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This week a sorority at the University of Alabama released a recruitment video that has stoked some ire amongst various groups. I watched the video today and after almost six minutes of blond co-eds running around, frolicking, blowing glitter and other such nonsense I have to say this about it.
I am not offended. Bored, yes. Offended, no.
The video has been deleted by the University but other’s may be able to locate it (I could not for this story).
If you saw it, did you make it through the entire thing? I kept waiting for them to start sacrificing puppies or throwing blood at each other, anything to make sense of why it has upset people and I’m sorry but I can’t find a darn thing in here that is overly offensive. Is it dis-empowering to women? Maybe, but honestly, I don’t see the girls doing anything except what girls in Sororities do, which is have fun, be blond and smile (don’t get me wrong, I am sure they do other stuff too but it’s hard to tell from the video what other stuff they actually do. I assume at some point they actually go to classes and stuff).
Opinion writer A.L. Bailey has latched onto this video and deemed it, “worse for women than Donald Trump,” now, that seems to be a bit hyperbolic to me but let’s see what else Bailey has to say about the video.
“It’s a parade of white girls and blonde hair dye, coordinated clothing, bikinis and daisy dukes, glitter and kisses, bouncing bodies, euphoric hand-holding and hugging, gratuitous booty shots, and matching aviator sunglasses.It’s all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It’s all so … unempowering.” ~A.L. Bailey
Interesting. I have to say that I do agree with Baileys point here, it is extremely homogeneous and uninteresting. It doesn’t in any way reflect the diversity of a college campus. Then again, I don’t know a whole lot about sororities, are they typically very diverse? They seem to attract the same kind of people, people like the women in this video. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s boring to someone like me, sure, but it’s not against the law and until I know something different, it’s not racist either.
While I see what Bailey is trying to say (and I admit that I have tried to say similar things on my blog) this kind of thing makes me stop and wonder, are we getting too sensitive? Are we avoiding the things that really, truly matter in order to focus on trivial items like a sorority recruitment video (which, if you ask me is supposed to look like this, they want to get people thinking, “Damn, these girls look like fun! I have to join!”)? I have to wonder if this type of focus is worth the anger.
Even as I type this I wonder which side is the “right” side of this argument. Is there even a “right” side? I mean, these girls put together a fairly tasteful video that, to them, sums up their lives at the sorority house. There is no nudity, no drinking, nothing overtly sexual even. Sure, they prance about in bikini’s and blow glitter into the air but honestly, Baywatch was more gratuitous than this video is.
Then, when you look deeper you start to really see the pretty blonds in bikini’s, the matching outfits, the … whiteness of it all and you have to wonder, is this video a true portrayal of their lives or is it only a fantasy meant to get the sorority girls attention from both men and women, to up their numbers? Is this sorority excluding women of color, homosexuals and girls with curves or imperfections?
These are all issues that I simply don’t know the answers to since we don’t know these girls personally.
In the end, there really is no good, solid answer to these questions but I’m curious, what do you, my readers, think of this video? Is it too much? Is it offensive or un-empowering to women?
Is it worse than Donald Trump?
On that last one I have to say no, there truly isn’t much worse than Donald Trump but do these girls deserve to be slammed by someone like Bailey simply for promoting their sorority?
Tell me what YOU think! Sound off in the comments below!