Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

The not-so-hidden expectations behind fraternity formals

As I’m riding in a bus filled with rowdy college kids en route to a fraternity formal, more than excitement and even anticipation, I’m feeling relief that my date isn’t some stranger who was desperate for a last-minute setup. My level of stress about this weekend is therefore much less than that of many of the other girls who have ambivalently accepted an invitation. On the surface, formals are simply Greek-sponsored events that give fraternity brothers and their dates a chance to get out of St. Louis for a weekend of fun. Sounds harmless, right? Maybe for some, but formals carry with them more than live bands, dance floors and open bar venues. For a large portion of those attending formals, the added pressures and expectations of a pending hookup aren’t easily avoided.

It is a given, for instance, that if a boy asks you to his formal, you will be sleeping in a bed with him. The implications of this are quite obvious. He pays for the formal, the meals and the hotel room, generally expecting something in return. I find this logic to be absolutely ridiculous. The idea that when a girl says “yes” to formal she is in effect saying “yes” to anything and everything her date has planned for the weekend is not just ignorant; it’s degrading.

I do not mean to intend that guys, or even the more specific fraternity brothers, are solely to blame. Girls play an equal role in accepting the traditions that revolve around formals as uncontested rules. When we fail to question the greater implications of such expectations, we are only further promoting the behaviors we hope to avoid. If you go to a formal and don’t want to hook up with a guy and do it anyway, if you fake sick instead of just saying “no,” or if you feel guilty for not giving your date what he wants, you are only enabling an ideology that is clearly outdated and even immoral in its nature.

I have admittedly played a role in perpetuating this fraternity formal mentality. Once at a formal, my friend felt uncomfortable sleeping in a bed with her date. “Just do it for one night,” I told her. “He brought you here, he paid for the room, and he doesn’t want to share a bed with a guy.” In a not-so-subtle sense, I was telling her to suck it up, to put her needs below those of her date. I was sending the message that her feelings, therefore, were less important than his. This sexist attitude is at the core of every stereotype against women and every abusive relationship. If our feelings are less significant, then we are less significant, and if we are less significant, then we give men even greater incentives to take advantage of us. It is not a stretch to say that when we put aside our own priorities, even for one weekend, we are only a close step away from more catastrophic forms of misogyny.

Boys can’t buy our emotions any more than they can buy our bodies. We say “yes” and then change our minds; we think we have feelings for someone and then realize it’s all wrong, and we agree to go to formal but still aren’t sure that we want to have sex. That doesn’t make us fickle girls—it makes us human.

I’ve apologized again and again for my advice on that night, and I still consider it one of my biggest regrets. What I should have said, and what I’ll say to all the girls invited to formals who are stressing over the events of the evening, is this.

Do what you want to do, and trust yourself. If you don’t want to sleep in that bed, don’t do it. If you don’t want to hook up with him, tell the truth. If he’s pissed and done with you and mad that he spent all this money and the girl he took isn’t going to have sex with him…he can go screw himself, literally. You are not alone. So many other girls and guys at that same formal are worrying about the same thing. If the pressure was off, if the sleeping arrangements weren’t predetermined, and if we stopped worrying about our end-of-the-night hookup, everyone would be having a lot more fun.

Formal doesn’t have to be a trap, though. There is no need to have a catch, a contracted clause, or even a simple expectation of a hookup. You can be a great date without sacrificing yourself. Just like we aren’t predictable, automated machines that can sign away two nights of our life without the slightest hesitation, I’m willing to bet that the same expectations place unwanted pressure on the many guys attending formals.

So, the next time a date tries to guilt you into sleeping with him, remember that it may be his formal but its still your choice. When you take away the fancy dresses and nice suits, you’re only left with a guy paying for a girl to have sex with him, and we all know what that’s called.

Alissa is a sophomore in Arts and Sciences, she can be reached at [email protected].

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  • Nat says:

    I REALLY thank you for this article. I was just invited to a formal this weekend, and Greek Life is very foreign to me and my university (not big at all). I just found out today that I have to sleep in the same bed with my date and realized that formals are set up that way. Everyone who goes has a date and I found out he spent almost $500 on the hotel alone? and I feel an incredible amount of pressure, and this really really alleviated some anxiety…so thank you.

