its that outsider mentality but I never felt the need to fit in… maybe even the urge to stand out…. and at some point we all were outsiders….

  • http://dopepenmanship.com clove

    proud member of broke phi broke!

    I kid. not part of a sorority. I have no problem with black people becoming greeks but the hazing, childish behavior, I don’t really understand. I would hope that the pledging is harmless and meant to show your strengths but that’s not the case all the time. to each her own

  • http://www.randomrhymereason.blogspot.com Jazzy

    My cousin is a Q and HE HAS A BRAND ON HIS CHEST to the person above who says that no frat requires branding. Uh yea they do. The “rules” differ across campuses/chapters.

  • Anonymous

    First let me say, I did not read the entire blog because I got infuriated by the first few lines. As a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, I am totally offended that anyone would compare my or any other greek organization to a gang. DST is sisterhood, founded on the principles of COMMUNITY SERVICE–having distinct programs to promote and improve health, political, economic, international and physical/mental awareness. Hazing is illegal. Anyone who performs or allows themselves to be a part of such rituals is crazy. Does in exist, yes. However, I was never hazed and love my DST!

    Black Sororities and Fraternities were built on foundations of men and woman who decided to unify to make OUR world better. To compare us to gangs is a slap in the face to our race and to all those who fought hard for rights and liberties that we now enjoy.

    See everyone cannot be a DST. You have to have the complete package, academic and social achievement. So those who don’t just can’t understand! We believe Intelligence is the tourch of Wisdom!

    Wish I had longer to write, but I’m on my way to Church to join my Sorors for a back to school event–Community Service. We will take photos that we will proudly throuw up the DST sign to let everyone know we are proudly a part of thr Delta Trailblazers

  • jewelofthecrowne

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE folks stop saying that hazing is required by some chapters — it is NOT. There is no choice to take wood or go grad, as one poster put it. Hazing is a crime! People are convicted of this crime and people are seriously injured and even killed. Continuous misinformation on this point will only misguide perspective members, and young people in general, who will be improperly led to believe they must be assaulted and abused to gain membership — an obvious deterrent to strong young people and a bait for disaster for less strong young people.

  • jewelofthecrowne

    Going back to the original title, why are men (some men not all) intimidated by women who have strong bonds with other independent women? isn’t that really their problem and not a problem of greek life?

    a member of my sorority attended a conference with her husband, who was presenter at a workshop. He introduced himself as so-and-so’s husband. it got laughs and jokes later about how he was whipped, etc. but anyone who read his bio knew that he is a successful surgeon who has developed surgical techniques and patented surgical technology. he’s not whipped, he’s just strong enough to realize that it was his wife’s moment and her venue and he acknowledged it. what’s wrong with that?

  • rh

    I am a member of a sorority. I was not hazed and do not believe in hazing. But I think hazing is a serious problem. I hear there are high school groups that now haze. That is madness.

    I have free will and joining a sorority did not change it. I wanted to be an agent of change, and I chose an organization that matched the goals I strived for. I did not lose my individuality. When I was in college, it brought fame and status but that did not matter to me. I put on my pants one leg at a time, just like you.

    I learned a lot from my sorority experience:
    1. Helping the Community
    2. Sisterhood (i.e. working with black women)
    3. Leadership skills
    4. Planning skills
    5. Politics (learning what people will do for power and position)
    6. Fundraising
    7. Social skills ( I was an introvert but learned how to let loose and have a good time)

    The sorority is not my entire life. I keep things in balance. My husband attended a HBCU and did not join a fraternity. It is hard for him to understand but he respects what I do. Will I push my goddaughter to join a sorority when she goes to college? No. Will I encourage my son to join a fraternity? It is his choice but I will inform him of the good and the bad. Would I make the same choices if I had to do it over? Probably.

