A group of Yale University students have come together to host an anti-Valentine’s Day event that takes aim at “a tradition rooted in capitalism and heteronormativity” and bashes fraternities because they don’t let females join.
“Are you going out this Wednesday out of respect a tradition rooted in capitalism and heteronormativity? Or have you slipped through the cracks to suffer the awkward, social consequences of aloneness on Valentine’s?” the anti-Valentine’s Day event organizers ask.
Hosted by the women’s and LGBTQ group Engender, the event will show “This World: Frat Boys,” a documentary that looks at the dark side of fraternities. The group makes its mission “to advocate for gender integration of Yale’s all-male fraternities given their disproportionate control over campus social life,” according to its website. The group pushes fraternities to accept women but does not display a similar fervor for integrating sororities.
The announcement of the Valentine’s Day event comes after the Associate Vice President of Student Life at Yale University Burgwell Howard sent an email to all of the university’s fraternities two weeks previously, encouraging them to let women join. Following that email, 10 women requested bids from the male fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, The Yale Daily News reported.
“If single-sex organizations are inherently bad, then sports teams and sororities should be abolished along with fraternities, but activist groups like Engender opt for the easy punching bag of criticizing fraternities over intellectual consistency,” wrote student Grant Richardson in an op-ed, vehemently disagreeing with Engender’s mission and their statements describing the event. He also contended that while fraternities are far from perfect, they help many students form lasting friendships and establish a social support network in what can otherwise be a lonely and intimidating university experience.
The Yale Women’s Center will also host “10 Things We Love About Exploiting Capitalist Holidays” on Friday.
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