Tuesday, September 25, 2018

In Defense of Fraternity Men

In response to yesterday's post, wherein Rain grrr'ed thusly:
..... aren't they supposed to be the best of the best??? And some surely are but in our nearby university town, when they have the fraternity days, with the dads coming, it's drunk partying all the way. What the heck has gone wrong? I don't know about Kavanaugh but it sure paints a picture of a culture that was not very admirable and they end up running our nation or in high courts! 
Even as a freshman, I knew the fraternity houses with that reputation in my university town. 

My sorority was across the street from one of them; as pledges and then living in the house we were cautioned to avoid partying there. 

I helped a sophomore classmate with Sociology 101 and he invited me, and any and all of my girlfriends, to his frat parties.  We always had a great time, and he or someone we knew always made sure we got back to our dorm, if we wanted to go.  I heard stories about wild parties, but, if questioned, I couldn't say more than that.  

Years later, that same house was banned for a time for outrageous behaviors.  In its reincarnation, its members called a friend to suggest that she come and rescue her son.  She did. They saved her son, watching over him until she arrived.  

TBG and his fraternity brothers were just that - brothers.  Different in many ways, but similar in those that mattered.  They valued the trust that brought them together.  I know lots of them now, as adults; they are among our closest friends. 

They spoke of honor in the way that young men on their own are wont to do.  They held doors and chairs and enjoyed getting dressed up to do so.  Those who drank too much were escorted out of the way, and while some were crueler to others than they needed to be, it was, over all, a very civilized environment.  They were proud of their house, of their membership, of their reputation and they acted that way.  

It all felt very grown up, including the way I was treated.  

Most of his brothers were the product of elite public schools. Most of their families were well-to-do.  I was neither, and I never thought about it as an issue until my fingers started typing it right here.  There was no sense of entitlement, no need to exercise power for the sake of power, and certainly no sexual posturing.  They were Parent Presentable.

None of them resemble the Brett Kavanaugh described by his accusers.  
Now my husband can stop flinching every time frat boy enters his consciousness.
The media has now recognized his perspective.
He has been heard.

Isn't that what everyone wants, in the end?


  1. Well, I'd never say all of any group, but your experience is just yours. living near a university town (state not private), I just know what it is there. I only see it when I come to town but my daughter had an apartment near them while she was getting her Masters, and she described the fathers as bad as the sons for behavior on Dad week-end or whatever they call it. It's good that your husband did not go to one that had a lot of drinking. Do some research online for fraternities and alcohol and you will see it's not the case for many of the schools at least today.

    1. I have no doubt. I know people who were in hs in the 80's and tell the same stories. I know about the goings on in the elite schools in Marin when my kids were there. Are there awful grownups? Of course, there are. My point was only that I was tired of TBG's grousing that the entire universe was being painted with a broad brush. I'm not excusing anything - I hope it doesn't read that way. I'm just giving a thumbs up to my friends.


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