  • LolitaBaby

    I think that this post is making sweeping generalizations about people who become Greek and why they choose to do it. I’m an undergrad now and many of my friends from high school have crossed, including two of my best friends, ALL of whom are from NYC and Caribbean descent. With the exception of maybe one or two, all of them pledged at PWIs. It’s not about colors, elitism, conformity, or even sado-masochism, it’s about joining an organization that you believe in. One of the most important things that these organizations emphasize is HISTORY. Not to “persuade” you to be “flyy like them,” but to help you understand that you are contributing to a LEGACY of excellence and dedicating your life to it. Not because its the “cool thing to do,” but its because its something you truly believe in and support. All of my friends are just as amazing as I remember them to be. They are STILL the same people that I know and love, their love for their sisters/brothers doesn’t trump their love for me, and vice versa.

    Also, the chapter that someone chooses to become part of makes a huge difference in the type of person they are in the first place. The people make the organization, not the other way around. If you see/experience hazing or other behaviors that you believe to be wrong, you still have the option to NOT JOIN. One chapter does not classify the entire organization.

  • http://www.equip.org 1_Putt_Bill

    pledged in college… no longer a member… but inspired by this blog (& comments) to make the world better (e.g., community service, building friendships and meaningful relationships) without the baggage (e.g., hazing/killing, negative influence of brothers/sisters, sexual immorality, divisive spirit in black community)… As for fraternities/sororities, can a supposedly good tree produce so much bad fruit?

  • jewelofthecrowne

    @ 1_Putt_Bill

    “can a supposedly good tree produce so much bad fruit?” cant we ask that about anything? the black community? religion? America?

    sorry, but that’s the sort of one-size-fits-all prejudicial judgment that really adds no value to any discourse.

    further as an inactive member, you don’t sound like you own any responsibility for the “baggage” that you (yes, you) left behind. That sounds a little hit and run to me, particularly if you needed inspiration to return to service and meaningful relationships. glad you’re motivated now though.

  • http://undressingher.com undressingHER

    I think SOME frats and sorros do a lot of good in the community. They also promote getting a college education and they seem to have a awesome network.

    I don’t understand why their monthly dues are so high though. $120 a month.

    My main girl is an AKA and I can’t help but think that on average, they are more successful than women who aren’t. I love some Deltas too. Heck, I just love it when women graduate from college and start getting that real money.

  • jewelofthecrowne

    @ undressingHER

    I have been a financial and active member of a sorority for 17 years and I have NEVER paid that level of dues.

    That is one feature of greekdom that does vary widely between organizations, areas of the country and chapters.

    I do know people in my city who do pay substantially more dues than I do, but I also know people who are supporting greek houses, and other capital investments that my chapter does not so this in part explains the difference in fees.

    Even within my organization, some chapters heavily fund raise, others collect the funds from members and that also creates radical differences in dues at the local level.

  • DIVISION

    College kids do crazy shit, but generally, I find that these type of organizations are for the small-minded.

    I’m too much of an individual to give up complete autonomy.

    As far as dating, am I dating the woman or her sorrority?

    If she’s not intelligent enough to prioritize, then no, I’m not going to consider it.

  • Jamnychi

    Although I am a graduate of a HBCU …. I have always thought that myself!! Hilarious!

  • Rampage1914

    As a member of Phi Beta Sigma, I loved reading this blog because, it shows that we as a greek community still need to educate the non-informed. While some of your statements might be ignorance, its understandable.
    1. I do not have a brand and don’t really want one, but many organizations have different reasons/explanations for branding the one I am most familiar with is the african tradition of scarification in order to distinguish what tribe one is from so Sigma brand=Sigma tribe, Kappa brand=kappa tribe etc…

    2. Hazing and pledging are two different things. Pledging also is an african tradition that is usually a right of passage for manhood. The boys in the tribe would get beaten, kidnapped, told to listen to their elders, dress the same and were put on social probation all of these mimic what we today know as pledging. Furthermore, hazing is usually things such as violence and humilaition that have no purpose and no meaning.

    hope this helps I got tired of writing lol

  • President of Zeta Theta Ziggy Marley Phi Fo Fum

    The ONLY difference between Greeks and Gangs is social acceptance. The problem is that it’s taboo to talk down on greeks as they are EVERYWHERE. The sheer number of greeks being interviewed even in this piece is astounding. The similarities of the groups are, however, the same:

    Hand signs exclusive to group – CHECK
    Colors exclusive to group – CHECK
    Lifetime members – CHECK (in black Greek organization)
    Symbols – CHECK
    Secret Handshakes – CHECK
    Initiation (violent and non-violent) – CHECK
    Branding – CHECK

    CHECK. CHECK. CHECK. Now, if we could get gangs to do community service without it being court ordered, they’d be identical. Only a warped society would see these groups as distinct because they are not. The difference is that one is SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE.

