I have Greek friends (whenever someone says I have (enter label here) friends, I always think of when white people say "I'm not racist, I have black friends" or when straight people say "I'm not homophobic, I have gay friends..." and I laugh to myself, just an aside).I find myself a bit intrigued by some things Greek, and considering I'm not Greek, feel like I know more than my fair share of information on Historically Black Greek Letter Organizations... (<<<<<---- that was random background info to explain why the following got me to thinking). A few days ago, a hazing incident that occurred at a University in my hometown was brought to my attention. A girl was pledging a sorority and the members of this sorority beat her on several occasions. After she was officially let into the sorority, she filed a police report. She had contusions and a concussion; her future sorors had broken eggs and poured milk over her head, had beat her about her face and torso and had punched her so hard in her stomach they caused vaginal bleeding -- as a woman, I'm scared to even think of what damage they must have done to cause that. I'm not sold on the explanations for pledging and hazing (hence why I didn't pledge). I get what the purpose is supposed to be, but I'm not convinced that everyone understands the difference between "testing" someone and cruelty. That's sad because who doesn't know you can't punch and kick people? What I'm really confused about, though, is what happens to a person that makes them put themselves through something like that. True enough, you shouldn't have to be beaten, humiliated and degraded in order to join a group. At the same time, if you find these things happening to you, at what point does a light bulb go off and you say "Hey, I'm a human who shouldn't be treated this way."? Further, what's the mentality of the perpetrators that makes it easy for them to beat another person? I was discussing this with a friend and she said, "I don't know why you would want to see someone in pain like that which is why I (would) have a hard time coming to the day light and calling you my sister after you have beat the shit out of me. You must hate me..." I found so much truth in that assertion. You gotta hate someone to beat them that severely, and how am I supposed to leave this process seeing you as anyone but my enemy? Let me say, though this story involves a sorority, and Greek orgs get a lot of flack for hazing, hazing happens everywhere. Sometimes it's relatively harmless, like making the new guy at work buy lunch but sometimes it's obscene like the story I read that cited an incident at a middle school where young boys were sodomized with, among other things, pine cones...

What is it about the mentality in a group that makes us feel like it's important to make new people prove themselves and that the proving process has to be demeaning and humiliating? It's disturbing when you think about how we treat each other sometimes...


A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

It is very disturbing in deed. But not in so much as the person who's allowing it. Society is lost and searching in all the wrong places for love and acceptance. As believers and as a human race, aren't we supposed to love unconditionally? But not everyone feels that way. I wish I knew her, I'd send her a note of inspriration. For those who participated or even watched, I'd send them one as well.

Love, peace and blessings.
PS. Thanks for following, I hope I say something that sticks to your spirit :-)

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

PS I'd love to come back and see what else you've been talking about. See ya later, going to fix some tea and hit the sack.

The butterfly

Alix said...

I had a friend in college that I knew from high school. I knew from her odd behavior that she was pledging and she started to confide in me about the things they were having her do.

The whole idea of beating you down, to build you back up doesn't fly with me. I'm already up, dammit. Give me my props for making it this far and for my plans to go further.

It's BS!

A.Smith said...

A Free Spirit -- Thanks for visiting, and I hope some of my other posts stick with you too. :)

Alix -- I know I've been brainwashed a little b/c so many of my friends are Greek. Honestly, I get the break you down to build you up, but you can do that without degrading someone. I've been through such a process (hmm, maybe that could be another post...) Regardless, though, I'm with you -- give me my props and help me get to the next level. That shouldn't include physical pain at all.

Hawa Bond said...

I love how you point out "testing vs cruelty." I went to Pitt, and I remember the fella who couldn't step after making in into the Sigmas because he was on crutches from hazing. I had another friend who didn't make it in because he filed a complaint about the hazing before his acceptance into the fraternity.

Hazing says a lot about the group doing the hazing. Cruelty reveals character flaws that you can't hide behind the veil of "routine hazing." I personally couldn't do it. I couldn't demean another human being like that.

I remember one "Q" who made the group carry his books and sing a song as they followed him to class. It was hilarious, and more like the "stunts" I expect to see during initiation. All this bodily harm crap is bogus, and I understand why some colleges shut-down selected Greek organizations...

Hawa, author of Fackin Truth Blog and Cleanse Master Remix

A.Smith said...

Hawa - Thanks for stopping by.
I get the "testing." I get that you want to know what type of people you're gettin before they're in. The sad part is that I think a lot of people on the other side, DON'T get it. The differentiation is important. Testing does not equal cruelty, ever.

BuenaventuraAvenue said...

I was just having this conversation with some of my sorority sisters the other day. (We are a service sorority and we're really inclusive, so there's no hazing going on.)

A few of them were saying how they hadn't decided yet whether or not they were going to join a social sorority. We were discussing the downfalls of it and the biggest problem we had with them is the hazing. I get the premise that they want strong members but the way they go about testing you is too much for me. How am I supposed to let you beat me up for 10 weeks and then after I cross we're sorors?! Am I really supposed to respect and feel a connection to you? Like Alix, I think it's BS!

A.Smith said...


Thanks for commenting!

I agree with you. I couldn't endure some of the extreme hazing I've heard about and then refer to the perpetrators as sisters.

I do know, though, that there are far more groups who, while they do test their potential members, manage to not seriously harm or maim anyone. Too bad not all of them get that lesson.

It would most likely help if they knew why they were testing and what they were looking for in all that testing. Unfortunately too many of them just want to do what was done to them... that's never good.

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