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  • Franklin says:

    This article almost insinuates that girls are forced to go to formals. There is nothing making a girl accept a date’s invitation; the only reason she should be going is for a genuine interest in her date unless it is clearly stated that they are going simply as friends. Yes, girls and guys sleep in the same bed at formals. Formals are a means by which fraternity men can formally express an interest in a girl and facilitate an excellent date which she would otherwise rarely experience. In short, if a girl does not want to sleep with her date, she does not need to accept the invitation.

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  • john says:

    This is just so dumb. If you don’t want to hook up, you don’t have to. With all this liberal, equal sexes ideology floating around Universities today, I would think people like you would argue that it is fine for a guy and girl to share a bed. Its not like you are going to get raped if you agree to attend a formal… and if you think there is a chance of this happening, you might want to say no.

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  • Formerstudent says:

    So if I (a guy) am invited by a girl to share a hotel bed for a night or two, whether at her expense or as a shared expense, I shouldn’t consider a possible sexual invitation/expectation before answering, just treat it the same as sharing a table in a cafeteria? And if she tries to initiate sex that night, and I’m not interested, I should be surprised and indignant? Amd she is obligated to offer a bed-share invite to anyone who wants to go to the same destination?

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  • Haha says:

    Uhhhh sounds alot like my school’s formals.. Even true for some girls sorority formals :)
    even the nicest guys/ girls are guilty.. Seen with with my own eyes..ahhh formal season…

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  • WU Senior says:

    Some fun facts about Greek Life:
    48% of all US Presidents are Greek.
    70% of Fortune 500 CEOs are Greek.
    40% of all Supreme Court justices are Greek.

    There also might come a day when it is recognized that Wash U Greek students on average hold a higher GPA than the campus-wide average GPA. (And yes, there are large percentage of Greek students who are pre-med.)

    The Wash U Greek community is also responsible for amazing philanthropic contributions to the greater St. Louis community.

    Wash U Greek students work hard, yet you rarely hear about it.

    For some reason, there are people outside of the Greek community who love to tear it down and find fault. If any other campus organization were under the same scrutiny they would feel unfairly targeted too.

    While Alissa’s intentions are justified, you can’t fault Greek men and women for being upset at yet another attack from Student Life, and yet another attack on behavior that permeates the entire college campus, not just the 25% that are Greek.

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  • StudentB says:

    I would just like to say that this is one of the most well-written articles in StudLife this year. Great job for making StudLife not sound like a high school newspaper!

    As for my actual opinion, considering that I used to be a sorority girl, this is one reason why I chose to deactivate my account: I didn’t want to be associated with stuff like this. However, some of my closest friends on campus are in a fraternity and treat women with the respect women deserve. It’s like life in general: it’s your responsibility to pick and choose who you associate yourself with.

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  • WOW says:

    This article clearly resonates with many WashU students due to the tremendous response, both positive and negative. As a member of greek life myself, “sorority sister’s” comment made me embarrassed to know I am a part of the same organization as her. For those of you not in greek life, please do not take her defensive, unnecessary informercial about greek life as a valid representation of this group. This article does not make greek life look bad in the slightest; it is an honest reflection of many people’s experience. Get over yourself and your own experiences and take a second to look at the bigger picture. The author never even identified herself as a member of greek life, so way to go with that one, “sorority sister”

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  • nice job says:

    Thank you for writing this article, Alissa. This is a serious and important issue and those who deny how problematic it is are wearing blinders. Plus, in response to those who have commented that this piece is “bad journalism,” the fact that this is an editorial gives you the right to express an opinion without necessarily adhering to all the confines of more fact-based types of journalism.

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  • Another sorority girl says:

    I must say, as a member of Greek life, that most of the points this author makes are absolutely true. I am not saying that all Greek men and women act this way. And, no, this has never happened to me, but I know for a fact that I have had many guy friends who will not ask a girl out who they do not think will put out or who think their date was awful because she refused sex. It’s absurd. Most boys are not like this, but many are. And, I think it is a real problem that a girl cannot feel comfortable going to these kinds of events because she thinks that the guy wants to hook up. That being said, a girl should not put herself in this situation and hope for the best that her date will not be an ass. If they’re paying, there is a good chance that they will expect more than a dance buddy at formal. Do not kid yourselves. It’s awkward, but unless you set the terms of the date beforehand, it could turn out very poorly.

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  • zomg says:

    This is an amazing article. The sheer fact that it’s controversial and inspiring so much debate is without a doubt indicative of the fact that this is an issue.

    Great job, Alissa! You tell ‘em!

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  • Devil's Advocate General says:

    Twenty-nine comments! What sort of reasoned debate could be going on here that’s more pressing than University City’s attempted Great Purge of university students?