    Also, Greeks on campus tend to attract those looking to be “accepted” (more popular, better connected, because X did it where X could equal elite aunt, mother, brother, friend). Gangs prey on those looking for “family”). The similarities (if people would WAKE UP) cannot be denied.

    Before you bark on me, I went through the process of joining but opted out on my own, and my sister is greek. It was something that set bad with me at the thought of my greek “sistahs” kicking my ass and asking me to take out their trash. Years later I don’t regret my choice at all.

  • jewelofthecrowne

    @ President of Zeta Theta Ziggy Marley Phi Fo Fum (and other who earlier espoused this idea)

    “The ONLY difference between Greeks and Gangs is social acceptance.”

    Your parallel is unbelievably shallow.

    the similarities that you try to point out as defining the organizations shows that you really have no understanding of either. the superficial trappings and what drives people to belong explains membership in everything from team sports to political parties to religions to neighborhood watches. Your list would make a comparison between the KKK and the Church accurate as well. you really think that makes them the same?

    And, least you think that only greeks would disagree with you, I am sure that when my 16 year-old neighbor compares the gang member who shot him while he was taking out his trash and the Alpha EMT who helped save his arm and his life, he will also take exception to your bitter generalizations and would not agree with you either. Your amazement at the number of greeks on this string is just as unbelievable. were you expecting an equal showing by gangs? do they have web access now at the smoke spot? or maybe you were thinking they were logining in from the Wifi at the lockup?

    You didn’t need the disclaimer at the end to make it obvious that you were burned, and grinding your axe over it doesn’t make your statements more authoritative or more true.

    we hear you, you were mistreated and you’re mad, apparently mad at every one. but really, get over it already, or get therapy — exhorting your bitter diatribe does not make me more convinced that you are happy with your choices.

    So the greeks volunteer to serve and the gangs get court ordered to do it? did I get that right?

    so, when do YOU serve? or do gangs have one up on you too?

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the problem in a nutshell you have a bunch of low self esteem teenagers coming from high school looking for a place to belong. They don’t realize that they were already created for greatness without the beatings, branding and complete and utter foolishness that comes along with the greek brandwashing! These young girls are willing to screw guys and bow down to peers not much older or accomplished than they are might I add. They are programed to believe that they are more “elite” then the rest because they wear certain colors, letters and hang out with what they believe are the “popular” on campus. The guys are just the same if you become a “greek” you get the panties and the popularity. Don’t feed me that bull about you doing to make a difference or a positive influence because everyone has the power to do that without this foolishness. This is why they get so offended so fast. Because they clearly still have confidence and self-esteem issues! A confident person wouldn’t care squat about what you said about them or how you felt. Simple. Teenagers looking for a group they can belong too and these groups accomodate them. I’m married to a former Kappa yes I said former. There is a thing called consecration! Look it up ladies and gents who are offended! This was the case! Each group has there own personal stereotype. Pretty boys, dogs whatever! The pretty on they left girls and the others. HEAR THIS: Do you know who you are? Do you know WHOSE you are? Do you know who created you? Do you know your purpose? Answer these correctly then you will find yourself!

  • Anonymous

    Oh yeah and one more thing. I had a brother tell my husband well once you’re a Kappa you’re always a Kappa! Let me give you a theology lesson for those of you who believe in greekology! If you believe in your signs, symbols and the theology behind your sorority or fraternity then I can defintely add some REAL TRUTH to this subject. When a greek can prove that what they are doing is tied to the God who created the universe who has the power to WASH a person clean of the past indiscretions and consecrate them from any promises to false gods, post that information for me please. You are the faithLESS not the faithful and as you get older and realize that those letters and symbols mean nothing when life begins to unfold you will at some point in your life have to call on the one TRUINE whom you should have bowed down to and long suffered for! His approval is all you need! Shame on you guys for the threats and ignorance! You’re supposed to be the elite why act like a bunch of thugs. Your reactions tell on YOU and show your low self esteem still! They haven’t repaired you they have raped you! You still have no identity you’re simply a CLONE! Individuality an uniqueness and being set apart makes you identifiable! When you look, walk, dress and talk like the others you are INVISIBLE! Thanks for this blog! Someone is clearly operating in a higher level of intelligence.

