Something that has plagued and will continue to plague society is the oversimplification of a person or group. Stereotypes are a dangerous and harmful weapon against others’ and unfortunately, I often see this used against me as a fraternity man.
I feel like most people understand that stereotypes aren’t true. But one of the few groups of people that are still stereotyped are fraternity men.
Society believes that all fraternity men are beacons for toxic masculinity. They believe that fraternity men slam beers every single night instead of studying. They assume that fraternity men don’t respect women or people of color.
I’m sorry to shatter your illusion of the fraternal system, but your stereotypes are inaccurate and harmful. Your preconceived hatred towards fraternity men makes you look petty and uneducated. I am not a ‘frat boy’ I am a fraternity man and I am damn proud to be one.
What irks me the most is that so many people who blindly believe in these stereotypes have never been associated with a fraternity or sorority. How can you have negative feelings towards my community when you have only been on the outside looking in? All you see is what the media portrays, which is almost always negative. The good things fraternities do are often overshadowed by the actions of a few bad members.
The funny thing is that a fraternity man is literally the same as the typical ESU student. We both go to school, we both take out loans to pay for college, and we both have friends that we would do anything for. The only difference between a fraternity man and an ESU student is the letters on our chests. How does the addition of Greek letters on my chest garner such a harmful stereotype?
The bottom line is we all need to get better at breaking stereotypes. The first step in this process is clear communication. So, listen up, this is what I want you all to do. Quit referring to us as ‘frat boys’ please call us fraternity men. This small change is necessary for society to see us as how we are; as men that make positive changes in our lives and the lives of those around us.