    Oh, just the Greeks circling the wagons. Nothing to see here.

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  • Sorority Sister says:

    To “truth,” I have only to say that by publishing this article about a GREEK activity in an ALL-SCHOOL newspaper, Alissa is most certainly addressing Greeks as the subjects of this article and insinuating, if not outright projecting, a poor image (for reasons discussed in the many posts above). I also want to point out that “Agreed” probably should have written this article – because she obviously has a much more balanced and rational viewpoint than Alissa here. I, too, have heard pretty much every guy preparing to go to a frat formal comment on the likelihood of him hooking up with his date (or someone else’s). And sexual assault is a very serious issue; to that end, I can only say that my personal experience at formals has been in mostly very social, public settings where WashU community members would not permit sexual assault (though group mentality elsewhere isn’t always so altruistic). I just see most fraternity men at WashU and think that, despite of their best efforts, their confidence in a hook-up is a joke. Women should not feel pressured. Most guys who are wrongly assuming reciprocated desire to hook-up shouldn’t have the ability to make their dates feel guilty about it – because these boys are total dorks.

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  • fraternity man says:

    But here is the question, truth. Are the assholes that she is talking about the norm or are the “boyfriends, people with best friends, etc” and the other guys who don’t go into formals with this view the norm. If you think that the assholes are the norm here then you probably think that about fraternity men in general. If however, you think that the other guys are the norm then you probably have a much more positive image of Greek Life and the many positive things that it does. So yes, whether implicitly or explicitly, this article does perpetuate a negative image of Fraternity Men in a generalized sense.

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  • Greek life once again unfairly ripped says:

    “she is not generalizing all of greek life that is an absolutely ridiculous claim”

    Really? Is the headline not titled: “the not so hidden expectations behind fraternity formals”? This is a libelous op-ed piece that unfairly demonizes ALL fraternities. Shame on StudLife for allowing this to go to press.

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  • Reeling Libido says:

    This is just what we need: to give Wash U girls another reason not to put out :) Stay safe children.

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  • truth says:

    also, she is not generalizing all of greek life that is an absolutely ridiculous claim. you do not need to make this a discussion about anti greek life and what greek life contributes to campus. unnecessary.

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  • truth says:

    lets be clear, the author made it apparent in her opening line that she was pleased with her date and was going with someone she knew. Obviously he was an exception to what she is discussing in this article, and there are many more exceptions (like people with boyfriends, people with best friends, etc) but there is a lot of truth to what she is writing about.

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  • Johnny says:

    Way to drop the ball, sig chi, way to drop the ball.

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  • Paul Revere says:

    I’m glad that I now know that when I take my girlfriend to formal and she agrees to share a bed with me, it’s only because she’s an innocent scared girl who feels pressured by society and the fact that I’m paying for everything. Thank God she’s not just sleeping with me because she cares for me and, horror of horrors, actually enjoys it. It’s also lucky that this pressure exists, because otherwise none of my deadbeat friends would ever biblically know a girl. The sad fact is that, without that pressure, girls would never ever have physically intimate relationships with boys – because as everyone knows, sexual acts exist purely for male pleasure, and women only partake under duress. I’m also glad that none of the girls at WashU, least of all my girlfriend, offer to split the cost of the hotel – cause I’ll be d@mned if my wallet isn’t wayyy too heavy already. I’m only too happy to fulfill my role as breadwinner in our relationship, which should be clear from the fact that fraternities spend $5000-7000 annually on an event which gives neither them nor their invitees pleasure, and exists solely to purchase said girls as efficiently as possible.

    Dearest Writer,

    I’m glad that your experience at one fraternity formal, with one (presumable) asshole, has given you such impressive insight into the misogynistic depravity that we call fraternity formals. The clarity and depth of your knowledge is breathtakingly magnificent, and represents the unparalleled majesty of an intelligence which is truly unrivaled in every respect. I only wish that every student thought as brilliantly as you.

    But you’re right, dead right. Next year I’m spending the $7000 at penthouse… at least there it gets you sex, not sexism.

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  • Charlie says:

    Why did the idea of paying for half the trip never even enter your editorial? Are you really that stuck on female privelege?

    You know the culture of these events. You know the expectations. If you know your date is reserving a one-bed hotel and you choose attend while saying nothing, then you are tacitly agreeing to his expectations beforehand. Don’t like it? Don’t accept the date. He doesn’t owe you anything.