  • Anonymous

    When the Rapture happens wear your greek letters and see what happens! And one commentor had the nerve to tie this with FAITH and blessings and even used a scripture “many are called but few or chosen” how dare you! This reference was intended for Followers of Christ not followers of false (little g) gods! Stop the madness! I am a true Apologist and will defend my faith until the end. You stay in your cult and have your beliefs whatever but do not quote scripture or tie Christ into this non-christian activity. Know your greekology and serve your god there is nothing Christian about this at all. There is nothing secretive about Christ, he was bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement he went through was so we WOULDN;T HAVE to be whipped! You are already apart of an ELITE in case you had no idea! When you join a cult others are called outsideres and “nons” but even if you’re not a Christian you are still loved by God. HOWEVER if you openly serve, worship and uphold non-Christian values then you are an enemy to God. James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

  • Guest

    Wow, There are alot of crazy stereotypes about Greeks. To give a little background I pledged a NPHC sorority at one of the world’s top research universities. I did not go to an HBCU but my sorority ties are very strong. Each org and chapter has their own culture and quirks. I know my chapter is adamant about promoting excellence. We have very successful and accomplished ladies in our ranks, partners in law firms, judges, entrepreneurs, doctors,CFOs, industry leaders technology managers, high ranking government officials, promoters, pastors, you name it we got them and they are doing there thing! Most have wonderful families, some of the cutest kids I have ever seen in my life and are genuinely wonderfull people. Beyond the community service all these ladies will tell you that we share a bond of family. No one is going to go into their process with you because that involves discretion, but we all will tell you that the discipline, determination and lessons learned online plus the bonds built have served us all very well in life, our careers and relationships. Beyond my chapter my sorors are dynamic women and trailblazers in every field and in their home lives.
    If you don’t like sorority women and won’t date them that is by all means your perogative but it seems strange that you would stereotype a large segment of the black female population that way. For sure their are bad apples (as there are in any org, sometimes a few slip through the cracks) that make us all shake our heads but they don’t make the group. I and my sisters make my org it doesn’t make us.
    I won’t even start on the Biblical stuff that is a dissertation (I do like Bible discussions)
    Branding: Some do it, some don’t. Not my cup of tea I will let someone else address that.
    OP I hope you have a blessed day and that you realize Greeks are not the devil, lol.

  • Justine Labelle

    Interesting.
    I’m actually conducting a research on Sororities/Fraternities from an outsiders perspective.. This blog has a lot of good feedback from members and nonmembers..

    Then again, I believe that our Canadian Greek organizations differ from the American ones.. In Canada hazing is forbidden, among other things…

  • Guest

    for me personally, i think one of the reasons they go so hard about their org is how many African American institutions can you think of that DEMAND respect…

  • Jiasmi11

    So I know that I’m about 2 or 3 years late, but sororities and frats are ridiculous. They epitomize the abuse of power given to ppl. these ‘older siblings’ find they have a little bit of authority in their group, so what do they do with it? they intimidate, they harass, they embarrass, and they publicly humiliate you. If my own blood sister doesn’t do that to me to make me “belong” in my family, and if my God–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–doesnt do that to me, then what makes these random people think they can? These groups promote mindless conformity; they want everyone to look and act the same. What kind of world is that? Sorry, but no, I WON’T pay for my friends so I can lose my individually and autonomy. It’s really sad just how lost these “brothers” and “sisters” are. There is nothing biblical about Greek sororities. My God is not a God of secrets and secret rituals and treating people like dirt to make Himself feel better about himself, I mean lets be for real here. And the Greeks had their own gods, so why would I join a foundation that derives from the Greeks that worships an elephant or a pyramid. I don’t care how many community service hours they do, there are way too many demonic things in their structure.