    Women have had equal rights for a long time now. News flash: it also comes with equal responsibility. Unless of course you believe a double standard is fair.

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  • Agreed says:

    While not all men are pigs, and not all women are innocent victims, this article draws attention to a very serious and infrequently discussed issue that exists on all college campuses. Boys can deny it all they want, but under the circumstances of formal, given the vast amounts of alcohol consumed, and the numerous hook-ups taking place all around you, most guys want to get some. And they will try to, even at the expense of their dates comfort.

    Girls, including myself, have definitely perpetuated this issue by giving in, not voicing their concerns, and avoiding making their feelings of entrapment clear to their date. Yet saying no often results in anger on a boy’s part, resulting in the far more frequent result of girls giving in to avoid the confrontation and awkwardness of asserting themselves. The first step to solving this issue is by talking about it. Alissa, I commend you for stepping up and lending your voice to this issue. Sexual assault is very common on college campuses, even this one. While these problems extend far beyond Greek men and frat formals, it is high time that people start paying attention to and addressing the fact that there are absurd expectations and pressures that exist on this campus that both men and women need to start seriously considering.

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  • Sorry for partying says:

    To whom partying may concern:

    Transgressions of the night, due to excessive partying, may have led to even more partying. We are sorry if any unwanted partying occurred in your areas. Keep in mind that any and all grievances are duly noted under the “Partying” column in our book of partying.

    Please accept our sincerest apologies for any and all partying, fun, or other forms of merrymaking that may have occurred.

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  • Sorority Sister says:

    Alissa,

    I hope you realize how much you’ve hurt both the Greek community and male & female genders with your clearly hasty, stereotyping, and degrading article. You are portraying Greeks as fiendish prostitutes without enough sense, self-respect, or free thinking to make their own decisions about sex. You are broadcasting these blatantly WRONG stereotypes simply by submitting/publishing this article. As “Concerned Fraternity Member” accurately pointed out, you’ve failed to corroborate your viewpoint with any real input from others. I have been to 5 fraternity formals and never felt pressure to hook up with my date; even when I might not have been sure whether not I was asked as a friend/date, it was never difficult to express that I did not want to hook up when I didn’t.

    Sadly, because of the aforementioned deeply rooted social expectations of men to monetarily pay and women to return the favor with affection, this editorial would probably apply to any group who practiced out-of-town formals – but given that it is an exclusively Greek phenomenon at WashU, this article is singling out Greeks (and inaccurately at that). The Greek population AT WASHU IN PARTICULAR includes every type of person; I thought that Greeks here knew so. Alissa, apparently you didn’t. I am incredibly disappointed in your decision to write this article. If anything, it would have been a more effective approach to praise the WashU Greek (formal) system for its relative LACK of undue sexual pressures. It is definitely an interesting topic, but you’ve butchered it with ignorance and presumption. If you feel so uncomfortable in the formal situation, or if you feel that fraternity formals as an institution uphold questionable ethics, then you need to realize that your decision to attend formals is your choice to support that system as you’ve interpreted it.

    I am eager to see the Women’s Panhellenic Association’s and the Interfraternity Council’s responses to this article. I also hope the Greek Life Office doesn’t continue to blanket-stereotype Greeks as it has been this year (e.g. blaming Greeks for partying in UCity, trying to organize Greek-executed neighborhood clean-ups as reparations for general WashU-student disruptions in Ames Place, etc., etc.). I wish more people realized that even the lowest sorority GPA is higher than the all-school GPA, that Greeks combined contribute to more philanthropy on campus, and that we are some of the most diverse groups on this campus. Articles like this one work against everything Greeks do to stand out as positive influences on this campus.

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  • annoyed with another bad stud life article... says:

    This article is a pathetic attempt to perpetuate negative stereotypes about fraternities and male/female dynamics. It is unoriginal and is insulting to the women who say yes to going to fraternity formals. There is nothing wrong with agreeing to attend a formal – it does not mean we are being “bought” or are whoring ourselves out. In my four year experience with fraternity formals I have never felt the pressure being discussed in this article. If you are incapable of saying no to something (to going to formal, to hooking up), that is your own fault. If you don’t know the boy who is asking you to his formal, then why would you even go? Why would you put yourself in an awkward situation? As an independently willed human being you must be able to use your own judgement about whether or not it is a good idea to go away for a weekend with a boy you may or may not know. This article has more to do to with making mature decisions than fraternity formals.

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  • annoyed with another bad stud life article... says:

    This article is a pathetic attempt to perpetuate negative stereotypes about fraternities and male/female dynamics. It is unoriginal and is insulting to the women who say yes to going to fraternity formals. There is nothing wrong with agreeing to attend a formal – it does not mean we are being “bought” or are whoring ourselves out. In my four year experience with fraternity formals I have never felt the pressure being discussed in this article. If you are incapable of saying no to something (to going to formal, to hooking up), that is your own fault. If you don’t know the boy who is asking you to his formal, then why would you even go? Why would you put yourself in an awkward situation? As an independently willed human being you must be able to use your own judgement about whether or not it is a good idea to go away for a weekend with a boy you may or may not know. This article has more to do with the author or her friend’s inability to make mature decisions than fraternity formals.

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  • Fraternity Brother says:

    Let me start by saying I feel bad for any female who feels that they were subject to this experience. That being said, this article is almost a joke to journalism and if graded would at most deserve a C. There is one example and the outcome isn’t even stated.

    It is well known that formals are overnights and if you are uncomfortable spending the night in bed with your date say no. If you are comfortable enough with your date to spend the entire weekend with them and spend the night sharing a bed, you should be comfortable enough to say no to sex or any other activities. AND if you are not close enough to this person to have this conversation you should really reconsider why you accepted the invitation to the formal in the first place. I know that many girls accept invitations to formals with from people they have no friendship with no intention of hooking up and simply go for a fun paid weekend out. These are the people I think feel the most pressure to hookup. However, they need to look in the mirror and see how they placed themselves in a situation. By no means is any of the behavior stated in article acceptable, however I think it was a VAST generalization and both sides need to be explored before throwing dirt on fraternities on campus.

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  • Female Greek Woman says:

    As a female who has many friends in fraternities I can honestly say that I have been around many of my male friends deciding who they want to take to formal based on who will hook up with them. I have heard guys say a wide variety of vulgar comments such as, ” I want someone who’s going to put out” to “I want to take someone who’s slutty over a friend, I’m paying a lot of money.” One of my friends had no date until 2 days before and didn’t want to take any of us as “friends” because he wanted a slutty freshman who would hook up with him.

    To all the fraternity men who are angry with this article, think about the mentality that you had when approaching who you were going to take to your formal. Can you honestly say that you did not want to bring someone who would put out and/or hook up with you?

    The writer clearly says that this pressure to hook up with their dates isn’t the only thing happening at fraternity formals. Formals are a lot of fun, but the truth is that this is a serious problem that does occur and I commend the writer for being brave enough to bring this issue front and center.

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  • WashU Man says:

    What the author of this article is railing against is not the inherent expectation that females at fraternity formals should “hook up” as a method of “payment” in exchange for the free trip, but rather, the societal expectation that the “man buys dinner, female rewards with affection” dating structure.

    If, in the real world, any man were to ask any woman to go on a trip with his friends and share a bed, obvious romantic implications would arise. For the author to assert that this feeling is restricted to fraternity formals exclusively is to disregard the actual issue: if one man asks one woman to share a bed, it’s first assumed to be a “more than friends” scenario.

    To put it simply: if a girl doesn’t feel comfortable attending some guy’s formal and doesn’t want to sleep in the same bed with him, why would she say yes to his invitation? Should the guy purchase her a separate room? Couldn’t the girl simply remind him, on the drive to formal, that they are not going to “hook up”?

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  • Concerned Fraternity Member says:

    It’s nice to see Studlife once again looking at all sides of an issue. I particularly enjoyed your evaluation of males who have no expectations of sex and instead choose to bring friends as dates – I always enjoy hearing people speak not from stereotyped constructs of what a frat guy is, but from true experience. Also, commendable that the author went above and beyond and got a males perspective on the topic. Really, a very well research article with a broad appeal. Definitely not a gut-reaction/response piece.

    Admitting that you’ve perpetuated the mentality you discuss i the article and regretted it does not make you an expert on the subject. What would add credibility to your story is actually putting in the time and effort to evaluate the topic from all sides rather than expressing your very pointed views. In a proper newspaper, an opinion piece is not a place for libel, it is a place to present a reasonable argument that does not blindly ignore a significant portion of the debate. Not only is publishing such a shallow article unnecessarily detrimental to the fraternities on campus and greek life in general, but publishing an article offering women advice on how to approach a formal after all fraternity formals have occurred is simply pointless. I would retract the article, do the proper research, and then republish next year before the formal season. The subject is complicated and certainly deserves to be written about, but in doing such a poor job, you’re undercutting your message and ruining what little credibility Student Life has with the greek community and the school at large.

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  • Student7 says:

    you know if you want to take some of the pressure off yourself why not offer to pay your own way. That way you don’t have to feel like “you’re only left with a guy paying for a girl to have sex with him” and for that matter whats the difference between this and a about all forms of dating in which the guy pays for the girl’s dinner, or a drink at the bar, or a movie ticket. Start paying for yourself or stop thinking of girls as hookers and guys as johns. Were just trying to show we care about you and want to show you a fun time. Its a little cynical for you to assume we are only paying for things under the assumption were going to get to have sex with you.

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  • Unnecessary article says:

    This article is not only unnecessary but largely inaccurate. It paints fraternity formals as traps for women to be taken advantage of. Ask any girl who has been to a formal and they will by and large say it was one of the best times they’ve had at Wash U. To lump all fraternity men as sleazy, sex-desperate college boys is incredibly rude and ignorant.

    It’s not difficult at all to have a conversation with your date before the formal and tell him not to expect anything this weekend and make sure he’s clear that you’re just going as friends.

    I don’t understand the point of this article. You’re saying it’s ok to not hookup with your date? Obviously that’s ok if you’re not comfortable doing it. But the last line alludes that the only reason fraternity men ask girls to formal is to have sex with them. This is a pretty disgusting claim and only further perpetuates the misguided Greek stereotype.

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  • anonymous girl says:

    Under its “feminist” veil, this article perpetuates many misogynistic stereotypes. While the pressure to “hook up” exists at fraternity formals as well as in a multitude of other situations in college life (and not JUST involving greek life), this article paints all men as sex-crazed, ignorant potential rapists and all women as innocent but pressured into sex. The pressure to hook up is felt by both sexes, but society continues to act as if it is only men pressuring women. This also completely ignores the population of sex-positive women who don’t view sex as simply something to do to please a man, but something they can enjoy with partners they choose, or refuse if it is not wanted. Don’t perpetuate the stereotype of any girl who “hooks up” as a slut or a poor innocent pressured by an evil “frat boy.” While rape is a grave problem on college campuses the blame is not found exclusively with men or within the greek system. Fraternity formals are not frat boy ploys to get a girl to put out- that problem exists within a small minority of men who would act the same way at an overnight formal as they would in any other situation. Misogynistic and outdated views of women “putting out” will only encourage men to treat women as sex objects.

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  • Paul says:

    I think that this post is based on a very stereotypical image of a “frat” guy as the ignorant, selfish and sexist male who only only functions for sex. I think this article is not an issue of Fraternity formals as a social expectation, but with people choosing to go to the right fraternity formals with the right people.

    As a member of a fraternity, i can tell you that many people don’t hook up with dates, and often go as friends. Too often, fraternities are demonized as places of inappropriate behavior and sexist attitudes. You cannot paint everyone with this same brush.

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  • Beta says:

    As a fraternity brother myself, I’m pleased that you’ve taken the time to publicly discuss what is a very real pressure associated with fraternity formals. Our community benefits from an open dialogue about sexual expectations, where they exist, why they exist, and what we can do to negate them. I only wish you would have taken this opportunity to recognize the many fraternity members of multiple chapters on this campus who are aware of this pressure and work diligently to counteract it. There are houses at Wash U who request SARAH Safe training for their pledges and members, whose brothers populate organizations like MORE and Uncle Joe’s, whose default sleeping arrangement at out-of-town formals is double rooms so that sexual pressure can be mitigated by the presence of others, and, most importantly, continually try to foster a culture of communication and respect. There are good men in the fraternities here, and not every interaction — whether weekend parties or formals — is directed by an undercurrent of misogyny.

    Again, thank you for revealing what unfortunately is probably still happening in way too many cases. Please remember, however, that there are men — even fraternity men — who are not oblivious and wish to work with you.

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  • a male student says:

    I’m not sure which part of this angers me more. That there are guys out there that think it is ok to act as described above, or that the writer has grouped all guys in that category. It doesn’t matter if girls “play an equal role in accepting the traditions”. Guys just shouldn’t act like that, and not all of them do.

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  • I commend you for taking this stand. Not only are such attitudes misogynistic, they are debilitating for men as well–what you’re talking about is not a healthy way of looking at sexuality for women OR men, and it stunts in either sex the capacity to make serious, mature emotional connections.

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